26 Sep Pinterest Mom–Been There, Done That
Recently, I was scrolling through Instagram and stumbled on an ad for crafting supplies. The video featured a woman making a cute Halloween craft for a kid’s classroom party (emphasis on classroom). The more I watched, the more I felt my jaw drop. The process got more complicated by the second: cutting scrapbook paper with a machine, embossing, putting Halloween-themed goodies in a bag, sealing each bag individually with a crafting tool, adding themed craft paper, etc. I was in shock at how far this craft went. It was a classic “Pinterest worthy” moment. But then it dawned on me—I’m aware this is extreme, but are there moms watching and thinking this is what’s expected of them? Oh, I hope not!
Pinterest Mom is a term coined for the ultimate DIY parent who diligently makes everything for their children by hand with a high emphasis on visual appeal. No store bought party supplies; this person is on a different level, if I’m being honest. Why do I say this? Because I was that mom for half a second. It was exhausting. But what’s most important—it’s not realistic. It’s hard to keep this up for a prolonged amount of time. I’m telling you, it’s physically and emotionally draining. Why did I feel the need to be that mom? Maybe it was a desire to take control. Maybe I needed to impress other people. Whatever the reason, I threw amazing parties—costly parties—and my kids didn’t love me any more than they did without it.
I’ve since drifted away from that and switched gears. The first reason was my mom pulled me back to reality. She opened my eyes to the fact that my kids didn’t need a “wedding worthy” cake from the top bakery; they didn’t need each decoration individually made with my Cricut machine. She said, “What they need is a celebration that you can handle.” Having a nervous breakdown over hand painted appetizer labels isn’t going to make the party a success. So when I started my company and there just wasn’t enough time to keep up the routine anyway, I had to ditch the perfectionism. And with that, I saw things with a lot more clarity. I let go of a version of myself that fell prey to the standards that society seemed to shove down my throat (through social media, of course!). Instead I started to back off the perfectionist approach when it came to parties. And guess what? No one complained. People had just as good of a time and, specifically, I got to enjoy the parties. Some people were so astonished, they called to congratulate me for not sending a formal invitation by mail 2 months in advance (yes—I was that mom). With this turn of events, I started to focus more on the significance of that day itself. I wasn’t exhausted and pushed to my limit by the time the party day arrived. I didn’t nitpick at the details of the party favors, the table clothes, the appetizers, the entertainment—I simply cleaned up my house and waited for the guests to show up.
So, when I saw this crafting video of what parents could do to step up their Halloween party game, a part of me cried a bit for the mom who may watch that and feel inadequate. I was appalled and I even sent the video to several family members to simply vent how crazy it all looked. I’ve been that mom who thought if I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into my child’s parties (or even lunches), I’d be a better parent. Yeah, that’s not real! Be the parent you want to be. Grab that cake from the local market and stick a figurine on it (that’s me!). Or grab donuts and put some candles on it. I promise you—your kid will love it as long as they get sugar and the attention. Make the day special for your child and for you. My favorite birthdays are those that I get to enjoy—not the ones I spend endless nights tying a bow around each party favor individually. So if you need someone to tell you to put down the personalization stencil kit and just hand out the store bought party favors, I’ll be that person for you. Granted, if you truly enjoy crafting as a hobby and are skilled at Pinterest-ing everything…more power to you. I’ll be the first to admit, if I see a cool DIY project that may be a fun little project and not a load of stress on my back, I’m all for it. But it’s not for everyone, all the time. Be you in this parenting gig! Embrace who you are and try to find the fun in parenting, not pile on extra loads of work onto an already fully plate!
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