Scatterbrained. Vent.

Business By Kitagrl Updated 8 Jun 2010 , 10:39pm by Kitagrl

Kitagrl Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 2:39am
post #1 of 33

Wow...I've been so scatterbrained lately. Messed up a filling today (another thread on that) and also put the cake away without remembering to put part of the decorations on it...remembered later thankfully, and added those. Forgot a small part of yesterday's cake decoration (painting) too, put that on this morning.

I don't know if I'm just getting overworked or what...I feel like I'm getting uncomfortably scatterbrained and I really don't want to start regularly messing up people's orders. Its not a matter of not having the stuff written down or organized, its just a matter of plain forgetting stuff.

I think I'm on the edge of cake burnout...yikes...guilty that I'm not spending time with my kids, getting cranky, etc. (How some of you home bakers do more than 3-4 large cakes per week is beyond me!!!!)

Next week I have no cakes, just one tasting and a BUNCH of fondant figurines to work on for the following week...125 animals to be exact....and...a toddler to potty train who should have been trained by now. The following week I have three cakes BUT my hubby will be out of town and I have all four boys (because school is now out, of course) so I'm already getting stressed way ahead of time for that. haha.

I just wanna be a plain old MOM and WIFE for a whole month. icon_cry.gif But the income helps so I'm gonna just suck it up and keep going...but thanks for listening to me whine! haha. I think I'm hormonal today....

32 replies
Loucinda Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 1:04pm
post #2 of 33

Kita - I bought a magnetic dry erase board to keep me organized. I didn't use to have to worry, but business is really picking up and I want to make sure I am on top of things. Each cake order also has a page of what "extras' are needed, and those are put on the calendar on the magnetic board too. It has helped me a lot!

I am fortunate that my "baby" is 21 - so I don't have little ones to contend with while doing cakes. That alone would have me forgetting stuff! icon_wink.gif

Make your lists, and check them off as you do the items....and take some time to be with your kids too. thumbs_up.gif

Mindy1975 Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 4:55pm
post #3 of 33

Don't worry! We all go through it! Some weeks are way better than others! Always write things down, no matter how good you think you are remembering things! And if you have a week off, do those fondant figures flowers, etc ahead of time! I always do, and am always grateful that I did!

dldbrou Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 5:10pm
post #4 of 33

Maybe get a Big Cork Board.
Put your orders up like a calendar week.
Under the order, make a to-do list per order.
Check off the things that you have done for each cake.
Then have a container to put the decorations for each order.

Hopefully you will find a system that works to take away some of your stress.

mom2twogrlz Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 5:40pm
post #5 of 33

I feel your pain. This was me a few weeks ago when I had three big cakes due, was working full time, and trying to maintain my role as mommy and wife. Oh yeah, and I wanted to make cupcakes for my daughter's school which were supposed to have handmade fondant surfboards, flip flops, and sea creatures. Well, the cupcakes got done, but with sugar decorations bought at my local cake supply store. Still cute, but not what I wanted. Sometimes we try so hard to do it all, for various reasons, and it causes us to forget other stuff. I was so stressed about my cakes and tired from staying up til after midnight every night and getting up at 5am every morning, that I totally forgot about one of my assignments at work!!!! Thank God for a wonderful boss who just said, well, it happens, get it done when you can. AAAHHHH!!!!!! So I have put a hold on all cakes that are not for my family. All the others will just have to go to someone else. I want to enjoy my family for a few weeks.....or until the next cake comes along that inspires me and I just have to do it!!!!

Kitagrl Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 5:45pm
post #6 of 33

Wow I don't know how you did a full time job AND all those cakes!!!!!

mom2twogrlz Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 5:52pm
post #7 of 33

I don't know either....I won't do it again. Lucky for me I will not be working after June 18th due to budget cuts!!!! Now I will have more time for cakes!!!! YAY!!!!! And for my family too....that's the best part!!!!

carmijok Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 5:53pm
post #8 of 33

You'd better be careful or you're going to get burned out. Everyone needs a break...a REAL break...not one that has you still working on gum paste animals on your 'time off'. Pick a week (or two preferably) in the coming months and DON'T SCHEDULE ANYTHING! I speak from experience...not mine but the owner of the bakery I worked for. Her business was growing, she refused to say no (that ended up being MY job...and I was good at it), and she felt she couldn't afford to take time off...nor did she feel comfortable enough to leave anyone else in charge for any length of time. So she worked herself to the point that she quit the business completely. Which is a shame because she was really good and had a great following. But the stress of working overtime, trying to be creative, run a business and deal with her young family and NEVER taking a real vacation was too much. You need to recharge your batteries, step back and breathe a little. You may be forgetting things because you're getting overwhelmed. Really. Take a break. You deserve it. You won't lose any business...you'll just be postponing it! Enjoy your boys...they'll be gone faster than gum paste animals at a birthday party! icon_wink.gif

Kitagrl Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 6:10pm
post #9 of 33

Thanks everyone! icon_smile.gif

Yeah I guess I'm torn because as it is I only accept 3-4 orders per weekend...and turning away business (I've been doing it ALOT lately actually) isn't the way to keep a good business reputation...although I suppose being "booked" makes me look good, even if "booked" means I'm doing the kids. haha.

I have been trying to scale back some weeks to fewer cakes but then I'll get just ONE more order I feel bad saying "no" to, etc. haha.

The other thing I considered is raising my prices another notch....they are already creeping fairly high for a home baker with less overheard than a bakery...but....I'm also having to turn away orders too.

I also have the exciting privilege!!!!! of having a cake I decorated coming out in a local wedding magazine, so I hope and assume that will bring me more brides...so maybe I can start switching over to 1-2 weddings per week instead of 3-4 party cakes.

Just thinking out loud..but yeah...I should probably try to block off a vacation...I do have one in August, I think...? A quick weekend...

suzylynn58 Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm
post #10 of 33

I'm feeling the burnout too. I work a full time job and do cakes/catering from my commercial kitchen every weekend. I am so excited to only have ONE sheet cake next weekend. I am thinking of taking the month of July off. I think we all need time to relax and recharge. But I know what you mean about turning down business. It makes me feel bad and I lose a sale! icon_smile.gif

carmijok Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 7:04pm
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Thanks everyone! icon_smile.gif

Yeah I guess I'm torn because as it is I only accept 3-4 orders per weekend...and turning away business (I've been doing it ALOT lately actually) isn't the way to keep a good business reputation...although I suppose being "booked" makes me look good, even if "booked" means I'm doing the kids. haha.




Turning away business just means that you're in demand and people need to schedule sooner. I was the 'no' person at the bakery and people would be disappointed but i would also give them an opportunity to schedule something later. "No we can't do your cake this weekend, I'm sorry but we need at least 2 to 3 weeks notice...although it never hurts to check later if I have an opening as sometimes I do, but the sooner the better. Hey, since you're on the phone now, if you know of any more events coming up this year...birthdays, anniversaries, etc., I'd be happy to go ahead and get you on the calendar now and we can talk about the details closer to your event. That way you'll be scheduled and you won't have to think about it again for a while!"

I swear you can get at least 2 to 3 cakes scheduled from one person you're turning down now.

Get their info, call and remind them a couple of weeks before and get the details then. Some may cancel and that's fine because you've got time to schedule new. But you'll have a good idea of what to expect on a given week far in advance so you can plan better. Even when we were booked solid, I would also ask if they wanted to be on a waiting list in case someone dropped out--sometimes they did--and it worked out great. Saying no to people is not easy but if you let the client know how much you want to work with them, they'll appreciate your efforts and come back. Keep accepting last minute orders and people will think it's OK to call at the last minute--I mean it's just one more cake, right? And that's a reputation you DO NOT WANT, trust me. Before she hired me, my boss was known as the never-say-no cake lady, and it was killing her. Once we got people trained to call early or schedule early it was easier for the bakers to plan and execute. Her reputation did not suffer for turning away business. In fact she was getting too busy and she did not want to grow any more. As I mentioned before she got so frazzled by the business that she had and the hours she put in, ( and the NO VACATIONS) she ended up quitting the business. But the scheduling system worked great! icon_lol.gif

saffronica Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 9:40pm
post #12 of 33

Absolutely raise your prices! It doesn't matter one bit if you're a home baker with low overhead -- your costs help you determine the MINIMUM price for your cakes, but that doesn't mean you can't make more! There's a reason people want your cakes. If you're having to turn away orders, you're obviously in demand, and your customers will pay you what you're worth.

indydebi Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 12:50am
post #13 of 33

If you find you are getting more and more scatterbrained, seriously ask your doctor to test your thyroid. Memory loss is a symptom of an underactive thyroid. Mine is practically shut down and I ..... uh, wait a minute, I'll get there ...... we were talking about .... uh .... dogs? No, wait! Docs! Why were we talking about boats? Oh the other kind of docks! Doctors .... seeing a doctor ...... about ...uh .... being .... oh, yeah ....... forgetful!

(See? It happens!)

But seriously ....... keep an eye on it and get it checked if you find it becoming a barrier to your daily functioning.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 12:54am
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

If you find you are getting more and more scatterbrained, seriously ask your doctor to test your thyroid. Memory loss is a symptom of an underactive thyroid. Mine is practically shut down and I ..... uh, wait a minute, I'll get there ...... we were talking about .... uh .... dogs? No, wait! Docs! Why were we talking about boats? Oh the other kind of docks! Doctors .... seeing a doctor ...... about ...uh .... being .... oh, yeah ....... forgetful!

(See? It happens!)

But seriously ....... keep an eye on it and get it checked if you find it becoming a barrier to your daily functioning.




Thanks! Actually though I DID have thyroid problems after my last son was born (my mom was hypo) and I tested pos for the Hashi antibodies and somewhat low thyroid...BUT my body readjusted itself and I've been periodically checked since then (and this year as well) and all is just fine.

Fibromyalgia is another thing my mom had (lucky her!) which I know includes brain fog but I don't have the constant pain they usually say is a symptom so I guess I'm just a brunette with blonde roots and some pretty wicked PMS some months. haha. thumbs_up.gif (I can sometimes not see something lying right in front of me...etc...pretty crazy for only being 35 yrs old!)

tarheelgirl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:13am
post #15 of 33

I'm in a burnout stage right now.. Don't know if its just the summer and I want to spend time with my 2 kids or I'm just needing a break badly. I am going to scale things back at least for the month of July. I will do the cakes that are already booked and may or may not take a couple more on. It does help to step back and breathe!!

confectionsofahousewife Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:23am
post #16 of 33

How many kids do you have? Just curious. Mine are 5, 3, and 2. I dont know how you do this as a job and be a mom too! I only do cakes as a hobby and do one or so per week and it stresses me out sometimes. I get guilty feelings of not spending enough time with the kids. I am hoping that
by the time they are all in school I will be able to go into business. I made sure to schedule several weekends to go to the lake with the family this summer to avoid doing too many cakes. Its hard though because we have several family birthdays during July. I also feel conflicted. I love spending time with the kids but there is just something about deocrating cakes that makes me feel... I dont know... useful? Like there is something else that I am good at besides being someone's mommy.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:36am
post #17 of 33

I have four boys...ages almost 10, almost 8, 5, and a few months from 3. (He needs potty trained BAD.)

The 5 year old goes to half day kindergarten this year....yay!!! Three down, one to go. haha.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:53am
post #18 of 33

Nice! How do you do it with four?? I find three + cakes difficult at times. My oldest boy starts kindergarten (we only have full day here) in the fall. My three year old boy will go to pre school for a few hours, two days a week. Only three more years, though, and they'll all be in school full time! I'm not looking forward to them growing up and yet I am. Weird. I only have one left to potty train too. She is NOT interested (I say this after she peed on my floor twice today after we went swimming and before I could get her changed!). I am hoping by the time they all start school we will have moved to so I have the space to open up a home business. I have to have a separate kitchen but just don't have anywhere to put one in this house. And my first goal as a business: to make enough money to pay for a house cleaner so there will be one less thing on my mind!

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:59am
post #19 of 33

Oh man do I need a housecleaner. haha.

Yeah I tried twice already to potty train this kid and it wasn't happening. Hopefully third time will be a charm.

cheatize Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 3:49am
post #20 of 33

Ok. The thyroid is okay. You must be pregnant then. LOL

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 12:15pm
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Ok. The thyroid is okay. You must be pregnant then. LOL




Heaven forbid.... icon_lol.gif

confectionsofahousewife Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:14pm
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Ok. The thyroid is okay. You must be pregnant then. LOL




Yipes! icon_surprised.gif You should check that out!

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:24pm
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Ok. The thyroid is okay. You must be pregnant then. LOL



Yipes! icon_surprised.gif You should check that out!




Nope...not possible...been there done that....four times, and fourth was a huge surprise (two reasons he shouldn't have happened LOL) and so then we took further measures so I'm totally not. haha.

Anyway...we are talking about cakers up all hours of the night...four kids during the day...who has time to get pregnant? hahaha....

cakeandpartygirl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 1:50pm
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Ok. The thyroid is okay. You must be pregnant then. LOL



Yipes! icon_surprised.gif You should check that out!



Nope...not possible...been there done that....four times, and fourth was a huge surprise (two reasons he shouldn't have happened LOL) and so then we took further measures so I'm totally not. haha.

Anyway...we are talking about cakers up all hours of the night...four kids during the day...who has time to get pregnant? hahaha....





hey it only takes a couple of minutes LOL icon_eek.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

confectionsofahousewife Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 7:36pm
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeandpartygirl


hey it only takes a couple of minutes LOL icon_eek.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif So true!

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 8:25pm
post #26 of 33

icon_lol.gif

cutthecake Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 9:10pm
post #27 of 33

My hat is off to all of you working Moms and stay at home Moms--and single Moms-- who find a way to do it all.

hoosierhobbyist Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 9:35pm
post #28 of 33

A word of caution to all you fellow mommies...Mine are now 14, 13, 10 and 8 and all are beginning to learn some aspect of cake decorating. They've grown up with it. I started about 12 years ago while still in the Air Force doing retirement, promotion cakes, etc. Everyone said you should open your own shop." When #3 came about, I did just that. Luckily we were stationed where I could have a legal at home kitchen, be a stay at home mommy and be licensed.

Here's the caution. I was just beginning to get referrals for weddings and had taken an order for a five tiered wedding cake, covered in gumpaste roses. After several days of hand making roses, colording, lustering, dusting, etc. they were all layed nicely on the trays in my covered bun rack in my studio. My son, then about 6, got violently ill that night, and we could not imagine what he had eaten, etc. But the color oh so resembled the aqua/turqouise roses. Check the bun rack - 2 TRAYS OF ROSES - GONE! Crumbs around the bun rack, short about 60 roses, wedding cake due in 36 hours, son violently up all night sick...exhausted, 60 more roses to make QUICKLY icon_cry.gif

Just a quick mommy and cake story for those of you who still have little ones...beware of the sweet tooth icon_cool.gif

4realLaLa Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 11:41pm
post #29 of 33

I understand how it is to have little ones and bake. The summer break doesn't make it any easier since I like to bake while they are at school (which I cannot do during the summer). Just take a breath and listen to indydebi she's right. Good luck!

SimplyIced Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 8:26pm
post #30 of 33

I'm so glad this post is going on. I have taken a little "cake break" and it was much needed. I work full time and am a mother of a 7 year old. I felt myself beginning to despise having to come home and bake, make icing or fondant, decorate...anything. I decided I needed a break. I've only been doing this for about a year and it seemed like everything just took off almost too quickly. I remembered last summer was a little slow, but I was just getting started. This summer has been CRAZY up until Memorial weekend when I had plans to go to the lake (we bought a boat in November). Since then I've only had one order and let me tell you...I LOVE IT. I feel so guilty though, for some reason and I hate that! I haven't had to turn anyone down or anything, just slower and I raised my prices. I've got a couple of big weddings this summer, but I have to say I'm enjoying spending a few weekends on my boat. I have worked my butt off for the last year and I needed a break. Why is it that I feel so darn guilty though?!!? Anybody else ever feel like that?

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