Confessions of a Pinterest Peer Pressure Survivor


(When I took this pic, he said, “Mama…I’m gonna show you my muscles. Don’t be scared.)

Pinterest Birthdays

It’s my son’s birthday this week. He says he’s 5. I’m not sure how that happened since he was 18 months old yesterday, but he insists, so I’m playing along.

Anyway.

Last week, I started planning his party and I also started stressing out. You see, I don’t really do “cute”. Those people who pin cute party ideas on Pinterest? Not me. Those people who make awesome cakes, cupcakes and decorations? Not me. Those people who make everything look fun and cute? Not me.

As his party approached, I started to feel the Pinterest Party Peer Pressure.

Do you know what I’m talking about? I suddenly needed to buy a CriCut machine, take a cake decorating class and create a life size replica of Tow-Mater out of rice krispies and marshmallows.

My “Pinsecurities”

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of Pinterest, but I actually don’t pin much because fashion, decorating and crafting are not among the skill set God gave me.

Sometimes, even if I see an outfit or decor I like, I start second guessing myself. “Should I pin it? Is it totally last year? Maybe it’s actually an outfit that fashion police plant on Pinterest just to “catch” all the fasion-clueless people like me so they can flag my account to warn everyone to do the fashion opposite of what I pin.

Why, no. I don’t have issues…why do you ask?

Exhibit A: I was in the 8th grade, it was cool to tight roll your pants. One night at the tail end of that fashion trend, I saw someone fixing their tight roll. They sat down, pulled the bottom of their pants together, FOLDED-IT-OVER and then rolled it up. So THAT’s how they did it!

See, I always just “rolled” my pants. I somehow missed what the “tight” part meant. As a result, my pants always flopped around. I thought everyone else just had special jeans. Sigh. Webster called me when they were working on the definition of clueless.

Back to my Pinterest Party Dilemma

What was I going to do?! I don’t KNOW how to make cupcakes shaped like Lightning McQueen. What kind of long term psychological ramifications will my son endure if the theme isn’t cohesive and color coordinated…?!

Will his friends mock him if I don’t use mason jars in some way?!

Then I remembered that my son is not Martha Stewart. He’s 5. He’s a boy. He puts his shoes on backward daily and a “matching” outfit involves 3 different kinds of camo…and his blue doggy bone socks.

So I decided to step awaaay from Pinterest.

I also decided on a theme. I like to call it, “Invite his friends over to play in the backyard and eat cake.”

I think it will be a hit.

Maybe I’ll even Pin it.

Are you on Pinterest? Do you ever feel the Pinterest Peer Pressure or suffer from “Pinsecurity”? Click here to join the discussion.

Comments

  1. You and me both. You and me both. That is totally how our parties go down too – backyard + dirt + cake. Done, yo!

  2. Well said, Kat. Thank you for the refreshing message of knowing yourself and being yourself. It’s so much more glorifying to God that way, isn’t it?

    • Betsy,
      Definitely!! And it frees us up to do what God has called us to do, instead of spending our days trying to do what “we think” everyone else expects.

  3. I am cracking up over here. SO ME! I think we may be twins separated at birth. (Lisa-Jo, are you our triplet?)

    We have one turning 6 next month and the stress has already begun. Oh, and that bit about the tight rolling jeans? Made me laugh out loud!

    • Amy,
      Blonde, Asian and South African triplets. Awesome. :)

      Looks like Lisa-Jo and I set a precedent for you. You can feel free to stop stressing about your 6 year old’s party now. Dirt + sugar = fun.

      • Blonde, Asian and South African triplets. It could totally happen. :)

        And yes, you both relieve my stress. You bring up a good point…you don’t need much more than dirt and sugar for fun. In fact, you probably don’t even need the dirt part!

  4. I have to be very careful with Pinterest or else I quickly become dissatisfied with my crazy-4-kids-in-4.5-years-can’t-keep-my-house-clean-or-organized-kind-of-life.

  5. I’m ashamed that I too felt the urge to go out and buy a Cricut :) The price tag made me change my mind lol.

    Not pinning something is hard. I started “liking” things cause I lost a recipe and could not for the life of me find it. I pin like crazy. If I don’t have a place for it I just throw it in “Randomness” :) I love your blog header!

  6. I love pinterest but I have no illusions about being a do it all, matching party hats kind of gal. Mostly I like the travel and nature pics.
    :)

    Loved the post, as always

  7. I pinned everything I saw when I first started on Pinterest (at Christmas season, did you see all those fun, amazing looking cookies & treats) but soon realized & actually thought before hitting that pin it button, would I actually make that or do that???? I would love to be that person but in reality I am not.

    I did make the rainbow cupcakes though, then frosted them with canned frosting ;)

  8. Well, so I am a bit torn here. On one hand, I feel I should post something comforting or “I can relate” ish but on the other hand, I don’t really relate, in a sense. Please don’t hate me. ;) I AM that person that is super crafty, loves themed parties and a themed cake made by moi, and adores Pinterest person. I read your post and felt I should go to bat for the crafty, Pinterest pinning, Martha Stewart inspired peeps out there. ;) We are all gifted in different areas aren’t we? The key is knowing your strengths and being ok with your weaknesses. It is awesome that your party will be cake and outdoor fun (my mom would always make us a cake from a box mix, leave it in the glass pan iced in can icing with sprinkles on top and we all LOVED it!) and it is also awesome for the crafty mama to throw an all out Pinterest inspired shin dig. I know you know this. Just thinking “out loud”. :) Again, we all simply need to be comfortable with who we are and not stress out trying to be something we’re not. We have to fight the “oooh, if only I could be like that person” or “If only I could be crafty” or my personal favorite if only: “if only I could keep my house and kids clean as that person!” and so on and so on. I am crafty in all sorts of ways but man oh man, I fall short in so many areas and am so UNskilled in gobs of others! Lordy, lets not get into that! HA! BUT, I think I can say that I am ok with that. I can go to people like you to help organize and prioritize my life, to my clean freak friend for tips on cleaning my home or to my health nut friend for ideas on getting my kiddos (and myself) to eat healthier.

    Super kudos to you for not falling into the “keeping up with the pinners” trap and doing what you know you can. Have fun girly!

    Anyway, here comes my comforting comment after all: I think your little man is going to have a ball at his party! I know I would with a mama like you in charge!

    Blessings to you in all you do “Kat”! ;)

    • Janice “the crafty Queen”,
      (hi friend!) Agreed! And I must say, non-crafty people like me LOVE to go to events that crafty people like you put together. :)

  9. Laughed so hard about the tight-rolled jeans – that was me too! I always hoped to see how those latest “styles” were accomplished because I was never in-the-know either.
    I’m a crafty person, but I’m avoiding pinterest – it would suck me in too far and my family would never see me again.
    I also don’t do cute-themed-anythings (it would stress me out rather than making me enjoy the party, and then to see it all disappear so quickly….), so all around, loved this post. What they remember is the time we spend with them :)

  10. No pressure here. I am not particularly crafty (though my 12 year old daughter loves crafts and has a couple of her own boards for things she likes, under my name). Just pin what I actually like and recipes I might actually make (not things that look great but I know I’ll never really get around to).

    • Kika,
      Isn’t it great having a crafty kid?
      When I need to do crafty stuff, it ends up being a fun project we can do together, instead of a chore I have to do myself.

      Sounds like we use Pinterest in about the same way.

  11. LOL! I love it! I have not yet had a party to plan since I joined pinterest so I haven’t had that problem yet. I am not much of a party planner anyway. I do love collecting ideas on pinterest but I use it for bookmarking mostly. It’s the list of things I hope to get to one day :)

  12. I have a love/hate relationship with pinterest. I love to go out and look at all the awesome ideas out there, but I hate the idea of putting any of these ideas into practice in my own life. I love to look at the outfits people put together, but I hate shopping, so I would *never* actually put these outfits together myself. You can see my point here, right?

  13. LOVE this!
    I’d “pin” your party… :)
    That’s often our “theme” too.
    One year it was rocks, bugs & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (because that’s what he liked :)

    I do enjoy pinterest though, but I’m not one to feel very pressured by things. I love suggestions, but very much feel free to ignore and am pretty realistic about my non-existent-crafty-sewing-skills. I often end up modifying cute ideas to make them realistic for me.

    (Though I do have a whole stack of glass Starbucks frappuccino bottles I need to drink so that I can turn them into milk-bottle-look-a-likes that our kiddos will probably never even want to use :)
    Have ya seen that “pin” yet? Super cute!

    It’s just a great way for me to re-find-things.

  14. Thank you for this. It resonated with me on both the Pinterest level and the fashion trends. I still can’t figure out how the other girls in junior high were able to accomplish the high, swoopy bangs. Could never get it to work.

    We took a similar route for my son’s first birthday party. While some of our friends invited everyone they knew to the first birthday party, we had our parents over, got some balloons, and ate food and cake. Balloons were involved, so he had a wonderful time, and it was such a low-stress and fun day.

    I think you’re right and your son’s party will be a hit. And if you pin it, it might be something I’ll actually repin. :)

    • Oh, the tight roll. I had that same “aha!” moment when I saw someone fold their pants over first. But I was homeschooled, so that’s my excuse. I was quite good at the bangs but man, did Candace Cameron from Full House have the best ones or what?!

      I love Pinterest. It helps keep the paper clutter in my home down *immensely*. I try and take just one thing that inspires me and make it or use it. I’ve made quite a few things that I’ve pinned. But yes, count me out of the crafty crowd. I can make a decorative pillow case that the original blogger made in 10 min., but after my timer hi 59:59 and rolled back over to 0:00 I gave up timing myself. I’m beyond slow. Good thing I’m not in a competition!

      • Elisabeth says:

        I STILL wonder about the bangs–and I haven’t had any since 1990-something!! Maybe I should look on YouTube…

  15. Um, yep…. that’s pretty much how it goes in the world of women…. sigh… ;}
    I’d like to say that it’s different as the years go by, but I can’t say that it does truly. I see the same weaknesses in ME as in you see in yourself (younger) and a close friend of mine (older). Nothing is new under the sun.
    Be encouraged! Being YOU becomes easier. True story. Very,very true.

  16. Amy Martin says:

    Love this post and can totally relate. I think we can feel “inferior” with not only Pinterest, but Facebook, Twitter and even blogs! That’s why I have to be careful with how much time I spend on each one and what I read, follow, etc. because I can get caught in the trap of comparing myself to other women and moms, and it’s silly!

    By the way, I think your idea is the perfect one! I think people today make way too big of a deal out of birthday parties. Seriously, they’re hardly going to remember it and it’s really just about having fun with family and friends. In fact, I don’t even do “friend parties” yet. Maybe when my son turns 5, like yours! :)

  17. Stephanie Hsiao says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I’m with you. I think that’s a great party – and totally pin-worthy.

  18. Ha. I totally love this post. You nailed it why I don’t succomb to the peer pressure of even joining Pinterest. I’m too weak. Love you, friend.

  19. I loved this post! Perfect, Kat!

  20. Oh Kat, thanks for the honesty, lol. I totally identify. I’ve never been in the “I’ve got everything together” crowd ;) .

    Despite my love for beautiful, serene things and a lovely, organized home, the Lord gave us two rambunctious, amazing [inadvertently destructive and TOTALLY messy] boys in 16 months, and we now have a spunky little girl and two crazy dogs added to the mix!

    Pinterest is my go-to place for remembering things, beautiful, truthful things, with which I want to surround myself and my family. For that reason, I appreciate it as enriching (as long as I keep a reign on my comparison-riddled thoughts!).

    Our Father knows us so well :) . Why should we keep settling for what everyone else seems to “have”?

    With love and thanks,
    Andrea

  21. I love this post. I am on Pinterest and used to use it all the time…until I felt it took all the originality out of everything and everybody was making some sort of melted crayon art. I felt it made me LESS creative.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. I am pinning this to read again later. :-)

  22. I understand completely. I love looking around Pinterest, but that’s about it. By the way, I found this great EASY recipe that might work for your son’s party … http://www.kraftbrands.com/Jello/recipe.aspx?ID=132787. Cake mix, jello … can’t get much easier than that.

  23. Oh my. This post made me laugh out loud.

    I just have to be careful with things like Pinterest. I like to do some of the things, but can easily start playing the comparison game- combining the best of everyone else into the good and bad of myself. I am good at some things, bad at others, and that’s okay.

    We made dirt cake for my son’s 5th birthday. We made chocolate pudding, then layered it with crumbled chocolate cake and crushed oreos. We put it in the back of a plastic dump truck. He thought it was the best cake he had ever seen or tasted. Kids’ tastes are so much different than ours. I think we have to be careful to keep the parties about them, and not about us trying to be “good enough.”

  24. no one would pin one of our parties! backyard games, tag, swinging and slidding ~ that’s how we roll here. we will save the big parties for when they are older but for now 3-4 friends in the back yard will do. in a year on pinterest i have pinned one item… i would rather be blessed by what God has given us than long for what others have.

  25. Can I just pin you? You r my “outside-the-box”, breath of fresh air, mommy role-model!! I do enjoy throwing theme parties (& my 6yo just told me he wants an x-box/Lego star wars/chess party…those will be fun plates to find). But my other boys could care less and would love backyard+sugar. A friend told me his favorite party was when the mom gave them wooden swords and they “battled” in the backyard the whole party. Oh and my middle school challenge…the bangs. Could NOT figure out how to get them to stay up 6 inches like my friends. ;)

  26. Such a great post!

    I gave up Pinterest for Lent for the main reason that I realized I was going there as a form of “escapism” to avoid the mundane moments of my day with kiddos (my 18 month-old, a 6 month old/2 year old that I nanny). I wanted to be more fruitful with that time.

    And after I’ve been away I have felt that craving to “fix-up” the house into this magazine worthy abode subside…and eventually disappear. Yes, I still want to paint the baby room a soft-soothing-green to welcome our new baby coming in August…but it doesn’t have to be this perfectly coordinated room anymore. Because, I know myself well enough to know that once baby is born that perfect room will be another room that I have to clean up all the time. ;)

    I never had a themed birthday party (had I even heard of a themed and perfectly coordinated party until I had kids???) …and I loved every one of the parties my parents put together. Whether it was ordering pizza, ice skating (I’m a winter baby), or slumber party. . .they were fabulous times to be with friends and celebrate.

    Kudos to you! And have so much fun celebrating your son.

  27. Christina says:

    are we related? I think we are kindred spirits really. Well done!

  28. Oh my gosh – still laughing! (You actually described my sister exactly)
    Thanks for the smiles!

  29. Oh, so very true! I recognized that Pinterest would probably end up being one more place for my obsessive character flaw and its twin comparison to rear their ugly heads so I don’t have a Pinterest account~I couldn’t even spell it right when I began typing this comment! Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one;)

  30. This was hilarious! Especially the part about mason jars!
    My oldest turns 6 next week, and this is the first time we are not having a big party. He wants to take just a few of his best friends to play mini golf, dance to the chipmunk soundtrack and eat ice cream, it should be alot of fun!
    Thanks for the reminder to keep things that can be good – like pinterest, in check, so they don’t become a negative! I definitely feel the dissatisfaction of not being able to do “all” the amazing ideas I see on there.

  31. Kat, I love you. I have never left a comment, but you always inspire me. I love this post… I think I am going to pin it :)

  32. I hit Pinterest really hard at first until I realized that I am not *actually* a crafty person, but a person who likes to imagine herself as a crafty person. I realized that I had no intention of doing half the things I pinned, and so many ideas out there were just so silly (elaborate decorated paper clips? comic strip art on toilet paper?).

    I still pin things to my boards that I run across and want to be able to find again, but I’ve stopped browsing other people’s pins. There are much more fun ways to waste time, if that’s what I’m looking for!

  33. Oh my goodness! I could’ve have written this myself! My boy is about to turn 5 (in a month and a half). I don’t do “cute” either. (Except his fourth birthday, we had amazing cupcakes, but that was because they were special vegan cupcakes he could actually eat). But no “theme”. Plain paper plates, no decorations, etc. Also, I didn’t “get” the tight roll either (along with many other trends). It’s so liberating to just stop yourself and realize that really don’t care about mason jars and coordinated napkins.

    Anyway…I did finally join Pinterest about a month ago (not without hesitation) since I got an invite from a friend. I came across some really cute train themed ideas, but who am I kidding? I’m not really crafty, and what’s more, his birthday is about 2 weeks before my due date w/baby #3. Yeah…no. Lol! It’s a park or a pool somewhere and probably some more delicious cupcakes (all *he* cares about anyway!)

  34. Ha! I totally relate. I am exactly like this. Only I am surrounded by real life friends who make the pinterest stuff come to life. So I try to enjoy it vicariously when I attend their kids bday parties. :). We have one happy birthday streamer thing that I reuse relentlessly for everybody’s bday and put up balloons and streamers. Done. Homemade cake but nothing fancy. Sprinkles on top. Smiles and memories

  35. I’m not on Pinterest, and I do try to make modestly creative cakes for my son’s birthday parties. But I totally agree with keeping parties and expectations simple. Playing with friends and having cake is more than enough of a celebration for a little one.

  36. Classic post. Thanks so much! :) We just had one of those backyard parties…it was awesome. And I still haven’t jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon (but I think I will as soon as I get time to–?–send myself an invitation!??) haha. It’s all good when you keep it in perspective.
    Bless you, super-mom!

  37. What? You mean you’re not doing anything with mason jars!? I don’t think we can be friends anymore. =p That’s the problem with the information age (are we still in the information age?). It’s a good and bad thing at the same time.

    So I didn’t know that our kiddos were so close in age. My older girl just turned 5 on Feb 9. We normally just do a family dinner to celebrate. We are planning on doing the “big” milestone ages, like we did this year for 5 (and that was only invite a handful of friends over to our house). Really, I don’t think kids care that much (at least until a certain age). I think as long as great memories are made, that’s what matters.

    Best theme ever!
    “Invite his friends over to play in the backyard and eat cake.”

    My friend’s husband works for Pinterest. It’s a neat idea, but I think the raises the bar too much to unreal goals.

    You’ll have to post your sign that you made, so I can pin it. ;)

  38. I always thought the other girls got some sort of fashion memos that I missed, because I was always, ALWAYS, missing the mark in some way.

    I like Pinterest, I like seeing the creative ideas people have, but I don’t even feel any sort of peer pressure because so much of it is so far beyond what I can or want to do. I pin stuff I like, and if people in the know are snickering at my taste, well, so what.

    Now, real-life? I do feel a little more intimidated when I see acquaintances and what sort of themed parties they put together for their preschoolers. My son got a banana cupcake for his first birthday, and his second birthday he didn’t even manage that. Instead all he got was a baby sister freshly home from the hospital.

    I’m just not that sort of mom, so I’ll also be the “play in the backyard & eat cake” mom.

  39. You are so funny! Love reading your posts. Have not gotten into Pinterest yet, although I’ve heard much about it ~ I like to think I’ll be inspired into doing something worthy of a photo shoot. Thanks for sharing! Blessings!

  40. Loooove this post! I have done it all from simple to crafty (which i am not great at) So much work…so much stress…so not worth it for me. The simpler the better in my book:)

  41. Suzie (from Sydney) says:

    Kat, this post is hysterical. really. I am laughing so hard because I thought I was the only one, I know pinterest is great but I just don’t get excited about any of that stuff. And the tight rolling jeans story? awesome! I totally get that. Our b’day parties are unlike any others my kids go to- a few basic games in the backyard, no decorations apart from perhaps a few balloons tied in a clump somewhere, a cake, fairy bread, chips, sausage rolls, a trampoline, maybe a soccer ball to play with. But you know what, its still a party, the kids ALL have a blast and actually, most other parents comment on how unstressed I am and how much fun all the kids are having. Its all good!!
    P.S. Just an idea for the cake if you’re not a master of the whole amazing cake race :) we often just ice the cake in their fav colour then pile a whole lot of their fav candy on the top of the cake. Everyone loves it and I didn’t stay up until all hours of the night :)

  42. This post is awesome. Sometimes I sit around in a group of ladies and listen to them chatter about fabrics, painting, DIY projects and I think, how do I participate. What do I say? Will come over and fix my non-decorating and organize my spices? Is that too bold?

    I am on Pinterest. I use it for recipes I want to make later, play things I want to do with my kids some rainy day, and ideas for things I do love, like gardening. I try not to look at my friends boards too often. Just often enough to know what they like so I can connect.

    And I have never ever even decorated the cake..until this year when my daughter turned ten and then I finally had something to pin! Good thing too, decorating was stresstful, time consuming and not fun. But my daughter thinks I rock!

  43. I have a confession to make: I’m not even ON Pinterest. My best bud regularly feeds me bits and pieces, but I have refused to go there on my own. (I have a bad enough time with Facebook!)

    I remember those years…. My Baby is 10, but he still thinks that any camo is matching camo; and he doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks. His favorite thing is still….dirt. Come to think of it, his three older brothers are the same way…

  44. Ive never even looked at pinterest. Not gonna join either (=
    My kids do like me to make their bday cakes though. It’s usually a 13×9 with some dollar store toys stuck in the icing. Simple (=

  45. I love this post! I used to be crafty, but nothing like the stuff you see on pinterest. And that was when I was in high school and had the TIME! My husband and I both work full time, so trying to do all that crazy stuff just doesn’t happen. I am so glad to read a post about how it is not the end of the world to do it all up for the bday parties. 5year olds just want their friends to come over and play, especially boys!

  46. I like your take on life.
    For me, Pinterest is inspiring. I got over the addiction thing to Facebook and so I can pop in to Pinterest for 2-3 pages. There are so many beautiful things in this world and I see Pinterest as my ‘Joy Box’ – a place to record inspiration and soul-feeding photos of people, great ideas, thoughts, scriptures. I also have a ‘board’ for each child and ‘pin’ ideas I want to show them every now and again. They like this cos it shows them that I know what they love – whether a funny or something that links in to their quirkiness or interests. ~ Hanging out on Pinterest can teach us contentment, and security in our own skin.

  47. Not using mason jars….how could you?? :)

  48. Haha, this post cracked me up!! SO true. Pinterest has turned me into a huge wannabe. I love a craft or painting a room, but you’re right…too many “pinsecurities” have ailed me since I caved and started pinning.

    Love this, Kat!! :)

  49. Elisabeth says:

    Yup, like so many here I totally resonated with this post, too! Finally joined Pinterest a couple weeks ago, so haven’t had time to develop any “pinsecurities” yet–feeling a bit “pinundated” actually by SO many ideas on there that I’ve been avoiding it!! I have a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old…

    I like cute birthday party ideas, but just can’t muster the time or effort to pull one off myself, so I’ve called on friends and family who like that sort of thing and can help a sister out! Last year my hubby shopped for the plates and such (he did a great job, too!), my sisters did the wrapping/decorating, and I hired a friend to make the Blue’s Clues cake. Done. It was a hit! (And I was pregnant and sick so everyone was extra keen to help, I think, lol.)

    Oh–and I distinctly recall my friend, Holly, demonstrating the tight-roll one day at lunch–but I think I was in third grade ha ha! My current fashion mystery is how to DO scarves… I LOVE them and have a few, but they just never look quite right when I wear them!

    Thanks for the fun post, Kat!

  50. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him~ Why don’t set up a pinboard for him haha..

  51. Ah, yes! You’ve articulated exactly what I have been feeling as a young mom with a busy birthday season of late. I just can’t do it all, but the accumulation of pinterest pins and blog posts makes me dizzy and feeling like a failure if I can’t pull off the fantastic. Thank you for being so real and taking the pressure off.

Trackbacks

  1. […] “Pinsecurities” and the pressure to have it all together.   This article made me laugh becuause even from someone crafty and creative like me, this emotion does exist.  If you have ever debated over mason jars and ribbon, hoping for the perfect thing, this read is for you.  I signed up for the Inspired to Action email about a month ago and love the things that pop in my inbox three times a week from them. […]

  2. […] Does Pinterest make you feel insecure?…Confessions of a pinterest peer pressure survivor […]

  3. […] all of this you might be wondering? Well … I read this post the other day about “Pinterest peer pressure” and it made me laugh. There’s a lot of truth […]

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