Suburban Snapshots

I Felt Inadequate
Before Pinterest Made It Cool

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last week another well-written, thoughtful blog entry made its way around The Facebooks. The writer points out how as parents, we tend to let media, friends and even family make us feel like we aren't doing enough or being perfect enough, clever enough or crafty enough. The piece alludes to Pinterest, where Moms Who Aren't Me build illuminated unicorn fountains out of upcycled pizza boxes while I often break a sweat just trying to get lids onto Tupperware containers.

I definitely have Pinterest envy, seeing photo after photo of homes bathed in natural light from all directions while clean, happy kids play in their cleverly constructed closet beds with adorable handmade pantyhose dolls. But I think I'm either realistic enough or cynical enough to recognize when I don't have the skill or the time to pull that shit together. (I'm too busy trying to entertain you people and keeping my daughter off the pole, isn't that enough?!)

When Anna's birthday started approaching, I checked Pinterest for party ideas. I found a great cake that my cousin volunteered to make, and then fell down an inevitable wormhole where I discovered a DIY playhouse loft bed. I presented the blueprints to Steve and we roped in my other cousin, a builder.

Everything came together beautifully. I know Steve is proud of the bed -- it's sturdy and beautiful and Anna loves it. The cake was the talk of the party with all its gorgeous pink swirls and sweet fudge. All of it was more work than even the awesome Pac Man themed party my mom pulled together for me in 5th grade, but it wasn't just Anna who appreciated our efforts. Steve got to work hard at a job for someone who paid him in pure delight, I got to get creative just for fun, with no critiques or approvals from anyone but myself.

It's probably true that Anna didn't need a new bed, or a pink swirly cake and handmade party invitations, but ultimately we did all of those things for ourselves as much as for her, for the sense of accomplishment, for being able to get creative on our own terms, and knowing that our little client would be grateful for (video) whatever we had made.

Sometimes, in our desire to get to perfect, we end up realizing that happy and adequate is actually a better place to be.

blog comments powered by Disqus