It was over a month ago, but I still have a Valentine’s Day craft hangover because of the Despicable Me 2 Twinkie Valentines I had to make for my twins’ preschool class. The girls saw the blog photo over my shoulder as I was looking on Pinterest and I was suckered into being that mom who staples little overalls to each Twinkie to make it perfect. I even bought a hot glue gun. This is so not me, and I hated it. But all those sweet crafts and perfect party decorations people post on Pinterest are starting to make me feel terrible for not wanting to do those things for my kids. Doesn’t anyone just buy stuff anymore?
Dear Anticraft Mom:
Yes. Yes they do. In fact, lots of moms do. Especially because they have busy lives and no time to sit hunched over with a pastry bag and a Cricut paper cutter getting everything just right.
But there are plenty of people who do these things, and instead of letting them make you feel inadequate as a mother – as a person – think of Pinterest as a stack of magazines. Millions and millions of them. When you flip through, say, Real Simple and you see a cute craft for kids’ lunchboxes, do you then scramble to your kitchen and start cutting hearts out of whole grain bread for an adorable PB&J?
No. No you don’t.
(Well, some of you do, but this post is not for you. It’s for you to link and send to your friends who often express jealousy and thinly-veiled rage.)
You might dog-ear that page, or rip it out and pin it on your bulletin board, or let it get lost in a pile of other magazine pages you’ve torn out to save recipes or gardening ideas or a picture of a celebrity hairstyle you might want to try. And then you forget all about it.
With Pinterest, these torn out magazine pages are IN YOUR FACE with relentless cheerful pressure. The bombardment of just-so images can be overwhelming and make you want to curl up in a ball in the corner of the room eating M&M’s (the store-bought kind, not lovingly individually-piped preservative-free homemade chocolate covered candies) or at least running to the drugstore at 9:30 the night before Valentine’s Day to purchase the last 2 boxes of lame cards with Spongebob on them.
But you know what? That’s okay, too.
Parenting is such a stressful job all around. There’s absolutely no reason for you to pile more pressure on top of what you already feel. When you start to feel like a shitty mom because someone posted an edible Bunny Food recipe and you can barely remember the date of Easter, click away, my friend. Click away.
(Incidentally, clicking away is the best antidote for most of the ills caused by the internet.)
Pinterest will be there — and it will be billions of pins stronger, like a boil that has swelled during the night — when you’ve regained your sensibilities and you’re ready to poke around again for some ideas for how to decorate your child’s playroom.
Side rant: must we keep using the phrase “bucket list,” even with activities for young children?
I mean, imagine that conversation.
“Look, kids, I printed out this colorful Summer Bucket List from a blog I found on Pinterest!”
“Mom, what’s a bucket list?”
“It’s a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket.”
“What’s kick the bucket?”
“It means DIE.”
(Children are horrified, speechless for a moment.)
“Are we going to die at the end of the summer?”
“No, honey, it’s just an expression.”
(Kids walk away, not believing you, convinced they will die before Labor Day.)
The moral of the story? Be careful what you pin!
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