I love Pinterest.
Pinterest drives me crazy.
I accept that I am fully a quandary of magnificent proportions.
Pinterest is an amazing conglomeration of creative inspiration and culinary wonder. It has the ability to make me WANT to cook. It has the power to make me feel I CAN make my own chalk and hand soap. When I want a fresh idea for my Christmas decorating, or something to distract the kids on another rainy day, it is there for me like a dear friend handing over tried and true secrets just for my sanity. Pinterest cares about me.
But there is a dark side to this amazing world of creativity, ingenuity, and inspiration. If we will admit it, it can be somewhat precarious if we give into this side. I know. I have been enticed by its words.
Here is an example: My twin girls, my babies, recently turned 10.
Their birthday landed on a crazy weekend. On a crazy Sunday, of a crazy weekend no less.
We don’t typically have parties for the kids. Five kids times five parties, carry the one; Yeah, I’m not a math fan but you get the idea. We do make the day special, and they are well loved on… just no perfect, big, or fluffy parties.
So, to make up for the crazy of a Sunday eating into their day, I flung out the idea of a bonfire and a couple friends with their families. I wanted just a moment for the day to be about them, a moment for them to run free in our field with their friends.
Easy peasy, yeah right.
The Pinterest whisper started Friday, when I needed to glean ideas there for another event happening the same weekend. The whispers didn’t care I had no time to do anything more than buy some food…quickly. Their sweet, yet condemning taunts said, ”there are a million cute ideas for bonfires, come see;” “A good mom wouldn’t throw some dogs on a plate and say ‘grab a stick;” “A good mom would have cute outdoor appetizers and cool drinks in bottles with adorable stickers that I had crafted on them.” I think you know the drill. Heard those whispers? If you have pinned, you have heard them. They can range from “my house is so lame;” “Why don’t I do that with my kids, what kind of mom am I;” “If only I could live there;” or “My life is so boring/uncreative/unhealthy/lacking/ (insert any self-shredding thought here).”
So, I struggled through the lame mom, lame bonfire attack… giving in a bit, fighting back a bit, but it was tough. Eventually I was able to fully remind myself this is more about my daughters feeling LOVED and laughing with their friends than it is about me looking amazing with cute snacks and brilliant (borrowed) ideas. It isn’t about me; it is about them. It was a bloody, exhausting battle but I won. I shut my computer. I released the expectations I was trying to layer guiltily on myself.
And guess what? My girls had a lovely time. And I wasn’t stressed. Win-win.
Now I am NOT saying you shouldn’t throw cool parties! I love a good theme and creativity that can flow in those moments that isn’t always tapped. It is fun to love on someone with a very intentional and well planned moment. What I am saying is watch for the whispers. When you are feasting on all the eye-candy on the site, are you pinning because it stirs up your creativity and inner chef? Or are you pining about what you don’t have: where you lack and feel you fall short? Do you walk away from your computer feeling inspired? Or do you walk away feeling defeated and less than? I will admit to taking a Pinterest hiatus or two, because I found myself discontent with my home and aspects of my self, cooking, house, mothering, etcetera. Keep in mind what your thoughts are like while you are surfing the buffet of ideas, and take a breather when the whispers start. They will. When they do, shut it down by refocusing on truth. God’s truth. Spend some time with the one who “pinned” you, long before you were born, on his board My Most Beautiful and Favorite Creations.
Beautifully said Mel! Thank you for bringing this to light!