Guilt And Exhaustion, Thy Name Is Pinterest

When Pinterest first came on the scene, I created an account–and then deleted it five minutes later. The cluttered layout felt overwhelming, I couldn’t figure out what I was trying to do, and the whole thing seemed ridiculous.

Several weeks and one reactivated account later, I was the proud pinner of HUNDREDS of crafts, furniture arrangements, date night ideas, Christmas traditions, Crockpot recipes, and lo, gardening tips.

Gardening tips. 

As if I have ever gardened a day in my life. As if I own ONE SINGLE GARDENING TOOL.

M was already with us at this point, so most of my pins revolved around family (and specifically, kids). These are some of the things I really wanted to do:

A beautiful tent for my toddler.
A beautiful tent for my toddler.
A clever hairbow storage system.
A clever hairbow storage system.
Irish dirt cake for St. Patty's Day
Irish dirt cake for St. Patty’s Day.
A Valentine’s “heart attack” (which, first of all…) for your little one! Add a heart on their door every day in February until Valentine’s Day!
An Easter bunny cake with Easter bunny Peeps!
An Easter bunny cake with Easter bunny Peeps!
Spoiler alert: When you don't have 15 minutes to clean, this doesn't work.
15 minutes a day! EVERYONE has 15 minutes! This is TOTALLY DOABLE!
CHRISTMAAAAASSSSS I WANT MY HOUSE TO LOOK JUST LIKE THIS BECAUSE CHRISSSSTTMAAAAAASSSS
This is my favorite one: a “no sew” tree skirt. The person who made it talked about how “easy” it was, then later described how you MANUALLY gather each ruffle and hotglue it to the previous ruffle. LOL.

 Here are some stats from my Pinterest profile:

  • I have 689 pins and 45 boards.
  • The board entitled “Pins I’ve Tried” contains NINE WHOLE PINS.
  • Which means there are 680 pins I have not even attempted.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I’ll tell you what’s wrong. GUILT. I can’t even approach Pinterest anymore. I slink past it while its back is turned, wondering if it KNOWS how many empty promises I’ve made.

But I can’t leave. Not completely. Because you know something? Pinterest whispers lies to me, and I believe them.

I believe if I don’t save my spare change all year and then secretly drop it off on a needy family’s doorstep on December 1, I HAVE FAILED AS A DO-GOODER.

I believe if I don’t have monogrammed burlap bows on my kids’ bedroom doors, I HAVE FAILED AS A MOTHER.

I believe if I don’t make a color-coded “date jar” with date ideas written on popsicle sticks, I HAVE FAILED AS A WIFE.

Yep.
MAKE THE WOOL FELT STICK HORSE OR FAIL.

I believe if I don’t have a cake with the number 3 embossed in sprinkles on the top and multicolored polka dots baked into the center, I HAVE FAILED MY TODDLER.

I believe if I don’t take a photo of Baby J every day of her life until college and then stitch all the photos together to make a video so I can watch her grow up in under five minutes, I HAVE FAILED AS A PARENT.

I like these nails, I just wish they were slightly more interesting and complicated.
I like these “Thanksgiving nails,” I just wish they were slightly more interesting and complicated.

People, I implore you: STOP THE MADNESS.

Pinterest is fantastic for lots of things (mostly recipes) but there comes a point where you look around your house and think, “Why isn’t my pantry organized with stainless steel bins and free printable labels? Why isn’t my doormat made from a rubber placemat and river stones from the dollar store? I don’t even own a hot glue gun! Or a grommet maker! We don’t have monogrammed coat racks or a “command center” on the side of our refrigerator! How will we know whose chores are done? HOW WILL WE KNOW?”

*dies*
*dies*

And that’s when I give up. Because I will never be the fabulously-over-the-top-birthday-party mom. I will never be the popsicle-date-night wife. I will never be as thoughtful toward the needy as I’d like to be. And I can guarantee I’ll never have a Thanksgiving turkey painted on my thumbnail.

Never, never, never. I’ll just never get that far.

(Fun fact: just this morning, I ordered Baby J’s birth announcements.)

(SHE IS SEVEN AND A HALF MONTHS OLD.)

(And I can promise you I love her just as much as M, whose announcements were ordered within the first month of her birth.)

Listen–if you’ve done any of these fancy things on the Pinterest, that’s amazing. Really. It takes a lot of dedication and time to create any of the things I mentioned in this post, and all kidding aside, I’m totally impressed by anyone who even thinks about starting one of those projects.

Just because I’m allergic to the word “tablescape” doesn’t mean you should be.

However, I’d like to encourage all of us to use Pinterest wisely. It’s okay if you never made that Buffalo cream cheese dip for that football game (there’s always this season!). It’s cool if your mailbox isn’t so elaborately decorated it causes accidents. It’s fine to send out e-Christmas cards instead of professionally done paper ones–in fact, you don’t have to send them out at all. (Hello, Facebook.)

And your children? If you love them properly, they’ll never miss those burlap bows.

*     *     *

For a good laugh, go here: Pinterest Fail

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8 thoughts on “Guilt And Exhaustion, Thy Name Is Pinterest

  1. Lindsay says:

    Yeah…I’m still working on getting C’s birth announcements out. She just turned 10 months yesterday. 🙂

  2. Emma says:

    You don’t own a grommet maker?!?! Despicable! 🙂 No seriously, I’m totally with you on all of this — Pinterest really just helps me organize recipes and gawk at adorable puppies/misc. baby animals.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      I do *love* it for recipes!! I’ve made several that turned out wonderful. It’s mostly the mom/kid stuff that makes me facepalm. 🙂

  3. Aimee L. Salter says:

    I’ve always suspected the kid-centric projects I see on Pinterest are made by mothers with OCD and a barbituates addiction because, seriously, WHO HAS TIME?!

    Oh, wait…probably people who don’t write. Or read. Or watch tv. Or, you know, cook food that isn’t themed….

    1. Anne Riley says:

      LOL. I love the idea of doing all those things, but in practice, it’s just not realistic for me.

  4. Jennie says:

    Mailbox so decorated it causes accidents…I just snorted. Oh Anne. I feel this way a lot about Pinterest. Equally inspired and depressed.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      YES! It is a total love-hate relationship. I have found that it is very useful for book ideas, though!

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