Raising four children, all born within 5 1/2 years, can bring a lot of stress to a young, stay-at-home mom. I know. I lived it.
It often surprises me, though, when I consider the thing that stressed me the most. It wasn’t trying to keep up with all the dirty bottles. It wasn’t trying to find 3 minutes to shower. It wasn’t even trying to wrangle 4 children and a cartload of groceries in Walmart.
It was dinner.
Dinner stressed me out every single night! Not the actual sitting down with the kids, ’cause that was fun. We’d all tell the best part of our day and catch up on stuff. But deciding what to make caused a level of stress I hope never to experience again.
The perfectionist in me wanted it to be healthy and balanced and yummy, so I’d work hard to pull something together while making sure the little ones weren’t tearing things apart. And then we’d sit down and inevitably one of them would say, “I don’t like this!” And my feelings would be hurt, and I’d wonder why I work so hard at something they didn’t want.
Eventually, I just made what they wanted. My stressed diminished and they finished their plates. No more stress!
Today I felt a little of that stress again. I’ve been asked to bake cakes for my co-worker’s daughter’s quinceañera. The only flavor she specifically asked for was coffee, and beyond that, I was to decide.
What’s making it even more difficult is all the icing has to be white, which means the flavors of the icing can’t vary too much or the color might change.
For the past month, I’ve been going over flavor options in my head, and pinning different ideas to a board I created specifically for her. That part was fun. But now it’s getting to the point where I have to make a decision and bake the cakes.
And for a minute I was brought back to those days long ago when the kids wanted supper.
So I took a breath, got out a pen and paper, and forced myself to decide.
Here’s what I came up with:
Three of the cakes will be 2-layer strawberry cakes with strawberry buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.
Then I’ll make 4 2-layer mocha cakes. Two filled with coffee buttercream and topped with a hazelnut cream frosting, and two filled with Oreo cream and topped with vanilla frosting.
The last two will be white wedding cakes with vanilla buttercream filling and frosting.
At least that’s what I’ve decided on for now. I’ve dedicated all of tomorrow to baking, so you won’t have to wait for long to find out if I stuck with my decision.
And after I’m done with those….
I have to decide how much to charge.
Shoot me now.
(kidding Lotta Joy.)