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!


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.