I’m a pretty competitive person. If I am going to have a go at something then I am going to give it my all. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for this personality trait. It has served me well in life over the years and helps me push myself and not settle or become complacent.
However, over the years, I have noticed that my competitiveness can get the better of me, and I’m not just talking about as a kid when I would struggle at bowling birthday parties because my bowling is tragic and I knew I never stood a chance of dominating.
I’m talking about being so focused, as an adult, on beating my own best at almost everything I venture, that I can end up ruining it. Now competing against yourself can be good; I strive to beat my personal best in running races, parenting my kids without yelling or having a higher standard for my pupils’ results at school. But what about the small things in life that you want to do your best…when do you say no to 100%?
When do you as a professional, mother, business women or athlete let things go…or settle. Sometimes I find myself wanting to be the best teacher at my school AND the best mother at my kids PTA events AND paint the best paintings AND teach the best HIIT classes AND cook the best healthy meals AND bake, design and decorate the best birthday cakes for my kids…AND THIS IS WHEN THINGS GET CRAP.
I really can’t be awesome at everything and if I don’t let some things go then everyone suffers. I have learned to pick (sometimes) those that I need to give 100% to, and those that I do my best in the time I allow, but then stop…smile and enjoy. Some things you can work smart on and others you need to work hard on…ask yourself which ones are which in your life.
One big thing that I was stubborn to let go of and settle for less, are my kid’s birthday cakes. I am totally NOT a baker…I’m a mediocre cook at best and baking annoys me even more. I love created and making things…the Artist thing….but baking and faffing with all the icing and layers for it to just be eaten!
The only time of year that I attempt cake design, making and decorating is when one of my kids has a birthday. It has been a tradition for me to do my best to make a cake of their choice for their birthday and for the most part I have done OK. However, there have been the times when I haven’t had the time or budget to design a decent cake. Times like these I have….gulp…bought one!
In fact, my mother would always make my birthday cakes each year depicting my current interests or hobbies…guess I was just trying to recreate this for my kids…even though I’m not really a baker at all.
Mind you, two out of five of our kids have December Birthdays…including one on Christmas Day…just like my mother, so it can pretty tight with time around those Birthdays! I remember the first year I did this I cried and felt like I was a horrid mother and was worried my daughter would feel less-loved or something. I can confidently say that she didn’t feel anything of the sort and had a fab birthday with her caterpillar cake thanks to Waitrose! I was able to enjoy her and others and it was totally worth it.
This year was another year that, because my daughter had asked for a football/guitar/Harry Potter cake and time was pinched, I compromised and bought the cake with some extra icing to add some personalised touches. This saved me hours on a very busy and packed day. So I’m not the mom that ALWAYS makes the cake from scratch and decorates them for her kids birthdays…but that’s OK.