Pinterest. I have long wondered if the cost outweighs the benefit regarding this app and the thousands of ideas it brings to my phone screen (usually late at night when I should be asleep). Anyone else? Do not get me wrong; I love to scroll through Pinterest and get All. The. Ideas. of how to better my life.
- Do you want to grow your own food?
- Do you want to eat less meat?
- Do you need your puppy to stop crying in his crate all night long?
- Do you feel like you need to organize your ENTIRE life?
- Do you want a new hairstyle?
- Do you think your entire house needs a refresh after not leaving it for virtually six months?
There are thousands of pins for all these topics and more! And while my very varied Pinterest boards truly show that I have no shortage of interests and goals, the odds of me actually doing All. The. Things. are minimal. Which leads me to wonder… is Pinterest beneficial for me? Is it truly motivating or helpful for me to scroll and pin, or does it just make me feel discontented, unworthy, and unfulfilled?
Let us take, for example, birthday parties. As moms, we all know how much pressure a mom can feel to make those birthday parties an EPIC experience for your child and their friends. We have all been to that birthday party where we have stood with our mouth agape, marveling at the sheer amount of coordination, time, energy, and money that went into creating some child’s (or parent’s) fantasy birthday dream come true. And the truth is, I used to let myself feel inferior because I was not the mom who could take a birthday party to that next level. Each year I would create a pinboard for the impending birthday party and vow that this was the year that I would throw the ULTIMATE birthday party. And each year, the birthday party would be memorable and fun but not “Pinterest worthy,” and it left me feeling like I somehow failed. But over the last few years, I have decided I will not feel any guilt over not throwing a Pinterest birthday party. I have fully embraced that what matters most is not how fancy, expensive, or coordinated a birthday party is. What matters is that my kid knows how special they are and that friends and family love them and want to celebrate them. I have freed myself of the guilt that I felt from all of those pins I could never match in my own party planning, and now I just enjoy the chance to celebrate my kid with other people who think my kid is pretty great too!
Truth be told, I still will make a Pinterest board for almost every impending birthday for my kids, but I’ve let go of the unnecessary pressure I used to put on myself to make my kids’ party worthy of a pin on the Pinterest event. I just like a place to browse and get ideas and can now separate it from impacting my own value and enjoyment. My husband will tell you that I still get stressed about a clean house and it all coming together, but it’s freeing to release myself from achieving an unrealistic expectation that, at the end of the day, was self- created. So, while I still may be vacuuming, chucking clutter in a closet, and lighting candles before a party, I have stopped holding myself to an unmeetable standard. The same goes for the other aspects of my life that I use Pinterest for too. I’ve tried to truly tap into it as a resource for the things I like to research but keep myself grounded that it’s just that- an app to hold resources that may or may not be truly relevant or beneficial to my life, and that has been truly life-changing.
P.S. – If your thing is throwing those Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, please know you have my full support, and I love that you get to do that if it brings you joy. If I have learned anything in my time as a mom, it is that being able to acknowledge, celebrate, and appreciate our differences makes the journey of mothering together that much sweeter. Oh, and sharing cake, that helps, too!
P.P.S – If you want to help spread some birthday cheer, consider making a birthday box to donate to a local food pantry or foster agency. These “boxes” usually include a cake mix, frosting, candles, and party decor. These are a great way to help other mommas who want to celebrate their kids but do not have the resources to do so!