There has started (well, maybe I'm even a little late on this trend) a revolution of moms out there who are addicted to Pinterest. You know, that site that shows you a bazillion new creative ways to do anything in your life better than you are already doing it? The pages and pages of pin-boards out there that cleverly suck you in with one little picture and then all of a sudden you realize the sun has set and you've been reading about cupcakes for the last several hours. How did that happen? I love it. I loathe it. To which I am responding with the only resource I have: writing.
What is this power you have over me? Why do I even care how to fill mason jars with colored beads or sand or Christmas lights and turn them into chandeliers or book ends or night lights? I will never ever have time to do that. Even if I did have time, I would take a much-needed nap or fold week-old-clean laundry or do dishes from two nights ago. And yet, somehow I make time for you. Somehow, between diaper changes and baby feedings and episodes of Sesame Street and reviewing letters/numbers/colors and potty training and putting on regular pants for the day so that the world doesn't think I'm entirely wasting my day on the internet...I thumb through your pictures on my iPhone and find myself completely entranced by your creativity, your beauty, and wonder how I never ever before considered how useful an old coffee can or pillow case or apple crate truly could be. How did I never before see the potential of how a dozen ties could be turned into a new wreath for my door? Why did I not look at that pile of single-unmatching-socks in my drawer before now and see at least a dozen possibilities for them?
Oh Pinterest, you tease me with your little thumbnails of ideas. Your turquoise shoes, your braided hairdos, your yellow cardigans and swirly nails. You pique my interest with your elaborate birthday displays, your ooey gooey decadent dishes, your mile-high frosting wonders of cakes and cookies and rainbow-laden tables of sparkly wonder and delight. You hypnotize me with your perfectly photographed newborns and kittens and families in matching outfits in a garden of seamlessly hedged splendor. You make me believe that in another life, in another time, in another place where there is no spit-up or crying over breakfast that there exists the possibility where I could spend nine hours stenciling a chevron pattern on my dining room wall, spend days embroidering silhouettes of my daughters' profiles on their pillow cases, spend weeks cutting out fondant in doily patterns, and months growing a garden of herbs in a mason-jar-filled-peg-board planter that I made myself complete with chalk-board-paint signs displaying the name of said herb with intention to make a 7 ingredient mojito freshly muddled by my own hand as soon as the mint leaves are ripe for the picking.
Yes, yes, I can see it now...
Oh Pinterest, you love me and leave me feeling so inferior. You hold such lovely intentions, but you will have to be left at that: intentions. I can't do it, Pinterest, I just can't. I'm exhausted! I got four hours of disturbed sleep last night and my kids are screaming at me to blink and get them more goldfish crackers (yes, STORE BOUGHT goldfish crackers - not individually monogrammed little homemade underwater creature snacks that I individually cut out and baked myself, I'm so sorry to say) and just stop staring at your dazzling screen of cynical brilliance long enough to realize that I need to stop worrying about how I can reuse my old baby wipes holder and go clean the litter box or vacuum the living room or fix the baby lock on the medicine cabinet. Pinterest! Stop distracting me! Stop telling me I'm not enough. Stop making me feel like a terrible parent for not having matching sheets on my kids beds that are perfectly coordinated to their urban-outfittered-custom-fabricated crib skirt and curtains. Stop making me feel like a loser wife because I used the frozen lasagna and didn't make my own ricotta from raw milk straight from the cow out back and served it in turquoise pottery that I burned in my own kiln. Stop making me feel like I deserve time to pick out an entire outfit that looks like I stepped out of Anthropologie and into an episode of Mad Men and spent more time on my hair than I did on my wedding day. Pinterest, LAY OFF ME. You have impossibly high standards. Your ideas are too much for me.
I think we need to take a break from each other, Pinterest. I don't mean to go all Ross-and-Rachel on you, but I just feel dizzy from your influence. I need to take a step back. I need to feel good again about things like putting deodorant on or brushing my teeth before my husband comes home. I need to feel that burst of accomplishment I used to get just from not overcooking my scrambled eggs or that sense of genius because I served my family a meal on paper plates. I need to regain my confidence in just being able to braid my own pigtails and revive my self-worth by shaving my legs once a week. I like my standards, I love my life, and I don't need you to tell me what I'm missing out on any more. I'm not leaving you forever - I'll check in on occasion when I'm needing a little motivation, when I'm searching for a surge of inspiration or when I'm looking for a daunting recipe that I'm up for trying. Everything in moderation, Pinterest, even you. Let's be friends, not enemies. Friends encourage. Friends inspire. Friends motivate. Let's call a truce, Pinterest, and leave it at that. You can go on with your home-roasted coffee beans and hand-beaded pillows and mustard-yellow-leather-purse-embossed-with-a-sweet-woodland-creature-on-the-corner...and I'll let you know when I'm ready to come back. Just after I finish looking my kids in their eyes again, folding all my laundry AND putting it in the drawers, microwaving leftovers for dinner and enjoying a nice glass of cheap wine from a box with my husband next to me, sitting on the couch watching a rerun of Frasier that no one necessarily finds funny or popular any more. Nobody may like it, or repin it, or comment on it...but that sounds just lovely to me.