First let me say that I love Pinterest. It met a need in my life as a visual bookmark that I’ve been needing for a long time since I am a highly visible person. However now days there seems to be more pressure on women to do more, make more, and seek perfection to the level of all the things seen on Pinterest. We need to stop aiming for the Perfection Of Pinterest and learn how to use it as a tool but not as a guide.
On a regular day we as women will sign onto Pinterest and start repinning all the wonderful things that we see our friends pinning. There’s a little girl’s parisian party complete with a toilet paper Eiffel Tower and poodle sugar cookies that look like they’re straight out of Williams and Sonoma catalogs. There’s probably a little boy’s pirate bedroom complete with a gang plank and talking parrot made from Starburst wrappers. Not to mention in the pictures there is not one toy out of place or one piece of mismatched bedding. The black and tan living room with all white furniture and glitzy gold accents is more like something that you would see in a luxury hotel. But when you click over to the blog that it originated from you find that it belongs to a mom with three boys, all 4 and under. Spotless houses, perfect children’s parties, women that are not wearing yoga pants all day long, and the perfect recipe that is never burnt are what makes Pinterest.
Pinterest is amazing. I love it and find it great for inspiration. In fact, if you want to follow me on Pinterest you can right here. However there’s those days where we let the perfection get to us. Somewhere in our mind we store those pictures of the perfect spotless house with the shiny floors. Then we look at our own house, full of joyful kids but all we see is the mess and the thousands of brown spots on the floor from the most recent chocolate milk explosion. When we get ready to go out on a date we think back to that perfect outfit that was pinned with the striped dress, the green purse, trendy scary and amazing gold earrings and think that it would be great to have something like that to wear. Then we go and look in our closet. Before we even have a chance to enjoy our date we are beaten down by the fact that our clothes are worn and not trendy, in our own eyes only.
Then there’s the kids. Oh the kids. Pinterest kids are beyond perfect. Their perfectly whitened via photoshop teeth, sun burst eyes, playing in the spotless room with their abacus. Then we turn and look at our kids. Oh boy. There’s something growing in the corner of their room. They insist on using the star wars bottom sheets with the well worn flower puff top sheets and who knows where they found that comforter that they’re clinging to. Their hair resembles Chewbacca because you just figured out that when they promised you they washed their hair, they really just stood under the water practicing their funny faces, for five days now.
Finally there’s the kid’s birthday parties. There is no such thing as a grocery store birthday cake on Pinterest. There’s 5 stories remakes of rapunzel’s tower complete with a braid that the kids can actually swing from. Real fairies hand deliver the food to the pink explosion of a table scape, complete with a candy bar in very expensive apothecary jars. It’s over the top. It sets the bar too high. The pressure to meet that is too much and I have known mom after mom, including myself, that stays up until 2 or 3 am the night before their child’s birthday party to make everything perfect. Then by the time the party arrives they are so tired that they drift through, too tired to enjoy celebrating their child’s birthday. And do you realize what the kids will think was the best part of their party? Getting to play swords with the sticks they found in the backyard.
Pinterest is starting to make momma’s feel like we need to spend more and exhaust ourselves more to make it perfect. Pinterest is going to keep being perfect. Bloggers are told time and time again, make your pictures look great. It’s what gets people to click on the pictures because no one wants to look at a craft that is surrounded by junk and dirt. It’s what bloggers do, including myself. That stupid dead tree in the back yard just kicked your pinterest loving butt.
But what matters the most is how we deal with the perfection of Pinterest. Do we take it and try to transform our lives to fit Pinterest? Or do we file it back as great ideas but not always achievable? We need to see that our family and our friends are what matter the most. My family will love me if our house is spotless and everything is decorated to the hilt, yes. But they will love, remember, and embrace me more if I spend my time focused on them more than I do focused on unattainable perfection.
So maybe it’s a good time to step back and take stock of how we live our lives with Pinterest in the picture. Are we choosing perfection or are we using it in the right way, simply to inspire us and find good ideas.
Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t be as perfect as Pinterest. Step back and realize that life is messy and the best times are the imperfect times.