Sometimes in life we endure stories of heart break, tragedy and pain that teach us important life lessons and define who we are. Yet sometimes we can learn just as important life lessons and find out who we are without the heart break. Sometimes we can learn these lessons through the simple things that make us happiest the most. Sometimes that happiness comes from cake. This is Belinda. This is her story.
The Australian Women’s Weekly birthday cake book has weaved its way into so many childhood memories. From the cute little train to the iconic smarty clad number one, many children have photographs standing behind one of these cakes, blowing out their candles and making a birthday wish. Belinda remembers her mother baking a birthday cake for her each year from the Women’s Weekly book. Every year without fail her mum would bake a different cake to the year before. It is these memories that awakened something in Belinda. The whispered rituals of her childhood grew louder in voice as she stayed home to raise her three young sons.
“I wanted my boys to remember their mum baking them their birthday cakes. That is how it started. I wanted my boys to have a cake on their birthday from their mum. Something they could look back on and something that could last in their memory.” Belinda has not always been a cake maker. She graduated university with a science degree and worked as a research scientist for many years before becoming a mum. Belinda loves the method and routine of science, the learning and discovery. But she made the decision to give that all up once she had her first son. She wanted to be a stay at home mum and be there to raise her three boys. But as the years started to pass her longing to do something for herself started to grow.
The one question she gets asked the most is whether she will be going back to “work?” Belinda’s default answer has always been “yes.” She has always felt that it is the right answer and the answer that people want to hear. Belinda has never really listened to the voice begging to be acknowledged as a cake maker, until now.
So how does a mum juggle three boys, a husband and baking all these amazing cakes? “My boys get it, because they understand the ritual of cake and how important it is to celebrate your birthday with cake. I explain to them that this cake is for a little boy or a little girl who is celebrating their birthday and will be making a wish upon when they cut their cake and it is as simple as that – not one cake touched by little fingers so far!”
Yet, the long hours of moulding sugar and piping flowers happen as sweet little boys are fast asleep. Late nights and long hours into the early morning Belinda bakes. She jokes that her house is run and styled by three kids and the best part – it doesn’t matter. “It is important that my kids don’t only remember me washing the clothes, doing the ironing or cleaning the house. That they remember mum did something she loved, something she was good at and something she was proud of. Sure I remember my mum up at one in the morning ironing our clothes to get everything done, but she did so much more than that and I will always remember that about her.”
“You give up so much of yourself the moment you become a mum, the trick is to not feel lost and empty when that happens, instead we should embrace the change in our identity and the depth of definition that it now takes to define who we are. I want to teach my boys that it is ok to change direction, change your choices and change your career path in life. Our choices in life should be limitless.”
Each time Belinda ties on her apron and gets ready to bake the next cake she knows that her cake will be “the one thing that once a year you make a wish upon, the one time a husband and wife join and make a wish together. Nothing is more special than cake. I get the chance to create magic, what more could I ask for?”
For more of Belinda’s gorgeous cakes, stop by her Facebook page Baked by Belinda.
Belinda is generously giving away to 3 lucky readers – 12 deluxe cupcakes
(with a cake order ~ minimum cake orders are $100)
What is your most treasured cake memory or moment?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by eighteen years of friendship, five little boys between us and so many of life’s moments shared together, time does not weigh down on the moments shared by friends.
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