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

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!

More from The Stir: The 'Healthy' Birthday Party Is One Parenting Trend That Needs to Disappear ... Now

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?


Image by Jeanne Sager



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Coles... Coles_mom

My mom was (is) this way!!! We grew up with these extravagant and elaborate cakes for every birthday. You know what? I hated them!! When I was a kid all I wanted were the cool store bought ones with the cartoon characters my friends always had. Now that I'm an adult, I appreciate the time and love she put into those cakes....but nothing wrong with store bought. My mom still wants to make a fancy one every year for my kiddos, but I don't usually let her because she has arthritis and I know her hands hurt for days after.

lovem... lovemy2sons25

I will be getting my boys store bought cakes because I know they will look and taste better than any cake I make and I want my kids to have the best!! :)

nonmember avatar Vanessa

I let my kids choose. If they want home made, they'll get it. If they want a store cake, I have no problem buying it. It's their day and they can choose how they want their sugar.

Brain... BrainyMommy

Mommies will fight over anything no matter how stupid or trivial. First world problems.

nonmember avatar kaerae

As a kid, my mom did the same, and I secretly longed for one of the store-bought ones with the frosting flowers and plastic figurines, but they were too expensive. She also hand-made our Halloween costumes and I was jealous of the kids who got the plastic ones that came in a box with a mask. When my kids were babies & toddlers, I made their cakes, but as they got older, they wanted the cool store-bought ones, so that's what we did. Trust me, it means more to you than it does to her.

Nurse... Nursekelly1980

We always had cake mix cakes growing up and.all I wanted was a cool fancy store bought cake. So since I had kids, it's been cool store bought cakes, except for Camden, I couldn't find the monkey one I wanted for his 1st birthday, so a friend made one

Chana... Chanandler.Bong

What an obnoxious title and asinine article.  Is this really a debate we need in the parenting world?

nonmember avatar Julie

It's not a debate; it's just a conversation. Chill.
Each Christmas my mom would make us a gift. My siblings and I all loved this. I enjoy the chance to make things for my boys! Probably means more to me though lol.

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

^ This. This is one of the stupidest, most obnoxious, sanctimommy articles I've read on here. Should have figured though, it was written by one of the worst writers on here.

April... AprilJune

I like to make my daughters their cakes too. I always had homde made cakes and I liked them. They weren't elaborate (I was super impressed when myy mom made a heart shaped cake for me lol), but they were good. I do recruit my sister to help with icing them sometimes (she took a cake decorating class), but they are definitely made with love! When they start requesting store bought cakes...who knows what will happen!

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