Posted in Parenting

Parenting in a social media world (or how I learned to not hate my son’s puzzles)

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I’ve been addicted to social media for the past 15 years, it started with College Club in ’99, when that website went the way of the Dodo I had my stint on LiveJournal, Friendster, MySpace and most recently Facebook. I’ve tried many other social platforms over the years but many of them haven’t stuck.  I have kept my Google + and Twitter accounts open but haven’t done much with them.  
I do my best to keep myself from getting sucked into Facebook and be a present parent but I must admit, my parenting has been greatly influenced by information that I wouldn’t have come across if it wasn’t for social media and I think that is a good thing.
Pinterest seems to be whole different animal, I don’t use it often because I feel visually overstimulated anytime I am on it.  I hate that it sets some high (and sometimes unrealistic) expectations for mothers and I can see how it has actually negatively affected the self esteem of some people I know.  However it also has it’s positives.  I’ve found it very helpful when planning my kid’s birthday parties and have learned some cool kitchen tricks from it but overall I get overwhelmed looking at stuff that I know I would never be able to duplicate.
I have rarely tried to recreate something learned on Pinterest and most of the time the results could be included in one of those “Nailed It” funny memes but since Shammy is currently obsessed with puzzles and I was foreseeing a crisis of crumbling cardboard boxes and missing/mixed up pieces I decided to apply one of the tricks I had learned on Pinterest.
I first purchased some zippered binder pouches.  These can be very pricey but thanks to it being “Back to School” shopping season they are easy to find.  I found the best price at the Dollar Store and I bought 4 to start with in case I didn’t like them.  This particular type is great because it has a separate pocket where you can view the picture of the puzzle.   You can then organize the puzzles in a 3 ring binder or store in a cube organizer.
I proceeded to assign each puzzle a number and wrote it on the back of each piece, that way whenever a piece is found later when I am cleaning I know exactly where to return it to and I no longer stress when both Zen and Shammy are playing with puzzles at the same time and accidentally mix the pieces.
I cut the cardboard picture out of the box and wrote the puzzle number on it.  Since I had more puzzles than pouches I used Ziploc storage bags for the rest.  For large puzzles like those Melissa & Doug ones, I used plastic envelopes from the dollar store.
I am pleased with the end result, it takes up a lot less space, the cubby still has room for many more puzzles and I no longer have to worry about tottering towers of puzzle boxes.
pinterest puzzles
Maybe next time I’ll research a creative way to deal with the board games, Shammy’s growing new obsession.  I think I hate Pinterest a little less.
How do you use social media to help your life?  Any Pinterest successes?
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White collar hippie, Pagan tree hugger and crunchy mama living in Florida with her husband and 2 sons. She works part time as a breastfeeding counselor, freelance virtual bookkeeper, and web designer along with homeschooling her children.

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