According to one mother’s Pinterest board, she is a phenomenal cook. If she has tried even half of the pins on her page, she is cooking gourmet dinners for her family every night, complete with desserts that would convince even the pickiest child to eat her vegetables and regular snacks and treats that make her children’s eyes light up and keeps their tummies full of healthy, nourishing food.
In reality, she’s a struggling chef who has approximately four dishes in her regular rotation and feeds her children fast food at least a couple of times a week.
Another mom’s Pinterest boards indicate that she is highly creative and capable of many craft projects. Her children are engaged in creative activities on a regular basis, and never have to worry that they will be bored. Sit in front of the television, the computer, or a video game? Not her kids! They’re constantly trying new activities, running around outside, and choosing from an overflowing craft cabinet full of art supplies.
Truthfully, her kids spend more time in front of a screen than they do anywhere else, and the last time they did a craft project, she threw it away as soon as their backs were turned.
A third mother is a do-it-yourself wonder. She makes her own laundry soap, her own cleaners, her own scrubs and body washes. Her cabinets are filled with hand-labeled goodies, and when she needs something, she doesn’t just go out and pay full price for it—she finds a way to repurpose something else, reuse an existing material, or make it herself.
Except that in reality, the last time she “made” anything was a craft project sometime in high school.
Pinterest is a board of dreams. It is a place for sharing ideas and moments of brilliance, a place where the best and the brightest of the internet is displayed for everyone to see. There’s just one problem: it often makes its browsers feel inadequate. Are they living up? How can they possibly equal what these other moms are able to accomplish?
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for moms—especially stay-at-home moms—to fall into that trap. They may forget that just because their friends have pinned these pins does not necessarily mean that they have completed them—or even done more than glance at the website that they link to. Things are pinned and repinned because they are “interesting” or “pretty”—not necessarily because the pinner has any intention of following through with them. Or, they may be pinned with the best of intentions, but never actually completed.
Have you fallen into the Pinterest trap? Do you find yourself feeling inadequate in the face of all of these wonderful projects, many of which you would never even attempt on your own?
Choose the ones that are valuable for you—the pins that you can complete, or that are worthwhile for your family. Skip over the ones that make you laugh—the things that you would never in a million years even consider. Remember that you’re making choices for your family, not for another woman’s children, and pin accordingly.
It makes browsing Pinterest a lot more manageable—and a lot more fun.