April 1, 2014

Dear Pinterest Mom

Dear Pinterest Mom,
You don't know me, but I've been following you for a couple of years.

At first, I wanted to be just like you. You had the best ideas. You taught me how to make cauliflower crust pizza and how to whiten my teeth. You showed me photos of sunsets in Bali and kitchens in Provence and the Midsummer Night's Dream party you hosted in your garden. You astounded me with your aesthetics and your imagination.

Pinterest Mom, I thought we were friends. You gave me decorating ideas and gently informed me that I was wearing Mom jeans. You told me to lose weight by working out only 12 minutes a week. Meanwhile, you were making Nutella Rice Krispies treats and serving raspberry mojitos in sugar-rimmed jam jars.

You helped me step out of my comfort zone. You inspired me to make (unintentionally abstract) snowman ornaments with the kids. You suggested cheese balls as a party snack, and I gave it my best effort.

The harder I tried to keep up with you, the more I realized that I just couldn't.

For a while, I hated you. I hated that you recorded your children's cutest quotes onto a precious wall hanging, and I just had a bunch of blurry pictures on my phone. I hated that you had 100 ideas for bento box lunches, and my kids only wanted salami sandwiches and Lunchables.

My kids aren't aware of Pinterest, but they know your kids from school. They know that your family has an Elf on the Shelf, 14 days of homemade Valentines, and a leprechaun who leaves footprints all over the bathroom on St. Patrick's Day. We have Santa. Valentine's Day is a one-day affair, and we celebrate by buying chocolate and cheap Target cards for the kids' classmates. We might wear green on St. Patrick's Day, if we remember what day it is.

My family's holidays won't end up on Pinterest, but you know what? That's OK. We are who we are.

I don't really hate you, Pinterest Mom. You're exhausting, but you're also awesome. You're doing your thing, doing it well, and sharing it with the world. How can I hate you for that?

You've also given me an important lesson to share with my kids. Thanks to you, my 7-year-old and I have had some good talks about how every family is different. Some moms are excellent at baking and doing crafts. Some moms are funny and some are serious and some are sentimental and most of us are just doing our best, loving our kids, and winging it from day to day. 

If we constantly measure ourselves against others, we'll be miserable. There's always somebody with more skill, more creativity, more money, more time.

My family has our own values, traditions, and qualities that make us special. I told my daughter that we need to embrace our Wiant-ness and enjoy being us.

I remind myself how much work went into that "casual" photo of us making waffles. The kitchen was cleaner than it had ever been. We coordinated our clothes weeks in advance. The photographer took hundreds of images, only a few of which were worthy of sharing - and even those got the Photoshop treatment.

I should know better than to compare my private world to someone else's public one. 
Pinterest Mom, keep doing your thing. I'll keep hanging out with you, because you do make my life better. You gave me that idea to write down memories and put them in a jar to read aloud on New Year's Eve. You gave me cookie dough dip and that amazing turnip recipe.

I'll pass on the cheese balls, though. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

seriously, those cheese balls were awful! AWFUL! Also are the cheese sticks wrapped in egg roll wrappers. Don't be fooled, they are no good. I agree with this post completely!

Anonymous said...

Love this!