I have a confession to make. I don’t like Pinterest.
I know, I know. Put down your repurposed decorative pitchforks and hear me out.
Have you ever tried to look up things on Pinterest? Well of course you have. You probably have the app on your phone and several boards of colorful pins on how to make ghosts out of wine bottles for Halloween or wreaths out of pinecones for Christmas. You have probably pinned a bunch of photo shoot ideas or birthday party themes, and you most definitely pinned some recipes in there. If you haven’t, well then my bad. You should totally check it out. You must join in this club if only for the fact that misery loves company.
You see, Pinterest has essentially created the world of competitive momming. I mean, not by itself—social media in all of its forms gave us a glimpse into the lives of others and took the whole idea of “keeping up with the Jones” to a new level. Now, not only do we have to keep up with them, but we have to keep up with the fake and aspirational version of them that they post online. Pinterest just gave us an arena to compete in.
You see, before Pinterest, we as moms didn’t need to care so damn much. The bar was so comfortably low that we could send our kids to school with store bought valentines in a multipack and we could schedule birthday parties at Chuck-e-Cheese three years in a row and everyone was happy. But since the advent of Pinterest, we have a whole new level of aspiration that we didn’t even know existed. Now, we can channel our craftiness into individualized Valentine’s Day goodie bags or Halloween decorations made from recycled milk jugs. Heck, I even saw a pin on how to grow your own grass for your very realistic Easter baskets that you can now give your children on a day that seems to rival its winter counterpart. But I digress. You see, someone a decade ago decided that it would be a good idea to create a platform whereby crafty people could share their creations with the rest of us. It was all well and good until someone, somewhere, saw that as a challenge they needed to accept and now we are all knee deep in glitter wondering what the hell happened.
Because, thanks to other forms of social media, we can all see what each of us does and does NOT do to celebrate pretty much everything. And thanks to this, we all feel the pressure to keep up and not take the easy way out any more. So what was once the passion of an elite crafty few is now considered to be the norm. If you don’t participate in the decorative rat race, you will then be shamed for it. And now most of that shame is internalized. It’s rare to hear others shame your lack of craftiness outright. Instead, it’s a voice inside of your own head that condemns you because you didn’t rise to the occasion and now your child’s life is obviously ruined.
Well, I say screw that. Let’s go beyond the “Pinterest fail” section of social media and instead ask ourselves why? Why do we do this? We run ourselves ragged and stay up much too late doing things for class projects or parties that our children don’t actually care about and will likely not really remember or appreciate. I mean, if this is truly your thing and you are Martha Stewart’s twin, you get down with your bad self. But on the very likely chance that you’re not, I say we tone it down a notch. Get some store bought cake and a few balloons and call it a day. Buy some Finding Nemo Valentine’s Day cards at Target and send little Susie on her way. Set a pumpkin out on Halloween and leave the light on and a bowl of candy for the neighborhood kids. And instead of photo shoots, go out and have a fun day with your children instead. Especially because the only one seeing those photos is you when you go through your Time Hop app because to frame them would take WAY too much effort.
So I propose that we take the pressure off of ourselves and instead try to make some memories with our kids. They will appreciate that much more when they are older and they are much more likely to remember it. And for goodness sake, put down the glue gun and get some sleep.