This article could not ring more true! SO.MUCH.PRESSURE. on moms these days! Literally…if I am allowed to just be honest with you…Pinterest stresses me out! I only go on it to pin The Snap Mom articles and DIYs! Hahahah
Nikki, THANK YOU for this beautifully written article…may I never feel the Pinterest perfect pressure AGAIN!
by Nikki Pennington | staff writer for The Snap Mom
I often joke with friends that I wish Pinterest would have been around when I was younger that way my mom could have thrown me some amazing birthday parties. I then go further and say I wish Pinterest would have been around when I had our first son, things would have been so much different. Now, what do I see? All the girls with elaborate gender reveal pictures. Parents throwing one-year-old birthday parties fit for Kings and Queens. If I look back at our first son’s birthday: he had a homemade cake, dollar tree decorations, and a failed attempt at the “perfect” smash cake picture. He actually threw it up everywhere. Not exactly the Pinterest picture I was going for.
I go to Pinterest for almost everything from parenting to pictures, birthday party ideas, creative things to do with my positive pregnancy test, and matching outfits for my children. I begin feeling guilt, and the thoughts start spiraling out of control. I go from feeling like I gave my children a really good birthday or decorated their room with love to wondering if what I do is really good enough? Somehow thinking they might feel slighted a bit in their childhood when they grow up and see the elaborate parties and bedrooms their friends had. It’s a silly thought… but that’s when I realized Pinterest is making me a bad mom, or at least, it appears that way to social media.
1. The Fail
I came across this webpage filled with Pinterest-inspired ideas gone wrong. It says, “Where good intentions come to die.” There you will find a graveyard of pictures mostly from moms. It’s full of decorations, cakes, and picture poses that turned out completely opposite from the original Pinterest post. Basically, this page is filled with moms that will feel like they will never meet these imaginary standards. To the mom who had the Pinterest “fail” birthday cake that came out looking like cat throw up, it is not a fail. That cake was made with love and time: two of the most important things every child needs. I promise you, they won’t look back and think how horrible the cake looked. They will look back and think about all the effort you put into celebrating a special day with them.
2. Picture Perfect
I never had professional maternity pictures taken with any of my pregnancies. They are plastered all over Pinterest. Mostly with moms that look perfectly put together, no stretch marks to be seen, golden tans, no dark circles under their eyes, and the perfect outfits. I wish I could tell you I had glowing skin when I was pregnant. I wish I could tell you that clothes fit me perfectly, and I didn’t live in sweatpants. Let’s be honest, by your third pregnancy, you have way better ways to spend your money. That $100 dollars is a ton of diapers and wipes. I say all this to you, but deep down I wonder if my children will think any less of me because I didn’t have nice pictures taken of them while they were inside my belly.
3. Pregnancy Announcement
Long before the days of Pinterest, when I was pregnant with our first son, I had a pregnancy announcement. It was a Facebook status with our ultrasound picture. I didn’t pose with my pee stick, didn’t create funny pictures, and didn’t give everyone a surprise envelope that said, “We’re Pregnant!” inside while secretly recording. Then came the pregnancy with our second child, and this feeling of obligation came to keep up with all the Pinterest moms. I handmade boxes with tags, filled all the boxes with jars of baby food, waited until the perfect moment, and made my husband record. Yes, it was fun. Can I tell you a secret though? My husband was so busy recording everything, making sure the light was good enough to see their faces for reactions. I was running around handing out boxes, making sure everyone waited to open at the same exact time that we missed the moment. It ended up not even being in the recoding because we were too busy making it Pinterest Perfect.
4. Gender Reveal
I am pretty sure when my mom was pregnant with me she said the ultrasounds were so bad they could barely tell the gender. They would send you home saying we “think” you are having this gender. Nowadays, there is more accuracy, and I fell into the trap, thanks to Pinterest. I had the ultrasound tech secretly write the gender on a piece of paper. I took it to the bakery and had the inside of the cake colored to match the gender. At the party, we were surround by friends and family. I made sure someone was recording and taking pictures. I was sure it was a girl. When I cut the cake and saw blue, the look of shock (almost disappointment) on my face was terrible. I felt such guilt after seeing that picture. I could have sworn it was going to be a girl this time. I don’t ever want my son to look at that picture and see the look on my face. I was over the moon that he was a boy; I love my guys. It was just the initial shock. Then there are the faces in the pictures of relatives that were desperately longing for a girl. From now on I will skip the gender reveal and stick to announcing without the pictures. You end up with: “you better smile like you were for Team Blue all along or else” kind of pictures. You see, Pinterest forgets that gender disappointment is a real thing.
5. The Birthday Parties
I always go straight to Pinterest for birthday party ideas, decorations, cakes, and party games. I turn into this three-headed monster weeks, even months, before the party is scheduled. “He turned two months yesterday… better start my new Pinterest board for his first birthday ideas now!” I have to start hand-making everything from the decorations to the cake, otherwise it’s not good enough. Those store-bought decorations and cake from the bakery will not compare to “Cindy’s” son’s birthday. She never has a Pinterest fail. I sat at my last son’s birthday almost in tears. My “fire” decorations were falling from the ceiling. My first attempt at a fire truck cake looked more like a red box on wheels. My handmade piñata busted open while I was hanging it, and I didn’t have time to set up a photo booth. Not to mention, he didn’t have fifty or more friends in attendance- only family-AND I forgot to get matching candles. Do you think he noticed? No. I was so worried about the Pinterest Perfect details that I became consumed by the idea of the party. I forgot to simply just be there.
Pinterest has this way of making me a bad mom. It makes me forget to enjoy the moment; it makes me feel as though I don’t match up to other moms. It makes me feel like I will never be a good enough mom. On social media, Pinterest makes me look like a bad mom. It makes my plain Jane cupcakes, selfie maternity pictures, and crafts that don’t match, appear less than acceptable.
Well, Pinterest you are wrong, you had the “fail” this time. Today, I am taking a stand! No more comparing myself to Pinterest Perfect moms that don’t really exist. Here’s to us moms with the homemade birthday cakes that came out burnt, with toy rooms that are played in, with room decorations that don’t match… We know those rooms are filled with our children’s favorite things; they don’t need to match.
I don’t want to be the Pinterest perfect mom, she’s not fun and probably broke. I want to be the mom that was present.
About the author:
Nikki is a stay at home mom to three high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey.