It happened around the time that “Frozen” came out in the theaters. Anna and Elsa were all over Pinterest – cupcakes, nail art, printable coloring pages. I mean, Pinterest has been making me feel like an inadequate mom for a few years now, but something about the recent wave of free Disney marketing at its finest finally pushed me over the edge. I didn’t have kids so that I could become a cruise director, I had kids so they could do all of the little annoying things that I was too busy to do (“Go get Mommy her fuzzy socks, she doesn’t want to spill her wine!”)
I was so tired of trying to one-up myself. And I was tired of trying to two-up the other Pin-happy moms on Facebook or Instagram. I would spend hours trying to get each craft project right (ignoring the fact that the project was initially meant for a 3-year-old) and then take another hour meticulously styling a photo shoot to capture my perfect homemade Disney-themed snowglobe. My kids would be spending these hours by actually playing autonomously and independently, something that comes as second nature to children.
I think back to my childhood and I can’t remember my mom hunched over the kitchen counter, swearing under her breath that Elsa’s hair just isn’t right. My room was never decorated like an interior design magazine. My clothing was never home-made boutique ruffle pants with coordinating peasant tops. I played with cardboard moving boxes, wore clothing that was at least 10 years old, and let my mom cook dinner in entirety without complaining to her that I was so booooooooored. There’s a bit of bias in this next statement but generally it’s true: I turned out just fine.
Obviously I’m not alone in feeling like I might be doing too much to entertain my kids, which – as parents well know – is mostly a thankless job. Author Bunmi Laditan blogged over at Huffington Post about her feelings on the topic. There’s a recent backlash of parents who are just too tired to create a Frozen-themed cornhole set out of actual princess dresses from the 18th century. We are all learning that there’s so much more to encouraging our children’s creativity, autonomy, and independence aside from constantly checking off projects from your Pinterest board titled “THE KIDS WILL LOVE THIS!”