As a young adult pre motherhood I would always hear snarky comments about moms. I don’t know exactly where I got this idea implanted in my head but somewhere I picked up the whole “Sorry I don’t stay home with my kids and bake all day” mentality… as if staying home and doing something with your kids was actually a bad thing. …ok what?
I think it’s kind of weird that there’s this whole societal view that pits non traditional motherhood and neo traditional motherhood against each other. As a working mother, fulltime student, and mom that at the least attempt to engage my child in more than just Netflix ( which don’t get me wrong is totally great and gives me a much needed break! ) I don’t understand how society as a whole doesn’t get that these aspects of motherhood actually co exist. I know SO MANY great mamas with fulfilling careers and who are amazing mothers and I also know mamas who stay home and they are just as amazing. One is not better than the other. We all do what works for our lives while raising happy and healthy children. Some days I totally manage to plan a park trip, art/learning activates, and can read an endless number of books to CJ and other days? Other days my child is sitting in front of the TV watching his 300th egg surprise video. It’s totally normal.
-anyway, that being said I decided to bake cookies from scratch with my toddler for the first time the other day. Now my child is a wild child. He is very high energy and you would think that a bowl of flour + an active 2 year old would equal disaster but to my surprise and to the benefit of my dining table carpet, it all worked out.
I am always amazed at how his development progresses. We followed a recipe step by step and my child helped with small steps like pouring the sugar and flour into the mixing bowl after I measured the ingredients. I think the following makes for a smooth baking experience.
1. Have everything measured out and in small bowls/cups/containers that they can pour into a large mixing bowl.
2. Let them help mix! I let him help hold the hand mixer and held his other hand to prevent curious fingers from getting into the bowl.
3. Explain what you’re doing while you did it to keep them engaged.
4. Give short and simple directions.
5. Move quickly through the steps so they don’t get too bored.
6. Have fun with it! My boy stuck his hands in the flour while it was sitting on the table and instead of stressing about him making a mess I let him explore a little bit. That’s what vacuums are for.
We made the dough right before nap time allowing the dough to chill for the two hours it needed so when he woke up it was ready for our cookie cutters! It was kind of difficult for him to work the cookie cutters so I gave him part of the dough to work and one cookie cutter while I did the rest. While I cut out the animals he had fun naming the animals and telling me what sounds they made. All in all it was a successful activity but I think he may have enjoyed eating the cookies rather than making them.
Well, it’s nearing the end of my semester at ASU so we might not get to bake for a while. I guess we’re back to the egg surprise videos… Life’s about balance right? 😉