Ah, Pinterest. All the ideas, items and to do lists that you had no idea you needed. All in one place.
I both love Pinterest and kind of hate it, all at once. And here is why. I logged on the other day and saw a great pin about not being able to do it all. It caught my eye immediately, because it’s how I feel most of the time.
That pin was surrounded by other pins of course. Pins that included handmade holiday gifts, food made from scratch (probably including ingredients grown at home in an organic garden), 50 must take photos of your kids, ways to increase your social media reach as a blogger, hints to better food styling and photography, date night ideas with your spouse, keepsake quilts made from your baby clothes, how to photograph all of the photo holiday cards you receive and link them in your phone with your contacts, 40 ways to tie a scarf, 20 natural stain removers, how to repaint your hand me down furniture to make it fun and modern, loads of fabulous outfit ideas, 15 ways to braid my child’s hair, DIY playhouse plans, advice on how to have the most perfectly organized play room ever and 15 different pins of “fitness motivation”.
Oh. The. Irony. I can’t do it all, surrounded by an endless stream of more things I can’t get done! Heck, most days I can’t even do the basics. Yet I head over to Pinterest for my few minutes to unwind and relax. My few minutes that ten years ago I would have spent curled up with a magazine, focusing on one article or item at a time. Instead I discover 75 more things that I don’t have the time, energy or resources to do, make, create or buy. It’s like the perfect neurotic dysfunctional playground for someone like myself who is an over achieving perfectionist DIY-er with ADHD and a desire to hoard ideas. I want to do it all, I want to do it well, I want to do it myself… and I can’t focus on any of it.
I add 75 more things to my to do list. My list which I already struggle to remember the first three pre-existing items on, which are sort of important things like “pick up child from school, buy food for kids to eat, feed said food to kids”. I pin 75 more things to not get done and then feel guilty about. 75 more things that I apparently have to do to if I want to be a good mom, wife, baker, blogger, home maker, gift giver, crafter and creative human being.
And if my personal guilt over not being able to do all these great things that I just know I could do if only I had 18 extra hours a day, a nanny, a maid, a cook and a sugar daddy wasn’t enough, I then add to it by pinning my recipes for all of my followers to add on to their to do lists. So damn, I’m piling guilt on myself and others. Awesome sauce. And I won’t even get started on some of my thoughts as a blogger.
So why do I, or should I say we, keep pinning? That’s a good question.
There are great parts of Pinterest that do make life easier. I am a terribly disorganized person, so I love that when my daughter’s speech therapist sends me a YouTube video of things to work on with daughter, I can pin it onto my Apraxia and Speech Related board, and actually find it when I need it. When I see a crazy cute Nightmare Before Christmas themed Valentine idea in October, I can pin it onto my Valentine board, and it will be there when I go look in a few months. When I see words that inspire me and speak to my soul, I can hold on to them. And when I find things that make me laugh, I can save them – and when I need comic relief, there they are. And because I always come up with DIY gifts at Christmas, I probably will actually make two or three of the many gift ideas I’ve pinned.
So it’s not all bad. But I also think that it’s critical that we remember, that no, we can’t do it all. And that is OKAY. Life is hard enough without keeping up with every great idea out there. Some days we need to take stock of the things we have done, even if they aren’t pin worthy. There isn’t much pin-teresting about spending two hours with my little one at her therapies this morning or helping my oldest do her homework and then arranging for her to go have some fun with a friend, but those matter, and they matter more than whatever ideas I pinned today. I think we need to remember that some days (most days!), whatever we do, it is enough.
I will keep pinning, I really do enjoy it. But I will try to remember that I can not do it all. And that is just fine. And maybe I can get a window to pop up this lovely illustration by Molly Jacques every so many pins, just to help me remember that…