Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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The Pinterest Complex {and the guilt of womanhood}

This post is dedicated to all you ladies, mommas, teenage girls, {and I guess effeminate men} who have a love-hate relationship with this logo:



Guys, seriously. I love social media. And when my sister told me a few years ago about a new website called Pinterest, I immediately made an account.


A place where I can store all my favorite bookmarks in one easy-to-get-to location? And I can organize it by themes? And all of the unbelievably beautiful things from the Anthropologie and beyond are at my fingertips? Sign me up!


And then it happened. The lives of every tech-savvy woman with a hint of hospitality and an eagerness to impress were changed forever.


Tablescapes” became a real word used in party planning vocabulary. Weddings turned into massive outbursts of regurgitated creativity. Enter: Mason jars, cake pops, and miles and miles of burlap. Am I the only one that feels like Pinterest threw up on every baby shower and holiday party I now attend?


{Hear me out…I’m just making a point to get to a better topic. No offense if you drink out of Mason jars while serving cake pops tied with burlap bows.}


Every pin I have is pretty and perfect in every way. And if something is extraordinarily perfect, I “like” it instead of “pin” it so that others won’t find it on their newsfeed. I want that particular pretty all to myself. Yes, I’m a snob. And don’t ask me if I “saw that on Pinterest”…of course I fabricated the ideas for that birthday party theme all by myself!




I think all that perfect prettiness has given me a false sense of reality.


I see all of these people pinning organic, paleo, gluten-free recipes and think, Wow. I eat like a Paula-Deen-Cream-of-Mushroom-Soup-and-Ritz-Cracker fanatic.


I watch my timeline fill with house plans and whitewashed kitchens and think, Great. I have a one-bedroom garage apartment and my daughter sleeps in a pack-n-play in our bathroom. Not winning a motherhood award any time soon.


There are others who post links to 7-minute ab workouts and daily cleaning calendars for their homes. I’m not EVEN going to tell you what I think when I see these. Got to keep my Christian image up, you know?


So, this is all veeeeeery Pinteresting (see what I did there?).


We are taking in all of these images of perfect homes, perfect children, perfect food, and perfect bodies. It’s like a fast track to comparing ourselves to others and feeling inferior once again.


I knew I had a problem today when I walked into the baby section at Target. I’m standing in the formula aisle, and see that there is an off-brand that is twice as large as the Similac container for the same price. So I read the ingredients and percentages of vitamins to compare. Yep, exactly the same.


And the mommy guilt set in. Because I let my wandering eyes take me to the organic formula container. That’s what good mommas who shop at baby boutiques and wear their Moby wraps buy, right?


Finally, my practical, third-world-conscious side kicked in and I bought the Up & Up off-brand formula. I can honestly say that I was embarrassed to put that container on the conveyer belt at the checkout counter. Was the clueless teenage guy scanning my items thinking about how I should have bought organic???


And what’s worse, that guilt followed me all the way to my next stop. I was taking lunch to a friend, and Eliza was hungry. I needed the formula I had just bought, but I didn’t want my dear friend to know I had bought the crazy Up & Up brand. So I refilled the formula divider out of the trunk of my car before I went inside so that I would be more confident making my baby’s bottle in front of her.


{With all the nursing and breastmilk storage tips on Pinterest, I’m already feeling guilty enough admitting to the world that I have to feed my four month old formula.}


Here’s the skinny: My life doesn’t look at all like my Pinterest boards. I don’t always have a cohesive meal to serve my family for dinner. The headbands I made for my daughter honestly look kind of dumb. I can’t afford half the clothes I pin as “my style.” And I definitely haven’t performed any ab workouts lately.


The good news is, we weren’t designed to be materialistically perfect. We’re not even expected to be good! Only God is good.  


But Matthew 5 tells us that we ARE supposed to be perfect at heart, just as our heavenly Father is perfect. Not with a trendy, chevron-painted outside, but with a captivating, unselfish, submissive inside.


I guess if Jesus had a Pinterest board, he would post things from this chapter like:


Blessed {perfect} are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Blessed {perfect} are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.


Blessed {perfect} are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.


Blessed {perfect} are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.


Blessed {perfect} are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.


Blessed {perfect} are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.


Blessed {perfect} are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.


Blessed {perfect} are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Stop worrying about whether your life looks perfect. It’s okay if you are wearing a skirt from the clearance rack to Bible class. It’s ok if you let your child eat half a gallon of Halloween candy. (That was meant to be extreme – Bless your heart if you did.) It’s okay if you would rather claw your eyes out than learn to run a sewing machine. IT’S OKAY.


But pretty please start worrying about your heart. Let’s work together towards the attributes Christ desires for us so that by His grace He will one day call us perfect.





Am I alone in feeling the pressure to appear like I’ve got it all together with a designer handbag on top? How are you practicing the Spiritual Disciplines of Matthew 5?




AprilDecember 23, 2013 - 9:51 am

As soon as that baby is born it begins….the Mommy guilt. I am victim to it as well with two babies now. A good mom would have (insert whatever it is you are not doing at the time). My cousin once mailed me an article from her devotional book not long after I became a Mom. I had been talking with her on the phone about how breast-feeding was just not working with my son. She was encouraging me and yet still telling me that everything would be ok if it didn’t work out. For there record, breast-feeding didn’t work and we had much success with formula and he is a very healthy 3 year old now that is hardly ever sick. But that article she sent me was about Mommy guilt and how the evil one relishes in us having those disparaging thoughts about ourselves. The bottom line is if we are loving on our kids and teaching them how to be like all those be attitudes, then we are doing what’s right for them. But I totally get that sometimes you just have to vent on the whole pinterest thing. It’s a handy tool but it does bite us in the butt with ALL THE IDEAS!

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