Ok. Before you call sacriledge, let me just recall that statement. I don’t hate Pinterest. I love crafts and creativity. I love art and the ease of sharing ideas or finding inspiration. I absolutely cherish Pinterest Fails, which actually might be the most valuable thing that has come from it oddly enough.
To me, the Pinterest Fails are far more relatable than almost everything else it has to offer. I can easily see myself in every slouchy cupcake, in every horrifically misshapen paper mache artwork, and every “what was even the point” picture of a once organized kid’s room. The best thing about Pinterest Fails is honesty.
And this is where a large portion of Pinterest and I must go our separate ways. Even when we know we’re seeing pictures of a practically unattainable standard, whether it be food, holiday decor, a family picture, crafts, or beauty tips, there is this sense that what you’re seeing is “the right way”. The idea that people are, in some way, failing because their 2 year old’s party didn’t look like this is when I get angry– and you won’t like me when I’m angry.
Now, let me be clear, I am not putting down the dedicated individuals who find joy in party planning. My very best friend is one of those. She is SO talented and a serious asset when it comes to any kind of event organization. But that’s not me. While I acknowledge how beautiful the scene above is, I also acknowledge that it would cost me a little bit of sanity to achieve it. For me, the pay off is not there. Running around like the mad person I know I would be, trying to get everything “picture perfect”, would be me just propping up a skin deep lie. The party would have become about my ability to impress my friends and collect compliments rather than celebrating whatever the event is. This is why party planning and I don’t get along. When the planning has usurped the occasion, it’s like forgetting why we’re celebrating in the first place!
I know I’m widely on the outside with my point of view here, but the fact that many marriages start off in debt (and an equal amount of left over stress) because of extravagant wedding expenses is a perfect example. My husband and I always remember, so fondly, our lack of “wedding”. I wore a dress I already owned. We went to a river side park. Other people who cared more than we did decided it should look nice and invited people. The wedding didn’t matter to us because all we wanted out of it was a marriage. And a happy one No, I am not saying that big weddings = bad marriages. It’s just that it’s not our style because we’re weird like that. And that should be ok, because that’s not what it’s about!
So you don’t organize your beach towels in rainbow order- did you have fun at the pool with your kids?
So your Elsa cake looked more like Grimace- did you see the look of pure joy when the kids danced around the living room in greeting each other?
So the entrance you envisioned for your wedding reception wasn’t timed right- do you have a spouse actively on your team choosing Love day in and day out?
So your play room is a mess- as it should be because kids are fast paced, hands on learners who explore everything, all the time, with all of their senses. What do you think they’ll remember when they’re older? Your involvement in their lives or how much dust was on the ceiling fan? –And if you care about the dust on my ceiling fan, we’re probably not friends anyway…
These things are not failures, nor should the opposites be the supposed expectation! My daughter’s birthday comes in just a few weeks and I promise her that I will not spin that day to be about photo ops that never really happened, a cake that is to be admired not eaten, perfectly coordinated pastel arrangements of hand painted paper mache butterflies, or my own vanity. I want to celebrate her life, the absolute gift from God that she is, and the ball of joyous energy and comedy that she brings into our home. If that means her playing in a cardboard box in the mud, great! Because, frankly, I don’t care what other parents think of my almost 3 year old’s taste in fun. Let’s enjoy a drink together and watch our kids play, because I got a full night sleep last night instead of gluing tea lights in mason jars and stringing them around the porch to make it look like I’ve got my act together.