We've heard all about the mum wars - mothers competing for the edge over their counterparts on everything - but it seems dads are just as likely to be embroiled in a touch of competitive rivalry, according to a new survey - especially in the kitchen.
The popularity of cooking shows like the Great British Bake-Off is apparently partly to blame, and has triggered a wave of birthday cake wars between competitive parents, the study found.
In a survey of 1,500 parents (commissioned by HomeSense to celebrate their Red Nose Day range), almost three quarters of mums and dads confessed that they always aim to make the ‘best in class’ birthday cake for their children, with 62 per cent of dads saying they felt under pressure to bake an elaborate cake for their kids.
Um. All I'm going to say is that I am pretty sure my husband has never felt that pressure.
Close to one in ten mums and dads said they would ‘feel like a bad parent’ if they didn’t bake their child's birthday cake. (I used to feel like that until my kids reached an age where my best effort at baking Sonic the Hedgehog ended in tears and a promise that I'd never do that again.) Dads' speciality birthday bakes include a cat, dog or ‘person’ shaped cake, while mums excel at baking houses, castles and palaces.
My favourite finding from this survey, however, is that one in ten dads confessed that they didn’t know how to bake to start with, but that their own children taught them how to do it. Awww. That's a pretty cute mental picture. Except I wouldn't want to be the one to clear up the kitchen afterwards.
Now tell me, am I the only mother in the land whose other half has never offered to lift the burden from my shoulders of baking the birthday cake? Does your partner really take it upon himself to bake the birthday cakes for your little ones?!
And while you're here, go on, tell us about your worst birthday cake fails... make me feel better about the Sonic the Hedgehog saga.