I first heard about Pinterest from my sister-in-law — she was having her husband construct a bunk bed that looked like a playhouse, with picket fence and all, and of course the idea came from Pinterest.
Then I heard it popping up everywhere. I heard about it on Facebook, in news articles, on the radio and in everyday conversation.
Pinterest must be pretty awesome, I thought. So I went on it. I signed up and I started pinning — recipes, home decor, crafts, ideas of activities to do with my daughter, etc. I pinned about everything I should be doing better.
The more I was on Pinterest, the more my life became Pinterest. I planned my life according to projects and ideas that I found on Pinterest. Coloring with my toddler was okay, but it wasn't on Pinterest. So instead, we did things like making cornstarch goo or combining food coloring, milk and dish soap. My toddler was not very impressed.
My house became Pinterest — Washi tape frames, an upholstered headboard I made myself, and books sorted by color. My cooking became Pinterest — new recipes like cream cheese coffee cake and crockpot casseroles.
And then there were all the things that I had pinned that I needed to get on top of: homemade laundry detergent and stain remover; dozens of toddler activities that involved more corn starch, shaving cream, Kool-Aid and making my own playdough; recipes to try; beautifully decorated living rooms and bedrooms; beauty tips; budget meal plans; outfits to buy and wear. I needed my life to look like those hundreds and hundreds of pins.
I was wrapping yarn around frames for the nursery and my husband asked me if the idea came from Pinterest.
No, I responded. I actually came up with the idea myself.
And that's when I wondered: since when did I need Pinterest to live my life? Since when did everything I do have to be a Pinterest project? Since when did I have to measure my worth on whether or not what I was doing would make a good pin or not?
Pinterest isn't just good ideas — it's good ideas that bring lots of guilt and change the way we live and think. The best days in my life are actually the days that involve no Pinterest projects. Those are the days when I'm cuddling with my daughter, reading her the same favorite story over and over, letting her determine what we play and do (and she never picks cornstarch and shaving cream activities). They are the days when I sit outside and just enjoy being outside. I cook old, familiar recipes. I'm not worried about saving money, wearing the perfect outfit or having a perfect-looking house.
The best days are free of Pinterest. I let myself ignore all those good ideas and instead accept myself for who I am. I don't make myself live up to other people's expectations.
I don't really need Pinterest, after all. I can be happy without it.
Heather Hoyt is a mother of a beautiful daughter. She is originally from Utah but is now living in the desert of Nevada. See more at heathermoments.com