I’m So Sick Of ‘Pinnable Parenting’ – Where Moms Need Everything Pinterest Perfect
Growing up in the 1970s, a great deal of my childhood was spent on my parent’s cracked linoleum floor, surrounded by avocado green appliances and flocked, floral wallpaper, dumping measuring cup after measuring cup of lukewarm water into an old saucepan or a tomato-sauce stained Tupperware container. I sat on a frayed beach towel with bleach spots, folded to make it more comfortable for my scrawny toddler body, my mom in a housecoat sharing a cup of instant coffee and smoking cigarettes with one of her friends who was probably dressed the same.
There was no Pinterest.
There was no internet, or Facebook, or Instagram, and these moments were never captured except on Polaroid where my mom probably got really annoyed with my dad for taking a snap before she had her hair did.
I’m pretty much the same way. I don’t create or document any Pinterest-worthy moments with my kids, because I don’t have any. I have one photograph of my kid on my Pinterest page, and this wasn’t taken because it was some beautifully art directed moment or I had created some magic fairytale-land playscape for her and I wanted a snap to treasure it by, it was because she had cotton candy bigger than her damn head:
And I love my kid, and I love cotton candy. But it’s hardly as grotesquely staged as some many of the images I see parents pinning of their kids.
I know we live in America and parents can do what they want and I’m just as guilty as the next person of oohing and aahing when I see some gorgeously color schemed birthday party or a carefully staged water balloon fight, or an outside movie night complete with rustic metal bins filled with bottled soft drinks and trees bedecked with fairy lights but will these be the moments that kids remember when they get older? Or will they only remember them because they have moms who will sit them down in front of computer screens and show them virtual slideshows of what really happened? Are the memories I create for my own kids any less valid because I’m not documenting them on Facebook? Because I burn the popcorn and I don’t set out striped-awning matching lawn chairs and I don’t take pics of my kids in plastic mustaches holding signs that say Movie Night does this somehow mean that the kid who does have these things will remember their childhoods more fondly than my own, who have their moments captured on camera and then stored on flash drives that I dump in a shoebox and never take the time to upload?
I want to give my kids a childhood filled with magical memories that they look back fondly on. I want to create childhoods filled with the most fun times, the best times, the times where people hurt from laughing so hard and quiet moments of hushed stories under blanket forts and sugar highs and lukewarm water dumped in plastic bins and jars of fireflies captured at dusk by kids with popsicle-sticky hands and holidays surrounded by piles of crumpled wrapping paper and a dog with a shiny metallic bow on its head. I just don’t want to have to put it on Pinterest to make it real.