Mil Advice

Business By loriemoms Updated 2 Jan 2009 , 3:16pm by Melvira

loriemoms Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 12:41pm
post #1 of 37

I wasnt sure where to post this, but I was thinking the business section would be good, as maybe some of you can relate and give advice!

My MIL is coming to visit on Monday and will be staying through January 2nd. During this time period, my DH has to work as he is working a contract job (he will be off for Chrstimas Day and New Years day) I have three weddings, a number of celebration cakes, and a huge wedding show on January 3rd and 4th to prepare for (I still have three display cakes I want to make) And about a dozen consultatoins already scheduled during that time period. AND cook christmas dinner (which actually I dont count, because I LOVE to cook and it is like therapy for me) Everytime my MIL calls she complains I work too many hours and too hard. To me its the nature of the beast, I still rather work for myself, even if it is 12 hours a day then for someone else. She also HATES to cook and thinks I am crazy that I love to cook and cannot understand it. So I hear all day long that I work too hard and I am cooking to much and that she wants to "help". (it would help more if she would just stay out of the way..so play with the grandkids or something!) Anyway, my DH thinks I shouldn't worry about it, as she doesnt visit often and doesnt see the big deal. HE won't be here all day long, as I try to get things done. I am planning on hiding out in my bakery room for many hours and hoping she won't wander in and want to "help". Any ideas on how to entertain her while I am trying to get things done? I am more concerned about my consultations, that she won't understand how vitally important they are, it isn't just friends coming over for tea or something! She has never owned a business and I think honestly doesn't understand this isn't a Hobby. I tried to schedule most of them in the evenings when my DH is here, but a lot of brides are in town just for the holidays and I am trying to do whatever time is best for them. I am also just not ready for the "you work too hard" crap, especially on the nights I am up late working on wedding cakes. (you know how THAT is!)

Thanks for letting me ramp...!

36 replies
grama_j Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 1:00pm
post #2 of 37

I think she is HIS Mom, and she should go to work with HIM ! icon_wink.gif
Seriously, you are going to have your hands full, and I don't envy you..... I don't know how old the kids are, but how about Grama take them to the movies for a couple of hours, then out to McDonald's or something...... ( DOES SHE DRIVE? ) it would have to be on you, but it would be worth it......Okay......... that is 4 hours..... I have NO IDEA what you are going to do with the rest of the 120 hours...... (((( HUGS ))))

FullHouse Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 1:22pm
post #3 of 37

Hire a greandma sitter???? Seriously though, I usually find my kids are wonderful grandma sitters, they love the attention and I feel like them all having quality time together is invaluable. Can you tell her that you really need help with the kids or that the kids really need to spend some time with her and plan activities for them to do together. Could be anything from renting some movies, reading books, board games, crafts. If you kids are teenagers, then maybe explain to them that she is here to be with them and ou really need for them to take some time to devote to her. If she's not into the kids, then I don't really have any ideas, sorry you have to deal with this. In-laws can be stressful under any circumstances but having to host during a busy work time and holidays ARGGGHHH!!! Good luck and Merry Christmas.

Donnagardner Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 1:26pm
post #4 of 37

Write your schedule down for her and let her gripe away. This way maybe she will get it all out of her system and leave you alone to get your work done. Can you give her small jobs to help with? This will keep her busy at least. Good Luck

282513 Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 1:48pm
post #5 of 37

Can you purposely plan trips during your consultations and busiest times? I am not sure if you have a gift for her already but maybe you could do the voucher thing like: 1 day at the museum with your grandkids, library, movies, favorite restaurant, bowling, paint pottery etc. Make a little schedule of "planned" activities that your kids want to do over break.

KeltoKel Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 1:48pm
post #6 of 37

Where do you live? Maybe we can schedule your MIL and my MIL for some quality time together? I would like nothing more than my MIL to also have her time occupied when we see her over the holidays. LOL!

Sorry, I don't have much advice. Your DH should tell her how busy you are over the holidays - and then explain how lucky you are to be busy with this economy.

indydebi Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 3:07pm
post #7 of 37

You are WORKING. This is your JOB. If you were going into an office, 9 to 5, she wouldn't think you were working too hard .... she'd think you were WORKING .... at your JOB.

The problem is that these people view what we do as a "cute little hobby" and they dont' understand it's a JOB!!!! I ran into the very same thing when I first got started. There was some family function that I couldn't go to because I had a wedding cake to make. Well, I was the family slug because I was a no-show, but my brother-in-law, who worked the night shift and couldnt' go, well ... he was ok because he was "working". icon_mad.gif

Ignore her. Tell her when she's ready to pay your bills that are covered by your cake money, then you'll happily sit down and do nothing with her all day long.

That usually shuts 'em up. icon_rolleyes.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 3:25pm
post #8 of 37

I think writing down your schedule (especially when you have consultations) is great idea. Stress to her that you are indeed working and absolutely cannot be interrupted during those times.
Also, get DH on board with having a conversation with her as soon as she gets there. If he says something, then hopefully it will be effective.

Mike1394 Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 3:57pm
post #9 of 37

Hop the kids up on Coco Puffs, and hand them off to her.

Mike

ziggytarheel Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 3:59pm
post #10 of 37

I'm not sure how old your children are...I thought that they were older, so maybe you are talking about your grandchildren? If that is the case, if they are going to be around at all, I would definitely try to get them to fill up some of her time.

I agree with all of the others. I would put a schedule up on the refrigerator. I would post it in detail, with time slots filled. I would supply her with magazines and books and crossword puzzles or whatever else she might enjoy. If she likes jigsaw puzzles, I would supply her with a fun one and a table to work on. I would pull out the old photo albums, the old home movies, anything that might be special about being at your house. I would make sure there is some food and drink she enjoys in the fridge. I would make sure that she knows you are being hospitable, and that you appreciate her visit (if you do!), and at the same time, that you will be working. Figure out some time (brief) period when you CAN do something with her that she would enjoy...take her to a museum, the Butterfly House, a nice restaurant, Southponte, a Christmas tour, something special, if you can manage it. Better yet, have your husband do that. icon_smile.gif

And, does your husband's work situation allow him to have lunch with her once or twice?

cblupe Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 4:18pm
post #11 of 37

Day spas - all day long on your busiest day. Do you have any other family that lives nearby? Does she have any friends she could visit or hang with during the day? Again, how old are your children? My daughter would love to go get manicures and pedicures with someone as long as they are paying for it.

Good luck for those days she is in your way! Make sure your husband pitches in and explains to MIL that this is a full time job for your family and that the family counts on your income in the economic tough times. It is reassuring that even though times are tough people will continue to get married and need CAKE!

Carol

Carolynlovescake Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 5:37pm
post #12 of 37

Duct tape. It's one of those muti use items you can't live without.


If she won't leave you alone MIL + Couch + Duct Tape = problem solved.

If you feel guilty with that resolution then do

Problem Solved X grab a child or all + duct tape + chairs in the same room as MIL duct taped to the couch= everyone wins!

If all else fails take a strip of duct tape and apply duct tape over your own mouth to remind you to not say something you may later regret.

icon_twisted.gif

loriemoms Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 8:07pm
post #13 of 37

hahaha You all made my day! (And Yes, Deb, you hit the nail on the head!!! WHEN do they finally realize this is your job and you need to do this to pay the bills?)

I only have one kid left in the house..my step son, who is 12. He will be in school till the 23rd all day, so thats the only day where I will be ALONE with her. The problem is my step son is a pre-teen and doesnt want to hang out with grandma all day, but I am going to try to get him too. My daughter is coming christmas day and there is church, so the actual day won't be too bad. Its the week after! Argg! But I like the idea of maybe giving her some books to read for christmas. (she does drive but I only have a stick and she doesnt know how to drive a stick). I love the idea of the schedule. I am trying to get out of both my DH and her what they want for food around the house (on really busy days, I run into the kitchen, grab a yogurt and get back to work..I told my DH to find out what she likes to eat and if she wont mind making her own lunch and tea (she is Irish, and they have to have their tea) herself? I think a lot of you understand what I mean, you want to be a good host but you gotta get work done! (I am trying to get alot of it done before she gets here, like I am hoping to get all my baking done and freeze it all. Except for the show, I have to bake sheet cakes for samples and I can't do that till my last wedding is done on the 31st as I dont have room in the freezer)

I was thinking on the other hand, maybe after she sees what it is like around here, she will start taking my job more seriously?

Thanks again guys ! Have a great holiday yourself!

littlecake Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 8:22pm
post #14 of 37

ha ha ha...you need to find a spry ole guy to come over and keep her company....i used to do that to my dad...he'd come from out of state (and stat for weeks on end) and bug the livin crap outta me...i'd intro him to some of the older ladies around,,,that kept him busy!

-Tubbs Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 9:09pm
post #15 of 37

When you refer to what you're doing, call it 'working'. As in "I'm sorry I can't sit and chat any longer, but I have to get to work", or "Once I finish work we'll watch that movie", or whatever. You need to help her get into the working mindset. I also think writing out your schedule will be a big help. You can say you wrote it out for yourself, but thought she might find it helpful for her to see when you're available and when you're at WORK!

CakesByJen2 Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 9:15pm
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Quote:

Duct tape. It's one of those muti use items you can't live without.




OMG, that is too funny!

I think I would insist hubby take some time off on your busiest days to keep HIS mother entertained, and bribe stepson to help keep her occupied on the others. Maybe giving her your schedule up front so she know when you'll be unavailable would help, including some time planned just for her, too.

I never had the problem with my IL's not understanding about work, even cake work, because work always came before EVERYTHING else, including family, with them. But school, that's another thing. When we were first married I was still in school, then grad school, and they could NOT understand when I couldn't attend last minute get togethers because I had to study, or work on a paper. Their argument was "Why waste all that time studying to get "A"s when you only need "C"s to graduate?" icon_eek.gificon_rolleyes.gif

The only problem I had with work, and it wasn't really a problem, just a slight embarrassment) was one time they were visiting and happened to be at our house when I had a customer come to pick up a birthday cake. My pick-ups are usually short & sweet, very business like. Customer shows up, comes in, I open box and show them cake, they "ooh" & "ahh" appropriately, give me money, take cake, and leave. So while I'm showing the customer his cake and talking to them, my FIL walks in and interupts to introduce himself to my customer! Like it was a party or something. I thought it was odd and was a bit embarrassed, but fortunately it was a regular customer, who was a bit odd in his own right, and didn't seem to think anything of it.

loriemoms Posted 21 Dec 2008 , 12:22pm
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByJen2

Quote:
Quote:

Duct tape. It's one of those muti use items you can't live without.



The only problem I had with work, and it wasn't really a problem, just a slight embarrassment) was one time they were visiting and happened to be at our house when I had a customer come to pick up a birthday cake. My pick-ups are usually short & sweet, very business like. Customer shows up, comes in, I open box and show them cake, they "ooh" & "ahh" appropriately, give me money, take cake, and leave. So while I'm showing the customer his cake and talking to them, my FIL walks in and interupts to introduce himself to my customer! Like it was a party or something. I thought it was odd and was a bit embarrassed, but fortunately it was a regular customer, who was a bit odd in his own right, and didn't seem to think anything of it.




That is my fear with my consultations. I have them in my dining room and many times we get to talking about weddings, or maybe her dress and things like that. I tried to make my consultations very relaxed for the bride, as they have ENOUGH stressful things to worry about. I don't want her coming in and feel we are just havng a party or something and start talking. On the outside it may look like we are talking, but on the inside it is still a business dealing and it is the first impression for the bride. (afterall part of what we are seling is ourselves and our proffessionalism) It is also hundreds of dollars involved! Luckilly we have a bonus room upstairs, with a tv and comfy couches. I am going to try to direct her there, with the help of my step son as well. I am doing just one day of consults while she is here, but unfortantly, the day is getting pretty full, and I will be busy most of the day. One of the things I have to do while she is hear is run to my distributor and get my supplies for the week, and I was thinking I would take her with me and she can see the 50 lb bags of sugar and flour and chocolate chips! Maybe then she won't think its a hobby! hahaha!

Bribing my step son may not be such a bad idea either! haha!

marmalade1687 Posted 21 Dec 2008 , 2:04pm
post #18 of 37

Earplugs (for you) and a couple of bottles of wine (for her) would work well too! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 21 Dec 2008 , 2:42pm
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

.....and I was thinking I would take her with me and she can see the 50 lb bags of sugar and flour and chocolate chips! Maybe then she won't think its a hobby! hahaha!



Excellent idea! I had a 3-day event and I took one of my staffers with me for 2 days to move equipment, buy supplies, which included loading and unloading the van about 4-5 times. I told her, "This is how I spend 2 days before every single wedding we do." She said, "Geesh, no WONDER you're all stressed out by the time we get there!" They had no idea how much work went into it before they arrived, because by the time they arrived, I had everything done, laid out, organized and ready to roll.

SHe got a good education that day!

Tiababe Posted 21 Dec 2008 , 3:27pm
post #20 of 37

I think the idea of a schedule is an excellent idea. Put a copy on the fridge so it is highly visible. Not sure where you live, but in my area there are lots of bus trips to see plays and other holidy type activities. Do you have a local "senior" center? They usually have lots of stuff planned. Also, have you explained to her you won't be readily available to her because of your busy schedule? I would definetly give her advance warning....stressing once again that this is your work and you are paying off those pesky household bills that keep cropping up!!! You don't want her arriving at your house thinking that you will be on vacation too and planning to spend all your time with her. Perhaps if she knows she will have some time on her own, she could actually come up with a few things she would like to do to keep herself occuppied. As another poster mentioned, this is your hubby's mom...think he and his mom should have to do some thinking on this situation too. Sounds like your plate is full enough.

DerrellC Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 4:33am
post #21 of 37

I'm with Littlecake on this one. Hook her up with a young stud !!! Bribe him if you have too,lots of cakes,candy,ETC !!!!!!!!!

liapsim Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 5:00am
post #22 of 37

I think that if your hubby takes her to the side before he leaves you alone with her and speaks to her privately about the time you need to spend and tell her the best thing she can do is keep the twelve year old out of your way....like she's doing something special...then I don't think you'll have much of a problem.

GOod luck!

JaLa90016 Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 5:17am
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

ha ha ha...you need to find a spry ole guy to come over and keep her company....i used to do that to my dad...he'd come from out of state (and stat for weeks on end) and bug the livin crap outta me...i'd intro him to some of the older ladies around,,,that kept him busy!





THAT IS TOO FUNNY!!!!! Get you some earplugs and call it a day.

Merry Christmas!!!

loriemoms Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 9:21am
post #24 of 37

I had to tell you guys what happened today! I had a stacked present cake due this afternoon, as well as a tasting this morning. The tasting was early enough that she stayed in the kitchen with her tea. But the cake was a different story! I had already had the buttercream done on it, the bows were already made and all I had to do was put fondant strips on it, and edging and stack it, etc. She said to me "Can I watch?" I thought ok, I have done this cake about a hundred times, so figured it shouldn't be a problem (I have NEVER had anyone watch me do a cake before, unless you count my daughters!) So I am rolling out the fondant and she is saying things like Oh, you just buy it in these pails and look at all those things you use for cake and do you really need these many mixers? But the funniest remark she said as she walked into my bakery area was "This smells like a real bakery in here'." Um, it IS a real bakery?!? So I am rolling out fondant and putting on the strips and decorations and such, and she is pretty amazed that I used vodka to glue it on, and little things like that. She thought it was wierd that I put wires coming out of the cake and she thought it just took way to long to do (It took an hour to get the cake finished up...) but said to me "It doesn't look too hard since you have all these things to do it with". I wonder how many of you would have smacked her? hahaha! My DH said Welcome to my world! when I told him about that comment. (he has watched me struggle over the years to get to the point where it looks easy..but y'all know how hard it is to make strips straight on a cake!) Luckilly the wedding cake I have due on Sunday I am going to do on Saturday and my DH can Mom Sit. hahaha. (it is a ganache wedding cake which I have never done before and I am nervous enough about it, without needing someone to watch!)

Anyway, y'all have a great christmas!!! I hope everyone gets some time off and you get to relax! Me, I am spending the next two days with a few bottles of wine..

FullHouse Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 7:26pm
post #25 of 37

I feel for you. Gotta love "in-law comments", at least if your own mother you don't have to bite your tongue so much, it's easier to ask them to step back. Merry Christmas and enjoy the wine!!!!

SugarBakerz Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 7:48pm
post #26 of 37

is your DH's vehicle a stick shift too? If not, trade cars with him so she has something to drive. I know how you feel, but I get this with my step children every summer... DH works a job he can't take off from, so for 6 weeks our house is chaos with 2 older boys who aren't thrilled at being away from Seattle down in Alabama... culture shock icon_smile.gif I always get upset and frazzled during their visit... it was easier when we lived in Cali, they were younger and there things to do there to keep them busy... now I have 2 small children and my baking biz, and it drives them nuts. I love them and love their visits, but it is always hard having your day changed with an added family member. Just remind her that you are doing your job as indydebi stated... she should respect that for sure. Good luck, keep your chin up icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 7:48pm
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

she walked into my bakery area was "This smells like a real bakery in here'."




Then Debi says, with an incredulous look of "god you're so stupid!" look on her face (which hubby says I have MASTERED!), "Of course my BAKERY smells like a bakery! What did you expect it smell like .... a leather shoe repair shop?"

But then .... I tend to take the smart-a$$ approach to things! icon_rolleyes.gif

loriemoms Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 3:11am
post #28 of 37

I had to give y'all an update now that she is leaving tomrrow Morning (YEAAAAH!) I just gotta vent to someone, since my DH doesnt understand my complete frustration this evening.

it was a miserable week and the worse christmas I have ever had in my life. I am so glad its over.

My DH has promised that my step son would entertain (he just used it as excuse to not do his homework) and promised my MIL would just sit and read and leave me alone. HA!!

Christmas day itself went ok..My daughter came over and we had fun cooking dinner and talking and catching up. (she has a new job so was excited about it) My step son helped make the sausage stuffing (which I was told I made it wrong because who ever heard of browning the oninos in the sausage!) and she thought it was wierd I didnt baste my turkey (I have a convection oven, and the convetion roast doesnt need basting..it is wonderful!) I just happily ignored her.

I had a ganache Wedding cake on the 28th and she walked around in her coat all day because the house was too cold. (it was at 70..I dont like to have the house too warm when I am working with chocolate, and I was making chocolate roses) We have a seperate heater upstairs and I finally convinced her to go upstairs where it was warmer (which to me 70 is till plenty warm!) She also told me there was no way I could deliver a three tier cake, it was going to fall over (SPS system) and my DH finally told her "it hasn't happened yet, so why are you jinxing us?"
The delivery went fine and I spent the next two days working on display cakes. As I expected, I was told I work too much, and why do I need to do all these display cakes, in HER day everyone just got white buttercream. My DH had a huge emergency at work so had to work late several nights (which *I* got lectured on and asked why he wasnt home yet). The only day I lost it and had to just go to my room and have a cry was I was working on a large wedding cake for a new years eve wedding. I was doing my crumb coat and she came into the bakery room and told me that she didn't see what the big deal was, she ice's cakes just like I do (um, with a knife?). Now you ALL have struggled with getting that perfect buttercream and this cake had to be very smooth, as it was going to have dragees on it, so no hiding with flowers or anything. I finally grabbed my ipod and closed the door and drowned out any interruption. (she told me later she had peaked in and saw I was working...and was curous about the dragees) New Years eve after our delivery (which was 45 minutes away and we ran into the bride so I had to stop and chat) my DH's cell rang asking when we would be home, so we didn't even get a chance to spend two seconds trying to celebrate NYE together. (BTW, she thought the cake was "very nice" but told me that she doesnt understand why anyone would spend that much money on cake) I had to sit and watch TV listening to her talk mean even about the people on TV> (there was a young couple that was proposed to (Maybe some of you saw it?) on tv and she goes "oh they will be divroced in a year!" and they were asking peoples resolutions and she kept making comments how they would break them. Today I was getting ready for the show and testing my slide show I always do on my computer at the show and she started looking at my books. My DH was telling her how the whimsical cakes were so popular and how alot of people dont do them in our area so I get a lot of orders for them, and she said "They dont look too hard to me, I saw her little cutters and she just cuts out circles and such and puts them on the cake" My DH didnt say anything and I was ready to smack him! He told me it was no use argueing with her, she is an old lady and that is how they are. But it was still very hurtful..am I being nuts?

Anyway, I have the big wedding show this weekend, and hopefully I can put this holiday behind me, and book lots of weddings!!

Happy new years everyone and thanks for letting me vent!!

CakeMakar Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 4:07am
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen

Duct tape. It's one of those muti use items you can't live without.


If she won't leave you alone MIL + Couch + Duct Tape = problem solved.

If you feel guilty with that resolution then do

Problem Solved X grab a child or all + duct tape + chairs in the same room as MIL duct taped to the couch= everyone wins!

If all else fails take a strip of duct tape and apply duct tape over your own mouth to remind you to not say something you may later regret.

icon_twisted.gif




Hahaha. I need to forward this to my MIL. I'll just duct tape the phone to the wall. She started out the New Year by calling us bright and early this AM to ask my DH if he had tended to his blood tests he needed done. Then she griped because they didn't get him in the NEXT day, no they NEED to redo it, not a recheck in one month - immediately! She knows. - and how dare they not make the followup appt for two weeks she doesn't care if this is the holiday season, and he is to call her the second he finds out the results. Aahh....MILs, the four letter word. To think I'm going to be one one day. icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 2 Jan 2009 , 4:10am
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMakar

Aahh....MILs, the four letter word. To think I'm going to be one one day. icon_biggrin.gif




Yeah, but because we are aware of this kind of stuff, WE are the best MIL's in the world! we help when we're needed ... we keep quiet until we're asked. thumbs_up.gif

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