Embracing Imperfection in the Age of Pinterest

It’s a common refrain in the age of Pinterest: women, especially moms, are expected to do it all. A great career, smart and happy kids, spotless and stylish house, crafts galore, rocking body, perfect marriage, etc. This kind of thing has always been perpetuated in magazines but I think it’s harder to ignore on the internet because behind all those blog posts and genius pins are real women and if I can do it then you should be able to do it too, right? In fact if you’re not churning out five blog posts a week about your adorable family and all your crafty projects and the gourmet dinner you cooked for your über-successful husband last night you might just be sucking at life.

As someone who is the creator behind quite a few inspiring pins let me be honest: I’m not doing it. I don’t have it all. I’m pretty honest about that on my personal blog and in real life but most of my projects don’t go as planned, I barely maintain a basic level of home cleanliness, my personal hygiene leaves something to be desired, and I could stand to lose a few pounds. I am so very lucky to have a wonderful husband and an amazing son and at the same time our family is far from “perfect.” I question whether I’m a good mother, whether I nag Nick too much, why some folks don’t like me. I struggle with depression and in fact just recently started taking an anti-depressant again (it’s working!). The reason I enjoy crafts and DIY so much is not only because I’m cheap or I want to show off on my blog, but because it’s seriously, seriously good for my mental health.

I enjoy making things the way some folks enjoy running (bleh!). I feel the same way about writing, which makes blogging about crafts and DIY projects a pretty perfect hobby for me. I’m not sure I would enjoy being a mostly stay at home mom as much without it. Nick’s not perfect either, but it’s not my place to share his flaws with the masses. And as for Jack, it’s not easy being a toddler and some days are better than others. Sometimes he’s clingy and demanding and cries for no reason and sometimes he gives me the sweetest smiles and cuddles and cracks me up with his silly self. It’s all so worth it but so, so hard sometimes. So don’t beat yourself up, because we’re all fighting some sort of battle. But do try to find something that makes you as happy as creating and blogging make me. Maybe that’s exercise, maybe it’s chocolate. Maybe it’s reality TV. Maybe it’s spending time outside or having a glass of wine with a good friend or keeping your home impeccably clean. It doesn’t have to be pin-worthy. It just has to make you happy.

Charlotte is mom to two-year-old Jack and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She works part time, sells vintage wares on Etsy, and also maintains a personal blog, Living Well on the Cheap, where she writes about creating a full, rich life and a beautiful home without living beyond her means. Decorating, blogging, and thrifting were the creative outlets that helped her cope with the emotional demands of her career as a social worker, and they still serve her well now that she spends most of her time caring for her son. She and her husband, Nick, both grew up in the suburbs of New Orleans, but met at LSU in 2006 and never had the heart to leave Baton Rouge. She is happy to call the Red Stick home and loves connecting with other moms.

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