Once Upon A Cupcake



Ah, the pursuit of people-pleasing. Is it just me, or is this a mama's slippery slope? Lately, I've gotten a little obsessed with making cupcakes in an unhealthy, trying-to-prove-myself kinda way. I find the desire to try to be Martha Stewart rears its ugly head every year right around Christmas, when I start making homemade soap (2001) or kahlua (2004) or body scrubs (2003) or truffles (2008) in an attempt to show everyone how crafty and creative and granola I am. Which usually ends up with me feeling tired and frazzled and not even enjoying the process.

For my son's 3rd birthday, I decided to make homemade cupcakes instead of buying the storebought ones. And then my sister pointed out a cupcake blog to me by someone who actually has the time and energy to perfect this craft. And I decided that my first cupcake foray must be, has to be, an amazing creation that will look just as good. I go to five different stores, buy cupcakes stands, and start practicing. I fantacized about the gushing reverance these cupcakes would produce from both mom and child alike at the party. These cupcakes would PROVE what a GOOD and NOBLE mom I am!!!

Can you guess how this story ends? Like these insane moments usually end: with me baking and decorating into the wee hours, totally bombing my kitchen, spending gobs of money and wondering why I didn't just pick up the 20 pack at Costco for $10. Not to mention being too tired for words at the party, and my glib husband reminding me that he TOLD me to just buy the damn cupcakes.

It seems like I don't notice these perfectionistic tendencies until it's much too late, and I'm feeling drained and frazzled and (gasp) unappreciated. How about you? Are there any areas of your life as a mom where you find yourself trying to prove yourself only after you've gone a little crazy?


-kh

11 comments:

  1. Definitely birthday parties as well.

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  2. Not yet, but my only is only 9 months old. I'm all for costco cupcakes though - mmm mmm good!

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  3. I can't bring myself to buy a store bought cake or cupcakes. I do use a box mix though, so it's not from complete scratch. I love adding my personal touch to the party with the way I decorate the cake. But I do get neurotic planning games and crafts for parties. I just want it to be such a special day for my kids.

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  4. ha! I was seriously planning on making cupcakes for my son's 1st birthday party...hmmmmm...maybe I should rethink that :)

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  5. My issue is not so much cup cakes, as committing to make cup cakes, casseroles, jello jigglers or whatever is requested. Yes, I can't say no!!!! The thing is, other women (who also can't say no) don't understand when you try to change this detrimental pattern. I've said I couldn't commit to 2 separate events recently, and the women who asked me simply would not accept "no" for an answer. They only left me alone after I pulled the husband card (I'll have to discuss it with my husband). Sheesh, it is really hard to get out of the people pleasing circus!

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  6. I remember those cupcakes and they were yummy! I also remember the soap, kahlua, body scrubs and truffles. I loved them all and they made me wish I was "crafty" like you.

    Isn't that funny...and so typical.

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  7. I wonder if this urge to prove oneself "worthy" and "crafty" rears its ugly head for mothers in particular because we are trying to mark this beautiful occasion that is also a moment of such profound transformation in a woman's life. After all you gave birth to this little child. As birthdays progress, people conveniently forget about a mother laboring somewhere to push that human out. I must say it's refreshing to read about your cupcake confession. I feel like I get online and everyone is so incredibly crafty, cool, and are ready to boast about it at a moment's notice. Thank you.

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  8. nodding my head. yes yes and yes.

    I did this with my garden this year. I did NOT spend money on dirt, seedlings, gloves for the kids etc. only to be frustrated with my weeds and harvest that works out to be $12 a pound.

    the rest of it, I'm up until 2am doing things that nobody but me cares about.

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  9. You know when you are skiing and there are signs that say, "Know your limits and ski within them." I try to do that as a mom. I love doing the little things. Detail are my thing. I don't even attempt to do some mom kind of things.
    That is the lesson I want to teach my kids. Be great, or don't even try!

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  10. For me, it's the birthday party invitations. I'm obsessed with creating one-of-a-kind birthday party invitations for my kids' parties. I spend way too much money and then get freaky when they want to help because they won't be able to do it perfectly >eyeroll<

    I made a resolution to never make the cake/cupcakes if I'm cooking for the party. Usually I buy the cupcakes and then have fun decorating them. That's the fun part anyways!

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