Monthly Archives: August 2015

Pinterest: The Downfall of Modern Motherhood

Pinterest, I hate you.  Sincerely.  If there were ever a threat to my status as a respectable mother, this “social curation” is certainly it.  You see, I work.  Both inside and outside the home.  That doesn’t make me special or somehow better.  It just makes me really busy.  However, no matter how busy I might be, that intrinsic drive in the soul of every woman to be mom of the year is always there; rearing its ugly head at all times of the school calendar: birthday parties, Thanksgiving luncheons, Easter celebrations, teacher appreciation week, Christmas pageants, field trips . . . you get it.  We all want to pack the best lunch, provide the hippest snack.  I don’t care who you are.  At one time or another on our parenting journey, we all have wanted to be “that” mom.

Before Pinterest, “that” mom was mortal.  Her blood ran red.  However, she never had night sweats.  She never applied the searing pressure of “the claw” on her child’s cheeks right before walking into a social situation.   Her hormones have been and will always be perfectly balanced.  Despite her lack of menopausal symptoms and aberrant fits of rage, she was more like one of us.  Normal.  She sometimes took her children to school without make-up . . . in sweats.  She packed nutritious lunches in brown paper bags and added her special spice by including a sweet note, reminding young Timmy or sweet Sarah that they were loved to the moon and back.  She volunteered to be room mom, coordinated events, provided transportation . . . all the kinds of things we all wish we had the organizational skills to pull off.  At class parties, she looked put together, unstressed, and petted her generally well-behaved, compliant child on the head as he or she moved judiciously throughout the room spreading good cheer to all the other students.

Pinterest mom is another animal altogether.  She has made a new category of parental perfection that is virtually impossible to achieve.  I bring seasonal Double Stuf Oreos to class parties.  I usually pick them up the morning of said event and deliver them through my child still in the bag from Kroger.  Pinterest mom created a board for the class Christmas party in April.  She has been posting “cutsie” ideas for the food buffet and gift exchange from all over the world, taking note of color schemes, organizing paint swatches for the table cloth and crafting a life sized Christmas tree with only deco-mesh ribbon, zip ties, and a tomato cage.

Pinterest mom sends a gluten free snack in bio-degradable packaging.  I’m not even sure if the Cheeto’s Cheese Puffs I send with my child are bio-degradable.  For lunch, Pinterest mom has sent sandwiches in the shape of the child’s monogram, fruit and veggies with hummus, and water filtered with indigenous moss into a stainless steel, BPA free water bottle with a retractable top.  She also included a Valentine’s heart napkin and a hand crocheted cardigan, a design she found on Crochetholic’s Pinterest board,  just because she had extras and the classroom might get cold.  I sometimes send my child to school with a Lunchable (I just heard the Internet gasp), but more often than not, he eats a “hot lunch” (code for I didn’t have time to pack him a Lunchable).

Pinterest mom looks good in yoga pants, works out in a fake gym with light bulbs that tan you without dangerous UV radiation.  She made them by hand with tiny crystals she harvested in the diamond mines of Sierra Leone.  Her house looks like a photograph from an interior design magazine and her custom built-ins under the staircase double both as a children’s playroom and as a command center for her Pinterest empire.  Most importantly, she has a label maker, and she knows how to use it.  My house looks like an episode of Hoarders meets F-5 tornado.

So, what are we less than average moms to do in a world where Pinterest makes ideas more accessible than hours in a day to bring them to fruition?  Well, as for me, I’m off to Kroger.  Halloween Double Stuf Oreos are half price this week.


I’m Not Comfortable

I’m not comfortable.  Not entirely uncomfortable either.  I’m somewhere in between.  And it’s weird.  Really strange.

When you venture off the shore of your life into unchartered waters, you quickly realize, no matter how many people love and care about you, that you launch the skiff.  You alone skim the surface and ride the waves.  In solitude, you stand at the prow fronting the winds of change.  It is both chillingly frightening and wildly thrilling.

Your people, your tribe, your squad.  They are still there.  They still love you like crazy.  You hear their voices in the distance; they are waving from the shore.  Shouts of encouragement, bursts of timely directional advice, empathetic outcries buoy you . . . from afar.

On the edge of that boat, you hear a voice that you don’t normally hear.  It carries a tragically unfamiliar tenor.  A quiet whisper typically drowned in the clamor of your former life.  It’s the voice of the great sailor.  The one who has traversed these uncertain waters time and again.  He is always speaking.  You simply have chosen not to listen.  Until now.  Until the fear opens your eardrums and clears the cobwebs from your mind.  His voice is crystal.  It is warm and it is comforting.  It is real.  It is tangible.  It is liquid life.

Now, I’m not prescribing you all grab your canoes and take off into the murky darkness.  I haven’t covered enough distance to feel safe in offering that admonition.  I do know one thing though.  I am closer to the one who has wooed my soul in the middle of these boiling depths than I have been for some time.  And, I will be honest enough to say it.  Because his providential sovereignty is the only steadying force in the midst of this uncertainty.  And even though I am seasick, there is a part of me that doesn’t want to find the opposite shore.  For I fear the clarity of my discourse with him will fade again into the complacency.  And I don’t know if I ever want to be comfortable again.