Parenting Pinterest Fails

We’ve established my love/hate relationship with the pin-filled social time suck, right? I hate the standards it sets in my head for how my life is supposed to look and operate, but I still find myself losing hours each week scouring the site for a pinned image of my perfect mantle...or the best dinner ever, or a DIY project that will save us thousands of dollars. How often does one of these things happen? That’s beside the point. I can, at least, pretend to plan to be productive.

When it comes to my kids, Pinterest has come in handy to cure the inevitable boredom that they’ll experience with a working from home mom. Most of the time, these projects fail miserably in the fact that they create more work for me when I have to dismantle whatever disaster it’s caused. Here’s our top three (so far):

1. Bath tub paint We tried out the bath tub paint Pinterest recipe on a rainy day when I wanted to punch Muno in the face if he sang another high pitched song about biting his friends (If you don’t know who that is, you are a lucky SOB). I had managed to twice keep HJ from rubbing finger paint on my white kitchen walls and B was FINALLY asleep for one hour of silence. So I pulled out this genius idea and mixed up a batch of blue and a batch of yellow. I took the already naked toddler (don’t ask) to the tub. Things were going well and I felt like Mom of the Year when the bowl of blue goo fell into the tub. It immediately turned the water into something you see at an outdated water ride at World’s of Fun (if you’ve been there, you know how scary that S is). HJ, of course, lost it. You’d have thought the water turned to boiling lava and she jumped out and into my arms in .3 seconds. In the process, my bathroom floor, rug, wall, pants and shirt were blue. It came only kind of clean.

2. Beans sensory activity I guess some people have those kind of children who color inside the lines and keep paint on the paper during craft time. I don’t know because I’ve yet to meet such people. I guessing that these people were also the ones who came up with the bean sensory activity. One day, I found that I had a random bag of beans in my pantry and thought “What the hell?”. So I set up this magical sensory play activity complete with bowls, measuring cups and spoons. Ha. That was one of the worst ideas ever. Within five seconds of setting down the tub of beans, HJ skipped right over all of the utensils I got out and instead dumped the entire thing on my kitchen floor. She then jumped in the bean pile and frantically swiped her hands around to see how far she could scatter them. Super duper. That was a month ago and I’m STILL finding those stupid beans hiding in various crevices of our house.

After she cleaned up a fraction of the mess

After she cleaned up a fraction of the mess by Megan Spreer

3. Kool-Aid Playdough You know what’s NOT a good idea? Giving a child who already eats regular playdough new playdough that smells like something delicious. We did the Kool-Aid Playdough activity with our Parents as Teachers educator (which is a fantastic program if you’ve never heard of it). I was excited because I had wanted to try this recipe because duh, it has Kool-Aid in it. Our PAT educator even brought the mystery Kool-Aid packet where you don’t know what color you’re going to get until water hits it. Pure awesome. You know what wasn’t awesome? The fact that half of that playdough is now gone because it smelled so good that HJ made it her lunch the next day. Thank goodness it’s non-toxic.

Now that it’s getting cold outside, I’m sure this list will continue to grow. I’ll be sure to dazzle you with the results over on the Larryville Mom Facebook and Twitter.

Tagged: pinterest, parenting


lawrence9 4 years, 8 months ago

Honestly, this seems a little crass for a parenting blog. (Not to mention classless.) ..."I wanted to punch Muno in the face if he sang another high pitched song about biting his friends (If you don’t know who that is, you are a lucky SOB)" And while I "get" that it's meant to be light-hearted, and I do -- I'd like to point out that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Perhaps instead of talking about wanting to punch a fictional character in the face, better phrasing can be chosen. As a survivor of domestic violence, I found this to be a little jarring. I'd expect better oversight from the J-W and LMH.

abeautifulmorning 4 years, 8 months ago

lawrence 9 I think that you are kind of missing the point of this entry and the blog in general. If you read the other entries by larryville mom there is common theme and that theme is honesty. She is honest and open in a way that most parents are afraid to be. Most parents want to tell others that every pinterest sensory activity that they try worked perfectly and little Elle organized the beans perfectly and kept the area clean, because people in society in general are afraid to admit their imperfections. Not only is larryville mom not afraid to be honest about her not so perfect daily happenings she enmbraces those imperfections and shares them with others. As far as Muno is concerned that is a fictional character, it is not as if she said "when my daughter was playing with her friend Timmy and he would not stop singing the fox song I wanted to punch him in the face." Asking her to change her writing style is like asking her to change her parenting style and her personality. While I am sorry to hear about that you were a victim of domestic violence and wish you all of the best in your continued fight as a survivor, I think it is extremely far-reaching and unfair to tie this blog about punching a fictional character in the face to domestic violence (if you have kids you know it is unlikely she had to watch the episode once but rather 100 times and in front her child i am sure she smiled and sang along, but in her blog I am sure that she took that as an opportunity to express a common frustration that so many parents can relate to) Not everyone is going to like her writing style, but again not every parent ilkes honesty they prefer to pretend like their days goes perfectly every day from the smooth baby feedings, to the crafts, to loving watching Dora 500 times, to a happy husband coming home to a prepared meal, that ends with everyone singing kumbaya as they all happily go to bed. So rather than put down a parent who is just trying to creatively, humorously, and sarcastically examine the everyday issues that parents face today, I think you should respect the fact that she is honest and thoughtful and not afraid to be the parent that makes other parents feel more normal.

rsmith08 4 years, 8 months ago

“Lawrence9” I really hope writing this ridiculous comment made you feel better about yourself. This poor girl is writing a blog that tries to bring a little humor into the stressful and chaotic world of being a mother. To go as far as to call a person you have never met classless more so highlights the class of your own personal character. If your sense of humor doesn’t align with hers and you took offense to her words, maybe you should find a new blog to read. Maybe other people find this blog refreshing and a great comic relief to hectic day. I am truly sorry you were a victim of domestic violence however I do not see the correlation between domestic violence and the words in this blog. If you feel the need to spread the word about domestic violence, perhaps starting your own blog on the topic would be better use of your spare time.

flutter 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree with lawrence9. And I talk to other parents who read this blog (because we live in Lawrence) and they don't have much positive to say about this blog, either. The tone is often very crass. The semi-censored cursing is unnecessary and immature. The general attitude is overwhelmingly negative. Sometimes, I wonder why the author ever had children; she seems to dislike just about everything about life with them. While she has her right to express her feelings, I wish the LJWorld would offer another parenting blog that wasn't so negative, so crass, and so generally immature. What Spreer does is so cliche. I don't need more negativity. It doesn't help me. It doesn't inspire me. Some of us parents would like to read something more positive. I am a parent of a preschooler and a toddler and I find it difficult to relate to Spreer's voice and attitude.

And to the above poster: one can be honest without being crass. A lot of what appears in Spreer's blog posts is unnecessary or might be better expressed among her friends, privately, instead of in a public blog that is sponsored by a city's newspaper.

LJWorld: If you are listening, please consider adding another parenting blog or replacing this one. It is often difficult to find parenting resources or information in Lawrence. I'd love to have access to a blog that discussed local things for young children to do (babies, toddlers and on up). I'm not sure how Spreer got this job or what particularly qualifies her for it, but I do know that Lawrence is filled with intelligent, positive, talented, happy, and mature parents who would write much more useful and enlightening entries.

lawrence9 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, Flutter.

To the others -- I certainly support honesty -- but it can be done in a less crass way, and certainly without speaking of punching anything in the face. That image just unnerves me, even if it's a fictional character. I'll also write the LJW directly.

Kelly Anderson 4 years, 8 months ago

Larryville Mom.... your blog is great. Keep it up.

flutter 4 years, 8 months ago

Personally, I'm still gobsmacked by the line in a previous post of Spreer' in which she called her daughter "a B." That was a total, 100% complete turn-off. So negative. So unnecessary. So sad. (See Dancing to Old MacDonald)

tvc 4 years, 8 months ago

I guess this will be my last online comment.

“Cruelty is cheap, easy, and rampant. It’s also chicken-s*!t. As we struggle to be authentic and brave, it’s important to remember that cruelty always hurts, even if the criticisms are untrue. When we go against the grain and put ourselves and our work out in the world, some people will feel threatened and they will go after what hurts the most—our appearance, our lovability, and even our parenting.”

Megan, you are putting yourself out there in one of the most difficult ways. Parenting is our most important job, and it is the hardest thing to have people judge. It is the job no one wants to fail at…even if it is not super awesome all of the time.

I wish you the best and stay crassy! ;)

flutter 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't feel that any of my criticisms are cruel. They are honest. They were expressed directly, but not in a mean-spirited manner.

Lisa Cordes 4 years, 8 months ago

Still trying to decipher in these comments just what nerves were poked by this fresh, honest, and charming blog post. Ironically, Speer is a mom, not angry at her children, but exasperated at Pinterest and the self-loathing it can bring about in all of us when our lives don't match the picture-perfect representations gleefully pinned by the Perfect People on Pinterest boards. The column is all about failing at what we think the world demands of us as mothers. And lo and behold - a torrent of commentary telling Ms. Speer all the ways she has FAILED as a mother and columnist. She's too crass, she curses, she's negative, she's violent, she's inappropriate, she's immature, oh my! Personally, I think her voice is funny and refreshing and it's brave for any mother to admit she's not perfect, or that she's bored, or frustrated, or has violent fantasies towards cartoon characters. And for those that want another voice? It's the Internet. Get your own damn blog (apologies for the cursing).

Stephanie Anderson 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh my, can we take off the pissy panties everyone? This is meant to be light-hearted and funny, and refreshing (as we are all imperfect believe it or not). Keep them coming Larryville Mom!

Jennifer Alexander 4 years, 8 months ago

She is human, she is a mom. She has up days, and down. I think we can ALL relate to that. And, on a side note, I took the comments as sarcastic....I seriously doubt she hates having kids or would really resort to violence if given the chance. She is just "venting" through her writing. Venting is something we all do and quite frankly, its healthy. I am a mother, and I love her blog. I follow hers and several others. Some are crass, some are sweet, some of the moms seem to lead a perfect life and never make a mistake. As a reader and as a mom, I choose to read a bit of everything. It gives me perspective and I hope keeps me well rounded.

jayhawkmom3 4 years, 8 months ago

Really Flutter? "Sometimes I wonder why the author ever had children"? That is a very, very cruel indictment to throw out casually. Surely you can voice an intelligent opinion without being cruel and name calling (immature)?

In short, if this blog isn't your style, I have good news. The internet offers thousands of blogs to inspire you. So go elsewhere and quit spreading YOUR negativity.

I would like the LJ World to know that I do find inspiration, camaraderie, and comic relief with this honest, young mother, and so do many others. Do you realize one of her earlier posts went viral with over 600K hits?

If you want a calendar of current events in Lawrence, Flutter, get one. This is a blog where opinions are expressed about one woman's take on motherhood. And it is clear to anyone that while she finds motherhood exhausting, her children are cherished. Don't attack another woman's parenting. We're all better than that. That was a cheap, disguisting shot.

Lawrence9, thanks for getting this negativity train started. This is on you. Way to take a light-hearted post and twist it because you clearly have issues you have not worked through. I laughed out loud that you found punching an imaginary figure "jarring". The internet is really probably not for you.

Rock on, Spreer.

flutter 4 years, 8 months ago

OK, so it's entirely appropriate and entertaining to talk about punching an individual in the face (Muno is a person in a costume) and to call a young child "a B"....whether she meant "brat" or another word (see the Old Macdonald entry)? Ok, then.

Gina DeBacker 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, it is appropriate. It's a blog. Where the blogger has a right to express her feelings. And I find her very refreshing. So let's all step off of our high horse and admit that at one time or another we've all wanted to punch an imaginary character in the face, and that little kids can go from perfect little angels to terrorizing little Bs in the blink of an eye.

Megan, I find your blog refreshing. As someone who is thinking about starting a family soon, I enjoy reading about your experiences as a 20-something living in Lawrence, Kansas. You highlight the difficulties AS WELL as the joys, which is what makes parenting all worth it. Thank you for sharing. Keep on keeping on.

Lisa Cordes 4 years, 8 months ago

Flutter, do you seriously think she is calling her child a bit** when she calls her "B"? If you read her posts, she refers to her children by their initials (as in HJ and B).

abeautifulmorning 4 years, 8 months ago

Flutter what was exactly negative about this post or any other larryville posts? They are sarcastic and they are creative after all no one would want to read a blog written by a stepford wife talking about rainbows and butterflies. Nothing about her posts insinuate she should not have had children, if anything she should have more. You refer to the old McDonald blog post as as an example of how she refers to her child as a B and how awful that is. THE CHILDS NICKNAME IS B IT ISNT SHORT FOR A CUSS WORD OR A DEROGATORY TERM Moving on, in that same post she is expressing the real honest fear that moms have when raising two young children in a world filled with judgemental women like yourself and presumably your social circle of positivity. It is not negative to express your anxieties in writing about having a 6month old that loves to scream in public and a happy go lucky 2 year old who likes to shake her booty. And if it wasnt for women like you maybe she wouldn't need to have a blog because people shouldn't be so cruel and judge when a baby cries or when a toddler knocks into other adults while having fun but alas so many moms are so worried about how women like you wil judge them that they do have to contemplate all of those things before a public outing and that is a shame. Her post today was about 3 creative things she did with her daughter that didn't turn out as pretty as the picture and that's the point....don't get discouraged because it seems like everyone else has it more together than you. (Post cont below)

abeautifulmorning 4 years, 8 months ago

Embrace your imperfections, know you are going to go to a meeting someday and realize you forgot to pack Brian's lunch, you didn't tell your husband to pick up Amy from practice and you have Cheerios in your hair but it is OK because you are doing the best you can and you are not alone and you are not a bad mother you are human. Larryville mom let's moms know they are not alone and she opens herself up to scrutiny and eye rolls at apparently presumptuous meetings of other ladies discussing how "crass" she is. I may not know you but I can guarantee at least one mom in your group is thinking in her head that she wishes she could be more like Mrs Spreer that she could tell her stuck up friends how frustrated she is with potty training rather than having to hide the fact that her kid would rather color with its poop then let it go in the toilet. As far as the issues with this muno seriously let it go. If you aren't annoyed by your children's cartoons then one of the following is occurring 1.You have the developmental brain of a 5 year old (the max age where tolerating watching the same episode of yo GABA GABA expires without you wanting to punch each character in the face) 2. You are so depressed you stopped paying attention. Point being you are a great parent if you smile, sing along, are present through all 100 replays of Dora having the same conversation with swype but you are far from a bad parent if when your kids to bed you and your husband literally plan the ways that you could destroy Dora and her pals so they could never go on an other adventure and if you then have the balls to share that with the world you are a saint saving thousands of mothers from feeling bad about themselves. It is called having a sense of humor....a general prerequisite for humor and properly understanding the difference between sarcasm and negativity is intelligence.

To LJ world if you even ponder the idea of replacing this blog with a tame stepford wife blog you will be setting us all back. Larryville mom is a dove underwear ad in a sea of anorexic photo shop ads and it should be applauded not criticized. Does a blog on parenting warrant discussion and the sharing of other opinions? Absolutely. But these comments were not directed at different opinions on organic food, potty training or baby led weaning etc they were made to make a woman feel bad for being honest and for not being perfect,proper, and put together all the time. Bottom line very few women can write like mrs. Spreer with honesty, humor, and acknowledgment of our flaws but many many women feel inferior ever time they realize their to do list never gets shorter. I sincerely hope LJ world doesn't listen to a word you have said and when you do find that non humorous, positive sunshine all around mommy blog it is either written by a mom with only kid, a nanny and a chef or it was written by a liar.

kufan1146 4 years, 8 months ago

I know Megan personally, I worked with her for over a year at the LJW, and she has nothing but love and adoration for her children. I remember when she told me she was pregnant with "B", which is her second daughters middle name. Megan was so excited and couldn't wait to have another daughter. I don't have children yet, but I'd never hesitate for a second to leave them in Megan's caring and careful hands.

Don't let a few negative people get you down Megan!

skittles 4 years, 8 months ago

This is one of the first entertaining things that I have read in this section. I laughed out loud. Of course, I understood that it wasn't advising me to punch anyone or feed my kids play-do. The little voice inside our heads is a running commentary that can be be used for observational humor based on our own "epic fails." All these negative comments prove that people are judgemental, and judgmental about parenting...

Erin Cottrell 4 years, 8 months ago

Ha! This made me laugh this morning, thanks Megan! Glad to know that I am not the only mom who has epic fails when it comes to Pinterest projects. I get these grand designs in my head of how something will turn out, be it a Halloween costume or a birthday cake covered in fondant (if you are not a professional baker, then trust me- DON'T try to make your own fondant and decorate a birthday cake with it) and then whatever I have attempted to do turns to crap! I kick myself and then what do you know- I am right back at it the next day. My boyfriend warns me now when I get these ideas, because he has seen how frustrated I get with myself when they do not turn out perfectly. So hilarious!! Thanks for giving me a good laugh at the start of my day!!

Randy Erickson 4 years, 8 months ago

This is beyond awesome. Thanks for sharing your life, love, observations, and humor. Your girls are treasures...

Jason Johnson 4 years, 8 months ago

I enjoy reading her blogs, because after every one I think "yup; me, too" :)

Jason Johnson 4 years, 8 months ago

Also, to those of you who don't like reading it... well no one is making you read it. If you don't like it, then stop. I equate it to pushing a button and then getting an electrical shock. If you don't like the electric shock, then stop pushing the button.

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