As one of multiple millions of people who use Pinterest regularly, I find it to be an amazing source of inspiration for parenting hacks, interiors brainstorming, fun activities to do with kids and basically any whim or fancy which can be visually attained in just a couple of clicks.
I also use it to promote my blog, to get my writing out there to a worldwide audience, so I obviously showcase my best work and prettiest pictures. When I'm clicking away, that little red pin isn't far from the back of my mind. It's a necessary part of my job, but it comes with a modicum of pressure to get it just right!
However, the rising tide of inferiority complexes stemming from this platform is astounding. I speak to so many mums (and dads!) who feel they just cannot measure up to the bar which is now set to heavenly heights by the 'uber army' who have a 1-2-3 point plan for every occasion and a seemingly Pinterest perfect life.
Who has time to regularly cut the lunchbox sandwiches into dinosaur shapes or curriculum themed wraps? Do you have the time/imagination/inclination to get creative with a Babybel? No, thought not. And if I'd ever cooked up a batch of Brocolli nuggets, my 3 year old would either use them as frisbees or feed them to his toy dinosaurs.
I really don't believe that the majority of the public actually do have lounges which look like a faux fur adorned homage to Scandinavian chic. If they have kids, I guarantee there will be remnants of Maoams and Rice Crispies breeding in those cushions and throws and they will be flat as pancakes due to little bums squishing on them while watching Scooby-doo. Or walk-in closets where our outfits are indexed into by what you wore and when in digital format. Carrie Bradshaw wasn't actually real, remember? Nor are most people fortunate enough to have Victoria Beckham's staff on hand to assimilate their lives to run like clockwork.
There are parents among us, and they have ALWAYS existed - we all know one - who are just so frustratingly creative and talented that everything they make, do and create turns to glitter. I WISH I were one of them, but I'm just not blessed that way. I muddle through, feed off other peoples inspo and break it down into what I can actually achieve in my own life whilst juggling all my balls, so to speak!
But this platform has a wealth of real-time virtual helping hands. A bubbling fountain of original knowledge which is gathered in one pretty place, ripe for the picking.
What we need to remember is that Pinterest is not another social network, its the equivalent of an online scrapbook for grown-ups and this has got to be great! I no longer have tons of tear-outs from magazines which I really must get to pulling together for my latest project, I now simply pin and go. No one is judging me on what I pin, nobody is going to comment or press the 'dislike' button and tell me my taste sucks or ever more soul-destroying, refrain to comment on my latest masterpiece and kill me with indifference! If I pin something really cool, I get a big vote of confidence from others who repin my inspirations. If I want to feel small for my minimal achievements in life, there are plenty of actual social networks that feed off this!
My Pinterest searches always revolve around the words 'FAST' or 'EASY' because that's about all I can muster! 'Easy, healthy dinners for fussy eaters' 'Effortless crafts with kids for a rainy day', 'Fast no bake cakes', 'Simple food for fussy eaters', 'Family meals in under 10 mins the kids scoff with no moaning ' - ok that one doesn't really exist, I've searched for it - but it's on my wish-list!
To make it work for us, we need to adapt these options to cater for our own capabilities and needs. Don't let the image of these perfect lives/perfect wives turn you off to your inner creativity, because more often than not, the individuals who have made this pin will have honed their skill over a lengthy period of time, have their own ways of making a messed up, paint covered kitchen look arty for the pics or even have spent days trying out their recipe until it gets the right combination of gooey-chocolate yum-factor photographs to compliment their hard work.
It really is the 'after' result, I'm sure if we saw the 'before', we wouldn't feel the green shade of envy envelope us quite so thoroughly. Pinterest is our secret weapon, which can arm us with info we never thought we needed - until now! These women and men who pin prolifically and perfectly are here to make our lives easier, not berate us for our lack of time, creativity or imagination.
Let them help us fake-it-to-make-it and then everybody's happy!
Is Pinterest your saving grace or a thorn in your side? Let me know in the comments below!