(Continuation of The Candid Approach, step 2/7. To read step 1, click here.)
2. Be Real. Be Candid.
The Vertical Cake
Trying to be perfect was exhausting. It took lots of time to edit out all those dirty clothes on the floor and broken blinds in the window before I could post a photo online!It was self-damaging to think I should make my Pinterest board a reality to a T.
Just last week my two sons were having their combined birthday party and I asked them to draw me a picture of the cake they wanted me to make. They are 3 and 5- I was setting myself up for success- if their drawing isn’t perfect, my cake doesn’t have to be.
When they were describing it to me before the drawing I imagined my usual box cake thrown into a rectangle glass casserole dish. Slab on some colorful frosting.
Piece of cake- I can whip that out right before dinner after I finish all my other errands and chores.
However, turns out the joke was on me.
They had it all planned out.
This was no casserole pan cake.
They wanted it as tall as the sky with every layer a different color. Don’t laugh you cake maker pros- this is another realm for me. I may have told them I’d do it another awesome way (casserole pan) but just that morning I was looking at past pictures of their combined birthdays. Last year they got a doughnut with a candle in it and the year before that they got a cupcake.
I had escaped the “cake” for their birthday for far too long. Today was going to be different! They deserved a stinking vertical cake and I was going to make it– with what time and talent, I did not know.
Meanwhile, I had no time to pinterest and dream it up so it all had to come immediately from my head. Hence, why it was soooo imperfect.
I worked hard on it and pushed everything I had to do that day to the back burner. The boys watched in excitement and amazement.
I got frustrated- red food dye is not red and I don’t care what you say.
It is pink.
Even adding more red food dye didn’t solve the problem and now my kids were going to die of excessive dye. It was then that Raycer gave me the confidence to press on.
“You sure are working hard, Mom. It’s going to be awesome!”
Booya. It didn’t matter what this cake looked like to anyone else but him and Gid. My goal was to please them, not my pride.
Finally, I finished the cake. It was by far not perfect and I still was slightly embarrassed by it.
Again, Raycer and Gid taught me a lesson. Their eyes were dreamy and magical staring into the candle lit cake. Raycer looked up at me and said,
“It doesn’t even matter about the presents! It is the CAKE, Mom! I can’t believe you did it!! I love it!“
Oh, the Pinterest fails and mom fails! I have so many stories I could share… and totally will. I can smile at my failures now instead of retreating to my room with a stash of Oreos and milk to bask in my motherly shame.
We are too hard on ourselves.
Our children don’t care that we are perfect! Who cares what others think if our family thinks we are the best cake makers in the world? They are the only ones that matter in the end.
Thank goodness I eventually figured it out.
Motherhood is not perfection it is CANDID. It is REAL, like changing a poopy diaper on your lap in public because you don’t have time to find a bathroom.
Or carting all your wild haired children through the store while they split their pant knees open while sliding on the floor.
Motherhood is candid. Life is candid. Families are candid. And if yours isn’t, just come to my home and spend a week here.
It’s crazy. It’s loud. It gets dirty. I can’t promise you that you won’t see a naked kid standing on the dinner table with underwear on top of his head (true story).
You will probably leave our home finding peace and quiet so welcoming…yet surprisingly eerie. There is no doubt in my mind though, that you will leave our home knowing how much we love each other. That our family is united and has family pride so thick nothing could break it.
You’ll have wide eyes, blushing cheeks and a huge smirk on your face watching our family traditions. But your heart will be warm, your perfect expectations will diminish and your interest will be peaked on how to unify and fortify your family.
Perfection isn’t obtainable—at least not in this life. When you can let go of that picture perfect expectation for you and your family and proudly be candid, you can begin to mold and fortify your family like never before.
My family is here to show you what candid looks like and how it can be the greatest blessing in your life.
Please tell me your “Pinterest Fails” in the comments so I don’t feel like I am the only one 😉
I smell poop. Time for diaper changes. YES.