It was around that same time when I would scour the racks of nearby bookstores for home decor magazines promising "simple centerpiece and mantel ideas" and "25 easy ways to makeover your bedroom." Whether I was asking Jeeves, "googling" something or flipping through magazine pages, each time that I conducted these searches, my desire for immediate gratification was rewarded with successful recipes, tutorials and nary a broken hyperlink or page error to be found.
Although a bit more recent, there was also a time when I let my toddler play with paints without first putting them in a ziplock baggie and taping them to the sliding glass door in the kitchen and I poured rice into a mixing bowl and let him have at it not because it was popular but because I was at my wits end and needed him to engage in self-play for 10 minutes while I sat on the couch and zoned out and he had already pulled the rice from the pantry and dumped it all over the floor any way.
In it's short existence, Pinterest has changed the way I live. It has simultaneously made me feel like I wasn't Mom Enough, that I could Wife Better and be the Best Version Of Myself if only I had the perfect DIY manicure, a garland made from burlap strung up somewhere in my home, two ingredient gluten free cookies in the oven and my hair in a sock bun.
And don't even get me started on "Thin-terest," the name I've given to the hoards of "thin-spiration" boards that greet me every time I log in, pins that have me contemplating an air-only diet for months on end and liposuction as a mother's day present to myself.
Pinterest has a way of making life look so much better, shinier even, when organized into well-defined, pretty little boards. After all, wouldn't food taste better, clothes fit better, my children feel more loved, my husband more appreciated if only I could achieve what Pinterest and so many of my peers deem perfect or at the very least ideal?
The Pinterest Effect.
I'm sorry but my house looks nothing like the rooms I pin onto my "Decor" board and at this rate they never will. As much as I long for a living room that displays a white chaise lounge bathed in beautiful natural light spilling through a large bay window, a camel colored cashmere throw draped perfectly over one arm, set against a backdrop of mountains and a pristine lake, I have to remember that I have twenty sticky little fingers in my house that love fruit punch and permanent markers and zero time to lounge anywhere around my house, especially on a perfectly staged chaise.
Where's the pin board for reality?
I'm sure if I created one tomorrow and pinned to it pictures of our playroom, the one that resembles a cross between a Toys R Us and a house on Hoarders, it would have zero followers. Even if I found a free minute to write up a tutorial on "How To Style Your Top Knot" which, let's face it, is really a fancy term for the Messy Bun which I've been sporting since my all-girl Catholic high school glory days, nobody would re-pin that. But that's real life.
That's me doing me.
Pins full of artfully crafted Toddler Meal Ideas? My toddler is lucky if he gets a different vegetable paired with his fish sticks each night other than his ever-reliable green peas. The Perfect Smokey Eye? Date Night Outfit? Victoria Secret Model Abs? None of those have ever graced my day to day life. I'm lucky if I remember to blend two shades of eye shadow let alone four, throw on a top that doesn't have some sort of food and/or baby stain on it prior to the elusive date night and as for Victoria Secret model abs? "Thin-terest" can shove it.
I've fallen victim to the Pinterest Effect many times. I've created boards, each one with a more creative and wittier name than the last, pinning and re-pinning pins each one promising the perfect this, the best that or the ultimate what-have-you.
What I've finally realized is this:
Pinterest can only make you feel inferior if you allow it to. Your home was just as warm and inviting before you found The Perfect Shade of Grey Paint and your kids will love you regardless of whether you bake them The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, which, by the way there are least seventy five different recipes for or The Chocolate Chip Cookies You Made From A Box Last Wednesday.
Don't let a few pretty pictures dictate your worth as a woman, a mother or a wife. I'm fairly certain you were doing just fine before Pinterest made you feel otherwise.