why pinterest is both great and awful.

The cool (terrible?) thing about being pregnant (and I mean super pregnant) is that there is never a dull day because your mind takes you on such wonderful adventures! You get to go round and round in circles until you end up at the same destination at which you arrived the last time you let your mind wander — the notion that you’re going to be the worst mom on the planet. 

In today’s edition of Reasons I’m About to Fail at Motherhood, we explore Pinterest, an online pin board designed to inspire and motivate you to do things you never thought possible. (Or help you plan a wedding when you’re not even in a relationship. That, too.)

To watch me flail around desperately in a sea of DIY crafts I’ll never have the time or energy or creativity for, follow me on Pinterest here.

I love Pinterest. But I also hate it.

I love it because it is literally a bottomless gorge of creativity. Novice photography? There’s a pin for that. DIY crafts? There are only about a thousand boards to follow. Recipes? Oh man, don’t even get me started. (A couple weeks ago I made Nutella cookies from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Because I don’t have a hand mixer  — and why WOULD I? Anyone who knows me knows I don’t cook/bake/do anything a real wife and mom should do — the texture was a bit off. But they tasted like little chunks of Nutella and my husband was popping them like pills so I guess I succeeded.)

At its core, Pinterest is super helpful! Also, this is exactly what happens to everyone who signs up for Pinterest:

But. As a new (and undeniably uncrafty) mom, Pinterest scares the hell out of me. Just by existing, Pinterest takes everything I’m insecure about and just flaunts it in my face, like a big ol’ bully wielding recipes I’ll never have the skill to perfect and projects I’ll never have time to complete.

And so. I hate it. I hate it so much.

Here’s the deal — I follow a lot of my crafty friends, both moms and otherwise, on Pinterest. They pin the darnedest things, you know. Make your own X for baby! Create your own Y for the nursery! Do it yourself Z for the home! Etc. Etc. Etc.

It’d be great if that’s where it stopped. If everyone else was a “theoretical pinner” like me (that is, someone who pins things on their boards with no real intention of ever attempting the projects for a number of reasons) I wouldn’t be so bloody insecure. But that’s not the case. Oh no — when I visit these crafty friends of mine, I find that Pinterest is not only bookmarked on their laptops but has also clearly been inside their homes and left its mark via super adorable DIY things.

Because they’re all better crafters than me and, therefore, are better women/wives/moms/people than me.

You see, my house? Uh. Well. Last week we went to Wal-Mart and bought an already-painted canvas with already-printed-on sayings and nailed it to the wall in our dining room. Does that count? I mean I bet I could pin something that looks like that and just pretend I did it myself. Would anyone notice?

As I try to “nest” I’ve been scouring Pinterest for crafty DIY ideas on how to make the nursery look great and “nesty”. Because success at Pinterest = success as a mom.

Well, good news, readers! I’ve found something on Pinterest I’m going to DO MYSELF! I’ve resolved to buy some canvases and some pretty fabric and staple said pretty fabric to the canvases and then hang them on the wall. DIY wall art, you guys! Sounds super easy, right? (Here’s a link to the pin I, uh, pinned: DIY wall art.)

Seems easy enough, right? How hard could it be? I’ve done the research. I know where to buy the canvases and fabric and I know that I should probably get a staple gun to wield for this project. Looking at it, it seems like a piece of cake. That’s why it’s on Pinterest, right? Because every DIY project on Pinterest is easy, right? I have two hands and eyeballs and all the time and energy and creativity in the world. If I can’t make this work then…

Oh goodness. I don’t even want to think about what it means if I can’t do this.

Because if I fail at it, then I fail at being a good mom.

Well. I’m glad I consulted you, blog, before I attempted this most likely disastrous and self-esteem-crushing project. I just saved myself a lot of grief.

So. Let’s just stick to the already-printed stuff at Wal-Mart and call it a day so I don’t have to cry myself to sleep tonight thinking about all the money I’ll have to shell out for Dax’s therapy later on in life for being born unto such an uncrafty, unconventional, horrible mother.

While I’m at it, I should probably buy stock in Hot Pocket, Kraft, and Great Value brand hot dogs.

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106 thoughts on “why pinterest is both great and awful.

  1. I am sort of changing the subject BUT….you reminded me of one of the funniest comedy acts ever…”Hot Pockets” by Jim Gaffigan. LOL enjoy.

    Love,
    Mom 😉

  2. Hah!!! I pin and pin and have yet to try! And I have friends that have actually made their pins and i just sigh. Lol with the exception of the photography inspiration- I have used a couple ideas there for some picture posing 🙂 Thankfully Dax won’t compare you to pinterest mamas. You’re the best mommy in the world for him!

  3. I have known my whole life that I’m not that creative, so I just admire all the DIY pins. I’ve had thoughts about trying some of them, but don’t think I will. However, I love using pinterest for myself as a bookmarking tool for recipes that I want to try! I only pin recipes that I like the look of, meaning they aren’t too complicated or time consuming. So, you should follow my recipes board and we can talk cooking and baking if you want! 🙂

  4. I think you’re taking Pinterest and making it in to something it’s not. I use it exactly the same way I would use the bookmark feature on my toolbar and just enjoy the fact that I can see pictures rather than weird titles of websites that make no sense 6 months later. There are so many options if you want to browse or search for something, but it’s also cool to be completely independent and use the pin button to pin stuff YOU love from places on the internet that don’t already exist on Pinterest.

  5. I just recently joined Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/ashleyloseth/) and I feel the same way. Definitely have a love-hate relationship with it. Not to mention, it has consumed my life (well its kind of dying down now). I also pin/like cool DIY projects and recipes I will most likely never try even though I want to, because I’m just lazy like that. I personally think that the majority of people pinning these things are the same way. And it most certainly won’t make you a bad mom if you buy art from Wal-mart. Because here’s the thing about mass produced art: someone took the time to create the original and someone else with a say in the jungle of mass production saw it and gave that artist the break of their lives. Some call it selling out, like my sister the painter, but I know she wouldn’t turn down a deal with Wal-mart if they offered it. So anyway, you may not be crafty, but lucky for you, what you’re looking for is available in stores all over the place. At least you have a good eye for interior design, right? (well that’s how it seems based on the wall art pin)

    Anyway, didn’t meant to ramble on forever… Congrats on the baby and being freshly pressed!

  6. Haha hilarious! I’m sure you could do it ten times over and only if there weren’t more important things to do than crafts you could master everything your pins represent 😉

  7. SO glad you called Pinterest out! I definitely feel a little twinge whenever I log in(a few times a week) and see every friends’ delicious, healthy, beautifully photographed dinners, made by hand in their DIY decorated kitchens. Then I spend an hour searching for a similarly fashioned kitchen window treatment idea on the freaking thing -__-

  8. I leave the crafts to my husband. The furthest I get is buying a bunch of beads and some plastic “thread” so the kids can make necklaces and bracelets – withOUT my help. I consider it “crafty” when I cut their sandwiches into triangles (look! shapes for lunch!). So, I know what you mean. It seems that Pinterest is the domain of those with a good eye for things (rooms, weddings, etc.) and good crafters who ALSO are good photographers. I’d say it’s not fair, but I can file my own tax return and they probably can’t, right?

    There was ONE craft I could do (so far) & the kids loved it, so I’ll share. SO easy even *I* could do it.

    Clothes pin. Paint them (we used markers). Glue two little googly-eyes to the clipping (short) end. Take a 6-inch piece of pipe cleaner & fold it in half. Curl the ends a little. Fill a snack-sized zip baggie about halfway with food. Clip the baggie in half w/the clothes pin & put the pipe cleaner in w/it. It makes a “butterfly snack.”

    Oh, and if it isn’t cute, don’t worry, the kid’s will eat the snack anyway.

  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on pinterest. I laughed a lot. But at the end I had to come to realize my own thoughts and feelings on pinterest and where they were similar and varied from yours. I agree, pinterest is a bottomless pit of creativity, but I don’t get the impression that I am a failure if I can’t do what they do. I agree with the cognitive theorist Gardner, that intelligence comes in different forms, which would support why it seems so easy to the ppl completing the task. Nonetheless, I admire your efforts for trying or attempting to trying the idea, as I would like to try some ideas when I too have the time. Im sure if you were more self aware, you’d find a few things worth noting on pinterest, afterall, some of the ideas on pinterest is how ppl have managed to simplify an area of thier life, even if that includes your room.

  10. I love to pin but often forget that everyone can see the random, usless crap that I pin. It’s too much fun and too addictive. If only we could secretly pin. Hopefully I look at my Pintrest account in October to see all of the decorative shit I have posted for Halloween from back in January.

  11. The cartoon sums me up perfectly. I only recently found Pinterest. I was reluctant to pin at first. Then ever so slowly I found myself obsessed and pinning everything. I love the inspiration but have no intention of making most of the things I find on there. Actually, until I read your post it never occurred to me that people DID make the the crafts and recipes, etc. I may be incredibly naive but I always thought it was all about assembling a lot of pretty pictures and putting them on the “one day” list (i.e. the big list of good intentions with no real chance of action).

  12. Oddly, I like Pinterest because there’s a lot of ideas all in one place rather than having to search things out, I suppose. I’ve never been the girl who’s had any idea what she wants her wedding to look like and since that will probably be happening within the next year or so, I’m kind of going…*blank look* Oh crap! Boyfriend is amused. I made snickerdoodles from Pinterest…I only got to eat a few of them because my parents devoured them. So I say it’s helpful and it’s a time-killer when I need to devour content and none of the blogs, etc. I read have updated 🙂 Congrats on Freshly Pressed, and congrats on your baby 😀

  13. My biggest “some day” board on Pinterest is really the one about travelling round the world. I haven’t found time to do that at the moment. But, Pinterest has its benefits – the very same board I have yet to materialise, I look at it on sad days and I feel that the world out there can be so much better. Makes me happy! 🙂

  14. Great post! My friends and fellow teachers were all raving about Pinterest and it sounded great to me. The problem was I didn’t even have time to check it out. Now that summer has arrived, I have the time to pin things, but no clue as to when I’ll get them done.

  15. Moms who actually do the crafts only have the time because they’re letting their kids sit in front of the TV or Wii or some other screen all day long. Also, kids don’t care about any of that stuff and will just destroy it. You’ll see. Oh yes. You will see!

  16. I haven’t actually made a Pinterest account for this exact reason. I know that it’s a place where very creative people post things I could never dream of doing. I don’t want to see such wonderful things and think to myself, “If only I could that…” so for now, I’ll stick to weheartit and wish I could have such amazing style. I really enjoyed hearing your take a on Pinterest. I loved this post!(:

  17. I am ever so happy to see this post! I have oh about 20+ board filled with the prettiest things you’ve ever seen and yet everything i decorate with, eat, dress my child in, etc. is still store bought. I don’t make a single thing….I think about it though!

  18. LOL! i think you are being way to hard on yourself about ‘being the perfect mum’

    I am a mum too. i have a 13 month old and one on the way, being a good house wife/mum doesnt mean you have to be good at baking and crafty things. No matter what us mums do there will always be someone who does it differently and makes it seem like we are not good enough.

    sure its cool to have crafty things you have made around your house but honestly your kids wont mind either way. 🙂 I am sure they will love the DIY crafts you do end up making.

    But lighten up a bit NOBODY is the perfect mother to everyone else but you will always be the perfect mother to your child… And that is the most inportant thing.

    Love yourself 😀

  19. This was an interesting read! I haven’t yet jumped onto the pinterest bandwagon, but I fret I shall end up like you. I am only a Facebook, Twitter and WordPress enthusiast at the moment, but believe me I so wish I hadn’t ever started with Facebook and twitter!

  20. I ❤ pinterest! And speaking of weddings, I'm pretty sure I planned my entire wedding via pinterest, and u know what? It turned out awesome and we were way under our budget! How sweet is that! My husband however, hates it! He is always asking, why are buying that, why are u making this, why why why?! Lol, so maybe your uncraftyness is ultimately a gift! No complaining husband, at least not about pinteresting. 🙂

  21. Great post. I have been bitten by the pinterest bug but admittedly – both the sumptious food ads and killer toned bodies leave me a little whaaa?. There IS, I think, a feeling of insecurity that almost comes because sometimes what people pin is NOT how they’re living their lives or what they’re achieving, but is their ideal. That’s fine to a point, I just think serious pinsters need a little counseling before going on. “No comparison making!” etc. I do feel your pain. 🙂

    • I agree so much! Pinterest makes me feel like I’m having an identity crisis. What am I supposed to do when I’m being visually assaulted at the same time by both cupcakes and a perfectly taut butt with a condescending caption like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Hello!? What about that cupcake. i bet that tastes good…

  22. I hate when the pin captions oversimplify the process (kind of like the pin you linked above!). “Just cut wine bottles in half and then thread bulbs through the neck. Instant chandelier!”

    Uhm… no. You can’t “Just cut a wine bottle in half,” you need equipment of some kind for that. And a DIY chandelier requres at least some remedial knowledge of electrical work, which I’m willing to bet most pinners just don’t have.

    I also hate whenever the pin claims to be DIY and you click the link, expecting to go to a crafty-blog and it’s an Etsy store or even worse, an actual store.

    Funny post! I totally get the frustration, although I tend to be one of those people that does indeed attempt to recreate the pins.

  23. I totally get this. I love scrolling through the ideas but on the other hand it makes me feel LAZY because I know I don’t have the time to be the creative Mom or individual to accomplish the things I see and adore. Very funny post…enjoyed it! 🙂

  24. Love this! I was just moaning about Pinterest the other day–in some cases you can actually save money by getting the pre-crafted stuff at Wal-Mart! I know people love the high they get from DIY, but I don’t have enough time for all that!

  25. Exactly! I just blogged about how Pinterest makes me insecure about a lot of things, and how it secretly conveys that if you’re not perfect, you’re not good at all! And that’s why I prefer Tumblr, they’re just images that don’t say anything mean… haha

  26. Don’t worry about not being crafty and being a mom – just less things to dust in your house.Also, after the first two years, the kids just want to make things themselves, so hang up their fingerpainting and playdough projects and you are ready to go!

  27. TRUTH! Just another way for women to measure themselves up against one another and feel that they’re not good enough. Pinterest has also taken creativity away from people. I have been making red white and blue strawberries for years for the 4th, but THIS year when I made them, EVERYONE was like “Oh did you you find that on Pinterest?” I was wanted to say “Uhh no, I can be creative and not give credit to Pinterest, thank you.” I have a love hate relationship with it.

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  29. Here’s the deal: Based on your blog name alone, and I knew you and I were separated at blog birth (my blog was targeted by Diet Coke last year, and I was given a free mini-fridge because I love it SO SO SO SO much. Seriously.) But then I started reading your post and realizing that the current post I’m working on expresses much the same! Of course, I’m not pregnant (been there, done that, not going back), but Pinterest is a giant board designed to target me and all of my insecurities.

    And no, I don’t have delusions of grandeur or anything. Not at all.

    😉

    But now I realize: Maybe it’s targeting you AND me?

    Good luck with the project. Of course if you complete it and pin it, then I’ll know without a doubt Pinterest is all about humiliating me and only ME. So thanks for that, bloggy sister…

  30. Oh my gosh this is too funny! I am definitely a DIYer but I find that Pinterest makes me look at every “ready made” thing and wonder if I can do it myself for less money?!?!? Just buy the darn thing, you’re standing right in front of it at the store!!! Unless it’s like, over $40… then see if you can make it yourself for less money cause let’s face it, I am definitely not made of money! Funny post anyway. =]

  31. thank you for this post 🙂 … the picture you’ve included is exactly the same thing which happened to me…although I was invited by a friend to start Pinterest, after a while I was re-pinning one picture after another..so far i’ve created i think 9 boards hahaha

  32. Pinterest kept my attention for about 10 minutes one day and then I realized that I kept seeing the same “quotes to salve the soul”, with catchy little animations, that my friends share on Facebook all of the time. Maybe I’m not feeling the draw from Pinterest as I should be…maybe I’ll try it again.

  33. being a visual person who loved good design, I love Pinterest just for sharing beautiful places and things, I never thought about it as a demanding mistress to make me feel inadaquate just a canvas of possibilities to share with anyone who is interested.

  34. I want to like Pinterest, but it’s painfully heteronormative. Like you said, “Because they’re all better crafters than me and, therefore, are better women/wives/moms/people than me.” There’s not a lot of space for people who don’t fit into those roles–queer women and childfree women (and men) craft and travel, too!

  35. I hate Pinterest too. I do, however, love looking at picture. That is all it is for me. I just look at pictures once in a while. There is no way I’d actually TRY those DIY projects. #disaster

  36. People actually DO those crafts? I, too, am a theoretical pinner. I pin stuff that is cute or catches my eye. I have made a few recipes but that is the extent of it!

  37. Pinterest is like my Honey DREAM list instead of having a Honey DO list. I pin pictures for the home, whether it’s new siding, decor, or a pergola outside. I keep all these pics/ideas tucked away for that rainy day when we are forced to fix/upgrade.

    I enjoyed your post very much, you had me laughing. Great post!

  38. Back when I was new mom, we didn’t have PInterest. Instead, we had a mother-in-law. Mothers-in-law back then were all about making pie crust from scratch, sewing their own clothes, canning jam, and lamenting that the woman their husband married just was not up to the job of being the super homemaker that she was. Forget Pinterest – just get yourself an overbearing mother-in-law. Before you know it, you’ll be shearing your own sheep and spinning your own yarn to knit your husband a sweater, while you’re aging your own cheese and waxing your driveway.

    Wait, this is sounding pretty good – I think I’m going to copy this onto my own blog and spin it out some more 🙂 Congratulations for being FP’d.

  39. I’m one of those “crafty” moms you wrote about, but Pintrest still freaks me out. `I don’t have an account despite the numerous invites I’ve received from, what seems like, every friend I have who does anything with their hands at all (or the ones who sit home with their kids all day doing nothing but pinning). I’m terrified of the hours I would lose randomly pinning EVERYTHING… It’s Virtual Hoarding LOL

  40. I was born to the most uncrafty mother on the planet. I only survived arts and craft school projects because my grandmother and bff mom’s always came to my rescue. She did own a mixer and make a great chocolate cake and that is it. Wait she did make lasagna but nothing else that was really edible. I went on to become crazily crafty, my hubby and friends rave about my cooking and even managed complete graduate school. Just do what my mom did – make friends with crafty moms who will help out or else make all birthday parties destination events – kids do still like to go to the roller rink right?
    Trust me your little one will survive just fine.

  41. Pingback: Craft Ideas / Its funny how much money we spend on stuff we can make ourselves. – I present 31 incredibly easy and clever DIY projects | The Daily

  42. I am a “theoretical pinner” as well. I love all the ideas and think maybe some day, I’ll attempt to make a turkey stuffed with quail stuffed with chicken wrapped in a bow, but probably not. I really just like re-pinning all the pretty pictures and ordering a pizza instead 🙂

  43. Hah, I totally understand what you mean!!! But then again, I’ve seen some really disgusting recipes, or heinous fashion. So you know what? All those crafty, artsy-fartsy people might be faking it too!

  44. My future house is going to look so pretty and vintage based on my re-pins. This is either going to take me a ridiculous amount of time to complete if I do it myself – but let’s face it, it’s just going to be a huge drain on my bank account for me to buy in these things which look like I’ve made them myself…!

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  46. Pingback: Forget Pinterest, just get a mother-in-law | Huffygirl's Blog

  47. Pingback: Pin State Art and How To Do It Wrong | Another Pinterest Fail « Littlest Martha

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