I’m Baking Without My Kids During the Pandemic – And I’m Fine With That
“If only I had the time.”
That was the refrain that I’d say to myself as the day-to-day responsibilities of life and work kept me busier than I thought I needed to be.
And then the pandemic happened. COVID-19 took the collective wind out of our global sails and rendered us stunned and stultified, literally and figuratively.
Physical distancing, social isolation and shelter-in-place directives were the name of the game and all of us were thrust into home sweet home with no end date in sight.
Hope was not lost, however for many who saw an opportunity in this new normal.
It seemed that many of the “good” parents were taking the opportunity to do all of the things they wanted to do, if only they had the time. Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms were rife with images of beautifully-baked goods; scrumptious cookies, decadent-looking cakes, pies galore.
They were doing it. They were doing it because now, they “had the time.”
And yet, I wasn’t. I now had the time but not the desire.
These days, social media largely consists of an endless stream of images designed to create longing. Baked goods – delectable pies, mouth-watering breads and more – are conveyed with the homey goodness of mother-daughter/father-son bonding, as is expected. Near perfect kitchens are artfully muted in the background, as this backdrop showcases the object of our collective desire in the foreground; la piece (of cake) de resistance.
Near perfect kitchens are artfully muted in the background, as this backdrop showcases the object of our collective desire in the foreground; la piece (of cake) de resistance.
Added to these beautiful images are the captions and hashtags that showcase the bonding experience that the pandemic has created. A newfound togetherness of parents and their kids, forged over baked goods.
Yet some of us stay sane by whipping up a new baker’s recipe – alone.
As much as I thought that I’d be using this family togetherness to bake up a storm with the kids, just like a Norman Rockwell painting, it became clear rather quickly that it wasn’t happening.
The fact of the matter is that I’m not baking with my kids like I thought I would. Rather, the solitary act of cooking alchemy is now my refuge as I shelter in place with my family of five. Living in a small home in the city that was not at all built with indefinite social isolation in mind, there are few places that I can escape to in order to experience solitude. Baking in my well-tread kitchen, however, allows me to do so, if even only in my mind.
“I’m not baking with my kids like I thought I would. Rather, the solitary act of cooking alchemy is now my refuge as I shelter in place with my family.”
People may be coming and going while I measure flour, but I’m oblivious as I enter my meditative state while whisking; conversations are happening around me but I don’t hear them for the whirr of the mixer.
The guilt that accompanies my self-admitted selfishness is only mitigated by the gooey goodness of the cinnamon buns just baked, or the sugar high delivered by my latest batch of chocolate chip cookies.
My family enjoys the fruits of my labour. The yield is always abundant, as I often double the recipe. The kids love the end result of my solitary efforts; they just don’t get to partake in the process. And that’s okay. We all have to get through this strange time however we can. In my case, it’s creating sweet and savoury goods – alone.
The Rise in Baking Alone – A Pandemic Stress-Release
Back in the Day, Stovetop Popcorn Was the Only OptionAnd not a microwave in sight…In this Parenting Then and Now Essay, we remember a simple pleasure that’s largely disappeared.Scroll to the bottom of this post to listen to this episode.Read this essay on Medium here: Memories of Low-Tech PopcornFollow me on Medium HERE.