Anachan's Corner

One woman's journey through marriage, motherhood, and the classroom…

Uncraftiness

Written By: Anachan - Aug• 05•13

Recently, I ran across this article, linked by a friend on Facebook:  Why I Hate Pinterest.  I had to laugh a little, empathizing with the author as she expressed feelings of frustration pertaining to the overload of ideas sent to her by well-meaning friends trying to help her plan her son’s birthday.

The first time I ran across Pinterest, it was because it showed up in my stats for sites which had lead traffic to my bread blog.  Apparently, a couple of my posts had been pinned.

It took me a while to figure out what Pinterest was.  Finally, I decided it was something akin to reading a women’s magazine with ideas about food, crafts, or home projects–the kind where I look at them and think, “Wow, what a great idea,” but never, ever get around to doing.  (I take that back.  Once, I did use a cake decorating idea from a magazine.  It involved Fruit by the Foot draped across a rectangular birthday cake in such a fashion that the cake looked like it was a wrapped gift.  Even I can manage a fake bow using Fruit by the Foot.)  More often than not, reading the magazines makes me feel like I’m not doing motherhood and homemaking right.

Generally speaking, I already know a lot of areas in which I am failing.  My mother taught me to keep things much cleaner than I habitually do and to stay on top of the laundry so it doesn’t end up taking over the family room.  I already know I’m less patient than I should be, and I gave up trying to teach most of my kids anything to do with the piano.  I have an unfinished bobbin lace project–lacking less than an inch–which has been sitting on my lace-making pillow for no less than seven years and completed cross-stitch pictures which are folded away in a bin, unframed.  The last thing I need is something telling me I’m failing my children or will be the laughing-stock of the motherhood community if I don’t make artistic scrapbooks or wrap Christmas gifts in unique fashions or spend three hours decorating specialty cookies which will be devoured in 10 minutes flat, at the most.

That’s not to say I have no homemaking skills at all.  I do, however, have limited time, and my interests generally lie in other directions.

During most of the year, I commute an hour each way to work full-time as a high school teacher.  I’m doing well to make sure one load of laundry makes it into the machine each day and ensuring something is put on the table for dinner, even if it is only pancakes and scrambled eggs.  On my weekends, I try to prepare for the rest of the week by catching up on laundry, if it is possible, making bread to freeze until needed, and doing a general tidy of the house.  During the summer, I do have some time for projects, but they tend to revolve around managing food which has been produced, such as trying to make cheese from any extra goat milk, baking zucchini bread from the zucchini which got too big for tasty vegetable eating, or bottling jam made from the peaches neighbors and family have given us.  It resembles something like treading water.

I recognized years ago that I got along better, emotionally, without reading those magazines and accumulating all that extra guilt.  I recognized that, while I still feel a little twinge that I don’t “fit” the mold of ideal homemaking, I can still do some things well.  And that is why I gave up browsing magazine articles in waiting rooms and why I don’t fret that the photographs on my bread blog look like they were snapped by a teenager with her first camera.  (I also, by the way, am willing to mention my less-than-optimal attempts, which are most definitely not “Pinterest-worthy”, but which, I think, are good to mention.  People like me need to know it is OK to fail every so often.)

In the event that I suddenly have an urge to redecorate my bathroom or something, I can always search information out on the Internet, perhaps even on Pinterest, but because I don’t need constant and subtle hints that I should be doing everything differently, I choose not to browse or participate in the Pinterest community.

(My husband comments that he has little respect for someone who is willing to let other people’s opinions dictate how they feel about themselves.  This means he has little sympathy for either the author of the above article or my feelings of inadequacy when I look at other people and wonder what they must think of me because I’ve never ensured my daughters had neatly styled hair for church.  (If a hairbrush ran through it, it was good enough for me!)  And I suppose he is right.  After all, we shouldn’t be judging ourselves on what we, most likely erroneously, think other people are expecting us to be.  But for me, it’s simpler to just sidestep the issue by ignoring it.)

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One Comment

  1. Erika Lewis says:

    I use Pinterest to keep track of ideas I may want to use later but don’t want to spend the time looking for again. For example, when I was doing the craft club I put all the crafts I might possibly want to do with the students on my Pinterest “craft club” board. Then when I needed to find the instructions for that item all I had to do was click on the photo and I was there.

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