bonding - Boston Moms Blog

Are you the person who once made a cake and suddenly had the urge to become the Next Great Baker? But then you realized how time consuming it actually is. There is no way you are baking something, letting it cool, cleaning up, and maybe enjoying a slice, all post bedtime. (We know how precious post bedtime is — hello, me time!) Instead of sacrificing that beloved kid-less time, when we usually recharge, why not incorporate your new hobby into the daytime or evening hours — into your family time. It can be something that interrupts your regular routine and gives you something to enjoy, together.

Over the past six months, baking has been a relaxing and creative activity for me. It has also been a special bonding time for me and my 3-year-old son. It is not something we do daily, or even weekly. However, he knows when that mixing bowl is out, or that Pinterest page is up, it is time to pull his stool over to the counter because he is about to have nonstop mommy time. Best of all, we are going to make something delicious!

When dinner is done and the baby is down, I’ve found it is important to tend to the older sibling who has probably lost out to the younger sibling more often than not lately. We take it one step at a time to maximize our time together.

One night is for perusing the cookbooks or internet to find something he would like to make. It usually involves blue food coloring or something fizzing. (I have somehow escaped the actual volcano cake he demands each time.) When there is a holiday approaching, I limit him to choices that are holiday appropriate. Once the perfect cake has been chosen, we talk about the ingredients and supplies, and we make a shopping list. Also, it is very important to share our creations, so the invites are strictly up to him.

Another night is for shopping, and, finally, when there’s more time, the baking will commence and the bonding will continue. The first bite is ALWAYS his. Since starting this baking hobby with my son, we have been able to share something special that no one else in the house has. He has become more comfortable asking for the attention he not only wants but needs, instead of hiding behind the cries of his brother. And I am able to see my firstborn as a growing little personality.

I’m also creating more opportunities to hone my skills and enjoy this hobby on my own — don’t forget, it is OK to have some “you time.” This past weekend, I made a smash cake for my niece’s first birthday, and, unlike many of my other baking projects, this cake was done solo. 

So, whether you’re the next great baker or not, finding a special hobby to share with your children is not only fun, it is rewarding — in more ways than one!

Krystal Avila
Krystal is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the 'burbs and is now loving the city life in Roslindale with her husband and 3 boys (9, 6, and 1). She and her husband met downtown working at a restaurant together, and since then their love of restaurants has kept their date nights exciting as they try out the latest places. Learning Spanish has been something Krystal has loved ever since middle school, and that has become her passion as a Spanish teacher, wife to a Salvadoran, and mother raising her children bilingual. Loves: family, friends, playing with her kids, a comfy hoodie on the beach when the sun goes down, nachos, baking, Christmas movies. Not so much: loud music, putting away laundry, terrible threes, and black pepper.