Friday February 5, 2021

There was flour everywhere, eggs dripping from the table, coconut and cocoa stuck to every surface in the normally not so spotless kitchen.

In the middle of this mess was me, my hair white with flour my face sticky with green icing trying to hold back the tears of my self-doubt.

I was intimidated by the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday book and the parents who could make them and stated it was so easy. My son poured over the book wishing he had a cake like other children did. All those parties he went to where each birthday cake was a work of art made him have high expectations. I felt I had to compare with these other parents and their cakes.

Why did I feel I had to compete? I was a caring person, a creative mother who wrote stories with her son, yet if I did not make a novelty cake, I would be an incompetent mother and my son may miss out on birthday party invitations. Worse he would tell the story at every family event. I could think of only one birthday cake plain and iced, I had in my life, but now children expect a spectacular cake every year. She could have bought a cake and iced it, but I did not want my son to be the only who had a shop bought cake on his birthday.

The first attempt of the train looked like it had been squashed by a huge green monster. I wanted to admit defeat, but my friends cake had three dinosaurs fighting. I would try again. After the second attempt of a number 7 made with two oblong cakes ended in crumbs, I cried. This was enough, I loved my son but making an amazing cake did not make me a better mother. Starting to clean up, I wondered if I had enough time to buy a cake.

Is there something you tried to do to impress by others but gave up? Do you feel intimidated by other achievements that you start doubting yourself and attempting things that will only end in tears? Maybe if you cannot relate there maybe someone you know who had an experience like mine but not involving cakes.

Be vulnerable, be honest and share your story so I do not feel so alone. I have lots more stories I can bore you with about my lack of skills in art and domesticity.

A Moodscope member.

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