The Big Secret Pinterest-Perfect Mums Can’t Tell You

We all know them, don’t we – the perfect mums! The ones who are always early to pick their children up from school, complete with immaculate hair, a home-baked cake for the school raffle, and a healthy snack for their children to munch on the way home.

The Pinterest-Perfect Mums

Social media has put a lot of pressure on us mums. Not content with just seeing the perfect mums at school, we now have their educational craft activities and pristine kitchens beamed into our phones 24/7.

They always seem to know what’s going on at school. They breeze into the playground like they’ve had 10 hours to get ready. Their Facebook page is full of family trips to the museum and little Henry’s latest piano accomplishment. They somehow manage to let their toddler loose with a paintbrush without the sofa and walls getting covered in purple paint.

Nothing fazes them. Nothing ever goes wrong.

They are the perfect mums.

The pressure to “keep up” can be intense. Since when was “Christmas Eve Boxes” a thing? Who actually knows the difference between playdough, salt dough and cloud dough? And how do these people afford to kit their little darlings out in ethically-sourced organic cotton from head to toe?!

It’s irritating. They just think they’re so amazing, flouncing around like the world is filled with chocolate drops and rainbows, and that fake, over-sincere smile plastered on their perfectly lip-lined mouths! Grrr!

Perfect Mums craft baking

Maybe It’s Not About You…

But maybe, just maybe, she’s not as perfect as you think she is. Maybe she’s not going out of her way to wind you up. Maybe she’s not doing this as a personal vendetta to you. Maybe she’s not thinking about you at all.

Maybe she’s just trying to survive. Coping methods come in all different shapes and sizes.

  • You might cope by sharing how rubbish you’re feeling. Maybe she copes by putting a brave face on things?
  • You might cope by having a good old rant. Maybe she copes by clinging desperately to the positives?
  • You might long for friends that will unpick every gory detail with you. Maybe she just wants someone to tell her she’s doing a good job?

Blogs are great because they “tell it how it is” – we’re the voices that share what parenting is like in real life. We offer a voice to the mums who are struggling. We stand up for the mums who are being judged, and who actually find parenting quite hard. We share our worries and failings to encourage others to keep going.

But there’s a growing trend in blogging to bash the Pinterest Perfect Mums because we’re “the real deal” and they’re just being “fake”.

Well actually…that’s not what I signed up for.

Perfect Mums tears crying covering up

She’s A Real Person

Maybe being a mum is her “thing”; the one thing in life that she’s really good at. Why is that such a crime?

Or maybe she is putting on an act to cover up how hard she’s finding it. Maybe being  positive and upbeat makes her feel positive and upbeat. I’m not sure that’s a crime either.

Either way, she’s a real person. She’s doing her absolute best for her children. She’s a good mum who cares about her kids.

Listen, I know we can’t all be perfect (and yes, she makes us look bad), but she’s trying her best to plot a course through parenting, just like the rest of us. She’s finding out what works for her and for her family. What right have we to to judge her for it?

Why is it suddenly about sticking up for the mums who are openly struggling, and beating down the ones who seem to be sailing through? Why is there a divide? Why can’t we support each other?

Why can’t we bloggers stand up for ALL mums?

…aaaaand the rant is over!

So what do you guys think? Are you perceived as one of the perfect mums (or dads) or do you prefer to bare all? Do you feel the pressure from society and social media to “keep up”?


Diary of an imperfect mum

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Add yours
  1. 1

    I decide to bare it all but speaking honestly….if a Pinterest mum is really what she seems on Pinterest then I’m all for that. If however she is pretending to be one thing on Pinterest and is actually another thing in real life then I actually find that very dis-empowering for mums, because I think whatever the case, we should be real about our situation. That’s me two cents worth! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub – love a post that sparks debate! xoxo

    • 2
      Lucy At Home

      Yes it’s a difficult one. As someone who is naturally pesimistic, I try to focus my conscious thoughts (such as my blog & social media musings) on positive things as a way to look for the good in difficult times. I’m not trying to be fake. I’m just trying to be upbeat and positive. But I understand that if nobody ever says they’re struggling, it can make it hard to ask for help when you need it.

      Love a good debate! Thanks for your comment, Talya.

  2. 3
    An Imperfect Mum

    There seems to be a movement to out ‘slummy mum’ each other now rather than be perfect. I spent a very long time trying to be that perfect mum and looking like I was succeeding but actually I was ill, very ill… but nobody knew so I 100% agree with everything you wrote here. We never ever know what is going on in someone else’s life or head. Great post! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

  3. 5

    There’s an element of faking it to you make it in life. For some, being like that is how they cope. For others of us, not so much. We all do the mum thing differently. It doesn’t matter how as long it”s working for you and your family. Great post!

    • 6
      Lucy At Home

      This is exactly what I think too. “Fake it till you make it” is how a lot of people do eventually “make it” so I don’t know why the philosophy is frowned upon when it comes to parenting. As you say, we all do mum-ing differently but as long as it works…

  4. 7

    I totally get what you are saying Lucy. It’s not a badge of honour to be a shitty Mum and neither is it cool to mock others who like to do the whole domestic goddess thing. I think being a cool mum is all about high fiving how each of us rides the storm, or the wave – however you want to look at it.
    I am one of those Mums who is ALWAYS early, and ALWAYS first in the school line but that definitely does not make me a perfect Mother 😉
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

  5. 9
    Amanda Blackburn

    Nobody is perfect! Everybody is different and do things differently. We should all be open and honest and look out for each other. The world would be a better place. I love what you have wrote, great post to help people that worry about these things.

  6. 10

    Oh my word I LOVE this post – my favourite past I’ve read in ages. I agree that there is a movement of moaning about these women – I’ve steered clear of reading their posts – that’s not how I roll. You write so eloquently and with such compassion and with real insight to make people actually stop and think – hopefully this movement will read this post and reflect. There is a lot of hate out there for those mums that are rocking it and doing bloody well at it – and we should be more supportive of all mums for sure – well said my lovely xx #CoolMumClub

    • 11
      Lucy At Home

      Thank you for such a lovely comment, Helen 🙂 I’m so glad you’re on board with this. Let’s celebrate the mums who are rocking it! And let’s help the mums who are struggling. There’s no need for bashing each other

  7. 12
    Alana - Burnished Chaos

    Great post, I totally agree that we should all be supporting each other, you never know what another person is struggling with behind closed doors. I’m quite open about my life and struggles when commenting on other people’s posts as it’s important to let others know they are not alone, but my own blog posts tend to show a more positive side. This isn’t to hide anything or give an impression of a perfect life, believe me it’s far from it, but I have a tendency to slip into negativity and depression pretty easily and I want my blog to be a place where I focus on the positive instead, at least most of the time. That being said, I could never be classed as one the pin-perfect mums, the very thought of crafts bring me out in hives, I’m always running late and I can’t remember the last time I brushed me hair, never mind applied makeup! We are all just doing the best we can x

    • 13
      Lucy At Home

      Oh Alana this is EXACTLY like me. I sometimes get a bit down and in the past, I’ve had really bad depression. I know that, for me, the best way to stop those feelings coming back is to look for the positives. I choose to think about the positives, and to write about that in my blog. It is not meant to come across as fake – it is for my own well-being and to encourage others to see their own positives too. Thank you for commenting. L

  8. 14

    Too right! If anything im envious of these moms who look gorgeous etc! Not hating just envious! I think we all excel in different ways at being a mom, yes I may rarely be on time and never wearing makeup, but I know I sail through other aspects of being a mom that others might be envious of me for.
    Personally I do prefer the bare all, it’s nice to know your not the only one struggling with something. I have found some competeting in who’s having the hardest time though, I think more supporting would be great! #ablogginggoodtime

    • 15
      Lucy At Home

      Yes I think there’s definitely a place for the “bare all” mums too. It can be so encouraging to know that someone else has struggled with something, or someone else has felt like you do. I just wish we could all appreciate what the other side brings to the table.

  9. 16

    This is so so true… I like to have a picture perfect Instagram as it makes me feel great about Mamahood and I love to take and capture beautiful moments. No its not like that all of the time and I don’t pretend it is… thats why I love that they’ve introduces ‘stories’ now which can shine a light on the more imperfect moments of parenthood. Have you seen the film ‘Bad Moms’… its JUST like what your explaining… you find out that even the ‘perfect’ Mums are hiding a while heap of sadness and trauma in their lives that they like to gloss over to others. Great and thought provoking post <3

    • 17
      Lucy At Home

      I’ve not seen that film. It’s so true that everyone has things they hide, for whatever reason. We can’t judge because we never know everything that’s going on in someone’s life…

  10. 18

    I’ve really never thought they were fake! Ughh, there’s no need to bash others EVER. You may be a Pinterest Mum, you may be a scruffy mum with a lived in home, the people who bash you DON’T KNOW YOU. There’s no need for it at all.

  11. 21
    Fran Back With A Bump

    A fab post Lucy. There’s definitely something to be said about social media and how a lot of people portray their lives to be totally perfect, when they are really not. I try and stay true to who I am and bare myself with no make up and living how we really are, not a false ideal. #marvmondays

  12. 22
    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    We all do our best as Mums, we just have different ways of showing ourselves. I only ever share positive posts, that doesn’t mean things don’t go wrong, I just choose not to share something like a dying animal on the farm or an argument with my kids, it certainly doesn’t mean they don’t happen, just a new batch of cakes coming out the oven is more appealing all round. I’m all for support for all. #MarvMondays

  13. 25

    I actually don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect Mum – some people can just hide things better. Someone once said to me how do you do it all so effortlessly? I replied with are you joking I’m up the wall!! Everyone has struggles. Great post #marvmondays

    • 26
      Lucy At Home

      I think this is absolutely true. People have said that to me before. I think because I like doing baking and crafts with the kids, they think I’ve “got it”, but it’s hard work whoever you are. A fab job, but hard work! …And I’m NEVER on time for anything! Haha

  14. 27
    Abi - Something About Baby

    I started reading and was getting a little bit annoyed and was going to comment saying exactly what you ended up saying ha! I don’t really like this notion that mums are “showing off” or “perfect” if they manage to do an afternoon of crafting, or baking or what have you. Maybe they just prefer to share the good bits rather than the bad bits? It doesn’t mean they don’t experience the bad times, they just choose to deal with it differently. Whilst I get in terms of blogging, it’s not good to be fake, and I prefer people to say it like it is, but for many mums or parents, why should they have to share the bad stuff if they don’t want to? It doesn’t mean they deserve to be bashed and belittled by sharing what they want to – maybe it makes them feel better to hear a compliment about something they have achieved. #MarvMondays

    • 28
      Lucy At Home

      Haha I’m glad we ended up on the same page! You’re so right – these mums shouldn’t be belittled for their choice to keep certain aspects of their life private. They haven’t done anything wrong, they just don’t want to air everything in public.

  15. 30
    The Squirmy Popple

    I totally agree. I’m not a ‘Pinterest mum’ (I’m not even on Pinterest) and I’m not really that interested in reading about fancy toddler crafts and organic baking, but for some people, that’s their thing. And that’s fine. I’m no more ‘real’ because my idea of crafting is giving my daughter a sheet of stickers and letting her put them all over the coffee table. #DreamTeam

  16. 32
    Rhyming with Wine

    I salute you on this post! I totally disagree with mum bashing of any variety. As you say, we each have our strengths and our challenges, and so maybe her way of coping is to do the baking and the crafts etc. Maybe she is dealing with her own anxieties and insecurities and trying to convince herself that she is actually doing OK at this motherhood thing? I think as long as it doesn’t come with any judgement against other mums that don’t have the same talent for lip liner and home made quinoa based snacks, then I say well done Muma and good for you! Thank you for sharing this with #DreamTeam x

  17. 34

    Really interesting post. I actually made a decision when I began my blog, that I wouldn’t be a ‘real’ mum blogger. I write honestly, I write about bad times, but I don’t air all of my day to day parenting fails, moans and disasters. That’s not to say they don’t happen. That I don’t struggle like every other parent out there. That I don’t sometimes stick the toddler in front of cbeebies so I can get 5 minutes peace. I just choose not to write about it. Thats not my thing. #dreamteam

    • 35
      Lucy At Home

      Yes I am very careful about what I publish on my blog too. I’m not sure it would be very nice for my kids to find out when they grow up that I’ve been moaning about them to the entire world. I think it’s okay to have a few bits on about it, but I want my blog to be balanced. I always describe my blog as “working through the joys and challenges of being a mummy” – it’s a bit of both.

  18. 37

    You’re right! We’re all soon for our best and either way it’s best not to take what you see on social media too seriously. It’s only being posted because someone wants you to see it! #bloggerclubuk

  19. 39
    Ali Duke

    I try my best to be honest, But there are some parts of my life that I like to keep to myself. Personally I don’t think bloggers/perfectmums or anyone else for that matter should bash each other. Why not just all get along and do our own thing.

  20. 40
    Charlene | High Heels And Fairy Tales

    I think we’re all just trying our best. I can’t claim to be brilliant at many things, but being a mom to my little one… well, that came pretty naturally to me. I hardly ever have anything negative to post on social media about motherhood, and I’d hope that doesn’t get me hated on because people think I’m fake or trying to make them feel bad. It would be an amazing online world if we could stop putting each other down. Maybe more posts like this will eventually get us there. 🙂

    • 41
      Lucy At Home

      I am so glad that you felt able to write this, Charlene. It’s GREAT to hear that you are a natural mother. People don’t seem to like mums to say that anymore. I wouldn’t describe myself as a “perfect mum” by any stretch of the imagination, but it has come very naturally to me also. It’s a shame that people think we should apologise for that…

  21. 43
    Karen | TwoTinyHands

    I’m a bit of a Pinterest mum, I hate being late and i just hate the thought of being thought badly of because I am trying my best. I chuck out loads of positive onto the blog because that’s what I love to write about. Mum bashing of any kind is bad and unfortunately it is unlikely to stop!! Hug a mum!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  22. 45
    Emma T

    I totally agree. I don’t see why everyone is so down on anyone who’s doing better than them at anything. Be jealous yes, but be inspired, and just let them be/ignore them if you get annoyed by it .#brilliantblogposts

  23. 47

    I have no idea what cloud dough is – I guess I’m not perfect! I will do crafts with the kids and bake and do lots of extra curricular stuff – but then I’m usually running late and looking a mess. Everyone is different and some people are good at one thing but rubbish at others. But they are more likely to shout about the things they are good at. Pinterest is great for sharing ideas – no one wants to see the rubbish attempts on there. Just like blogs are for a mix of things – the good and the bad. Everything has its place. The internet – and the real world- is big enough for everyone.

  24. 49
    Selena, The Rambler

    Great post! I go through stages of feeling pressure to make things perfect. And then, I realize, why am I killing myself? But I don’t understand like you said, for the need to bash other moms. We don’t know what’s happening on the other side of their door. Cheers to you if you got it on lock down…and cheers if you struggle too! Just do you, the best you can! =) #Dreamteam

  25. 50
    Sam - StressyMama

    Well said. You never know what someone is going through and we have no right to judge anyone. We should all be friendly and encouraging towards each other instead of tearing people apart. Absolutely hate that. It’s basically school ground bullying but on the Internet. A definite bug bear of mine. I’m soooo not a Pinterest person- I can’t figure it out haha. By the way, what is cloud dough. I’ve never heard of it haha. #BloggerClubUk

  26. 52
    Random Musings

    I think as long as what they’re doing isn’t hurting anyone, then everyone should be able to do whatever they want. If someone wants to pretend everything is rosy when it isn’t then that’s their business. While personally I prefer to read something that feels real, not everyone wants to share their fails and that’s their right. if other people don’t like that, then instead of judging, I think they should just choose not to read it
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  27. 53
    Mrs Mummy Harris

    I think the problem is that people who turn to blogs are fed up of press and such making parents feel like crap. we are expected to be picture perfect throughout the most stressful moments of their lives so they blog to highlight the truths whether bad or good and that can be seen as acceptable and even praised. Whereas Pinterest is so niche – to be successful it has to be good otherwise people wont pin it – therefore a perfect image needs to be seen and some people automatically assume its fake as noone could be that good. But they can… but i want to know how they can look camera ready with a beautiful clean kitchen with freshly baked goodies… hahaha #brilliantblogposts

  28. 55

    You never know what’s really going on with another parent and I think all of us should stick together and not judge each other. I’m definitely not a pinterest perfect mum! I don’t mind that though. We are all doing the best we can. Fab post Lucy xx #dreamteam

  29. 56

    this is something i feel strongly about and have blogged about several times, the way we all feel the need to judge others, or the way SM tells us to do so. I’ve been in both catergories, pissed others off with my home baking and home made costumes and then been the one in the playground who has envied the clothing, hair and make up of others.

  30. 57

    I think we are all guilty of posting a ‘perfect picture’ at some point in our lives. My blog is real. I share more on there than I do on my Facebook page. I share the positives on Facebook. I don’t tell everyone else what a shitty day I’m having and how crap a Mum I feel that day. I don’t think this makes me fake. It’s just me choosing to share the positive side of things with ‘friends’ and ‘family’. We most certainly shouldn’t be bashing other Mums if they choose to do the same on their Pinterest page. For all we know they have a Pin board full of quotes about being the best Mum they can be. Everyone is fighting some demon or battle in their own head. Whether they choose to share it or not is up to them. Great post. Big up all Mums. We all rock. #bloggerclubuk

  31. 59
    Aleena Brown

    I totally agree that we should all support each other no matter what. I have friends who brilliantly channel “slummy mummy” and they are some of the best mums I know. I also know mums who always have their faces on and really seem like they’ve got their shit down constantly, but the truth is that, like most of us, sometimes they just don’t. People perceive me as that mum – the Pinterest one, and that’s kind of why I started my blog – to get it out there that you can (and many are) be both! Yes, I love getting crafty with the kids. Yes, I care about feeding them the right (what is right?!) foods. Yes, I like a tidy home. Actually yes, I do know the difference between (and how to make) all the variations of dough!! But I also have crap days. I shout, I lose my shit, I give up on the housework, I spend days in my PJ’s, I get tired of being a mum! We are all human, and it’s about time someone said it! Great post. x #brillblogposts

    • 60
      Lucy At Home

      Yes Aleena! This is exactly what I was trying to get at. I think people perceive me as a pinterest perfect mum sometimes because I like to bake with the kids and do crafts with them, but I don’t feel like that at all – I see my bad days too

  32. 61
    Susie - This Is Me Now

    I love this Lucy!! Such a great post and something I’ve been thinking about for a while! Like someone else commented there seems to be a movement to ‘put-shit’ ourselves (if that can be an expression?!) and I find it really annoying! Why can’t we stop judging people even if they seem to be having a good day for once? I hate the thought of being labelled a Pinterest perfect mum and remember a snide comment at the breastfeeding cafe I went to when my daughter was a few mins ha old because I was wearing makeup and another mum said “ugh I hate that you always look good it’s so annouyibg” – I’m sorry but that’s just me, I like to wear make up if I’m going out, I wasn’t doing to be better than anyone else and make my life seem better than theirs. I just whacked on a bit of mascara before I left he house. Why should I apologise for that? To do anything else would be fake. That’s always stuck with me. Xx #BloggerClubUK

    • 62
      Lucy At Home

      Ah that’s really not fair. I like to wear make up too – I’m not trying to be fake – it’s just 5mins in the morning where I get to do something nice for myself! Don’t apologise, hun – just be yourself xx

  33. 66
    Mummy and the Mexicans

    There’s no such thing as a perfect mum; perfect photos or makeup maybe, but everyone struggles in some way with something, some aspect of their lives and we can’t always judge by appearances. We have to understand that social media shows us only selectively edited versions of people’s lives, and most people want to show the best sides of themselves. I don’t want to post a selfie without makeup, with bad skin and bags under my eyes because it’s not going to make me feel good about myself (that’s why I don’t do many selfies, I’m rubbish at actually making myself look good! My daughter is much more photogenic.). Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, we should embrace them and accept each other as we are. #brillblogposts

    • 67
      Lucy At Home

      Yes you are so right – we all filter what we show of ourselves. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s just a version of the truth that we’re happy with. Thanks for your comment.

  34. 68

    I think that many mums feel they have to be perfect when, in reality of course, no one is. Be the parent you want to be and really own it! Thats my mantra! Thanks for the great post and the blogcrush thingy. I kinda new to this blogging thing so I hope I have done it right! I havent quite worked out Instagram but I’m learning!
    This post is my #Blog Crush

  35. 70
    Morgan Prince

    I totally agree! It’s difficult to see the perfect mums but I think it’s wrong to call them fake. They may do those things better than we can but that doesn’t give us the right to bash them. As bloggers we should stand up for all mums! Very well said.
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo
    (Sorry for the epically late comment)

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