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Pin-Worthy Motherhood

Have you ever had the pleasure of perusing a toy catalogue with a three year old?

It goes a little something like this:

I want that. And that. And that. And that and that and that and oh! That! I want that too!

When I logged onto Pinterest for the first time about a year ago, I had the enthusiasm of a child with a stack of Target circulars.

My eyes glazed over.

My wrist hurt from all the clicking.

Visions of handmade finger puppets danced in my head.

I loved Pinterest for inspiration on all things creative: home improvement and photography tips. Techniques to naturally dye Easter eggs. Cute dresses and purses, posters urging me to Keep Calm and Pin On.

After a few months of pinning the primary purpose of my account soon emerged: stockpiling activities and projects to make me the perfect mom.

More on that in a minute.

Pinterest is among the fastest-growing social media platforms on the web. Its mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” I use it daily: for dinner party recipes, for holiday decor ideas, for silly pictures that make me smile. For me, it’s teetering on obsessive: the sensory boxes! The fine motor skill builders! The pins, my God, THE PINS!

After using Pinterest for a while I began to notice a trend. I’d pin the things I found interesting only to realize they’re a lot less interesting when I made them myself. My version of the Lego cake that another pinner said was Foolproof! could have been submitted to Cake Wrecks. The “effortless” accessories that promised to add a little flair to this mama’s wardrobe were, in reality, more Mr. T than Miss Thing.

Several Pinterest failures later I realized that, for me at least, Pinterest is little more than an escape. It’s my house– redecorated. My cooking- made delicious. My wardrobe-refined.

My life- made perfect.

Has my realization changed anything? In some ways. Instead of logging onto Pinterest and feeling like a failure because Why didn’t I think of that? I understand now that it’s the best of the best, doing their best.

I may not freeze meals a month at a time.

I might not have the loveliest spring mantel in town.

And my kids just might eat Eggo waffles straight out of the freezer for breakfast, as opposed to home made steel-cut organic oats with a kumquat reduction.

Everything I do might not be Pin-Worthy, but I won’t let that affect my self-worth.

Photo Credit: Hydropeek/Flickr

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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