Shall I make the cake?
The decisions of a Mummy! By Tiffany Matthews
It’s that time of year again…my daughter’s birthday is coming up and a month or so beforehand I always start to think about…the CAKE! It is something I laugh to myself about every time. I go through the same process every year…Shall I make it? What will she want this time? Do I have the time? Is it going to be stressful? Can I actually make the required cake? I ask myself all these questions and yet here I am 2 weeks before, with fondant and food colouring to the ready!
Half Mermaid- Half Unicorn, Seriously!?
I then ask the question I sometimes dread…what would you like? My face must be a picture every time I do this! I just hold my breath and pray that it will be something that I can make. I then start the research…gathering some pictures and merging a few ideas that I think will be achievable for an amateur baker like myself. Sometimes I have got these very wrong and changed my mind whilst making, others I have managed and even felt a sense of achievement!
I’m not a baker!
Baking the odd cake is something I enjoy when I have the time and no pressure. Making a cake that fits a specific vision, (my daughters), or one that people will actually see, is something entirely different. Are there any other parents that get the ‘cake pressure’ out there? There have been many previous creations of mine over the past 6 years. We have had pigs in mud baths, Moana on a beach and even toadstool houses! In the early days I did question who I was doing this for, as it was not like a 1 year old was going to remember.
I came to the conclusion that I made them because I liked the creative challenge and hoped that as they got older they would appreciate the effort of me making/trying to make them, whether they met expectations or not! At the same time I always respected my friends that would say…’Why are you doing it? Just go to Tesco!’ At times, this has definitely been the least stressful and most sensible option!
Sponge, Fondant and Tears!
I’m not going to lie…some of these cakes have been quite simple and a bit of a breeze. Others, I have been near tears! My eldest daughters’ birthday is in July and we have the hottest kitchen in the world. There has been fondant stuck to all number of surfaces, sponges breaking in half, lumpy buttercream and fondant stuck in lettering cutters! I have literally experienced most cake making disasters at some point and have sometimes felt so disappointed with the outcome. I’ve looked at online tutorials to find out how to do things, but ultimately, I have no baking technical knowledge whatsoever. Just throw it in a bowl and start mixing!
The kitchen when I have finished these creations looks like something from an apocalyptic movie. Some have turned out well, others have been shoddy but at the end of the day my daughter has smiled, and my husband has enjoyed eating them!
The Parenting Pressures
This silly little decision over birthday cake making, always gets me thinking about the different parenting pressures we all feel. We often have an idea in our minds abo
ut the things we would like to do/achieve as parents, but really there is no handbook and we are doing the best we can, learning as we go along. Whether it is making more fresh dinners, baking birthday cakes or collecting them from school, all these little things need to be balanced with what we can physically, or sometimes financially, afford to do. I have experienced the parental guilt in different forms since being a Mummy. When I worked full-time in teaching, I felt bad that my daughter was in nursery 7.30-6.30pm every day of the week. Now I have had the opportunity to run my own business I worry that she is missing out on other opportunities!
What parenting pressures have you felt? Whether it’s why you haven’t got a pet, when someone else at school has a farm. Or why someone else gets to have fun at breakfast club instead of walking with you! It’s crazy, how we can all get bogged down instead of just reminding ourselves that we are doing our best. There is no right or wrong, as long and they are safe and happy.
My advice about that birthday cake would be…If you would like to do it and can, GO FOR IT!! Be as creative as you can! If not, or you don’t want to…GET TO THE SHOP! Your little one will have a great time celebrating anyway, I’m sure.
Remember our Tappy Toes classes are filled with wonderful parents…..it’s social for you too. If you would like to join our super friendly classes check out our website tappytoes.com or to book a Tappy Toes party go to tappytoes.com/parties