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Parental Pressure. What has Pinterest done to us?

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
Ok so, Pinterest is such a blessing and a curse.

It's turned us into crazy DIY, bento box, invitation, holiday, birthday, recipe, and party planning nut jobs.

As I'm scouting Pinterest right now for birthday cake ideas and gift bag ideas..
I realize just how crazy we have become.

I retired the sandwich and fruit cutters last year.. my kid handed out store bought valentine's this past Valentine's Day, and I have made a commitment to scale back the birthday party planning this year. I have scaled back on a lot.. constantly trying to achieve the "perfect" (insert anything here) was just becoming too big of a hassle. I couldn't do it anymore.

When did we start putting this much pressure on every little thing regarding our children?

Is it for the better, worse, or somewhere in between?
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
#3
Ok so, Pinterest is such a blessing and a curse.

It's turned us into crazy DIY, bento box, invitation, holiday, birthday, recipe, and party planning nut jobs.

As I'm scouting Pinterest right now for birthday cake ideas and gift bag ideas..
I realize just how crazy we have become.

I retired the sandwich and fruit cutters last year.. my kid handed out store bought valentine's this past Valentine's Day, and I have made a commitment to scale back the birthday party planning this year. I have scaled back on a lot.. constantly trying to achieve the "perfect" (insert anything here) was just becoming too big of a hassle. I couldn't do it anymore.

When did we start putting this much pressure on every little thing regarding our children?

Is it for the better, worse, or somewhere in between?
This is only true if you allow it to be personally i ignore most 'squirrel' based social media like FB Twitter, pinterest etc
 

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#4
This is only true if you allow it to be personally i ignore most 'squirrel' based social media like FB Twitter, pinterest etc
I can't completely ignore Pinterest, there are a lot of great recipes and projects. So in my opinion it's not totally bad.

I was using Pinterest as an example because of how addicting it is. But leaving Pinterest out of it all together, and all of that same stuff still exists. The Goals of pretty perfection from everything from a sandwich in a lunchbox, to a perfectly plated dinner, to homemade holiday gifts.
 

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#5
Pinterest can't do that to you unless you let it.

The phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" has been around a lot longer than Pinterest.

Is it about keeping up with Joneses? I think maybe some of it to an extent, the birthday parties.. but I don't think it's in the way that you're saying it, more because we want everything for our children to be this insane level of perfection now. Like it defines us as a parent. And everyone else is doing it lol.. so that's where the Joneses come in I guess.
..until we've had enough. Which is where I've been at for the better part of a year.
 

5thGenTexan

Well-Known Member
#6
I am a stay at home dad with a 8 year old and 6 year old. I complained just this past V-Day about the stuff my kids got at school. There were whole boxes of candy, and bags that were created at home for each kids. I told my kids when I was in school we got a simple card in a white envelope in our paper sack we wrote our name on. This was the first year my kids took something that had a piece of candy or something attached, store bought mind you. I make peanut butter and jelly one day and lunchmeat ham the next, repeat for lunches. Some days I am lazy and pull out the Lunchables. My kids don't have a full schedule of sports after school and on the weekends. We go home and they play outside... like digging in the dirt and petting the goats next door. One day I am going to let them go play in the woods. Maybe I am doing them a disservice, I don't know. But they are getting a lot of the 80s kid upbringing. :)
 

The Mom

Moderator
Premium Member
#7
I am a stay at home dad with a 8 year old and 6 year old. I complained just this past V-Day about the stuff my kids got at school. There were whole boxes of candy, and bags that were created at home for each kids. I told my kids when I was in school we got a simple card in a white envelope in our paper sack we wrote our name on. This was the first year my kids took something that had a piece of candy or something attached, store bought mind you. I make peanut butter and jelly one day and lunchmeat ham the next, repeat for lunches. Some days I am lazy and pull out the Lunchables. My kids don't have a full schedule of sports after school and on the weekends. We go home and they play outside... like digging in the dirt and petting the goats next door. One day I am going to let them go play in the woods. Maybe I am doing them a disservice, I don't know. But they are getting a lot of the 80s kid upbringing. :)
Your school ALLOWS peanut butter???!!!! Wow, your kids really are getting the pre-90s upbringing. ;)

My children are 10 years apart (1983 vs 1993) and the changes in school policies were dramatic. I also saw a change in the level of parental involvement (except for actually assisting in school itself) increase. It was obvious that Valentine boxes, science fair projects, etc were more parents and less student.

They also started demanding background checks & fingerprints in all schools when my son was already in HS - fortunately, there was little in school parental involvement at that point.
 

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#8
I am a stay at home dad with a 8 year old and 6 year old. I complained just this past V-Day about the stuff my kids got at school. There were whole boxes of candy, and bags that were created at home for each kids. I told my kids when I was in school we got a simple card in a white envelope in our paper sack we wrote our name on. This was the first year my kids took something that had a piece of candy or something attached, store bought mind you. I make peanut butter and jelly one day and lunchmeat ham the next, repeat for lunches. Some days I am lazy and pull out the Lunchables. My kids don't have a full schedule of sports after school and on the weekends. We go home and they play outside... like digging in the dirt and petting the goats next door. One day I am going to let them go play in the woods. Maybe I am doing them a disservice, I don't know. But they are getting a lot of the 80s kid upbringing. :)
I sent Minions cards with 3 pieces of candy in a little bag. We received everything from Shutterfly cards with the gift giver's photo..to bags with cute straws and homemade cookies, cookies cut in the first letter of the recipients name, complete with royal icing, to an adorable juice box robot- with candy making the arms and head. I didn't have the energy this year.lol

Your school ALLOWS peanut butter???!!!! Wow, your kids really are getting the pre-90s upbringing. ;)

My children are 10 years apart (1983 vs 1993) and the changes in school policies were dramatic. I also saw a change in the level of parental involvement (except for actually assisting in school itself) increase. It was obvious that Valentine boxes, science fair projects, etc were more parents and less student.

They also started demanding background checks & fingerprints in all schools when my son was already in HS - fortunately, there was little in school parental involvement at that point.
I was determined to have my kiddo do (mostly) his own Valentines Box this year..and in a reasonable time frame. He wanted to do Minions valentines, Michael's was having a sale on them, came up with a quick easy idea, and bought 2 boxes of cards. We cut out the Minions from the valentines, painted a tissue box, and then glued the Minions all over the box. It was obviously kid made, but it was cute. When I looked at their photos on FB I noticed a lot of very elaborate Martha Stuart looking ones.. no judgement against those parents, but for the first time- I didn't feel guilty. I felt relieved that I didn't spend several hours working on something.

I don't know if this is going to get better or worse as the years go on. I'm hoping as the kids grow then the parental "going all out" will become fewer and farther between.

We just attended a Super Hero birthday party where all of the kids received Batman masks and capes with a batman symbol and the child's name sewn on. The Mom made it all herself with supplies from hobby lobby.
My kid's birthday party is next weekend.. last year I ordered photo invitations from etsy with his face in Kylo Ren's face..it was adorable, and I've done something similar every year, but this year- I sent out email invitations.lol. I can't justify the expense of a birthday invitation now. It's just become silly to me.
I haven't decided on our gift bags for the attendees yet, but I know they won't be anything like the batman capes and masks...or even anything homemade. I have boxes of Martha Stuart cutouts and supplies from Michael's and Hobby Lobby..they've been collecting dust on a shelf.

I don't know if it's normal to be burnt out by Year 7.lol
 

Angel Ariel

Well-Known Member
#9
Pinterest can't do that to you unless you let it.

The phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" has been around a lot longer than Pinterest.
I agree, but it does feel difficult at times. DD is in a public preschool, and I definitely felt the pressure come Valentine's Day. When I was little, we just got store bought Valentine's Day cards and put them in little boxes/envelopes we made ourselves...the card was enough. But even in her preschool, pretty much everyone sent something in with the card. In some cases it was just one fun size piece of candy, in others it was a bagful of little goodies...but everyone had something. We'd just been planning on sending in her Star Wars valentine cards until I remembered that she got a lot of little baggies of treats last year from almost everyone too. I don't want her to stick out, but also was not going to spend a lot of money, so I ended up getting a container of glow sticks and attaching one to each card (easy light sabers)...under $10 to cover everyone, but still something. The pressure wasn't Pinterest, though, or wanting everything to be perfect for DD...it was knowing what other parents were going to do and not wanting DD to stand out in a negative way.

I don't mind Pinterest (I use it quite a lot). I know I go over the top with DD's cake for her birthday every year, but that's because I *enjoy* decorating cakes and learning how to use fondant/gum paste/etc - it's fun for me, and it's the only time of year I do it. So if another parent's fun is hand making cute favors, they should enjoy that too...but it really should be because they enjoy doing it, not because anyone feels like they "have" to. (And, IMO, birthday parties are different than things like Valentine's Day at school...I don't feel any kind of pressure to have the same type of birthday party for DD as some other family's party...we'll do what works for us. But group moments like Valentine's Day at school, where a child can stand out (possibly negatively), are different for me...those are harder to take just a "we'll do what works for us" approach.
 

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#10
I agree, but it does feel difficult at times. DD is in a public preschool, and I definitely felt the pressure come Valentine's Day. When I was little, we just got store bought Valentine's Day cards and put them in little boxes/envelopes we made ourselves...the card was enough. But even in her preschool, pretty much everyone sent something in with the card. In some cases it was just one fun size piece of candy, in others it was a bagful of little goodies...but everyone had something. We'd just been planning on sending in her Star Wars valentine cards until I remembered that she got a lot of little baggies of treats last year from almost everyone too. I don't want her to stick out, but also was not going to spend a lot of money, so I ended up getting a container of glow sticks and attaching one to each card (easy light sabers)...under $10 to cover everyone, but still something. The pressure wasn't Pinterest, though, or wanting everything to be perfect for DD...it was knowing what other parents were going to do and not wanting DD to stand out in a negative way.

I don't mind Pinterest (I use it quite a lot). I know I go over the top with DD's cake for her birthday every year, but that's because I *enjoy* decorating cakes and learning how to use fondant/gum paste/etc - it's fun for me, and it's the only time of year I do it. So if another parent's fun is hand making cute favors, they should enjoy that too...but it really should be because they enjoy doing it, not because anyone feels like they "have" to. (And, IMO, birthday parties are different than things like Valentine's Day at school...I don't feel any kind of pressure to have the same type of birthday party for DD as some other family's party...we'll do what works for us. But group moments like Valentine's Day at school, where a child can stand out (possibly negatively), are different for me...those are harder to take just a "we'll do what works for us" approach.
You said it better than I did. I'm one of the very few mom's who work outside of the home in my son's class, I didn't want him to feel left out or something because all of the other kids had elaborate homemade (insert whatever here). So for the past several years I've spent countless nights staying up late baking or creating something. I don't know if that's really "keeping up with the Joneses" or if it's just wanting your child to not feel different from their classmates.

I used Pinterest as an example just because it's existence makes it easier for us to plan and come up with ideas.. it's a blessing and a curse imo. There are a ton of wonderful things on Pinterest, from recipes to fun homemade science projects.
Maybe it's just me, but even at our Cub Scout Banquet this past Sunday, we employed Pinterest to help for decorations, and always declare things- "Pinterest ready." You can do all of the same things without Pinterest though.



The birthday parties are crazy to me. The amount of money that we all spend on birthday parties now is absolutely mind boggling, to me..and like I said.. I'm just heading into year 7, so it hasn't even been that long.lol.
We didn't rent out venue's to host birthday parties when I was a kid. We had them at my parent's house, a park, or our swim club. Granted most of the venues didn't exist back then.

The fondant, gum paste etc.. I tried, I gave it my best. I took cake decorating classes., I baked quite often....sometimes it didn't come out how I had sketched it.lol. I prefer cupcakes to cakes now.
My mom was amazing at baking and decorating, and always made awesome themed cakes for us. I thought I would do the same.. And I did for the first several, then last year I just ordered a Star Wars cake from a cake shop, and then made Stormtrooper cupcakes myself. This year- I don't think I'm going to bake at all for the party.

I just feel like society is so weird for women right now. Back when I was a child, most women were SAHMs, my mother was..then more mom's starting having careers, and then in the past few years women are expected to have a successful career AND do all of the same things that our mother's did, but multiplied by 3000.lol

Being a mother is strange in this day and age.
We are definitely expected to "Do it All".
 

5thGenTexan

Well-Known Member
#11
Your school ALLOWS peanut butter???!!!! Wow, your kids really are getting the pre-90s upbringing. ;)

My children are 10 years apart (1983 vs 1993) and the changes in school policies were dramatic. I also saw a change in the level of parental involvement (except for actually assisting in school itself) increase. It was obvious that Valentine boxes, science fair projects, etc were more parents and less student.

They also started demanding background checks & fingerprints in all schools when my son was already in HS - fortunately, there was little in school parental involvement at that point.

We live out in the country near a town of less than 5000 people. Peanut butter is okey dokey out here. There have been a few tragedies with student deaths, parent/staff deaths, etc and the school openly asks for prayers for the families. I have seen teachers wearing shirts from their church as well as shirts with Jesus on the front. Just in the past couple of years have they required the doors be locked and we are buzzed in. Once I get inside they know who am I and call the kids up if I need to take them out for an appt. So yeah, its different out in the country. :)
 

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#12
Another Valentine’s Day, and I just need to reiterate-

I HATE PINTEREST.


I have a new found hatred for marshmallows and glitter. I was up til after 3am finishing our ‘simple’ valentines.
Moms who go all out for school parties- more power to you, I need a little sleep.
 

gsam4ever

Well-Known Member
#13
Ok so, Pinterest is such a blessing and a curse.

It's turned us into crazy DIY, bento box, invitation, holiday, birthday, recipe, and party planning nut jobs.

As I'm scouting Pinterest right now for birthday cake ideas and gift bag ideas..
I realize just how crazy we have become.

I retired the sandwich and fruit cutters last year.. my kid handed out store bought valentine's this past Valentine's Day, and I have made a commitment to scale back the birthday party planning this year. I have scaled back on a lot.. constantly trying to achieve the "perfect" (insert anything here) was just becoming too big of a hassle. I couldn't do it anymore.

When did we start putting this much pressure on every little thing regarding our children?

Is it for the better, worse, or somewhere in between?
Pretty sure it's you.
 

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#15
You need a few more kids. That will cure it really fast.
That’s the worst part.. I’m burnt out with 1. The juice box robot/car, elaborate cookie moms all have like 2-5 kids, which makes me feel worse.

I’m lucky my 1 child got to school on time with the correct number of valentines.
 
#16
I am very blessed to have been brought up with easy going parents. There's nothing I love more than making a decision myself. My parents had a system where they would offer me advice, and it was up to me to make those decisions. If I made the wrong one, they let me but afterwards they would give constructive criticism. They set up a great foundation for me to be independent yet safe and I am forever thankful to and for them!

Edit: one thing I have to add though is an observation of mine: since every kid is different, you can't cut and paste parenting styles.
 

The Mom

Moderator
Premium Member
#17
Maybe you should ask yourself, "What is the worst that can happen if I refuse to play the Mommy one upmanship game?" You know your child's situation better than anyone. Some kids don't even notice what others have. Others feel very self-conscious about the tiniest difference. Some classrooms have that one "Super Mom" who the others roll their eyes at, while others seem to be filled with them.
 

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#19
Maybe you should ask yourself, "What is the worst that can happen if I refuse to play the Mommy one upmanship game?" You know your child's situation better than anyone. Some kids don't even notice what others have. Others feel very self-conscious about the tiniest difference. Some classrooms have that one "Super Mom" who the others roll their eyes at, while others seem to be filled with them.
I’m not even playing 1upmanship..I’m just trying to stay in the game.lol

Your comment is the point of my thread, I think there always used to be “that one Mom”, but today, it’s like every mom is expected to be her.

We’re supposed to do all of this diy/homemade/clever stuff, we’re supposed to volunteer on a regular basis, we’re supposed to be super involved with our kids (not that this has changed), we’re supposed to run our 5k, 10k, half, full marathons, we’re supposed to meal prep every Sunday, go to the gym every morning, our kids are supposed to be involved in a multitude of activities, AND have a career.

Why and how did women decide to bring so much pressure on ourselves? When did the bar raise so high?

Yes, part of joining in the madness is so we’re not the One Mom who doesn’t do the above..
And the other part is for our kids, so they’re not the ‘one kid’ who stands out in a negative way because their mom is different.

Am I the only one here who feels this way?
 
#20
I’m not even playing 1upmanship..I’m just trying to stay in the game.lol

Your comment is the point of my thread, I think there always used to be “that one Mom”, but today, it’s like every mom is expected to be her.

We’re supposed to do all of this diy/homemade/clever stuff, we’re supposed to volunteer on a regular basis, we’re supposed to be super involved with our kids (not that this has changed), we’re supposed to run our 5k, 10k, half, full marathons, we’re supposed to meal prep every Sunday, go to the gym every morning, our kids are supposed to be involved in a multitude of activities, AND have a career.

Why and how did women decide to bring so much pressure on ourselves? When did the bar raise so high?

Yes, part of joining in the madness is so we’re not the One Mom who doesn’t do the above..
And the other part is for our kids, so they’re not the ‘one kid’ who stands out in a negative way because their mom is different.
I've always preferred to have some relaxed quality time with my kids rather than spend time engaging in the mommy wars. It's a choice you make.