Nothing is simple on Pinterest. I know this because I am a Pinterest addict. As are my mom, my sisters, and most of my friends. Where else can you find a recipe for the perfect brunch quiche, a pattern to sew a brunch-appropriate dress, a twisty-braided hairstyle to complement the dress, and a 30-minute total-body workout to help you fit into that dress? And hey, while you're waiting for the guests to arrive you might as well spruce up your digs by making a new coat rack out of old baby doll limbs. (Think I'm exaggerating that last one? It's real.)
The site is wildly addictive, but as anyone who has ended up silently weeping into a birthday cake that looks more like a pile of poo than Pooh Bear knows, pins often don't turn out exactly like the picture. And then the guilt and shame set in.
But don't fret—if you too have been pickled by Pinterest, know you are not alone. In a TODAY Moms survey of more than 7,000 women, 42 percent said they suffer from "Pinterest stress," also known as that nagging feeling that everyone else is prettier, smarter, funnier, and craftier than you—and they're all having a party without you.
I've been there.
"Mom, step away from the computer." I said it slowly and carefully, just like all the good cops do on TV. "Put the mouse down and raise your hands in the air."
My mom looked wearily up at me, "Just one sec, honey. I need to find this font. It's like a handwriting one? But you have to download it from a special site and then...well, I don't know. But I need it for the stickers for the rustic glass bottles!"
"MOM! You've been doing this for hours! Drop the mouse!!" I yelled.
"But then my bottles won't look 'rustic' like the ones in the pin!!" she yelled right back at me.
"What is going on in there?" my husband called from the next room.
"Pinterest panic! No worries I got this under control," I muttered as I pulled my mom away from the computer. She looked like she might cry as she surveyed the church graduation party for my sister that she'd spent weeks prepping for. It was easily nicer than my college graduation party. Heck, it was nicer than my wedding.
Thanks to Pinterest, my mom had left no detail undone: She custom-mixed the punch until it was the exact same shade of blue as the seafoam table covering (that looked like sparkly waves) that matched the hand-lettered flags spelling out my sister's name that matched handmade paper straws that went in the blue punch that was poured (by me, via a funnel) into those "rustic" glass bottles purchased just for this occasion. It was a masterpiece, made to look like it had been effortlessly thrown together with nothing but wildflowers, some clothespins (because everyone has those hanging around the house in 2013), and a few simple ideas, culled from her favorite pins on Pinterest.
RELATED: 10-Minute Yoga Workout
As my mom discovered, the problems hit—usually in the wee hours of the morning—when all your sounded-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time projects end up only vaguely resembling the artful pin that inspired them. Thankfully women are beginning to realize that Pinterest guilt isn't a good thing. Sites like Pinterest Fail and WTF, Pinterest? exist solely for the purpose of making you feel better about your own problematic pins. So while you're waiting for that boxed cake to cook (to replace the failed one sitting in your sink), you can at least be comforted that you weren't the one who did the cake pops in the photo above.