The Pinterest Mom Perception – Myth or Reality?

Have you heard of her, The Pinterest Mom?  You know the one that has it ALL together.  She looks amazing on paper, all while constantly shaming the rest of us. Deep down I suspect we all (homeschool moms, working moms, stay at home moms, public school moms, moms who travel with the circus) want to be her.  She is the personification of how we wish our lives would appear.  We view her through rose-colored glasses.  Until I became a blogger myself I was GUILTY of the same mindset.  I’m here today to tell you a little secret about the Pinterest Mom……She isn’t real.  (**Shock, gasp, look of disbelief**)

The Pinterest Mom

Let’s examine her closely….The Pinterest Mom. She meets all the following qualifications:

  1. Perfectly clean, magazine cover ready, home.
  2. Top notch decor, along with outside decorations that are changed frequently.
  3. Healthy, photo-worthy, meals & snacks; a minimum of 3 times a day.
  4. Provides a hands-on, interactive education (or is President of the PTA).
  5. Reads quality, classic, children’s literature to her children several times a day.
  6. Throws elaborate parties for birthdays, Cinco De Mayo, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, & St Patrick’s Day.
  7. Her children are always pressed and clean, with elaborate braids, and matching embroidered clothing.
  8. Completes a rigid exercise program every morning, and also maintains a pristine (antibiotic and BPA free, whole food) diet.
  9. Knits blankets for the homeless, after volunteering at a soup kitchen.
  10. Volunteers at her church, the hospital, and the animal shelter.
  11. Has soul-wrenching conversations, with both her husband and her children.
  12. Plans a weekly date night (complete with a homemade candlelit dinner) with her spouse.
  13. Plans family vacations at dream destinations, make matching t-shirts for the whole family, as well as hourly vacation bags to open during the trip.
  14. Completes a minimum of three crafts & four science experiments a week.
  15. Does it all for less than $100, after clipping coupons and applying rebates.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  Here’s the problem, what we see on Pinterest is the absolute BEST of people.  No one wants to look at real-life on Pinterest. Real life is messy, gooey, and sticky.  We see a snippet of people’s lives, only the best portion, and we judge ourselves by these impossible standards.  Let me give you an example.

This morning I posted this picture on my blog Facebook page.

What does this picture look like?  Just a girl, in a perfectly tidy space, having a cup of coffee, and starting her morning with Jesus right?  Looks so peaceful & picturesque right?

Now let’s look at reality…..

See that mess in the background?  It’s alright, it makes me cringe a little too, especially since I’m posting this for the whole wide world to see.  However, in reality, I am reorganizing our school room.  Those little piles that you see everywhere have to be dealt with.  It’s out with the old, and in with the new, time here.  That’s my reality. Why didn’t I show you that?  Because who wants to see that?  I can’t stand looking at it myself!

Now people who know me in real life will quickly confirm that this is not my norm.  (I have to throw that in here.)  I am an organizing freak who once labeled an entire cabinet of canned food.  However, this is REAL life, and in REAL life I am trying to homeschool two kids, run a blog, keep everyone in clean clothes, eat healthier, keep a clean house, and give my best to my family.  I do possess SOME qualities of the Pinterest mom (sometimes anyway).  That’s right, I said SOME.  I have a hard time believing that anyone possesses them ALL.

Ask yourself the following questions when comparing yourself to the Pinterest Mom:
  1. Is this particular talent a strength or weakness of mine?  For example, I can organize with the best of them, so an organization project is completely possible for me.  However, an in-depth craft project would not be.
  2. Is this even possible in my current season of life?  A mom with 2 older kiddos is going to have a cleaner house than a mom with 5 littles.  That’s just the way it is.
  3. Is this a realistic expectation?  I will never be able to paint like Rembrandt, so if it’s a project that requires extensive painting skills I would be wise to move on.
  4. Is this worth my time?  Like it or not, time has a value.  If there is something more meaningful that you would rather spend your minutes on, do that instead.   I am a fairly decent cook, but I don’t have the desire to spend hours creating photo worthy recipes.

See we all have the same 24 hours in a day, and my mathematical brain can’t logically come up with a way that anyone could complete all the tasks necessary to be a Pinterest Mom.  It simply doesn’t seem possible.

Realistically, I am guessing that we ALL excel at a few of the Pinterest Mom qualities, and then just muddle by on the rest.  So what we are seeing is just the best of everyone’s lives, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I stink at crafts, but other moms excel at them.  Why can’t I just use some of their awesome ideas and move on?  I don’t have to try to embody the Crafty Mom when I am the Organized Mom.  The world needs us both.  So today let’s try to focus on our strengths and ignore that tug to be some unrealistic mythical figure who can do it all.  Just let the rest go!  Because in the end, your family needs YOU, with all your strengths & weaknesses, NOT the Pinterest Mom. Rock on, all you Non-Pinterest Moms!

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Let me know what you think…..Do you try to be a Pinterest Mom?

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  1. Not at all, but it’s my personality to not Don’t get me wrong, there are things I wish I mommed better at, but I’m ok with a weight and balance system to measure my effectiveness as a Mom! I love Pinterest and turn to it for everything. Most recently, how to put a harness on a chicken. My kid fell asleep before she had a bath, but she had fun taking her chicken to visit her great grandparents, so I feel like that’s good enough! But the Pinterest Mom, like you said, is nothing more than and idealistic personification of the best in all of us! And that’s awesome, because what good would Pinterest be if the ideas were crappy or even mediocre?! It would be of no help to anyone.
    P.S. I also discovered today, thanks to Pinterest, that the evil, minuscule, orange, gnat things are often called “No See-ums” and I made a Pinterest mixture of witch hazel, lysterine, and tea tree oil that actually helped! Soooo.. it’s ok that I forgot to shock the pool!?

  2. Yes! That’s exactly what Pinterest was meant to be I think, a tool. The problem is that sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that we forget that! Plus you are absolutely right that motherhood is about balance, it’s impossible to accomplish it all constantly. Most of them time I don’t think our kids even notice the things we didn’t get to, so it’s just really us placing pressure on ourselves. So now excuse me while I go mix up a gnat killing mixture. ?

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