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If you’re looking for a perfect example of the terror that is parenting, look no further than a homemade birthday cake.

It encapsulates all our biggest parenting fears in one. After all, a cake fail means letting down your child, looking silly in front of your friends, and providing further proof that you’re just not cut out for this parenting gig, right?

While most parents dream of making homemade cakes for their kids, they just aren’t willing to risk it. I launched DIY cake kit company Cake 2 The Rescue ten years ago, because I wanted to make it easy for busy parents to make homemade cakes for their kids.

50,000 cake kit sales later and, in honesty, what I really do is help parents overcome their fear of not being enough. Not enough for their kids, their friends, social media trolls and most of all, themselves.

When my kids were little, I used to worry about not being good enough all the time. Fast forward 15 years and the pressure to be perfect seems to have increased ten-fold.

Instagram is flooded with profiles of model mums, the ones who only seem to buy outfits and homewares in brown, orange, blush, and ivory. They post photos of amazing parties that cost more than my first car and of course, there’s always a jaw-dropping birthday cake.

When I opened our cake kit support group on Facebook, the plan was to provide tips and tricks for decorating your cake. But it quickly became obvious that what parents really needed was a safe space where they could take a risk and bake the cake. We began fostering a community where parents raise each other up and throw perfection out of the window. We call it “the kindest place on Facebook” and it’s full of families living out their dream of making homemade birthday cakes for their kids.

Having spent seven years running our beautiful group, I’ve seen first-hand the power of embracing imperfection and championing others. I’ve learned that so many of us are our own worst critics, and that trying to meet some impossible standard is holding us back from realising that we are enough and always were.

So, I’d like to offer you this…

What I know for sure (thanks Oprah!) is that kids only need two things: your love, and your time.

Kids don’t see crumbs in the icing. They couldn’t care less whether their cake is a three-tiered masterpiece and their party Insta-worthy. All they truly see is you pouring your love into a homemade cake just for them. I can’t tell you how many of my customers share cake posts that start with “it’s not perfect but…” and always end with “my kids thought it was the best cake ever!”

So please just take the plunge and make the cake because here’s the truth bomb. It’s not really about the cake itself at all. It’s about the way you feel about yourself when you’re making the cake. It’s about making memories with your kids that last a lifetime. It’s about learning to see yourself through your child’s eyes and in turn showing your kids that they don’t have to be perfect either. That’s where the magic truly lies.

Happy Baking!

Author image credit Jude Kalman

Lou Duggan aka Baker Girl Lou

Lou Duggan is the founder of Cake 2 The Rescue, an award-winning DIY cake kit company which has helped more than 40,000 Australian families pour their love into a homemade cake. With a background in engineering and design, Lou has spent the last ten years building Cake 2 The Rescue into a thriving ecommerce business, with more than 250 cake kit designs, and a loyal online audience of 60,000+ cake fans. As a talented creative entrepreneur, Lou is a big believer in the power of vulnerability in business, and loves empowering other women to ditch perfectionism and embrace entrepreneurship.