Wednesday, April 29, 2015

8 Ways Pinterest Changed Parenting Forever

Is it just me, or is childhood a whole lot more... let's say, ornate, than it was a decade ago? It's possible that my memories have deceived me. But probably not. And I think it's all Pinterest's fault.

1. Throwing a birthday party is freaking exhausting. 

Forget playing a simple game of "pin the peg leg on the pirate" at my kid's 6th birthday. What I now need to do is decorate 10 large cardboard boxes as period-accurate 18th century pirate ships and stage a treasure hunt spanning the entire neighborhood. Each game station must be marked with cardstock printables in coordinating colors and an authentic-looking seaworthy font, or I've failed as a parent.

For refreshments, I'd better be using porcelain cupcake stands to display the fresh fruit kabobs I've speared with 100 toothpick-sized skull-and-crossbones flags I whittled myself, right beside the watermelon I've carved into the likeness of a shark.

Don't even get me started on the props for the pirate photo booth.

2. You have to throw a party to tell me if you're having a boy or a girl. 

In simpler times, you could call your mom from the OB's office after your ultrasound and tell her the gender of your baby.

Now you're legally forbidden to divulge your child's sex without a gender reveal extravaganza. You must commission a tiered gluten-free cake with a fondant design that is both humorous and delicious, followed by 45-60 minutes of games where guests must guess the sex of the baby-to-be. Consider hiring a professional photographer with a background in photojournalism to document the occasion.

After you've completed all the previous steps, you may then devise an elaborate method for releasing a giant bouquet of pink or blue helium balloons that will later choke a baby seal.

3. All our parenting advice comes packaged in numbered lists. 

Parenting is easy! All you have to do is click the stock photo of the happy child, or the grumpy child, or the sleeping child on a clean white background and you'll find THE 8 MOST IMPORTANT pieces of parenting advice you don't know how you ever lived without.

Come on, if you don't know the 10 things you should never say to your children or the 14 lessons every mother should teach her daughter, are you really even cut out for this parenting thing?

It’s insane how much pressure social media has added to modern parenting. Now we’re expected to create elaborate traditions for minor holidays and throw over-the-top parties for every event in your child’s life. This post is a really funny take on how ridiculous Pinterest parenting is!It’s insane how much pressure social media has added to modern parenting. Now we’re expected to create elaborate traditions for minor holidays and throw over-the-top parties for every event in your child’s life. This post is a really funny take on how ridiculous Pinterest parenting is! #parenting #socialmedia #perfection #pinterest #pinterestparenting #genderreveals #kidsparties #unremarkablefiles

4. Halloween costumes are serious business. 

When I was a kid, I dressed up as a hobo for three consecutive years. Fingerless gloves, dad's oldest flannel shirt, and some dirt smudges on my face and I was a respectable (if not altogether politically correct) bum. At the time I don't think I appreciated how much work this saved my lucky pre-Pinterest parents.

Now, if you truly love your child you must stop sleeping so you have time to fashion an elaborate scuba diver costume out of duct tape and spraypainted 2-liter bottles.

If your child goes trick-or-treating as a hobo, you get a call from the state.

5. Complete parenting hack overload. 

I'm drowning in an ocean of parenting hacks so vast I'll never be able to claw my way out to do something terribly ordinary like making my kids grilled cheese.

What if I don't want to decoupage my child's first initial on a coat hook just so he can have somewhere to hang his backpack? Or put magnets on all my cups so he can stick them to the fridge for easy drink dispensing? Or make my own preservative-free sidewalk chalk in easy-to-grip deodorant containers??

6. Your car has to be organized. 

The inside of our minivan looks like a compost heap for most of the year, and I don't feel too bad about that  except for when I get on Pinterest.

According to Pinterest, I need to have a little trash bin for the car, an organized over-the-seat caddy filled with sunscreen and Clorox wipes. Each kid should also have their own color-coded activity bucket within arm's reach, or I'm basically abusing them.

But you know what? I like having a messy car. It means that if we're ever stranded for a few days in the desert in our broken-down vehicle, we won't starve to death because there are 2 pounds of pretzels and Goldfish crackers hidden in them thar seat cushions.

7. Chore time is a lot of hard work  for parents. 

In the olden days, you could just tell your kids to unload the dishwasher. But those were less enlightened times. How can a child possibly be expected to do her work without an attractive and whimsical chart to remind her?

Here's how to make a Pinterest-worthy chore chart in 5 super-simple steps.

  • Step 1: Steal a wooden pallet.
  • Step 2: Pry the boards apart, nail them together, and apply 3 coats of magnetic paint.
  • Step 3: Use faux calligraphy to write out the chores. Optional: emboss each letter with glitter. (Just kidding, this isn't optional.)
  • Step 4: Make a "done" and "not done" column, then buy cute little magnets at Michael's and spend all afternoon covering them in washi tape.
  • Step 5: Excitedly show the fruits of your labor to your child and show her how the chart works.
  • Step 6: Child still does not unload the dishwasher.

I think you get my drift.

8. You can't just play outside anymore. 

I love the Little House on the Prairie books because the girls went outside and had a tea party with rocks, leaves, and sticks and they had a grand old time. Do kids play with sticks anymore? A collective shudder just came out of Pinterest at the question.

Pinterest knows that summertime fun is only earned when you break out the power tools and spend two weeks constructing an elaborate play structure that's impossible to store over the winter! If you're not going to build your kids a giant obstacle course out of PVC pipe and pool noodles, you probably shouldn't even bother going outside.

For better or for worse, Pinterest has changed the way we parent. It's pretty freaking exhausting, but maybe it's supposed to be. For all I know, it could be nature's way of weeding out the weak ones.

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Unremarkable Files


Pennies Add Up said...

I never had a Pinterest account until I started blogging, now I just spend my time pinning stuff on to imaginary boards that I will never be able to afford, never make and never read...

Anonymous said...

You had me rolling through this whole post.

Unknown said...

So true! Pinterest has brought our obsession with keeping up with the Joneses to new heights.

Unknown said...

Ha! Awesome, hilarious and so true!!

Pinterest definitely has changed the landscape of parenting. However, there's no way I'm overworking myself for my kids to have: "25 Essential Summer Experiences Every Child Needs." It's not -20 and we don't need snowsuits! Hooray! Now go play with your rocks and sticks.

Thanks for sharing and for giving me a good laugh!

normaleverydaylife said...

I love this. I have a Pinterest account but I just can't make myself use it. I feel like I would never get over the "to do" list I would discover on there. The things I see on blogs and on Facebook already make me feel guilty enough!

Jenny Evans said...

You wouldn't. Good call!

Jenny Evans said...

I think we all wish our homes were as immaculate and well-organized as our Pinterest boards make them out to be.

Jennifer said...

I'm SUCH a Pinterest Parent (I even have a post called "in defense of the pinterest parent) but this is hilarious! I think what annoys me about the trend is that THIS is my personality and my love language, and now I think it gets diminished or looked at competitively when for me, it's just what's natural.

Jenny Evans said...

It's true, I think all of us get a little Pinterest-y sometimes. A few years ago my daughters had a sleepover-themed birthday party (we didn't have anyone sleep over, but we wore PJs and stayed up late watching a movie before they went home) and for the invitations, I printed a cutesy little poem explaining the party theme on a posterboard "pillow" and tucked each one inside tiny pillowcases that I sewed out of scrap fabric... sometimes the Pinterest bug bites me, and later I look back and wonder who that person was...

Unknown said...

Ooooh, and thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Anonymous said...

I think it is fair to say that not only has it changed the way that people parent, but it has changed the way we cook, and lifestyles in general. I kinda like it really.

Unknown said...

I love, love this post - it had me rolling and you might have heard me say softly - me too !!! I've pinned the perfect recipe and then looked for in on my board for an hour. It would have been so much easier to just Google it but NO - I know I have it somewhere. Visiting from Mommy Monday. Now I must go so I can pin this article !!!!! LOL

Jenny Evans said...

I've done the exact same thing, except that after 20 minutes I give up and serve PB&Js for dinner. Really, there needs to be a better way to sift through your pins because I can't find things in my boards.

Unknown said...

Another great one, Jenny! I have to agree with you about the birthday party and the car. When did we get so obsessed with being Pinterest worthy? I miss the olden times and plan on imposing the ancient rules of frolicking in the grass and "go do this chore now..." on my kids. Thanks for sharing!

Let's Talk Mommy said...

Oh I totally agree with all of these and how true that it really has changed parenting. I am always the biggest pinterest failure to all of these. lol Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

Melissa French - The More With Less Mom said...

I'm so sick of the gazillion lists! Thanks for posting. Hello from Turn It Up Tuesdays.

Kid Minds said...

Ha ha! Thanks for a good laugh. It's so true. Thanks for sharing on Turn it up Tuesdays.

Sarah Jean said...

This is hysterical! It's funny 'cause it's true....

PurpleSlob said...

Hand up!
My babies play with dirt, and sticks, and water. Healthy for their immunine systems!!
Pinterest is a vast desert of "doan wanna" for me!