Hi, my name is Haley. I’m a Mama to a preschooler. I’m a writer and a recreation therapist. Before I started staying at home with my son, I was an event planner for special healthcare populations. Even with all of this, I do not use Pinterest.
I know, you might be shocked. Most of my friends send me pins or want to talk about their latest birthday inspiration board with me at the playground. Most pick their jaw up off the floor when they hear that I don’t Pin, especially because most of my writing includes preschool and elementary school crafts, cooking, games and activities.
But here’s the thing. I don’t want to live in a Pinterest world. Further, I want to find inspiration for games, activities, crafts and recipes that don’t require highly specialized ingredients, trips to the hardware store or to Etsy, or the purchase of a Cricut. When we are snowed in and I have a stir crazy preschooler to entertain, I can’t be worried about a craft that requires 3 weeks preparation and 20 complex steps. Instead, I just want something fun for the two of us to do together with stuff I already have lying around the house.
I think that connections with your kids don’t have to happen over Pinterest perfect crafts. I don’t think that your daughter thinks that you love her more just because you devoted four hours to making the perfect rainbow colored layered cake. I also don’t think that a birthday party or baptism or barbeque needs to have a theme complete with matching centerpieces, snacks, and party favors.
Instead, I think that Pinterest puts moms at risk for not doing anything special or new because it might not line up with the other Pinterest projects at their preschool. I think that time spent on Pinterest can make you feel that you are not creative or special, the exact opposite of inspired. I have found, on more than one occasion, moms that have been frozen with fear to host a birthday party for their child because they cannot imagine putting together the themed centerpieces. You guys, I don’t even remember the centerpieces from the last 4 parties I have attended. It’s always a cute touch, sure, but relax already.
More importantly, I think that too much time on Pinterest can make you feel ungrateful or not content with what you do have. For example, I have a friend who has a “dream kitchen” board full of mason jar chandeliers, high end finishes, and thousands of dollars worth of ideas. Friends, she just remodeled her kitchen two years ago and already she hates it, thanks to her “dream kitchen” board.
Your kids don’t care if they are hand packaging squeeze applesauce valentines (you’re my main squeeze) or if they are writing their names on Batman valentines you grabbed from Target. They don’t care if they have Cat in the Hat fruit kabobs in their next lunch bag, or if they just have a banana that you doodled on the peel with ink pen. You don’t need to hand letter jokes to tuck in their book bag, and you certainly aren’t a bad mom if you light up a few glow sticks to toss in the bathtub instead of making your own glow-in-the-dark water. Your kids think you are awesome either way, and value your time with them.
In my case, I would rather spend time putting food coloring and water in spray bottles to decorate the feet of snow we still have outside than to search for recipes on how to make the perfect snow ice cream. Pinterest is great if you can assure that you are inspired by it and not devalued by it. Pin things that you love but not things that make you hate what you already have. And for goodness sake, remember that you can have fun making a Lego obstacle course or coloring menus for tonight’s dinner; it doesn’t always have to be Pinterest perfect.
You’re a good mom and a fun mom. Don’t let Pinterest take that away.
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