For months after a friend proudly showed me her pinterest account, I denied it entry into my life. I wasn’t sure how it all worked, and I certainly didn’t need one more thing to keep track of. But last fall, when I wanted to throw my daughter a Horse-Themed 5th birthday party, I finally succumbed to the inevitable–the initial encounter with the ultimate internet bulletin board. I quickly searched and created a board about Horse Parties for little girls, complete with pictures of cowboy boot cookies, doily trimmed tables, and impossibly expensive favors. And for about a month, that was the extent of my experience on Pinterest.
Then came Christmas. OH bright and merry Christmas boards, with your trees and trimmings and tinsel and toys! So I added another board with pins on how-to-make-your-own burlap stockings and jingle bell garland and Egg Nog (which, ironically, happened to be Egg-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Gluten-free, and Vegan. Seriously. I’m not kidding.)
While I had nagging questions about these “Pinterest People” (like “How do they afford that!?” Or “Who has the time for that!?” or even “Seriously! Who does that?!”), I shrugged off most of my concerns because Pinterest is–well, ultimately–helpful. I’ve found great ideas for games and crafts with my kids, delicious and healthy recipes, additions for my spring wardrobe, and cute, cheap projects for around the house.
It wasn’t until recently that these doubts turned to hatred.
We are moving in a month. Compared to my current home, this new house feels like a mansion. I’m so excited to be there. But in my excitement to remove wall-paper and paint trim, I’ve also begun searching for ideas on Pinterest. I’ve searched for bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. I’ve searched and seen it all…glowing sunrooms, cozy fireplaces, inviting sofas and lush green lawns. And now I can say, without a doubt, that I. Hate. Pinterest.
I hate how superficial all of this is. I hate that these moms can put on their plastic smiles and with their perfectly manicured nails point to their perfectly organized closets and perfectly well-mannered children. Because we all know that nothing…and no one… can be that perfect.
Sure, I might paint a chair like it shows in the picture, but mine’s going to have drips of paint and sticky fingerprints on it. And I might try a pair of those pastel skinny jeans like the stylist recommends, but my thighs are going to rub together. And I might organize my pantry with fancy jars and labels, but my three year old is going to cover them with stickers and then spill the lentils all over the floor.
And the thing is, I DO have proud moments as a mom (like today, when my five year old tried to make a new girl at Sunday school feel welcome by offering to let her wear her bracelet). But even with those moments to look back on, as soon as I hop on Pinterest, those grateful moments disappear and I’m left feeling inadequate and overwhelmed!
I don’t want to suffer from Pinterest Perfectionism. And I certainly don’t want my children to grow up thinking that they have to be perfect, either. Hey, I’m not saying it’s wrong to get ideas or even to appreciate beauty. But it is wrong to think that you can and should be able to “do it all.” So I’m going to stop spending so much time worrying about these Pinterest People and start spending more time with the people that are actually IN my life. Because at the end of the day, I won’t remember pins about chalkboard paint and coral wedges–but I will remember the pleasure of those precious little sticky fingers wrapped around my hand.