Pinterest: a busy Mom’s creative inspiration or worst nightmare? You decide.

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“Do you Pin?”

I remember the first time I delved into Pinterest.  My sisters were telling me how fabulously addictive Pinterest was and that I must try it.  I was skeptical to say the least: ”You ‘pin’ pictures onto virtual bulletin boards?  Sounds dumb.”  I agreed to open an account for our Web Series (Greater Boston Gala Girls) as I thought I could pin recipes and party pictures.  Plus, I thought, I can be crafty when I want to (my Nerd-nickname is “Knitty McNeedles” if that tells you anything) so perhaps I could get some great ideas to do with the kids.

Before I began, though, my sister Jocelyn gave me this warning:

“Be very careful with Pinterest.  You may find yourself in a craft store with bolts of felt in your arm and a giddy feeling in your head.  You’ll wonder ‘why am I here?’ and then you’ll remember the handcrafted flower banister wrap that looks and sounds so easy and so handmade! And then you’ll stare at those bolts of felt for months, with a guilty conscience and a chip on your shoulder… 

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘Crafts are not easy.  Selling them is.’”

Of course I thought that she was being melodramatic, so I dipped a toe in the water one evening when the kids went to bed.  When I looked up from my laptop, bleary eyed and jittery, it was 1:15 am.  On a Thursday.

Put simply, the Pinterest novice can lose hours, DAYS even, in their first few sessions.  You’ll have grandiose visions of planning “EASY!” nightly meals involving salad dressing packets and crockpots that look so delicious and healthy.  This will of course save you the time to create a crafting station where you and the kids will make Dream Catchers from twigs and feathers and a Paper Mache Solar System to hang above the kitchen table.  And you swear you will get there.

Inevitably, there’s a birthday party and a soccer practice carpool and you can’t get the ingredients for that crockpot Beef Wellington so instead you decide on pasta for dinner again.  Then you’re waylaid on the trip to AC Moore to get the glue gun because your 3-year old has to go potty and the thought of bringing him to the restroom at the “Arts and Craps” Store (see what I did there?) is too much to bear and before you know it, you’ve ordered “Finding Nemo” on demand for the 15th time in a week and that’s their activity instead.

My friends, I’ve been there.  Don’t beat yourselves up.

If you need to quench that Pinterest thirst with an easy to accomplish activity, try this one.  I found it on Pinterest and even tried to involve the kids (they couldn’t have cared less) but who knows, maybe your children will dig it:

When you’re finished using a bunch of scallions, don’t throw away the white ends with the bulb and roots.  Put them in a small glass of water like this:

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Within a few weeks, they regenerate and look like this:

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Voila!  The way I look at it, I saved a couple of bucks, taught the kids about growing vegetables (sort of) and saw a Pinterest project from beginning to end.  I mean, it’s no flower banister wrap but a busy mom knows her limitations.

Just ask Eleanor Roosevelt.

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