Kate Kirkle with birthday cake

Kate Kirkle with her delicious store-bought birthday cake. 

What happened to all of the straight-up regular moms? My mother used to send me off to school with a peanut butter sandwich wrapped in wax paper, a baggie of pretzels and an off-brand cookie. If we happened to be out of bread that day, good old ma would get creative and make me a peanut butter hot dog bun instead. The lunch items were then all dumped into the same variety of crumpled paper bag that a hobo would use to hide his booze.

Where has this do-what-it-takes-and-nothing-fancy variety of mom gone?

I followed in my mother’s hyper-basic footsteps, so I need some peeps — some do-the-bare-minimum mama pals — to hang out with as we limbo under the bar that’s set way too high for us.

But I can’t find any. And I blame Pinterest.

That site is a menace. It encourages moms to take their mom-ing to the next level. It puts thoughts in their heads...thoughts and questions that don’t need to be there.

Why buy a birthday cake from the store when I can make one at home — with love — that looks just like Elmo and tastes amazing?

I’ll tell you why. Because buying a cake at the store is easy and does the trick just fine. They let you choose between butter cream and whipped frosting, so what’s the problem? Pin that, you little perfectionists, and quit making me look bad.

Why house my toddler in a boring bedroom when, with a little paint, a hot glue gun and some fabric, I can make her room into a magical slumber-iffic oasis?

Because first off, hot glue guns are the devil’s weaponry. Second, painting is awful and terrible and awful. And finally, you have to go into a craft store to get fabric, and craft stores cause sudden onset queasiness. Nah, bruh. Nah.

A friend of mine just bought material to make adorable cat pillowcases for her kids, and I’m certain Pinterest must’ve told her to. I mean, why else would she mingle with bobbins and needles and sewing stuff when she can get pillowcases at Walmart? Needles poke and bobbins kill. I personally can’t risk bodily injury in the quest for those extra mom points.

My children need me too much for that tomfoolery.

This madness doesn’t just stay at home, though. The power mom-ing goes to school, too.

The moms at my daughter’s preschool are shiny and bright like springtime daffodils. They show up on teacher’s day with homemade baked goods in containers that were welded in solid gold and trimmed with the wings of angels.

Meanwhile, all I have to give the teachers is an awkward I’m-a-schmuck-and-didn’t-even-know-that-holiday-was-today-or-even-this-month-so-sorry smile. I desperately dig in the bottom of my purse for something — anything — to give them but all I have is a leftover Twix with lint on it and a tiny Paw Patrol figurine. I’m sure a Pinterest mom could say the magic words — maybe spin in a circle with her arms raised — and those things would transform into a charmingly delightful gift. But for this regular mom...it’s just a pile of trash.

I consider giving them each a dollar (in change) before deciding to just pretend I’m somehow unaware of everything going on around me.

If those moms weren’t such freaking superstars, I wouldn’t keep looking bad.

Totally their fault.


Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.

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