Recovering from DIYers Guilt

Oh my, oh my, Pinterest. How I have come to love you. Since I was young I have dabbled in crafts and DIY, but then you came along… and what started as simple love of putting a handmade touch on my life has turned into a monster.

A big, red, swirly monster.

Ok, Pinterest, I still love you. But we need to have a talk.

I recently bought a bottle of shampoo. “Who cares?”, you say. “Why is that a big deal?”, you wonder. Pinterest has made a crafting monster out of me, that’s why.

I have, at one time or another, made DIY laundry detergent, cloth baby wipes, wipe solution, facial moisturizer, mineral makeup, sugar scrubs, cleaning products, bug spray……. If you’ve seen it on Pinterest, I’ve probably tried to make it. And some of these products I continue to make myself because I love them, and they are better than the store bought versions!

Back to the shampoo. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect DIY shampoo recipe. “No poo” doesn’t work for me, and so I tried a recipe using castile soap. It was way too watery, left my skin feeling tight and strange, and after fixing my hair in the usual way, it looked greasy, flat, and disgusting. I started to think “Man, maybe I need to look up a different main ingredient, or maybe there’s a way to thicken it up so it’s easier to lather. I’m sure I could find a great blog about it if I just search it on Pinterest.”

And then the thought flew across my mind: “Maybe I should just go to the store and buy shampoo….”

But I thought, “NO!! I am a craftsperson, a modern day homesteader! I make my own products! My pantry is stocked with the bulk ingredients to make all of the products we need! I’m never going to buy soap again!!!”   ……. Ok, maybe not that last one.

Here’s the takeaway from all of this, what I realized as I looked at my mat of dull, oily locks: I am lucky enough to be in a situation where I don’t have to make everything for myself. Crafting is supposed to be fun, not a source of stress or frustration. We are not lost on a desert island. We have Target. I shouldn’t feel guilty for buying a bottle of shampoo, and I definitely shouldn’t feel like I’m not doing enough with my life, or that I’m not creative enough, or that I’m not living the lifestyle I want to be living (the one where we make by hand everything that we consume).

I have 32 boards and 3700 pins. That’s 3700 things I feel like I should be doing or making right now.

Isn’t that INSANE?!?!

It is unfair to expect myself to do everything. I can’t make our butter and our bread — our soaps and our candles, and then expect myself to have a weekly meal plan, a daily fitness routine, a beautiful garden, a sewing room, a sparkling kitchen, empty laundry bins, and fresh cookies coming out of the oven. Right after I hop in the shower and use my homemade sugar scrub and shave lotion, but just before I throw a load of cloth diapers in the washer, bubbling up with our homemade detergent. Oh, and also pay attention to my kids a little bit.

It’s ok to set high standards, and it’s ok to want to make things for yourself. It’s really rewarding! But if it’s costing you your sanity, knock a few things off your “to-make” list. Narrow down the things that are the most important to you. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation: “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

And so I’ll leave you with that. Goodnight.

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