I love Pinterest. Really. I’ve made new recipes from it, figured out super easy (and educational) activities for Rory via it, etc. I’m usually on it a couple times a week—feeding Molly and checking it on my phone for new ideas.
At the same time—I hate Pinterest. I hate what it’s done to mommy hood and what it’s done to the psyche of women around the world. Pinterest has helped Mommyguilt reach levels not possible before. Why? Because it shows us what we’re NOT doing, or what we think we SHOULD be doing or what we CAN’T do. It is there in black and white—other parents are doing other things and doing them well.
Here’s an example: Last year Rory was obsessed with Willy Wonka (not the crappy Johnny Depp version—the legit Gene Wilder one, of course). So starting in February last year I’d hear once a week about how she was going to be an Oompa Loompa for Halloween. At first I blew it off; she’s two—she’ll come up with something else. Then I realized she was dead set on this costume. I googled "Oompa Loompa toddler costume" because of course, I can't sew, and came to find a pre-made costume--for $70. Ouch. Totally ridiculous to wear once, but with a mom that has no artistic ability it was probably the reality I would have to face. That was, until I found the cutest Oompa Loompa costume (homemade, of course) on Pinterest. I suddenly felt like a crappy mom for even thinking of sending my daughter out trick-or-treating in this cheap-looking (although rather expensive) generic costume. My “mom cred” was in serious jeopardy. I knew we had to find a way, and luckily for me I have a sister and mom that sew and love to make stuff for Rory, so between the two of them she ended up being the hit of Halloween.
I know it seems silly--being concerned about a store-bought costume versus a homemade one. To many of us it's so much more. It's really about "how good of a mom am I?" and, even more concerning, "how will other moms perceive me?" Because let's face it--the hardest people on parents are other parents. If you say you've never cared one iota about what other mom's think of you, you're a liar. We all care. This is the most important job we'll ever have--we want to do it right. We want to do well. We want our kids to grow up great. So it's easy to start thinking that we need to buy them certain clothes, cook them certain food, teach them certain things--all the while looking down on people that don't conform because it's easier to say "they're wrong" versus "maybe we all are doing it well."
Early on in my parenting of Rory I realized that moms were MEAN. I'd see my Facebook explode with debates of cloth diapers vs. disposable, breastfeeding vs. bottle, which car seat was the best, co-sleeping vs. crib, homemade baby food vs. store-bought. It was an endless fight--and I grew weary pretty quickly. I decided to no longer engage in these discussions. At the end of the day if you love your kid, you treat them well and do the best you can--does it really matter if you make your costumes or buy them or decide against Halloween all together? I don't think so. So please, don't let Pinterest tell you that you need to make your own laundry detergent, sew a fort cover for a card table or make your own fruit roll-ups in order to feel like a great parent; just by reflecting on the question, you've come to the answer, because bad parents don't realize or care if they are.