I Am Not a “Pinterest Mom”

Don’t get me wrong. I love to browse Pinterest for new ideas and fun recipes. I’ve found some great time-saving projects, fun games for my kids and delicious recipes the whole family enjoys. I also love to post my recipes on Pinterest as a way to share them with others. But there is a difference between enjoying Pinterest and letting it govern every aspect of your life as a parent.

 

birthday

A few months ago was my son’s birthday. Because he loves Superheroes, we decided to throw a Superhero party for my sons and his friends. We planned on it being thoroughly homemade, so I decided to visit Pinterest for some ideas. What I saw shocked me. One pinned site suggested I sew capes and masks for each guest, with their own personalized superhero logo I would design. Another suggested I buy some wood from a hardware store and use a scroll saw and some paint to construct a very impressive photo-booth for those great superhero shots. Each site recommended I color-code each item at the party to match the birthday boy’s favorite superhero, which included buying M&Ms ONLY in those colors and having them personalized with my son’s superhero logo. The list went on and on. I was also surprised that most of these suggestions came from parties held for children under the age of 5. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR SOCIETY??? Our kids don’t care if their birthday could serve as the cover of a magazine. They won’t appreciate a photo booth merely because it took me 15 hours to put together. And when the M&Ms are making them sick later because they ate 25 little fist-fulls, they won’t care that they were color coded to match their character.

And it’s not just parties. It’s games, treats, valentines, 100-day of school projects, etc. I’m constantly shocked by the level of time and dedication that go into these projects that allegedly make us “good parents.” At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves, “Am I doing this to make my child happy or because it will make me look like an awesome parent to all the other parents?”

Kids want your time. They want to have fun. They want to consume inappropriate amounts of sugar and artificial coloring. A “craft” to them can consist of paper and crayons, scissors and glue, or even sidewalk chalk.

I do get that there is a time and place to go above and beyond. I just don’t think a child’s third birthday is the time and place. Neither is a rainy afternoon with grumpy kids who need a craft to entertain them.

When our kids look back at their lives do we want them to say, “Wow! I remember how my mom always spent hours and hours decorating for my birthday party.” Or, “I totally remember how my mom spent hours cutting out and decorating each board game we owned, using only organic materials.” Or would we rather they say, “I remember how my mom always read to me.” “I remember my mom playing Play Doh with me.” “I remember my mom dressing up with me or singing with me at the top of her lungs.” “My mom was always there for me to talk to and to help me feel better when I was upset.”

Don’t misunderstand. I truly believe you can occasionally do the elaborate things and still be a GREAT parent. I’m just tired that society has forgotten the reverse. If you never throw an elaborate party, don’t make all your children’s toys, don’t paint a mural on their ceiling, you can still be a fabulous parent and raise amazing children. Just as doing these elaborate, time-consuming projects doesn’t make you a good parent, not doing them doesn’t make you a bad parent either.

So on your child’s next birthday, if you want to buy tablecloths from the dollar store, decorate paper plate masks and play tag for the big party game, do it. The kids will have just as much fun and you don’t have to turn your world upside down the month prior to the event. All you need to hear at the end is, “Thanks Mom. I love you.” And that is something no website can do.

One Response to “I Am Not a “Pinterest Mom””

  1. Susan
    April 27, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Great blog.