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I bake to avoid the mounds of writing I should be attending to

I bake to avoid the mounds of writing I should be attending to
Jun 13, 2019 566 views

I belong to a Facebook group for PhD and early career researcher parents – where,  we share the challenges of parenting while trying to navigate academia. And just recently, one of the members posted a photo of some adorable but labor-intensive looking Easter themed cupcakes proclaiming herself to be a procrasti-baker.

I can SO relate, and while I certainly would call myself a procrasti-baker in the most obvious sense of the word – I bake to avoid the mounds of writing and researching I should be attending to – I realized today, it goes much deeper than that. It hit me this afternoon as I got up from my desk after a particularly dismal day of fiddle-farting around and successfully avoiding the abstract that needs writing, the three separate student assignments that need marking, and the script (for a show that goes up in 2 months) that needs re-writing, that my motivation for baking (or procrasti-baking) comes from two places; love and guilt.

Love because I know the kids truly love walking in the door and racing up the stairs calling out their best guesses as to what the wafting baking smell is (“Chocolate chip cookies?” “Banana muffins… I knew it!”). And guilt for all the time I have spent away missing birthdays, school concerts, or just being there when they come in the door after school. Somehow, a warm muffin or chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven make ME feel like I am being some kind of good Mom. And while neither makes up for time away, I feel like I’m doing just a little something special – while weaseling my way out of reading those 27 student essays… care for a muffin?!

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Mamalegato is a mother to six, PhD student, and theatre artist. This story was published on April 5, 2016, on her blog, Mamalegato's Marathon (available here), and has been republished here with her permission.

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