Let’s be honest… Pinterest sets unrealistic expectations for life.
Do I love Pinterest? Why, yes. Yes, I do. But, there is a reason why #pinterestfail is a thing. There are over 106,000 tagged posts on Instagram with this hashtag.
As mamas, we see these gorgeous images, with “easy-to-follow” directions. Let’s be real, nothing is easy-to-follow when you are chasing a crawling baby around. They label it DIY, which makes us think we can actually Do It Ourselves. *Giggle*
Disclaimer – I am amongst the clan that consider themselves crafty. One of the ways I have been gifted is with the ability to create things. Let’s be clear — I am crafty. I am not artistic, I am not handy. I am crafty. I can make crafts. Give me a hot glue gun and I will have at it.
But even still, Pinterest creates expectations that I cannot live up to.
I do not have the time. I do not have the money to buy the supplies. I do not have the space to create such adorable things.
And yet, that bolded DIY tells me I should be able to.
That Copycat Recipe says, You can cook just like P.F. Chang’s. You can go to Safeway and drop $34 on ethnic ingredients for this one meal. You can follow a 13 step plan to create that Pinterest Perfect meal, all whilst keeping an eye on the baby that loves to play with everything, but toys.
That DIY farmhouse desk sings, Look at these plans; so easy, so simply. You can take them with you to Home Depot, and chase around an employee to help you find the right wood. Then you can drop $100 on the lumber and specialty tools needed to build this Pinterest Perfect desk. You can use the spare minutes during nap time (between cleaning the house, doing the umpteenth load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, need I go on…) to measure, cut, and assemble this MUST have piece of furniture.
The picture-perfect themed birthday party shows you, Your one year old’s birthday party can be Pinterest Perfect! The decorations will be on-point. Every detail, down to the utensils, will match and coordinate with the theme. Other mamas will oooh-and-ahhhh over the coordinating tablecloths and party favors.
Mama, I have sipped that Kool-Aid. I often am consumed with the idea that if it isn’t Pinterest Perfect, it isn’t good enough. This is a lie.
Every effort you put forth shows your love, shows your heart. These minutes and hours, that sweat, those tears are not in vain; but they are also not necessary.
You. Are. Enough.
I recently put my everything into my one-year-old’s birthday party. I saw Pins and photos of others’ parties, and built unwavering expectations. Anything less than meeting or surpassing these standards would not be enough. It would be an embarrassment and a failure. I worked up this party to be an epic event where every person there would be critiquing every detail, as if it were some royal event needing to be photographed and judged.
You can laugh.
It really is funny.
My one-year-old’s birthday party is not the inaugural ball. It is not the Met Gala. It is a child’s birthday party. Cake, balloons, and smiles should simply be enough. But not for me. Why? Because Pinterest Perfect is the standard of the day. Anything less is not enough.
I have to tell you. I worked tirelessly on this party. The decorations were wonderful. My theme was woven into every element of the party. People did oooh-and-ahhhh and compliment me on how wonderfully put together it was.
But here’s the truth. The day was extremely stressful. Every day for a week leading up to it was chaotic. I had so much self-inflicted anxiety and pressure that I put on myself that I, embarrassingly and repentantly, blew up at my husband. How dare he suggest again that I was doing too much? How could he not understand that if there wasn’t a hand-painted “Pin the Scar on Harry” poster, then the party would be a complete failure!? That phone call ended with me hanging up on him. Three minutes later, I felt terrible and ridiculous, and obviously needing to repent. Luckily, my husband could hear the despair in between the screams. He understood that I was overwhelmed by the feeling of inferiority and need to please others, the need to be Pinterest Perfect.
By the time the party came, I was worn out. My nerves were fried. I wasn’t prepared to enjoy any part of the party because I couldn’t find the joy in any of it. Every piece was stressfully composed and hung.
Now we should all know by now that you cannot plan for everything.
Pinterest does not warn you that your plumbing could start backing up an hour before you are to have more than 30 people (including potty-training children) at your house. It shows the lovely decor, but doesn’t show your father-in-law and husband digging up your garden in the background for more than half of the party.
Here’s the really funny part: it wasn’t until I stood back and realized that I could not control that situation, and that people were still here having a good time, that I realized that the hours and days spent stressing over the event was not worth it. My son did not notice any of it. What he did notice was that he was surrounded by people who love him.Thank you to those who loved on my chosen one while Eli and I were not present. Thank you to those who stopped me and reminded me of this. I was finally able to stop and enjoy myself when I gave up… after the glass pitcher’s lid had shattered on the patio; after my husband was drenched in sweat and caked in dirt; after I was sprayed from head to toe with a super soaker. When I finally gave up and, with a deep sigh of relief, realized that my party was not Pinterest Perfect, and that it was perfectly fine. I saw the joy on my love’s face as he splashed in the pool and gleefully gave me his toothy grin.
I was enough.
My bug didn’t need the perfect decorations and perfectly themed dessert. The perfectly hung decorations. The hours of my life spent stressing. He was happy just to be surrounded by people he loves… Maybe also with some cake, balloons, and smiles.
I pray you know that you, too, are enough.
Mama, you are enough.