The Pinterest Perfect Mama
Pinterest launched in 2010 and it quickly began to pick up steam as an idea search engine. You can click the search box and within seconds discover endless design ideas, recipes, fashion trends, workouts and frankly nearly anything you can type.
In the last few years, I've found myself frequently turning to Pinterest for everything from mudroom design inspiration to tips for decorating the perfect mermaid birthday cake. While Pinterest can be very helpful and inspiring, it can also have dark negative effects on moms.
Soon after the birth of Pinterest the term 'Pinterest Mom' quickly made its mark as a mainstream label. According to Urban dictionary, "A Pinterest Mom is a mom who spends her entire life crafting and diy-ing. She cuts her kids sandwiches like puzzles to keep their brain working while eating and making sure their name is embroidered on their lunch box." As much as we like to think platforms like pinterest are completely harmless, there is potential for platforms such as this to foster unhealthy expectations for moms.
I have met moms who hate Pintrest with a burning passion and I can easily see why they feel that way. Pintrest can create false mom guilt and unnecessary comparison. You may be wondering what I mean by false mom guilt...isnt all mom guilt legitimate? Stick with me and l promise I'll connect the dots here. Spend anytime following other moms on Pinterest and you will quickly be exposed to their pins of perfect walk in closets and alphabetized color coded pantries. Here you are drinking your cup of coffee you microwaved for the third time and you're thinking…"WOW that mom really has her crap together with those incredible closets and flawless pantries." You put down your phone and glance over at your pantry in defeat. It looks like there was a natural disaster and then after the big storm settled your toddler needed a snack...BUT not just any snack they needed to pull out every snack option and inspect it first.
I love Pintrest for fantasy, I pin a ridiculous amount of things, there is no earthly way I’d ever be able to DIY that many things with a glue gun. I recently pulled up my Pintrest boards to gather a few examples of some of the ridiculous things I have found myself pinning. I've likely got ten years worth of homemade Halloween costumes pinned...and shocker...I have never once sewn a Halloween costume for my kids (in fact I don’t even own a sewing machine). I have a very big board called Brandon build this, it features extravagant wood projects my carpenter husband will never have time to construct.
My absolute favorite board you will find on my Pinterest page is my Postpartum Fitness Boards. When I was in the third trimester with each of my four kids, I got so ambitious planning these major body fitness overhauls. I figured I would somehow manage to do these crazy workouts everyday after that magical six week postpartum period passed. Boy was I ever wrong, truthfully those board are filled with more workouts than I had days between my pregnancies. I was too tired to function most days, let alone find the energy to do a sixty minute muffin top challenge. I found myself spending my precious time cuddling my baby and learning to give my postpartum body credit for the things it had accomplished.
There is a whole other side to my Pinterest world...my top secret pages. Honestly, if my followers saw half of the things I pinned in these secret boards they would be quite surprised or perhaps even slightly mortified. Do you really want to see my ten pins on effective ways to remove boogers from a screaming toddler? Or better yet all the natural remedies I pin for getting rid of nasty canker sores.
The boards that I do share publicly are gorgeous boards of amazing pins but guess how many of them are my reality….VERY FEW. Pinterest boards are a vast fantasy world for me. I love to get lost exploring Pinterest, it's a great way to unwind after a long day filled with wiping butts and dealing with toddler tantrums. Oftentimes we catch a glimpse of the things our friends are pinning and naturally we feel inadequate or guilty. I'm going to remind you of something we just talked about, WE DON'T ACTUALLY DO HALF OF THE THINGS WE PIN...so there is a high probability the moms you follow don't either. We have to remind ourselves that just because we see someone pinning the perfect third birthday party doesn’t mean our kid won’t love the simple party we have planned.
As moms we are constantly bombarded with images and descriptions of the so called 'Perfect Mom'. I’m over here trying to get my kid to eat her kraft dinner and this Pintrest perfect mom is over there cooking her gluten free, free ranged, sugar free, dairy free, love infused muffins. While we can use things like Instagram and Pintrest as inspiration, we have to remember that this idea of a true Pinterest mom really is a false stereotype. This label was created to dig at the mom guilt part of our soul, this perfect mom isn't real. Please stop putting yourself down and thinking you aren’t doing enough as a mom. Stop thinking your worth as a mom is somehow connected to how frequently you use your glue gun or how creative you are with your crockpot.
If pinning makes your heart happy, keep pinning away mama. If you hate Pinterest with a burning passion..that's totally understandable...its really not for everyone. Let's stop hating on moms who like to pin, because judgement and hatred are just as bad as the guilt Pintrest can create for moms. Being a mom is hard enough, lets show each other a little more love and a lot less judgement and shaming.