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 EF-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.
Writer Jennifer Christenson is a teacher and publishes her blog insecuritydigest.com.