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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pinterest - Eroding Self-Worth One Working Mom at a Time

Oh ThanksgivIng, how I love thee.  It's a time for coming together with family, sharing love and good food and, for me, "Pinning" myself into a frazzled mess.  At this time every year, I find myself drowning in an endless sea of Pinterest tablescapes, recipes and holiday cocktails.  Yes, holiday cocktails.  Haven't you read my post about alcohol and parenting?  This whole thing is going to make a lot more sense if you stay caught up.

At first, joining Pinterest sounds like a fantastic idea.  As you're getting it all set up, you think, "Wow, this is really cool!  A place that I can save all of these great ideas and swell projects that I will try when...[insert specific special occasion/holiday]."  And suddenly, within 5 minutes, you've pinned 1,487 websites to ten different boards that you've given titles like, "House Beautiful," "Rainy Day Crafts" and "Let's Get Organized!"...because 4 out of 5 psychopaths claim that exclamation points aid in motivation.  As you continue your enthusiastic flurry of pinning, you slowly start to embrace the fantasy that one day you actually WILL make those mason jar recipes, homemade cough syrup and DIY sweater candles (Yes, those are a thing - I told you to follow me).  That free printable family planner with the color coded to-do lists and chore charts...  You're all over it, right? 

As I poured through my own precious collection of pins as a means of research, I realized that I am definitely NOT all over it.  To further torment myself, I then began to do the math on how many of these ideas, recipes and crafts I have actually done.  Well, I didn't actually finish it, but at a quick glance, the ratio of executed pins to total pins makes for what is sure to be a shockingly low percentage.  Right now you're thinking, "Why is she killing my buzz?  Pinterest is amazing!"  And it absolutely IS amazing.  Don't worry...I'm working towards something here.

In my three years or so of Pinning, I'm pretty sure I have followed through on about ten or fifteen recipes and, let's see, about ZERO actual projects.  And between working, traveling, wifing, mothering and that whole pesky static nature of the number of hours in a day, I don't see rain gutter bookshelves or a hand-painted forest mural going up anytime soon.  It took me two months to complete a paint job on Dallas's play room and if you look a bit too closely, you can still see some of the blue tape that I haven't successfully removed from the windows.  I have pinned way too many crocheted hats and scarves for someone that doesn't even own a crochet needle and my 18-month-old did NOT get potty trained in one week. Yeah, I really meant to get to that one.  He'll be three in April.

Yet and still, we can't stop ourselves. It's far too addicting, this virtual place that is always there, ready and waiting to overwhelm us with all of its "easy and fun" - picture me enthusiastically enacting all of these air quotes - "projects".  Each one of them claiming that "all you need is..[insert random craft item that NO ONE in the average household has readily available]".  Who in the hell actually has pipe cleaners just hanging around in a drawer?  And in a variety of f%$&ing colors, no less.  In fact, I want a show of hands right now from anyone who has ever actually used a pipe cleaner to clean a pipe. Didn't think so.  Dallas strings Cheerios on them.  Yet another clever craft to enhance fine motor skills for which I cannot take credit.  Daycare: 987, Mommy: 0.

So here comes my scary, and possibly widely unpopular, opinion... I think this whole Pinterest obsession is about trying to recapture what many of us working mommies feel we miss out on with our kids day to day.   Let's face it - after getting up at dawn, dragging sleepy children out of bed, wrestling them into clothes, cranky daycare drop offs, 9 work hours of "collaborating" and "synergizing", cranky daycare pickups, fighting traffic, struggling through "I don't want to eat that!" at dinner time, and the rest of the nightly routine five days a week, 52 weeks a year... Wait, I fell asleep and forgot what we were talking about.

Oh right, our love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  Remember how I promised that this blog wouldn't get preachy? Forget that for the next five seconds and STOP FEELING GUILTY ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE NOT DOING ON PINTEREST!  Phew, that felt good.  We're all doing a ton of other things!  And maybe we're not making salt dough ornaments or origami art with our kids, but we are damn sure keeping the lights on, food in the refrigerator and the mortgage paid.  I don't know about you, but I'm feeling less guilty already.

So when you do finally get that hour or so to yourself at the end of the night and start scrolling through the hundreds of new pins waiting for you, admire them for what they are - inspiration for when we actually do find time to be this ever-elusive, cleverly domestic version of ourselves...sometime in 2050.

Have a happy and guilt-free Thanksgiving!

P.S.  Check out my Holiday Pinterest boards and comment below if you end up trying any of them...since I probably haven't.


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  2. Call me when the sweet potato nachos and sangria is ready.

    You's a funny gal! Looking forward to more entries, since I creepily just read all of the at 6am on a Saturday...I'm pretty sure you know why I'm up this early. Now off to locate that sister-in-law of yours! The three of us should really hang out sometime.... :D