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OT: I Love My Kid Too Much to Get Her a Store-Bought Birthday Cake

I Love My Kid Too Much to Get Her a Store-Bought Birthday Cake

by Jeanne Sager

Rainbow Cake CakezillaI have spent weeks. No days. OK, OK, weeks, combing Pinterest for the perfect idea for cupcakes for my daughter's upcoming birthday party. She wants pandas, and she's going to get pandas if I have to stay up until 3 a.m. crafting cute little black and white bear cubs until my fingers bleed.

Yes, I am one of those moms, the moms Good Morning America called out for being cakezillas who intimidate other moms with their push for perfection this week. A store-bought birthday cake just isn't good enough for my baby. 

It sounds nuts, doesn't it?

I know it does. I know I'm trying too hard.

Every year after the party is over and the kids have gone home, I sit down on my couch and vow to lay off next year, to give myself a break. I'll hire someone to bake the cake! I'll go store-bought! I'll bite off something I can actually chew!

And then spring hits, and my daughter's June birthday looms, and there I am, furiously searching for an idea to blow my kid away. Because I just.



It's a sickness that I'm not quite sure how to explain, but I'll give it my best shot: I feel like making my kid's birthday awesome is part of getting her childhood "right," and that means doing things myself. I just can't bring myself to accept the "help" of an outside baker. The very idea fills me up with dread. Last year I was sick as a dog before my daughter's birthday, and even letting my husband make her "bring to school" cupcakes made me cry.

Call it being a cakezilla. Call it peer pressure. Call it extreme parenting. Or just call it crazy.

But I have a feeling I'm not alone, and not just because of the GMA story on us birthday cake nuts. As a mom there is always something you feel you need to do yourself, that you just won't accept help on.

For me it's the birthday cake.

Maybe for you it was the baby book.

Maybe it's bath time.

Or bed time.

Or being the mom who HAS to volunteer to chaperone the kids' field trips because you just feel compelled to spend a day on a bus full of screaming 8-year-olds.

We all have something we feel like we need to do for our kids and do all by ourselves, if only to prove that we can. Whether our kids will even notice is hard to tell. Every year she thanks me for her cake. But will she remember them in 10 years? In 20? Will she remember that Mommy was up into the wee hours on a muggy June night making a second cake because the first one stuck to the pan?

Maybe she will. Maybe she won't.

But doing this for my kid isn't about judging other mothers (I could give a fig if you go store-bought). It's about me showing my kid I love her in a way that works for me (and my neuroses).

So don't be intimidated by my homemade birthday cake, and I won't be intimidated by your picture-perfect nursery.

We all show love in different ways. 

Have you fallen prey to the "must make the perfect cake" monster?

Or is it something else you just can't delegate?

What is your "I MUST DO MYSELF" thing?

by on May. 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM
Replies (11-14):
by on May. 23, 2013 at 1:02 AM

i let walmart make a awesome cake for mine this year. i did the made by mommy cake last year. i just didn't have the paitence after doing all the decorations.

by on May. 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Yes, I started doing that with my boys. I recovered. I think it was after making a blue cake that looked like an (original) xbox--or was it the castle cake--took a whole afternoon off from work (back when I worked fulltime) to make it. LOL Now, a birthday cake is either an ice cream cake (easy to make) or a cake mix cake with canned frosting in a pyrex 9x13 baking dish.

by Silver Member on May. 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

I like making the cakes, hubby just won't let me get the cake flour half the time even though its cheaper. He goes and gets the cake without the kids or my input on what everyone wants. We did a Toy Story birthday party and some cake that looked pathetically girly... He was upset (this was when he turned 3, he really wanted an Buzz on his cake!) This year he wanted Captain America and how hard is it to frost it like Cap's shield? Not very (unless you me, but I'll get there in a second)...hubby went out and got Angry Bird cupcakes...not even a cake. Poor kid was devestated again, and I was a bit hurt because I was loooking forward to making it.

Now when I do make a usually turns into - WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE?! I don't know how I mess up it up every single time. Either the cake crumbles just looking at it, but's really moist. If I use a boxed mix, it comes out hard as a rock EVERY time and I follow the directions! lol. I can't spread store bought frosting, so I make my own on that too. Some times the frosting comes out perfect, other times I have no clue what I did different but it's either too runny and came out as icing consistancy and appearance, or it's so thick that it can't spread. Either way, the kids get to help frost their own cakes - they love, we laugh and have a great time. If it tastes good in the end, and you can kinda tell what it is, then they don't care. THAT is what I love about their birthdays. 

This year, my daughter asked if she could make her own. She wants it pool themed since her birthday is the same day as a swim meet this year. So help me if hubby comes home with cupcakes!!! There just might be a cupcake war.... She picked out her frosting color and flavors and everything already. I've spent too long trying to figure out how to make everything look like our team's pool too (by her request).

As for the "thigns I must do myself"...there are too many lol. If after I week I still haven't accomplished the desired affect/goal, then I'll cave and request help. But I HAVE TO try and do it myself FIRST lol.

by Platinum Member on May. 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I bake all of my kiddos birthday cakes. 8)

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