parents

I finally worked out how to Do It All: Just lie about the damn muffins.

On This Glorious Mess with Andrew Daddo and Holly Wainwright this week, it’s time to get real. Really, really, real.

I am a big, fat, liar. Honesty, I have discovered this week, is not the best policy.

I can’t bake. And what’s more, I resent feeling like I should be able to bake. Before I became a parent no-one cared that I don’t own scales or a KitchenAid, and no-one expected me to ever arrive anywhere with a Tupperware container of sugary goodness. A bottle of wine would always do.

But once you become a parent – actually, let’s face it, once you become a MOTHER – baking is suddenly part of your job description, and one of the criteria on which your parenting is judged. Is that birthday cake home-made? Are those muffins egg-free? Could you bring a plate to the play-date? Every child at day care needs a cupcake for your son’s birthday. Can you whip up 30? 

Don’t believe that there are mothers in the world who really, really can’t bake? Behold my last attempt at making the daycare cupcakes:

holly-cupcake-fail-jpg
They look exactly like the one on the packet, right?

I get inordinately stressed out by my lack of baking skills. I am not the only parent in the world whose life is busy and often overwhelming, but sometimes, when I am screwing up another batch of home-made banana bread 10 minutes before I am due at the bake sale, it feels like I am Failing at Parenthood. And Failing at Life.

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It becomes one giant metaphor for all the things I need to do, but I can’t. I can’t be the mum who has the interesting, busy job and still turns up for reading groups and makes sure my kids are doing their homework and that everyone is eating their vegetables and attends work functions after hours and remembers all the kids’ names in my daughter’s class and makes sure there are always birthday gifts for randoms and already has their Christmas shopping done and manages a meaningful monthly date night with my partner and a quality-time catch-up with my girlfriends and got my son to brush his teeth AND his hair and took two kids to three different sports events this week and has a clean house and… bakes fresh and delicious playdate muffins.

I. Can’t. Do. It. All.

So, I have started lying. And since you can’t do it all, either, I suggest you listen up.

When you don’t have time to make the crappy muffins, or even the time to try to find a park outside Bakers’ Delight to BUY muffins on the way to the playdate, do this:

Turn up empty-handed and say: “I made some muffins this morning, but I dropped them when was getting them out of the oven! So silly! Sorry.” And move it along. We don’t need muffins at playdates anyway, people, there’s an obesity crisis.

I know, it’s profound, and you can hear about it here:

I am ready to employ the lie in other areas where I feel I am lacking. That birthday present for the child I don’t know? I left it at home, sorry. That content plan I didn’t have time to finish because my son was vomiting on me until 2am? The document corrupted. What a pain.

Sometimes, we need to be bad to do good. Just don’t tell the kids.

Also on Mamamia’s podcast for parents This Glorious Mess with Andrew Daddo and I this week: Who on earth would reply to one Melbourne couple’s entirely crazy ad for a babysitter? Could smoking pot make you a better parent and what do parents do at Christmas shows that drive the performers insane?

You can listen to the full episode here:

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