Making Peace… With Pinterest

Hello, my name is Dena, and I used to be a Pinterest junkie.

I think of myself as a fairly creative person.  I cook, I like to do crafts, I like to decorate.  I have a Pinterest account filled with deliciously-easy, make-themselves recipes, hours-of-entertainment crafts, creatively-chic home decor ideas:

  • Oh! Freeze-ahead crock-pot meals!
  • Homemade bird-feeders and sidewalk chalk!  
  • 100’s of ways to create spectacular lunchbox lunches! 
  • Built in laundry chute!
  • Boil your water to make crystal clear ice!  

In reality I:

  • Have made a few recipes, ones I probably could have gotten in a cookbook or on the rest of the internet;
  • Have managed to do one craft project with my children that ended in tears;
  • Am lucky that I can muster a sandwich, fruit, veggie, and milk for lunch packing at night;
  • Have no space for that gorgeous outdoor fire pit or the quad-bunk-bed awesomeness;
  • Have an ice maker from the portable ice maker reports I’ve read that actually makes my ice, thankyouverymuch!

As a busy working mom I have little time to spend with my kids at the end of the day.  Some nights I don’t even get to tuck them in if I am working late.  About 3 months ago, I stopped “pinning.”  As I poured over oodles of pins one night, feeling slightly inadequate, I started to realize that, while I may think of myself as Martha Stewart on occasion, my kids don’t want or need her.

They just want me to be their mom.

I decided to let myself off the hook- to allow myself to not succumb to one more pressure to be perfect.  We eat homemade meals most nights of the week and my audition for Master Chef is a few seasons off, so meals that come pre- or mostly cooked are not going to send DCF or Gordon Ramsey to my door.  My kids do tons of art projects at school, it’s ok if we don’t glitter the house.   Lunch is for eating , not for putting in a museum.  Someday my house will be like the magazine, but right now my children break nice things, so why bother.  And really, who the f*&% cares if my ice is cloudy?

Will I close the doors on Pinterest forever?  No.  I will probably still use it for special occasion ideas- I can’t help making elaborate birthday cakes, or for the occasional new recipe, or if we ever find an inch or two more space in this house.

But for now, most nights will look like last night.

Last night we ate Mac and Cheese from a box.  We played blocks and read books.  We snuggled while watching the Wonder Pets.  We laughed.  I put them to bed in their mismatched bedroom sets, and threw the dirty laundry from the day in the heap in the corner, and then I made myself a special drink with cloudy ice.

But you know what?

I don’t think either one of my kids went to bed not knowing how much I love them.

Take that and “Pin It!”

18 thoughts on “Making Peace… With Pinterest

  1. Great article!!! I love Pinterest and even have a craft blog, but it STILL gives me guilt! It’s all about balance and deciding what is important. Ice cubes???? Ummm…..NO!!!! Love all of your points and the description of your night. It sounds perfect! 🙂


  2. I use Pinterest to keep ideas for Christmas (crafting/decorating/baking) and for knitting and sewing projects. It’s easier and keeps it all in one place rather than having to bookmark a ton of sites. But yeah, between that and a lot of mom blogs it’s really easy to feel inadequate! I had to force myself to step away from pinning certain ideas when I realized I was trying to keep up with a friend who is a SAHM – she has the time to do all sorts of creative crafts and sensory play, and I just don’t. I guess I have to hope that our daughter gets enough of that at daycare and at home with us on the weekends, even if it’s not a formal project requiring a lot of prep work.


  3. I adore Pinterest!!! And am severely addicted. I also fear that come Xmas when my house does not look like my Xmas board that I’ll die a little on the inside. The pressure we create for ourselves!?! Well done on cutting down. Your evening sounds remarkably like mine! Fuck the cloudy/ clear ice cubes.


  4. I love the part about making yourself a drink with cloudy ice (gasp!) – totally needed that laugh. Thanks for a great post. I am addicting to pinning to Pinterest but rarely ever use anything I pin – I aspire to use them, but then I just get tired.


  5. I don’t inherently think there is anything wrong with Pinterest, or that people should stop pinning. I think it is a great visual way to share ideas and inspire people to create. I guess it was less the pins that made me feel inadequate and more the blogs that they linked to! How do people have the time to keep these blogs active? Ha! I just started to feel bad I couldn’t do all of these cool things and started to think, “Should I be doing all of these, am I lacking as a parent because we don’t?” My answer was no, and I allowed myself to move away from the pin!


    1. Totally agree with that, Dena! Some of those blogs are crazy! I can’t imagine having enough time or energy to do that stuff even if I didn’t work or have two kids. And I’m normally a high-energy person! 🙂


  6. Ha ha, I’m one of those people who is obsessed with Pinterest and actually does a lot of the stuff on there! Not sure where I find the time, either, but I just love to do it. I certainly don’t do the Martha Stewart decor stuff, though, and I don’t really cook. The stuff I do usually involves paper plates, rubber bands, toilet paper tubes . . . you know, the low-tech stuff. I gets lots of ideas for kids’ activities and they seem to enjoy them. I’ve also found lots of handy tips for cleaning and organizing, stuff that’s helped my day-to-day (sounds like I should do a commercial for them!). I totally understand the backlash against Pinterest, though. I try not to spend too much time on the fantasy boards that make me feel inadequate. 🙂 Check out the site Pinstrosity for pins gone awry.


  7. We all had cereal for dinner last night and it was one of the best nights we’ve had in a long time. I feel the same way you do about Pinterest. I’m using it for good teacher gift ideas or Christmas decorations, but beyond that, I’m all set.


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