Cake Decorating Dilemma

Decorating By SweetDreams Updated 2 Sep 2009 , 1:14am by SweetDreams

SweetDreams Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:26am
post #1 of 9

Hi Everyone,

I am hoping someone may have some ideas/opinions to my dilemma that I am just not seeing.
I had been doing cakes as orders and family for 4 yrs and in the spring decided to give it up for a while due to the kids activities taking more and more of my time. I really do miss it! but do not know how to fit it in and not feel guilty about taking hours away from the kids to do it. Most cakes take me at least 4hours (start to finish) and up, depending on size. Most of the clients I had up until spring were not the kind that wanted to pay for what the cake was worth anyway (except for the weddings)so it was kind of nice to say I was not doing them anymore and now I have a fresh start if I do take on orders again.
I guess my dilemma is how do I get back into creating cakes again (mostly for the love of it and partly for the money) without it getting to the point where it is consuming too much time away from the kids and how do you determine who to say yes to and no to without hard feelings getting in the way.
Not sure of what options I have here besides to say maybe that I have decided to now only do wedding cakes or just cakes for family (which is not that often) or maybe do cakes through the free cakes for kids website.

Any opinions or ideas? It is hard to think outside the box when it is your own dilemma.

Thanks for the help!!

Angela

8 replies
sweet-thing Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:42am
post #2 of 9

I have the same issues. I have four young kids so it is crazy around here! I love doing cakes, want to have a small business from home doing them but don't want it to get crazy. I just limit the amount of cakes I will do. I only do around one a week, sometimes more but it depends on what the order is for. Now, I am obviously not depending on this income to pay bills but it is a little extra cash and I get to do something I love. I think of it like this...I am a stay at home mom, I do NOTHING literally without my kids, my whole life revolves around them. While I choose for things to be this way, I also need time for something that is just mine. I am still here with them. I just take a few hours a week for me. Don't know if this is what you meant at all but thought I would share. icon_smile.gif

Hope you figure out a way to do what you love!

Ruth0209 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 3:13am
post #3 of 9

When I worked full time, I had to be really careful about not taking on too much when it came to the cakes. I absolutely did not do more than one per week, and almost always only for Saturday delivery. That way, I could stay up all night on Friday night if I needed to complete it. Every once in a while I took a Friday off to make a big cake.

My other rule was that if my family and I had other things to do that weekend, I simply refused any cake orders. If you don't need the money, there's no reason to sacrifice family time.

But I have to tell you, having raised two children I know from experience that it is NOT healthy to give up all your interests because you think you are supposed to completely dedicate your entire life to your children without regard to your own needs. It's all about balance, and it's good for your children to learn that EVERYONE, including their mom, has a right to carve out some personal time to do some things that make them happy. Besides, it makes you a much more interesting person, which is good for your kids to see, too. So give up on the guilt trip. It's a waste of time and psychic energy.

LaBellaFlor Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 3:39am
post #4 of 9

Easy. Limit how many cakes you do a week, period. This ain't about hurt feeelings, it's abut finding proper balance in your life and what is beneficial to you and your household. If anyone were to find fault in that, I don't think I'ld be wanting to do their cakes.

Skirt Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 3:49am
post #5 of 9

It shouldn't be a huge dilemma. If it is, then yout heart is telling you something. That being said, I agree with one of the other posters about doing something for YOU. I like to do cakes for friends, but never to compromise family time. I'll do one here and there. If it's a big one, then I let my son do "cake stuff" with me. There isn't much difference at times between fondant and play-doh!
I hope you find a happy medium icon_smile.gif

Bluehue Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 4:00am
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209


But I have to tell you, having raised two children I know from experience that it is NOT healthy to give up all your interests because you think you are supposed to completely dedicate your entire life to your children without regard to your own needs. It's all about balance, and it's good for your children to learn that EVERYONE, including their mom, has a right to carve out some personal time to do some things that make them happy. Besides, it makes you a much more interesting person, which is good for your kids to see, too. So give up on the guilt trip. It's a waste of time and psychic energy.




Couldn't have said it better myself Ruth0209 - very wise and HEALTHY words.


After all you are SweetDreams as well as a wife, mother and friend.
All that you do is what makes you you - icon_smile.gif



Bluehue.

sugarandslice Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 4:23am
post #7 of 9

Just my 2 cents worth: I'd like to agree that 'cake time' and 'kid time' can be (to a certain extent) combined. I always let my four year old help me when I'm baking. She loves to read the scales and measure things out, crack the eggs etc. And she absolutely adores playing with fondant and gumpaste so whenever I'm making decorations in advance she sits up at the bench and I give her her own lump of it with some cutters and her little play-doh rolling pin. It gives me some time getting done what needs to be done while also spending some quality time with her. She actually helped me make all the flowers on the cake in my photos.
Of course, when it comes to filling and covering in fondant, she can't really be involved so I wait till she's in bed at night.

The nearly-2year old......weeeelll.....she's a different matter!! icon_biggrin.gif

I hope you find the solution you're looking for. I know that balancing it all is difficult. Good luck making your decision.

Emma

DakotaDesigns Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 9:36pm
post #8 of 9

All very good suggestions. I work full time + overtime as a database engineer with a 2hour daily commute as well as try to run a cake business from my home and spend plenty of time with my Fiance and my two girls (5 & 1). The 1 year old is enthused just to sit and watch amazingly, my five year old runs for her playdough and she sets up shop. Also my nephews are at my house every day, they are 3 and 13. The 3 year old joins my 5 year old with playdough and the 13 year sits and asks TONS of questions (most common: 'Can I eat that one?'). Point is, you can always enjoy your hobbies by yourself or with the ones you love. At 26 I am somehow able to get 4 children around the table and calmly working with me and talking, there are times though that I tell them it's 'me' time and they have all come to respect that.

I agree with everyone on here, find your balance and don't let guilt overwhelm you. Do what you love and be with those you love to enjoy the fruits of your labor. They might not say it in words, but they think your a cool mom because you can make beautiful artwork that they can eat!

As far as who to say yes to and who to say no to. When I am approached with the question 'You make cakes?' I say 'Well yeah, what did you have in mind?'. This is actually how about 95% of my orders begin. Then we discuss what they want and for how much. While we discuss what they want though gives me enough time to guage if their going to be a good customer or an overbearing one. Then I ask WHEN they'll need it. If I don't like the way they come across or just don't want to do that kind of cake I turn a crinkled kinda sad face icon_redface.gif and politely inform them that I am either booked or I have plans that entire weekend.

Give it a shot icon_wink.gif Even worked on my mother-in-law (to be). Hope this helps! icon_rolleyes.gif (and sorry for the novel!!!) icon_rolleyes.gif

SweetDreams Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 1:14am
post #9 of 9

Thank you so much for all of your comments! You are right, I do need to throw the guilt away and hopefully look at this as a way to inspire my own kids to find something they are passionate about to pursue in their lives. I do spend an awful lot of time with my kiddos so taking some ME time is just something I need to do for myself.

I have been turning business away since spring( I know, call me crazy for giving up 2 weddings, a big engagement party among birthdays and other occasions as well) so now maybe I need to contact my better clients to let them know I am making cakes again (on a limited basis). I think I need to adjust my pricing as well to make sure I am getting paid a realistic amount for the time I do take away from family. It seemed like before, I was only making $5-6 an hour for my time after figuring ingredients/decor.
Maybe that is another reason for past frustrations. Meaning that I was making so little for that time I took to myself. Don't get me wrong, I love cakes and to me that is more important than the money but at the same time, it would be nice to make something decent for the time as well.

Again, thank you to all who replied!!

Angela

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