The shamrock cookies that weren’t

Today, my plan was to share with you a family tradition of mine to make shamrock sugar cookies for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s something my brother and I always did with my mom and it’s something I had intended to do with the girls today, except, oh you know, LIFE.

First, I couldn’t find the shamrock cookie cutter my mom gave me a while back. I searched and searched to no avail. So, I ordered one on Amazon last week and I must have not been paying attention to the shipping details because that sucker didn’t arrive until 4:15 this afternoon.

This morning I went ahead and made the cookie dough from our good ol’ family recipe, Ethel’s Sugar Cookies, from Betty Crocker’s Cooky book. (My mom gifted me this copy with notes in the margins.)

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Even without the shamrock cookie cutter (I planned on using a heart instead), this afternoon got away from us as afternoons tend to do sometimes, and the girls and I never made our cookies. Part of me started to feel super guilty about this. But then, I remembered an ad that I had taken a screenshot of last Friday:

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This popped up in the feed of one of my favorite cooking blogs. I stared at it for a moment and tried to shake off the irritation that I was feeling, but nope, it was hanging on. Now, I’m not here to bash Betty Crocker – my family’s go-to cookie making tradition trophy holder. Her (or their?) recipes have brought us years of wonderful memories I’m trying (trying!) to perpetuate. But Betty, your advertising strategy sucks.

Your kids deserve a homemade cake? This entire approach preys on the guilt mothers feel every day. Guilting moms into buying cake mix? Not cool.

You know what this ad made me think of? A mom staying up late after everyone else has gone to bed, trying to piece back together the insides of a precious cake after forgetting the non-stick spray on the inside of the pan. A mom casually, yet firmly announcing to a group of family members, “I MADE THESE!” when nobody seems to be interested in eating the cupcakes. A mom who cuts out of work early to rush home to prep a dessert to take to a party because it was important for her to prove she could do it all. Ok, yes. All of these are my experiences. This ad made me think of all the times I felt pressure to make something myself when I could have just as easily bought something and saved myself the hassle, the heartache, and the complex.

Your kids deserve a birthday cake. The end. I’m not sure it really matters where it comes from. Your kids will remember the experience of their birthday. So sell that, Betty. Sell the making of the cake. The tradition. The excitement and anticipation. We’re all stocked up on guilt over here.

Back to the shamrock cookies.

I ended the day shrugging off the guilty feelings with a beer and a so what. We didn’t make cookies today – oh well. The dough is still in the fridge and it’s still going to be good tomorrow. Both the cookies and the memories will be made. Besides, we have better Easter cookie cutters anyway.

Just trying to maintain perspective here. Because my kids deserve it.

7 thoughts on “The shamrock cookies that weren’t

  1. Ouch, that’s a low blow, Betty. Playing right into mom guilt across the world. Kids deserve to be loved and cared for- everything else is just frosting on the cake. 😛 As for our St. Paddy’s day… Eva wore one green sock and Liam couldn’t be bothered. Oh the joys of having a teenager. xo!

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  2. I’ve been debating about whether or not my twins are going to have a first birthday party. They need exactly 0 presents, and will remember exactly 0 of the party. But I feel guilty thinking about not giving them a party. But you know what, Betty? My kids DO deserve a homemade cake….made in someone else’s home thankyouverymuch. I’ll pay someone else to make it 😀

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    1. Haha! I’m with you, 100%. If I am feeling up to making the cake, I will, but I’m done with the pressure. Sounds like you have things in perspective over there. Thanks for the note.

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