Over the last six years, I have relied on an online life coach, without whom I would have been totally lost. I have called on this resource for inspirational quotes whenever I needed a pick-me-up. I used it for meal planning, help with my wardrobe, for every detail of my wedding, and even our honeymoon weekend to San Francisco. Then, I REALLY relied on this resource when I got nominated to pick out all the finishes, paint colors, and light fixtures for our new house.

My amazing life coach was Pinterest.

When I got pregnant, Pinterest became more than just my inspiration station; it turned into my favorite pastime, too! I created a Baby Wilson board that I invited my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and even my husband to join. (Yes, even my husband is on Pinterest.)

We pinned page after page of adorable newborn pictures to recreate, hilarious onesies we thought baby Hank had to have, and anything regarding my chosen nursery theme: vintage farm. 

I was going to be the best mom. I had Pinterest to help me!

Fast forward to 16 months later. My days are now spent chasing after my rambunctious toddler, keeping him from destroying the entire house and breaking bones jumping off of whatever he has climbed onto most recently. It is a full time job. His middle name should seriously be Mayhem.

So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, that my Pinning has since all but ceased.

I can’t remember the last thing I pinned. These days, if I did have time to search anything, it would most likely fall under one of three categories: How to get the baby to sleep through the night; How to get impossible stains out of carpet; or Best Mom Hacks for reducing stress (or simply getting LIFE done).

Or right now—for my craziest days—maybe even: Best Cocktails for Fall. (I wonder if Baileys makes a pumpkin spice version?)

Over the whirlwind of fun and frenzy that has been my baby’s life so far, I am proud (but a little embarrassed) to say I have had three (yes, only three) Pinterest-worthy successes. Drumroll please. . .

  1.  The Perfect Baby Picture.

Getting Hank to sleep through his newborn baby shoot only took two different appointments on two different days to accomplish. (Along with some help from a nursing-induced milk coma and a few space heaters.) But I finally got the picture of him asleep on the antique baby scale my hubby found me on eBay, snuggled up on the quilt my hubby’s parents made by hand for him when he was a newborn. Three antique blocks sat on the wooden floor in front of him, (also from eBay) with his initials, H. A. W. It’s perfect. This picture is dear to my heart—a dream come true—but I never would have made it happen if I hadn’t seen a similar one pinned on some other mama’s newborn board! (AND, hired an extremely patient photographer!)

2. The Theme Birthday Party.

When Hank the Tank turned one, we threw him a Pinterest-worthy (well, almost) birthday party, with an army theme and a tank cake that took two days to make. The army-green masterpiece boasted Hershey bar tracks, a chocolate cannon that threw sparks (trick candles!) and little army men. We all wore camo (this kind of felt like cheating, because in our family of hunters, camo is a wardrobe staple anyways, but hey, I need all the help I can get). The huge mylar tank balloon that stole the show floated around our house for months after, sinking lower and lower until it got creepy. Daddy stealthily “took care of it.”

3. The Baby IN A Pumpkin.

This one is my very favorite: Last October, I actually put my baby boy IN a pumpkin. Having blown all my extra cash on the aforementioned professional newborn pictures, I realized a fall baby shoot was up to me to pull off. I found an orange sleeper, a knit pumpkin baby hat, and the biggest pumpkin I could find. I cut the top off and gutted it, cut two big leg holes at the bottom, and plunked Hank in there on the front porch. Best part? He didn’t want to get out! I will never forget the look on his face as he wondered why the heck he was sitting in a pumpkin. Thankfully, my amateur photography didn’t turn out half bad, either!

I had such high aspirations of being a Pinterest mama, but as life and work and mom-ing and stepmom-ing and big brothers’ sports and a traveling husband all got in the way, I’ve had to admit defeat. My wardrobe looks nothing like my Dress Me Up board. My recipes consist of fast and simple, not impressive like all the beautiful creations on my Yummyness board. And as for Holiday Decorating? If I get fall flowers or a few pumpkins on the front porch this year, I will be thrilled.

I may never be the Pinterest mom. But I am OK with that.

I know that even if I never accomplish another Pin-worthy craft, party, or photo; my family will all still grow up happy and loved. I am still a good mom, even if my life isn’t chronicled on a perfect Board for other moms to emulate.

After all–I DID put my baby in a pumpkin!


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Erika Wilson

Erika Wilson is a writer, artist, and author/illustrator of children's books living in Big Sky country, Montana. The only "she" in a family of six, she is never without inspiration for her writing or her artwork! You can find all of Erika's work and her blog at her website ErikaWilsonBooks.com.

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

To My Wife: I See Your Sacrifice

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Family of 3 sitting on floor together at home

Selfless. No other word more clearly depicts your commitment to your family. Motherhood is drastically different than you dreamed of your whole life—the dreams of what sort of mama you would be, of how much you would enjoy being a mother even on the tough days. Since day one of our relationship, you’ve been selfless. Since day one of being a mama, you’ve been selfless. Your love for your family shines through on the brightest and darkest days. But on the dark days, it shines the brightest. I can’t count the hours of sleep sacrificed, the tears cried, the time...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

Please Don’t Tell a Couple Trying to Conceive to Just Relax

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Black-and-white photo of medical supplies

This is a plea. A plea to those who know someone who is struggling with infertility. So, if you’re reading this, this is directed right to you. Please, for the love of everything, when someone tells you they are struggling to conceive, do not tell them to “just relax.” I know it’s the cliche, default term most blurt out because they don’t know what else to say. It’s awkward to discuss for some. I’m 10000% positive it is coming from a good place and is meant to be calming and reassuring, and you really do believe it’s true because a...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

That Mom at the Playground Could Become Your Best Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Young mother sitting on bench looking at playground

I didn’t realize I was that mom at the playground. That mom who always smiles at the other moms even if she doesn’t know them. That mom who often makes small talk while she pushes her toddler on the swings. That mom who strikes up a conversation while sitting on the bench watching her older kid play. That mom who can often tell whether you are interested in talking to her or not. And if you don’t seem interested, that’s okay. Because maybe you’re preoccupied with other things going on in your life right now. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with the...

Keep Reading

My Last Baby Rarely Gets All of Me

In: Motherhood
Mom and toddler snuggle on bed

Ever since you came into being, you heard the chaos of your future. You felt the jostle of your siblings climbing onto my lap and the hugs of each of their arms as they said goodnight to you for nine months. You are here now, and you are cherished by us all. Your cheeks are constantly kissed, and you are never alone. RELATED: To the Mom of a Big Family, Your Heart Was Made For Many And then, at last, your siblings are tucked cozy into their beds, and it’s just us. I stop everything and look at you. I know now...

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama, You Are Allowed to Struggle

In: Motherhood
Woman holding baby sorting through laundry pile

You feel the weight of the funk you’re in. Your mind and heart know that the days are rushing by—that soon they’ll be grown, and you’ll miss this time. You even remember a time, not too long ago, when you desperately missed them after a few hours of not seeing their sweet faces. But in this season, as your kids have grown older and multiplied, as their wills have grown stronger and their clashes seem constant, you long to hide yourself away, to shut off the overwhelm and the fire in your senses. RELATED: To The Struggling Mama, This Is Just...

Keep Reading

Today is Hard but Tomorrow is a New Day

In: Motherhood
Mom holding toddler, color photo

Today is hard. You don’t have to tell me how fast the time goes and to enjoy every moment because I am painfully aware of how quickly they will be moved out and making families of their own. I know that someday we will look back on these days and miss them. We will revel in the endless amounts of Spiderman we watched, laugh at the mispronounced words, and be glad to be past the days when we had to carefully calculate when to put our youngest in his car seat so he wouldn’t start screaming before we could get...

Keep Reading