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Real Life

I love my cake craft and enjoy making and designing my cupcakes. It always gives me a little buzz when I have finished a cupcake bouquet or a box of tasty cupcakes. There is always that little touch of anxiety before collection that this is not what the person visualised when they placed the order. I am not a career driven person but I do set myself extremely high standards and it is only natural that I want customers to be happy.

I started my business so I could be a “working from home Mum”. I wanted to spend more time with my children whilst they were young enough to still want me around. I had the ideal image in my head of being the perfect Mum as well as having a successful career. Well, we all know that 2 + 2 in terms of real life normally equals 5 when you have young children. In trying to manage all of life’s challenges I have made some real Mummy mistakes and I’m prepared to admit to it. I hear comments from students talking about their struggles so I wanted to share with you some of my experiences. I have sent my children off to school without their packed lunches (oops), missed a teacher parent meeting and forgotten to pack their sports gear etc. So, who else will admit they have occasionally had to rummage in the laundry basket for school sports gear when the laundry and ironing got behind? So, I’m a normal Mum dealing with life’s pressures and I’m sure those of you with any kind of caring commitments or busy lives will be able to relate to this.

I try to be a good wife but sometimes it is hard and something has to give. I don’t always give my husband the attention he deserves and I am sure he would say the same in reverse. We both have busy lives, crammed full of work commitments and children’s after school activities etc. along with all the mundane day to day stuff. We don’t always get it right but we do try our best and in the greater scheme this is all any of us can do. Sound familiar!!!

Don’t compare yourself to others. This is a recipe for disaster. There will always be someone who does things better than you or appears to have more spare time than you. The problem is we don’t see this in terms of individual people. We add up all the stuff other people do and don’t do creating in our heads a perfect person. This person does not exist outside our own head as it is an amalgam of so many people. One may always send their kids off looking pristine but may not have time to help them with their homework. Someone else may bake cakes with their children every weekend but never take them to the park or after school activities because they are always home late from work themselves. Don’t give yourself a hard time if sometimes you let things slide. We have to learn to recognise that all we can do is our best and that is good enough.

I would like to be a role model to my children. I want them to learn to be kind, patient and understanding. Sometimes due to work commitments they do have to briefly take a back seat but they need to understand it’s temporary and I will be with them once the work peak reduces. I think this also teaches them to have a good work ethic if they see this first hand. I want them to understand that as long as we always do our best and strive to be better, that is good enough for me and for them.

I have some amazing friends who have helped me through some tough times especially in the early days when I have wanted to throw in the towel. I know I don’t spend as much time with them as I should but they have busy lives too but I know I can always count on them in a crisis. For instance, when my son fell off his bed and broke his arm, I couldn’t have wished for a more supportive group in getting him through the hospital process and looking after my little girl until my Mum could get there. I also hope they feel they can count on me too. Thank goodness they are not perfect either and are just normal people getting through each day as best they can.

I’m not perfect – I am however a perfectionist. I will re-pipe a flower on a cupcake if it is not up to my exacting standards. I know this is not necessary as my Mum would say it is “fine”. How I hate that word “fine”. That says to me it is not perfect but it’ll do. It is most probably perfectly alright and no one other than me would even notice the imperfection. I’m not perfect, just a perfectionist but again that’s okay as it is who I am. You also have to consider nature itself. Have you ever seen two flowers that are exactly the same? No and neither have I. It is nature’s imperfections that make flowers so beautifully original and gives me my inspiration for my buttercream flowers.

I may not be everyone’s “cup of tea” (that’s a very British saying but I’m sure you all understand what I mean) but that’s okay too. As long as I am loved and liked by the important people in my life then that’s fine by me. They will love me and embrace my imperfections as I do theirs. These are the people you need to keep close and value.

During the pandemic we have all had more time to think and to consider what things are really important in our lives. The value of family, friendship and community and I hope we can continue to be a more caring and considerate world going forward.

It is a big old world that we are living in and all trying to do our bit to get by. So just remember we are not perfect and that is absolutely okay. Embrace your imperfections; they are what make you the unique person you are.

Keep baking

Imperfect Kerry xx