When I first started using Pinterest, I thought, Now this is a cult I can get on board with! 
Night after night, I would rush to the warm glow of my iPad and get image-drunk on dazzling thumbnails showing me just how fabulous I could be if I made healthy crock pot meals, did 100 planks (or variations thereof), and knitted my family new Christmas stockings from upcycled sweaters found at the Thrift. I was convinced that life would be better, living in my pin world. 

Recipes... pin it! 
Craft ideas... pin it! 
Handmade gifts... pin it! 

Don't even get me started on the birthday party pin board that I created for my son's fourth. The theme was Superheros and Villains. I know what you're thinking and you're right: that is a kick-butt theme. And the kids loved it. But I almost didn't live to see the fun with my noose of Pinterest-inspired must do's. 

I had convinced myself that in order for my son to really blow the Big 0-4 out of the water, it was crucial to have:

  • A Gotham-esque backdrop for all party goers to take pictures in front of (60 pieces of cardboard painted, cut, and attached to my deck)
  • A craft station with supplies to make superhero capes and masks (grocery store paper bags and craft store mask kits)
  • Ballons wearing villain-like eye masks
  • Cupcakes with superhero emblems

These were all the things my Pinterest-addicted self thought we needed to have a good party; one my son and all his four-year-old friends would still be talking about when they were 25. By the time the party rolled around, I was exhausted.

This was confusing to me, because all those pins made hours of party prep look euphoric. The unseen moms who created all these backdrops and cape crafts and villain balloons before me, made me think this was fun and enjoyable work. So why was I feeling like I wanted to punch all those goofy balloons in their faces and lock myself in a closet with the whole tray of cupcakes? 

You know what the kids liked about the party? Wearing costumes, jumping in a bounce house, and eating. The end. 

Do you know how many party peeps went bananas over my faux Gotham City or even took their paperbag cape home? Exactly zero. Zero children cared about the hours of my life I spent attempting to make this party one for the record books. 

After that party, I started to see Pinterest for what it really was: the work of the devil. Seriously though, I started to realize Pinterest is a nice place to keep track of ideas and desserts I might like to try one day – NOT a lifestyle that I needed to strive for.

From that day on, all birthday parties involved friends, cake, and a few games. When I ask my children what they like about their birthday parties, they always say, "Being with my friends." Which is a much better answer than, "The life-size cupcake in the shape of Darth Vadar."