I get so intimidated by Pinterest. Everything looks so perfect.
It’s hard to be a Mom in the age of Pinterest!
I quit Pinterest. It makes me feel bad about my real life.
While I can totally understand the sentiment, I want to free us all up to enjoy Pinterest without feeling like a terrible person. YOU ARE NOT A TERRIBLE PERSON. Let’s just start with that.
I think the problem is comparison. Women especially are so prone to comparison that of COURSE when we log onto Pinterest and see perfection, we look around our own home and begin to weep inside. (STOP WEEPING.) The thing is this: most of those pictures are not real life. Other than Martha Stewart, who probably had a jail cell that looks better than my living room. (You know, the room I don’t allow the kids in so it will stay “nice.”) For every other picture you see on Pinterest, there is a giant disaster just outside the shot.
Take, for example, my cinnamon rolls (recipe coming!). Don’t they look pretty? Delicious? Maybe even close to PERFECT?
First of all, I botched the recipe. You can’t taste them, but I tried adding chocolate to the filling and it was just…not good. I didn’t know chocolate could not be amazing, but it did not work. Second of all, here are some pictures of what you don’t see JUST to the left and right of this great photo.
Actually, those photos aren’t so bad. Usually, it’s worse. I let the dishes sit until I’m done, which means the sink overflows and sometimes I break stuff. The floor? Too gross to even photograph. I mean it. Even when my recipes do turn out (these weren’t terrible, but they weren’t fabulous), there is always a disaster in the kitchen or a burn on my arm or a pile of flour in the floor. (That sometimes I leave for days.)
Now that I’ve gotten real with y’all, here are some things to keep in mind so that you can use Pinterest without being defeated by the comparison monster.
Don’t Compare. This is not a contest. You will likely never meet the person behind that great photo or idea, and if you did, I bet they have a messy closet or bathroom or let laundry pile up somewhere. Or maybe they just yelled at their kids while trying to get that desert finished.
Get Inspired. Take what you see on Pinterest as an inspiration, not a rule book. You don’t HAVE to homeschool and make your own printables and also cook amazing meals from organic things that you bought with coupons every day. Take this as an inspiration to get you working on what YOU want to do.
Ignore What Bugs You. If you get upset seeing all the perfect abs on the exercise boards, unfollow those boards. Don’t follow an exercise board. Don’t create your own. No one will get a notification if you stop following their SuperFit Mama Abs board. Take what works and leave what doesn’t.
Imagine That Pinner. Don’t think of the pinners you follow as some kind of Martha Stewart. (Sorry to pick on her, but you know what I mean.) In reality, she might be a person that you’d have dinner and drinks with and talk about how you spent the day in sweatpants, wishing you were at a spa instead of wiping bottoms and cleaning out the oven. No Pinner is perfect! I can say from personal experience that I post nice photos because that’s what I want to pin. No one will pin my disgusting kitchen sink. But a great shot doesn’t mean everything in my life is great and it doesn’t mean that I’m trying to pretend that it is.
I hate seeing women discouraged and defeated by Pinterest! Use it as inspiration, not as some perfect standard you think you should live up to! Let it work for you and be a great resource when you’re tired of the same meals or want to do a fun activity with your kids or need a new haircut or wall color.