Pinterest Stress Is Bringing Moms Down

stressed mom

A whopping 42 percent of the 7,000 U.S. moms surveyed by TODAY in 2013 reported experiencing “Pinterest stress.” It turns out feelings of inadequacy run rampant when it comes to crafting, baking, and other forms of domestic godliness that can be neatly documented in beautiful, pinnable photos. And two years later, it seems those feelings of Pinter-envy haven’t gone away.

Apparently, many women fall into the trap of using Pinterest as the yardstick for measuring their worth as mothers. And to them I say this: Put your laptops down and back away, slowly. Pinterest is supposed to be fun, entertaining, and maybe even helpful, so if you’re not having a good time using it, it’s probably time for a break.

As Naomi Schafer Riley puts it in her New York Post article, “It’s one thing for working parents to stress over whether they get to spend enough time with their children. But it’s quite another for them to stress about whether they are producing enough lunchbox crafts to make their children’s classmates jealous.”

Like many people, I use Pinterest for project inspiration. Anything from getting tile ideas for a bathroom remodel to finding a train cake to bake for a friend’s toddler’s birthday party are worthy of a Pinterest search. But that’s pretty much where it ends for me. I find inspiration, take what I like, leave what I don’t, and then I walk away. What is there to gain from spending hours upon hours trolling the site, trying to replicate a ridiculously intricate baby Halloween costume, party cake, or bento box if it’s going to make me crazy?

Here’s the thing: I’ve grown to love cooking whole foods for my baby, particularly now that so many delicious fruits and vegetables are in season. I get a lot of satisfaction from buying great ingredients from our local farmer’s market with my family, and I enjoy finding new recipes and making food look appetizing and playful for my son. It thrills me that he had an entire Portobello mushroom stuffed with Swiss chard and mashed chickpeas yesterday (yes, I am bragging). But isn’t it enough that I liked making it and watching him eat it? At the risk of sounding Zen, isn’t part of the pleasure of experience that we are here to live it in the moment and then let it go?

Sure, I could take a well-lit picture of my culinary creation and post it on Pinterest for all to see, pin, judge, and comment on, but to what end? Would it be for approval? For validation? To impress friends and strangers? If so, why bother?

Is Pinterest stressing you out? If, like for so many other moms, your answer is “yes,” what’s the pull?