I am happy to contribute to charity and the whole point of the charity cake stall is to make money for charity so it doesn't matter to me whether I provide a homemade or shop bought cake so I have no worries about other peoples judgements. The children like to make the cakes for this so if we have time we will, if not we buy them. (Aldi sell packs of 6 butterfly cakes for 99p that always sell well.) If I forget or cannot arrange for cakes for some reason (usually because the children forgot to tell me until we leave for school) then I don't worry because the charity also needs someone to buy the cakes so I send extra money for the girls to buy one for all the family (and me - I like cake).
This is my worst one!
Cakes is a good example too! I love making cakes, one of my real passions but with the pressures of the work-life balance (which I really don't feel I have sorted yet!) I end up doing a 'this will do' and feel awful for it. Today is a good example-World book day. Sons nursery dress up day and I've sent him in as a power ranger! When I was a teacher in school, before I had joshua I used to get quite annoyed at parents who would send their children in in ready made costumes or football kits on book day, thinking they should have made more effort. Now, boy do I know, that those working parents were making an effort. Finding the matching socks for the kits, finding the right mask for the superheroes costume, getting it all washed and ironed ready- that is an effort when you have so much else to do! It still makes me feel guilty- maybe I should have stayed awake until midnight sewing a costume, glueing and sticking parts together? Would it have made a difference to joshua? Probably not. Ha ha!
He did actually ask to be a power ranger and nursery said yesterday that most of the little ones come as princesses or super heroes but it didn't stop that frustration in me. I'm a creative person and love being creative and resourceful but this trait is at the bottom of a list of 'must do firsts'. Once again it's another case of parents putting too muh pressure on themselves to be perfect!
I love baking so this is the perfect justification of me allowing myself time to play and my children love helping out! However I have a tendency to overcommit so baking events often end up with very late nights and a sticky, sticky kitchen. #not got the balance right yet
Snort at this one. Marks and Spencers do perfectly good cakes. Not my thing AT ALL.
I do wish there was a 'chequebook' option made clear on all PTA invitations. So I don't have to go 'Look, I do stuff for charity and the community, the stuff I like and am good at, out there, elsewhere than here. So I'll chuck you a tenner each time you need it but please god don't be glowering at me in the playground when I say no!'
Also... I want to support the school, but I'd also like to be involved in the discussion about what choices it makes and what things the PTA does. I went one or two times to the PTA back when my first kid started school. I had a notion that it meant being involved in, you know, parent-teacher 'associations', like discussing how things happened and what we all thought about it, somewhere below the governors but not just a social club. I realised very quickly it wasn't that and attempts to raise that role weren't welcomed. It all seemed very carefully held at arm's length, orchestrated by (perhaps?) head and governors NOT to encourage discussion or involvement in the school decision making. So I got all 'no taxation without representation' on it. And began to resent it a bit. Of course our kids need shiny new equipment. But other kids need it MORE. I'd be much happier with PTA activities if they were about a discussion of the educational and charitable needs of ALL in our community! But there you go, critical and arsey to the end...
We always fully support school events/charity initiatives and I have no worries at all about buying what's needed to save time and stress ;-)
No comment. I have never baked a cake in my life. Useless at it. I love cooking though and I did some contributions to our primary school (Spanish omelettes, etc). Didn't have to compete therefore..
I found quite hilarious when parents would "help" their kids to bake the winner cakes. Very competitive atmosphere sometimes.
I sincerely cooperated to the charities by buying them!!!
Being judged by others whether it is my 'charity cake stall' contributions or whether it be the fact I was working whilst my children were at school and therefore relied on others has never bothered me...
Great believer in looking in the mirror first!
I so agree with you about looking in the mirror. Life would be so much easier for everyone if we did not judge each other!
I try to contribute but baking is not my thing so attend the event and buy with Tara. BUT I do feel judged. I had my first taste of expectations this Xmas when Tara was a chicken in the nativity play and I had to make the costume! The picture they sent home as a guide of what they wanted was of a feathered chicken and/or a onesie. Well at Xmas its tough to buy a chicken onesie (Easter no problem!) and kings outfits were everywhere so I was in a fuss. Tara wanted mummy to make it rather than buy it and I felt a HUGE expectation on me to make.
So, I made it and became quite competitive. I was surprised at how much pressure I put on myself to make it perfect so she was a fab chicken with feathers. I felt I couldn't simply back out and find a onesie as that wasn't what I felt was expected of me as her mummy. So, I made it with absolutely no time because I also had to study, work, edit a book, do family stuff and sort out Xmas. I felt that if it was crap I would be judged and so would Tara for having a crappy mummy and having a crappy costume. Similarly children in need day with superhero costumes. I bought a onesie but ran out of time to get it so was the night before! If I had planned it it could have been much more suitable for her but in actual fact Tara LOVED going to school as spider-man with slippers!
I feel sad now that I judged myself because no-one really was showing me that they judged me. I will NEVER do that again. Be it cake sale or Xmas costume, next time I will buy from ebay and pass it off as my own! :)
You could never be a 'crappy' mummy Maggie. I saw the chicken costume on facebook and it was fabulous. :)
I have a loft full of costumes which were required for school for history days, charity events etc which I am reluctant to dispose of just in case they are needed for grandchildren or friends. I gave a fire officer and police offer costume to Ellis for World Book day today which used to belong to Olivia and last week supplied onesies for Shelly and 2 of her teacher friends for an event they had in school. I enjoyed events like these in school as they enrich the curriculum but they can add additional pressure for parents.
That is kind Elaine xxx thank you
I'm really not bothered about this one! If I had the time to bake for a sale I would but would never feel bad about sending in a bought cake, the contribution to the cause is the main thing!
You just have to do the best you can in the best way you can do it. I do wonder if there is a bit of an issue with a cake stall these days. A lot more women are running a household and a job than when my children were at school and we certainly should be watching the sugar message but for those of us who like baking and baking with children, it is good fun. A cake stall isn't an every day concern and ideally should be a way of including parents in the life of the school
Hmmm reminds me of a cake sale at the boys primary... I purchased a pack of bake a cookie in ten minutes....guaranteed perfection....I think not I managed to burn the bottoms and spent the next evening trying to purchase said cookies frantically at the cake sale to save people breaking their teeth on my creation's.... enough said.
Not a cake maker so bought cakes and donated them, never felt judged. My trouble was 'buying a load' and then we would feast on them.........very enjoyable......naughty but nice !
Like charities especially animal and eco ones (like the idea of supporting those without a voice. I also like baking but not for charity. Real bad experience of doing a school Bake Off . The cake was under cooked, sank and broke into two. tried to repair and made an even bigger disasster. It was like ritual humiliation. the only saving grace was that the winning entry was a friend, who had bought the cakes from Asda and entered them. She is a highly successful business woman with no time or inclination for baking. They won and that was after being tasted by a judge. thought it was hilarious. Suggest that Barbie should go an do the same. use the time for other things.
To be fair I'm useless at this kind of thing. I'm not up there with the jones' and not a competitor in the baking department. When it comes to donations and sending things in- I'm the one with my tail between my legs because iv forgotten and my children frantically remember on the morning. Headless chicken routine all over again. X
Well - I don't really care what other people think! I'm useless at baking cakes but have found (if I have the time and have remembered) that I can cook cupcakes or muffins. Sometimes I just buy the really cheap plain fairy cakes and then we decorate them with icing and sprinkles or swirly buttercream. But, whatever anyone does, as long as they can make money for charity, that's what matters! I've never even thought of caring what anyone else has brought in! Anyway, it's usually the kids buying them isn't it? All in moderation too - we do our bit. I'd rather be baking than doing fancy dress costumes though. I tremble with fear at any dress-up day! It ends up costing me a fortune as I have no imagination or flair when it comes to things like that!
I do find this another added pressure but however relish the opportunity to donainething fun with the children for a good cause!
Got to love a bit of cake baking for charity, even though mine don't look half as good as the other mum's creations!!
My grannie taught me to bake from an early age, this is something which I have passed onto my children. We bake as a family, we bake bread, cakes, biscuits and savouries. It's cathartic, a way of unwinding!
I remember the primary school cake stall, parents asking what I'd baked. It felt as though something which brought so much pleasure was being deemed as a contest. This is something which would not enter my head. An assortment of cakes went to school cake stalls, on a yearly basis, as my contribution to the school because I did not have any involvement in PTA. whether I was judged or not is irrelevant as far as I am concerned.
This is one I don't mind. I can bake a decent cake or fairy cakes so me, mum and kids do a pile between us. The kids love decorating and eating the buttercream. I take them early on to the cake stall and usually get a good reception. No stress, just nice cake! I've not had any returned yet!
I'm rubbish at baking but I love trying for my friends cos we can just have a laugh at the crunchy flat cakes and I just like to spend the time to convey my appreciation of their friendship....but in public..
no...far too rubbish for anyone to buy the cakes...but I do love buying everyonelses.. So keep baking if you can & it makes you happy!x
Just looking back over these comments, so many people seeing it as a competition. This did not enter my head at all, bake sale to raise money for whatever. The angst seems to come from the perception of judgement but isn't it the case that we have to buy into that to allow it to affect us. Society seems obsessed with levelling and it starts at an early age with colour of reading book children are on or in groups they sit in. All that we need to focus on is our child for the unique individual they are, support them and encourage them. We all have gifts, talents and areas for development. Does it matter what the next person is like in comparison?
No worries here. If I have time I bake (which I enjoy) and if not I buy.
I suppose the bigger issue here may be for me is that I resent a view of myself as mum=baker. Cannot let go of the view that life is too short to stuff a mushroom.
Isn't this is what Marks and Spencer if for?
When I do bake I like to do it with the children and enjoy the eating of it with them. Otherwise I'll just buy it and forget the consequences!
This may not be about cakes, it could be about being asked to do something which you may not be good at, at a time when you lack the time, resources and skill and they (usually a school) frame it in such a way you are made to feel that you should be able to provide according to a rather out of date model. Cakes are easy for me but I do remember spending 5 hours making a world book day outfit without a pattern or the experience to do it because I had no money to buy a ready made costume and because I didn't want my child to be embarrassed. So yes, I obviously don't want them to be judged on my lack of ability. That is why being given a choice of ways to contribute is so much more comfortable and yes my contribution would be cake!
Never have the time! We have done a few summer fairs but now days we have so little time that I would prefer to support with just handing over the money needed. Might not be quite in the spirit of it but I'm all for just getting straight to the point!
I love baking and will do it if I can, but if it's shop bought then surely the charity is still benefitting?
I always bought stuff for my son to take in - cake making was never my thing and making them was never my priority. Knowing when good enough is good enough was, and still is, one of my mottos! Other things I needed to do, such as costume making, tended to get pushed to the back of the queue too - I did used to feel guilty about this when I saw the wonderful creations other mums would rustle up.
Just this week, I found out that there was some sort of bake-challenge at my daughter's school. She hadn't bothered to ask me to help her rustle-up some (half-baked?!) creation, knowing it would be met with a dim view and excuses from me, Am I bothered (to coin a phrase)? A bit yes, but not enough to wring my hands over the issue. Such is life and there are much worse things to worry about. I eat cake more often than I bake it.
i love baking and enjoy cake baking for charity. Less enthused when there is not much notice! Not so wealthy that I have ingredients just waiting for the call for eggs etc!! Sometes resent the fact that so little is charged for them at events - this includes for knitting and sewing stuff - do people realise how much time, money and effort goes into these things. When I did a sweet stall people didn't want to pay 50 p for home made fudge!! It says so much about what labour we value in this society - certainly not a mother's labour!
A great believer in the saying: Do not judge other people if you don't want to be judged. Provided that we use 'judgement' in a negative sense here... However, never have any problems with constructive criticism of either my cakes or my work
cake sale and judgement - well I'm thinking here that this relates to PTA work and who contributes and who does not. I suppose with Anna I tried to get involved in the PTA I went to one meeting, but was too tired or working to go to others. I did attend the events -- Christmas and summer Fair and bought plenty of cakes!!!! I didn't make them though! The other women and some men who were key members of the PTA tended not to work and so they has the time and energy to give and in all honesty it was appreciated - they raised money for trips etc. I didn't feel guilt because if I hadn't have been working i suppose i would have got further involved - but i was so that is that - i was quite pragmatic about it - I think. I suppose time softens the edges and the emotions you feel when their happening are stronger - so much happens when you're a working mum that getting my perspective now is probably different than it would have been 12 months ago and 12 months ago before that etc. We are always trying to mke narratives of our lives - simplify the timelines but it's not that easy really and not that reliable, in sin some ways.
So was I judged for running the girls into the playground and running back out again into my car and onto the motorway to work - probably - but you know what i couldn't give a biscuit. l Not caring what people think if there not being kind or caring I suppose helps me - again the people ic are about don't judge and accept my schoice / or lack of choices and they are the ones that matter.
What i will say that sometimes going into a work place that was not as caring as i would like and driven by a neo-liberal agenda was harder than being a mum and doing all Cindy's day to day actions.
I can't remember ever making a cake for the school. I've never had time or the interest in cake making. I would support school functions whenever possible though, and did my stint of teaching the 'special needs' group etc. But I think whatever a parent can do to support the school and their kids, and however they feel they can best do it is fine. Some parents go the whole hog and I must admit I did judge, and perhaps thought they were 'showing off' in some cases - as though they had to prove something, or had a need to be noticed, or whatever. But each to their own. Maybe that made me feel a little guilty for not doing enough. But am I judging myself in a bad way here unnecessarily? I don't know? I did what I could do at the time.
Once again I smile ...same challenges faced just in different contexts as life changes ..current context for the bake-off winner v. shop bought is the book group! Wonder what Barbie would wear when she was 60?