Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?

Not too long ago, I had a side job. It entailed scouring the internet for pictures of birthday parties, home décor, and craft how-to’s; stealing copying those pictures; and writing about them using keywords and sponsored links.

Before I had that job, I didn’t have a Pinterest account. I didn’t have an Instagram account. And, honestly, I didn’t even have a blogging account.

Before The Job I planned birthday parties for the sole intent of celebrating someone’s birth. I had little that was superfluous for decorating. And I hadn’t ever made a cardboard tombstone or flocked a Christmas tree.

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After nine months of writing the articles, therefore, I knew a lot more about the back-alley world of Pinterest. I knew that there were at least “11 Classroom Games for Room Mothers,” that I could look up “10 Minecraft Party Ideas,” and that there were “12 Ways to Pumpkin-Up Your Porch.” (That last title was my idea.)

And I felt a bit disturbed.

Were all the moms out there really doing birthday parties like that, or houses?

What I’ve seen in real life confirms my fears. Joanna Gaines is all over magazines, Target, and my neighbors’ houses. Party favors, games, and backdrops for one-year-olds follow a coordinated theme. I scrolled through a thread on TwoFacebook recently about installing pallet board walls, headboards, or ceilings. Women in my area show up to parties in low boots, tight pants, front-tucked-in shirts, and long-curled hair; carrying magazine-ready plates of organic foods and centerpieces that would shame Martha Stewart -for an afternoon lunch.

Over-the-top, much?

I know how lovely a well-planned party looks; how much creativity cred a mom can get from other moms for sticking to a theme. I’ve seen the white sitting rooms, silver candlesticks, and fur rugs that make a house look like a family never even breathed in it.

Yes; it’s a nice look.

No; it’s not worth it.

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Why? Because we have to live in a house. We have to raise our children to be balanced and not assume perfection. We need to be present more than give lots of presents. It is possible.

The reason I have a birthday party is not to show off.

The reason I decorate my house is so the kids can look forward to a holiday and so the house itself feels dressier.

The reason I run through a how-to is so that I can get the battery changed in the car without electrocuting myself. If I read a crafting walkthrough, it’s so that I can make an awesomely scary ghost with the kids.

Parents have enough on their plates without worrying about plating the food. They have enough mess to clean without trying to get handprints onto paper plates or shiplap onto walls. Do we really need to make parenting more difficult?

No.

So, don’t feel guilty with a Wal-mart cake and singing. Don’t sigh over mismatched furniture. Don’t worry that you can’t make an American flag out of a pallet.

You just might be human. Plus, your little humans will learn to be reasonable, too.

 

Photo Credits:
Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash
Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash
Photo by Hedy Yin on Unsplash

Baking Tip 1

Today on Cooking Baking with Chelsea, our hostess will teach the class a trick to help with cakes that stick to the pan.

Our hostess, and anyone who has baked a cake, know that nothing ruins a birthday cake quite like the whole thing sticking to the pan and crumbling apart upon removal. If that happens, make cake bites or a parfait (we’ll have a lesson on how to make the most of baking goofs later).

If you’re planning on caking and don’t want your masterpiece to stay in its pan, I recommend waxed paper.

Waxed paper!

  1. Measure the shape of the bottom of the cake pan on a piece of waxed paper. Use anything that can make a mark on the waxy surface (like a pencil).
  2. Cut out the shape, aiming to make it somewhat smaller than the shape you traced.
  3. Grease the bottom of the pan, on the inside.
  4. Lay the waxed piece over the greased inside of the pan and grease the new ‘bottom’ and sides of the pan.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake as directed.
  6. After baking and cooling is complete, remove the waxed paper from the cake bottom.

Voilà!

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Author’s note: I had quite a bit of edge-sticking when I peeled the paper off this cake. Next time, I will remember to put the waxed paper on the pop-out circle and then put the circle into the spring-form pan. That will keep the paper edge under the pan edge and prevent it from adhering to the cake.