In the city where I live, most people appear to have a perfect life. When you drive down our street, you see organized garages and meticulously manicured yards. When neighbors invite me in, their houses look pristine. Many of my friends work or have side hustles, cook amazing meals from scratch every day, keep their house clean, and make DIY crafts with their kids. (At least this is how they seem to me).

This is not at all the reality of my life!

A pastor’s wife confession

Here’s another pastor’s wife confession… I don’t always have my crap together! My kids eat way too much cereal, mac and cheese, and corn dogs, I often panic clean while whining at my family about being raised in a barn, and once a year, we clean out the garage when it is getting hard to fit our cars in there. I can’t keep a houseplant alive, and I don’t know how to clean my oven. (This is a new realization, so I will watch some videos and figure it out. Stay tuned)

This is a dying plant. The ability to keep plants alive has nothing to do with how to be a good mom.
This was given to me two weeks ago. That’s how it should look, right?

But guess what…It’s okay to not be Pinterest Perfect

In my early mom years, I really struggled because I was nothing like the Pinterest moms or the moms I later saw on Instagram. When it came to cleaning the house and cooking, I didn’t have that “gift.” The feeling that I didn’t measure up was often overwhelming.

I didn’t make my kids’ lunch look like farm animals and plan daily art projects. Not that I didn’t make attempts, they would more likely show up in a “Pinterest Fail” post somewhere. We literally played in the dirt in the back yard, and my kids loved to eat frozen peas, string cheese, and grapes (which I cut into forths… I’m pretty proud of that).

Everything in me desired to be a perfect, crafty mom, but it didn’t come naturally. I spent much of my time in survival mode, feeling like a failure… like I should be doing those things. I wanted to do those things. Then when I attempted to do those crafty things, my house was a mess, and I was a grump. Have you seen what playdough can do to a kitchen?

Child getting ready to eat cinnamon toast with sprinkles and a candle in it from a non-Pinteresty good mom.
Birthday Cinnamon Toast… Nailed it!

God doesn’t care if I am crafty and have a spotless house

As a pastor’s wife, I know that God doesn’t require me to be a Pinterest mom. I know this! The Bible doesn’t tell me that I need to throw the best parties and make sure that my kids’ Valentine boxes are the best in the class. No… He wants me to teach my kids to love Him and to love their neighbor. That should be my focus… pointing my children to Jesus. This seems so simple, and yet, I still struggle. I’m a freaking pastor’s wife, and I still struggle with this concept.

Why do we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others? God has given us each different gifts and talents. It makes sense that we would parent differently as well.

Psychology doesn’t tell me to be Pinterest perfect either

According to Psychology Today, what kids really need from their parents is to feel safe, seen, and soothed. Luckily for me and every other domestically challenged mom out there, not one of these things require me to be Pinterest perfect. In fact, I can suck at most things and still give my kids what they need. This is great news! Even psychology says I don’t need to be a Pinterest mom!

Real life Pinterest moms might exist and that’s okay

I do know several Pinteresty moms who are just as I imagine the perfect Pinterest mom to be. They are the real deal. I am in awe of how they can homeschool, work a day job or run a business (sometimes both), cook fresh meals every day, keep their house clean, and still have fun with their kids. But if you ask them, they don’t feel like they have everything figured out either. They, too, have their moments when they struggle with knowing how to be a good mom.

Pinterest is not the standard…You are not a failure

Just because your house isn’t always clean and you’re not making healthy meals from scratch for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, it does not mean that you are a failure. The world we see on the internet has made us believe that we need to live a standard that many of us can not possibly measure up to. Here are some things you can do to change your perspective on this and stop feeling like you are failing your family.

Come up with different criteria of what it means to be a good mom

First, come up with different ways to judge how you are doing. If God wants me to teach them to love him and love others, and psychology tells me that they need to feel safe, seen, and soothed… what does that look like? For me, enjoying quality time with my kids and focusing on the relationships feels like a win. Seeing my kids make good choices on their own is a win. Playing play dough and laughing all day is better than having a spotless house. So much learning can occur through play. The days I feel like I’m succeeding are the days that there is peace and love felt in my home.

That sounds easy, right!?

Nope!

It’s too hard for me to be a good mom and have have fun in a messy house

When my house is messy, I can’t function. All I can think about is the messy house and how much I suck as a housekeeper. It paralyzes me. This seriously feels like a curse sometimes. I can’t function in a mess, but housekeeping has never come naturally to me. Sometimes, I can’t figure out where to start to fix it. It’s overwhelming… and then I feel more like a failure.

While I have gotten better at this over the years, I still have my moments. To remedy this, there are two options that I can see. Either learn to be okay with a messy house or develop a system to keep the house clean. I chose the latter. I have daily chores, and we do a 10-minute cleanup at night. It wasn’t a quick fix, but over time it helped tremendously.

Most importantly, stop the pity party and put the focus on what you can change. It’s amazing how much better you can function in life when you don’t obsess over what you are doing poorly but focus on smaller actionable steps. Only then can you come up with steps to grow in your weaker areas.

Ask for help

In my early years of motherhood, I stayed home and treated all of the house stuff as my full-time job. The problem was keeping up with it all with two young kids. My boys were very active and would destroy the house all day. I’d make dinner with one kid on my hip and the other holding onto my leg and crying. Consequently, by the time they went to sleep, I was exhausted and just wanted to veg out and watch a show on Netflix. My frustration would be targeted at my husband for not doing more around the house.

The problem was… I never said anything to him about needing him to do more until I was so frustrated that I blew up! As you might guess, this method is not well received.

Communication is critical. I have the most loving, gracious, generous husband. All I needed to do was inform him of the stress that it caused, and he was happy to do more things around the house. He doesn’t feel the anxiety that I feel when the house is messy and cluttered. Instead of being grumpy and resentful all the time, I had to ask for a change.

I know that everyone doesn’t have this same situation with a helpful partner, but reach out to someone. Share your concerns and frustrations. One of the best gifts I ever received was when friends went in together and hired someone to clean my house for me. They didn’t tell me they were doing it so I wouldn’t feel pressure to clean my house ahead of time. It was WONDERFUL!

Learn from others

A woman teaching another woman how to make cut out cookies.

My mom worked several jobs starting from the time I was ten years old. Although I know she would have loved to teach me things, she didn’t have the time. As an adult, I have sought out people who know how to do things that I want to learn. I have learned to sew, quilt, cook meals, and bake from others, and hopefully, this year, I will learn to keep plants alive.

The fun thing about learning from others is that not only did I learn new skills, I also soaked in their wisdom about life. I have gleaned knowledge from so many amazing people over the years in every city we have lived in, and I will forever be grateful that they took the time to teach me and invest in me.

Seek out those people. You will be blessed in more ways that you know.

Hire it out if you can

Successful leaders don’t do everything on their own. They delegate tasks that they are not good at to others who are. Why do we as women always feel like we have to do everything on our own? If I could afford it, I would hire out all of the tasks that I dislike… like deep cleaning. Until then, I need to use the free labor I have and learn to be okay with the results.

Figure out what is causing the most stress

Bedtime has historically been the most stressful time for me. If the house is a mess, I can’t focus. My husband started taking over the bedtime routine so that I could clean the kitchen. You guys… this was HUGE! It gave me a chance to clean without two toddlers crying and holding on to my legs and gave him bonding time with the kids. As the kids got older, we instituted the Ten-minute cleanup. That little trick was life-changing! Well… as long as we actually stick to it.

Make one change at a time

Don’t try to do everything all at once. You would be amazed at how much you can change over a long period of time. Maybe make one small change a month. In a year, you will have 12 things that are running more smoothly.

Remember what is important

Everything goes back to the relationships for me. I want my kids to know they are loved, safe, and accepted. Gaining life skills to make a difference in the world is more important than having a crafty mom. I want them to understand how God loves them so that they will show that love to others. This is a slow process called parenting. We will have so many failures and “teachable moments” along the way, but ultimately… This is my number one goal… Not the clean house, not the crafty decorations, but this!

Be encouraged, momma. You don’t need to be Pinteresty to be a good mom. Spend time with your kids, love them, teach them, but do it in a way that works for you.

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58 Comments

  1. I loved this! I am not a Pinterest mom. I feel just like you and have days where I am just happy to have done one small thing (like all the toys are actually picked up). I related to this so much.

    • Yes, Sarah! That is a total win! We are not alone… there are SO MANY of us out there! lol

  2. Love your post! I try to be a Pinteresty mom myself, and most times I fail miserably. Lol!

  3. In my school, the most popular snacks at school weren’t the Pinteresty ones, but just the simple things like bags of crisps, because that was a lot and we preferred that haha. It looking good, especially to kids, is overrated. If it’s just a lot of food that tastes good, we were happy!

    • Thank you for this! It’s good to hear that my kids were probably happier with their lunch then all the kids who have moms who go all out on the healthy stuff. lol

  4. Yeah, I have no interest in being a Pinterest mom. I think it can also set up your kids with unrealistic expectations. The truth is…we all have the same number of hours in the day and if someone seems to be knocking it out of the park in one area, you better believe that balls are dropping elsewhere. No disrespect to any mom who tries but it seems like you have your priorities straight. Great post.

    • Great point. That is so important to remember. Parenting is hard no matter how Pinteresty you are.

  5. I love this post so much. We put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and it shouldn’t be that way. Great tips for getting stuff done and not feeling guilty for the stuff you still have left to do!

  6. Great post and you have given excellent tips. We all try our best as moms and indeed it is very difficult sometimes. I totally agree with Psychology Today that kids need to feel safe, seen, and soothed at home, and that is what matters the most

    • Yes! And that has nothing to do with how crafty I am or how perfect my house looks. It is so freeing!

  7. You know I loooved this post! I could relate to all of it except that I am a very crafty mom. But I struggle with all of the same things. I bet most people who seem to be “Pinteresty moms” are just better at hiding the struggles! It’s so freeing to be open and talk about this. No comparing ourselves to unrealistic photos, they are all so staged. Kids that are loved have all they need. Big hug!

    • It’s true… even the “Pinteresty moms” I know struggle. Parenting and “doing all the things” is so hard. It’s important to keep a proper perspective. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  8. It’s funny because before we adopted our kids I had all of these Pinterest boards created for all of the wonderful things I was going to do with them. In reality, not much of that has happened. I’ve learned that just because I don’t Instagram everything or do a gazillion Pinterest projects with them, I’m still a pretty decent mom.

    • Oh… I had so many plans of all the things I was going to do and the things I would NEVER do. Lol. Reality is much different when you actually have kids.

  9. Carrie … I love you! I am not a mother and not likely to be, but I absolutely love your message here and how you share it so entertainingly. I laughed out loud more than once while reading – you’ve done a wonderful job of getting across a serious message with humour. If you were willing, I’d be delighted to feature you in Daily Inspired Life – I feel this message is important and you have a beautiful way of telling your story.

  10. This is such a thoughtful post! I’m not a mom yet, but I will share this with my sisters who are! I’m sure they can relate to the feeling!

  11. I reallt enjoyed reading this post. Social media has a lot to answer for when it comes to making someone’s life seem perfect. As long as everyone is happy and healthy, that is all that matters. I do agree communication is key though.

  12. This is fantastic and it really speaks to me because I am not Pinteresty at all!

  13. I love how transparent you are!!! This was an amazing post and every mom could learn from this as well.

  14. It’s funny how everyone is different , yet struggling to do the same thing – be a great mom! And it’s amazing that kids will get the best mom, regardless of you’re Pinterest perfect! I once famously got the “at least you tried mom” expression. But in the end everyone was happy! Thanks for sharing your great tips on making it through not being Pinterest perfect!

    • Haha! I love the “At least you tried mom” expression. As my kids get older, it’s become more of a cringy look. lol

  15. I admit I often fall heavily into wanting to be a Pinterest mom. In particular, I am highly drawn to the pleasing aesthetic of being super organized and visually on point. However, in reality, I usually AIN’T ONE! And this is such a true post. The reality is that even Pinterest Moms aren’t really Pinterest Moms…at least not all the time! It’s not too hard to get something looking great for a picture, but that doesn’t mean it’s all-day-every-day real life for those posters either.

    I love how you point out that if you DO want to get things a little more “Pinteresty” you should incorporate one change at a time. This is so true. I have often been hit with a wave of inspiration to get things together, and do so much at once that I set myself up for failure right off the bat. Changing only one thing at a time (like incorporating a lovely organizational whiteboard in my kitchen) will help me incorporate that change into my daily habits and make it truly a part of the way I do things, before I add something else to the mix and flop on them all. Great post!

    • Yes! Even the people I perceive to be Pinterest moms don’t have it all together. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be that way… because I totally do! Thank you for your comment!

  16. What a wonderful read! Although I like to be crafty and bake and things, I would not consider myself a Pinterest mom. I want to be, but I’m not and that’s okay. I try my best, my kids know they are loved and are turning into wonderful human beings, so at the end of the day, that’s what matters most!

  17. Girl this spoke to me in my SOUL! I will never be that perfect mom with the perfect art projects for my kids or animal shaped food! I love my kids and do the best I can and thats any of us really can do!!!

  18. It’s so hard not to compare to others curated lifestyles! But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if you have a Pinterest perfect life!

  19. Thank you for sharing this article and your amazing tips. It’s so good to read about the real experiences of real moms who are not picture perfect and doing their best and being great – most importantly, present – moms to their kids.

  20. This is an amazing post! I’m not even close to being a Pinterest mom and honestly, it seems exhausting. I need to take inventory and figure out what causes me the most stress. I also love the suggestion of making one change at a time. I feel like I overwhelm myself with too many changes at a time.

    • Me too… when I try to change too many things at once, I get overwhelmed and quit.

  21. I can definitely relate to a crying toddler every time I cook and hating the bedtime routine that takes my kids forever to fall asleep. I’ll have to try and implete the 10 minute clean up time each night. That’s great!

  22. This is a great post! I’m not “Pinteresty” either and don’t have a clue as to how to clean my oven either. But you’re right, God doesn’t care.

  23. I haven’t heard the term ‘Pinterest Mom’ in a while ? There’s no requirement to be that type of person and for sure there’s no way they do it ALL. I’m a semi-Pinteresty mom but it’s a balance between doing pretty things some days, cleaning it up the following days, and then not doing anything for a few days after ?

    • Haha! Yes. Usually, when I’m “creative,” my house is a disaster, and then I’m recovering for a week! Where I live is filled with moms who appear perfect and do everything… all the time. The bar is very high in Utah and not many show their flaws.

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