craft and baking

31 Mar

This is a subject that bugs me a lot.

Just how much craft, baking or other happy family activities are most mothers doing with their children?

The thing is, I don’t. Well i do, sometimes. But it’s usually in short, guilty bursts.

I’m not saying i leave my kids 24/7 to roam the house while i put my feet up and eat muffins. I take them out somewhere every day – indoor play, children’s centre, playground, pub (oops, did i say that?), but when i’m in the house they’re usually either a) watching television or b) playing on their own.

I have visions in my head of all the other mums replete with “kids and hers” aprons, baking cakes, brownies, quiche as the children whoop whoop with delight and lick the leftovers from wooden spoons. That, or finger painting, play dough competitions and vegetable growing demonstrations all before lunch. (which obviously consists of said home grown and home baked food).

The thing is, I’m utterly convinced that this is what all other mothers are up to. While i’m there saying for the 50th time, and oh so innocently “You must be tired darling? How about some quiet time while mummy clears up the lunch things?” As if a) quiet time in front of the tv is a novel treat and b) he hasn’t realised yet that “clearing up” takes mummy at least an hour, and usually involves a lot of time typing on the computer.

Rationally i suspect this is probably another example of me measuring myself up against the “better mums” that i fear i’m losing out to on a daily basis, but that don’t actually exist.

The problem is that when i visit other people’s houses, there is mabel’s artwork on the kitchen wall, out comes the biscuit tin “would you like an apple scone, archie baked them with me this morning”, or there sits impressively a toddler-size car made out of boxes (believe me that has happened to me).

As i mentioned in Get Confessing, I have a sneaking suspicion that some other mums might not be being entirely honest (the biscuits are Annabel Karmel’s and the car was made by dad under duress last night).

Problem is that the rational side of my brain gets overriden by the irrational wonderings of a guilt-ridden mother.

That, and obviously having too much time on my hands to think while i put my feet up and eat muffins.

18 Responses to “craft and baking”

  1. TheMadHouse March 31, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I am craft and baking mad, but……… I had never done either BC. I was a creative virgin!

    Now I have the boys, I am all in to making and baking, but I tend to do it with them and it is fun becasue I dont let on that it is all for me and that theirs is actually better than mine.

    But each to their own, that is the beauty of the wold.

    Plus I dont tell the people I used to work with etc, as they can not get their heads around me being a mum, let along a bare foot in the kitchen type one

  2. hpretty March 31, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    good for you. i think maybe if you enjoy it it’s a whole different ball game. My boys are 3 and 1, so the only chance i get is when the little one goes down for a sleep. by then i’m so exhausted i couldn’t make a piece of toast!

  3. Amber March 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I am useless at cooking and so we rarely bake anything…….I used to do lots of arts and craft things when they were little but they are more keen on lego and spongebob now. But I have a particular friend who makes me think she has a secret group of employees in her cellar, as she is on the PTA, grows her own vegetables, sews school play costumes (and they are REALLY good), cooks from scratch every meal, all organic, is a part time lawyer, 3 kids, and really patient. Makes me feel so bloody useless. But then there is nothing worse than comparing. We are all different. And my kids love me so thats all that matters!

  4. bsouth March 31, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Well, I’m obviously not baking because I’m commenting on your blog while my children watch show me show me. What? I took them to Sainsburys this morning – they’ve been out and had exercise!

    I do bake with the girl but extremely infrequently – I usually blog it when it happens, it’s that unusual. If they want to draw they can sit and do that on their own and I’m hopeless about crafts so nursery deals with side of things.

  5. rosemary March 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Problem is that your kids are really too young yet to do all these crafty, cooking things. Their attention span just isn’t long enough yet. Wait a while and take them out to the physical things. There’ll be so much time later on for Science Museums etc. Don’t be so hard on yourself, we all lie in our own ways but I personally wouldn’t tell other people too much about my mess!


  6. Anna March 31, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Baking, noooo, I have tried a couple of times, 1st time was that tea loaf I brought round, Think child input was about 1% and I tried last week to make my mum a cake for her birthday but wanted it to be nice so was very strict on what could be done to help, the button on the mixer was a hit (for about 2 minutes!) I agree with Rosemarys comment, they are a bit too young.

    I too have mum friends that seem to always be bringing round cakes and biscuits that their little ones have made, and I like you think maybe I should be doing that too but the fact of the matter is T has little interest when it actually comes down to it. Also, and I don’t want to sound non pc, my friend who do the baking have girls who do seem more interested and also, and maybe more importantly, they only have 1 child. I do think that makes a big difference time wise etc etc.

    And when it comes to craft, W is sat in the “craft box” and T has decided he wants playdough so they can mess as I ramble on your blog, but now it is gone 7pm which means bathtime and bed so I can have a glass of something chilled!

    You are truely not alone in your thoughts and more importantly, not one to add to a gulty list!!! xx

  7. pip April 1, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    It is really hard when they are so young. I agree you can only do it when the little one asleep otherwise they just mess everything up.

    It does get easier… Now that J2 is over 2 we can sometimes do it all together though last attempted involved lots of arguments over taking turns with the stiring… I almost wished I had never bothered!

    I have a couple of friends who have just one 4 year old and having had some time with just J1 recently I have realised how EASY that is so no wonder they have the time for the all the crafts and baking.

  8. Simone April 1, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Henri, I think we are twins!!! I wrote a post about this last year; it’s called “Confessions of a Lazy mother”… if you want to cheer yourself up and laugh at my expense have a read (it’s in my sidebar uner “parenting” I think. And check out the comments! Even some of the mums I thought were the uber-crafty baker types confessed to being secret slobs!!! I’m with you on this one, my friend! x

  9. Kristin April 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Thanks for your lovely comments over on my blog. I enjoy reading yours as well. I’m glad Barbara put me onto it.

    As for me, I’ve just completed making an Easter diorama entirely out of fondant that spans the length of our dining room table. Oh wait, crap, I’m getting myself mixed up with someone else again. I’m at work all day while someone else is watching my kids. Sigh…

  10. hpretty April 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    hee hee

  11. Magic Mummy April 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    I do loads of cooking and crafty things with the kids but they do their fair share of playing on the Wii and watching TV aswell.

    I’m not really a creative person and half the time my cooking turns out completely the opposite to how it was supposed to but I enjoy spending time with my kids and they love making things so I am getting used to it and getting better lol

  12. tc April 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    I try and involve the LO’s (2,5 yr young twins) in as much crafting and cooking as possible but most of the time, I am the only one left doing it….
    The only “craft” that the LOs are able to do at the moment, is to draw a few lines and circles and stick some stickers on a piece of paper (or on the table), so I try to make the most out of that.
    Earlier today, when the LOs were both watching Peppa Pig, I was really wondering what other mums do with their LOs all day…… I am a WAHM, so spend all day with them and trying to find educational/fun/healthy/good activities to do is not always that easy !

  13. hpretty April 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    ok, so it’s official. looks like most mummies are craft / baking crazy and the few of us are lazy! damn, so wanted it to be paranoia…

  14. Lori @ RRSAHM July 19, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Oh this was a great post!! I must confess, I would rather do dance than craft!!

  15. Rachel August 19, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    We make chocolate crispie/cornflake cakes, or decorate plain biscuits with frosting fruit, and she helps with dinner, fetching ingredients or chopping tomatoes/cucumber/lettuce with a plastic knife, but no, no baking. Maybe in six, nine months time when she can concentrate properly.


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