We’ve all heard of the Pinterest mom: The one who gets weirdly territorial about the cupcakes for the first-grade class party, who throws out words like “tablescape” and “dragée” while the rest of us just smile and nod and avoid eye contact.
When I hear someone say “Pinterest mom” aloud there’s always that slightly dismissive note in their voice. We don’t come right out and say “doesn’t she have anything better to do with her time?” But it’s kind of implied, right?
But what if I’m that Pinterest mom? What if you are? Is that really so terrible?
I’m a mom. I’m on Pinterest. I pin all the things I will never make. Pinterest is pretty. It’s happy. It’s fun.
I’m a killer cook. I’m not a great crafter, although sometimes I find making stuff relaxing. Except that time when I hot glued my fingers together. Ouch.
But I never really thought of myself as “that Pinterest mom” until someone asked me if I was “that Pinterest mom” using a snooty little tone of voice that made my fingers itch.
It was almost 10:00 P.M. and I’d just remembered I had to bring some sort of Finding Dory-themed beverage to a kid’s swim party. Yes, the next day. You might be thinking “what kind of wack-a-doodle signs up to bring Finding Dory-themed beverages in the first place?” and I don’t really have a good answer for you. It is what it is. I hopped on Pinterest and typed “Finding Dory beverages” into the search bar.
It took me about five minutes to find something that I could make with stuff I had on hand—Blue Hawaiian Punch and Swedish Fish—and decided we had a winner.
I tinted some sugar with yellow food coloring, ran a wedge of lime around the rim of the plastic cups we had left over from some other party, and dipped the rims in sugar, margarita-style. I filled each cup with that awesome artificially colored and flavored punch and plopped a couple of Swedish Fish on top. Boom. Ocean Water.
The kids loved it because it was a colorful drink with candy in it. Duh.
I was mildly concerned the parents wouldn’t be into it because of the copious amounts of sugar and food dye I was serving their angels, so the barbs caught me off guard.
“Wow, didn’t you have to work today?”
“Well, aren’t you just little Miss Creative?”
“You must be one of those Pinterest moms,” complete with that little hint of derisiveness. That little vocal sneer.
“Yes, I got the idea from Pinterest,” I answered, almost defensively. I went on to explain that Ocean Water, while cute and photo-worthy, required minimal effort and creativity.
In spite of myself, I felt the need to reassure the other parents that my contribution to my kid’s swim party hadn’t taken too much of my time.
But what if it had?
What if concocting a complicated and crafty mocktail was the thing I wanted to do most in the world? What if the sheer complexity of making snacks for a kid’s party took me all night? What if the look on all those little faces when they saw their fancy Finding Dory drink was the one thing that made me happy?
What if I like to make stuff just because?
Is this really something I need to apologize for or even explain?
No, it’s not.
A week or so later, I shared one of those Buzzfeed Food time-lapse videos on Facebook—you know, the one where an anonymous pair of hands shows you how to make something that appears to be super easy that really isn’t super easy at all. This particular video showed how to make a Bento box that looked like Legos. It was super intricate and clever and cool and would probably take some all-thumbs parent like me a craptillion hours to replicate.
If I undertook this project, I’m sure wine would be opened before I was an hour into the tiny brick-making cheesy tofu project. It’s a safe bet I’d be three sheets to the wind by the time I finished. I’m also sure my results would look exactly nothing like actual Legos. I’d probably blame the wine, but the truth is, I’m just not good at detail work like this. But it’s fun to look and “what if.”
I shared the video on Facebook and instead of “ooh, isn’t that cool” or “my little brick-lover would go nuts for that,” I got negativity.
“If you have time to do that, then you need to come over and clean my house.”
“What a complete waste of time.”
“That looks like a great idea…if you have no life.”
First, I’d probably never attempt to manipulate lightly steamed carrots and bits of meat and cheese into brick shapes just so my kids could have a fun lunch.
Second, if I did, I’d expect my kids to get a kick out of it…because that would be my motivation for making a Lego Bento Box.
Third, if the rest of the world did not agree with my decision to spend several hours of my time making a Lego Bento Box for my kids…so flipping what?
Do I really care what other people think is a good use of my time? Does that “Pinterest mom” really have “no life” because she engages in a pastime that you don’t deem worthy? And seriously? You suggest that I come clean your house because how I choose to spend my own time doesn’t pass muster for you? Girl, please.
There are worse things than being the mom who goes a little OTT with the cupcakes for the class party. If you’re going to scoff at her mad party-planning skills or general craftiness, could it be that you’re just a little bit of a Hatey Haterson?
Because there are worse things than staying up until 2:00 A.M. making your child’s lunch into a work of art or making things around you pretty and sparkly. Like being judgy or fake. Yeah, maybe you would “never do all that” because you have “better things to do.” After all, you get to be in charge of your time and prioritize according to what brings joy to others around you…and to yourself.
At least that’s the idea.
Think about that next time you want to bash the Pinterest mom…or anyone else.