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     A Pinterest Mom, I am not. Sometimes this bothers me. When I see pictures of children that have combed hair, for instance, I wish that maybe, just maybe, I put a little more effort into my mothering. My kids notice, too. Just yesterday, my soon-to-be 9-year-old came home elated (yes, elated) and raving over the lunch that I'd packed him. "Mom! Seriously, that stuff you made me was sooo much better than what you usually pack for us!" Oh, you mean when I mixed a can of fish product with mayo and mixed it (haphazardly) then slapped it between two slices of your $0.88 white bread? I didn't even cut these sandwiches in half (nevermind the fancy diagonal way, but I didn't even cut it down the center, THAT'S how little effort I put into this "fantastic" lunch). A kid who likes this sandwich is a kid that's tired of the orange marmalade that was on sale and is still sitting in our fridge.
     And Facebook is the absolute worst place to peruse when feeling like a non-crafty, PB and J-packing, patched-clothing parent. This morning, I saw a picture of a stunning solar system created by a girl in Cameron's grade.... hand-crafted and complete with all the planets in their rightful places around the sun. It was beautiful. You wanna know what we turned in this morning? A blue ball. We found it in our yard. We named it Neptune. We taped a string on it so it could be hung up in all it's blue glory. And it was less than stunning... that is why I'm not a Pinterest Mom.
     I like to blame my lack of creativity on the 9-month-old that insists on being held, and on the dogs that need to be taken care of, and on the dishes (oh, the never-ending pile of dishes) and laundry (oh, oh, OH the never-ending pile of laundry), and even on the bigger kids' regular homework that takes some children 20 minutes to complete but seems to take mine 10 times that long. (This time is usually filled with tears and tantrums and missing assignments and flashcards and arguing.) I also like to think that the great Unpredictables of life play a HUGE role in my lack of ingenuity.
     Like lice. Yes, lice. When your daughter gets lice, even tuna sandwiches get put on the back burner. Or when your dog (or dogs) need to go to the vet repeatedly (and for lots and lots of the dollars you should be using to buy stock in canned fish products). And when your toilets stop flushing because your septic tank is inevitably full when it's -15 degrees outside and you have a house full of guests coming in two days. These Unpredictables get in the way! They stifle my ability to Pinterest in such a real and annoying way!! But in all honesty, even before all these silly excuses (you know, pets and children and husbands and such), I knew deep down that I was never going to be a Pinterest Mom.... I just don't have it in me.
     That's why I make cookies from a package. And they're super delicious! (Why do you creative people even bother with homemade baked goods when there are literally bags and bags of deliciousness being sold at your local grocer for $1.59 and all you have to do is add water and an egg? I mean, think of the number of bird houses that could be built and dresses that could be sewn if you stopped baking all these crazy cookies from scratch?) That's also why my kid's birthday present looks like it was wrapped by a 6-year-old. A Pinterest Mom would've known how to gingerly wrap a soccer ball without tearing the paper or going for the obvious gift bag cop out. This is also why half of his presents are wrapped in Happy Birthday paper, whereas the other half are donned with left over Christmas wrap. And why my children have hat hair, even when they haven't worn any hats that day. And why my son saves his shower gel for "special occasions" instead of deciding that every day is a day to be clean.
     So, with one final nod of admiration to all of you Pinterest Moms out there, I relinquish my maternal merit badges. You are the rightful wearers of the badges, the amazing beings that deserve the trophies, the impeccably-dressed, hair and make-up ready women that I wish I could be but know I will never become. Thank you for showing my children that there is another way... that they can be more and do more, if they so choose. But for the time being, I'm going to put on my yoga pants, enjoy me some pre-packaged cookies, and hope that Neptune's string stays attached.

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