I am sitting here again tiered and wanting to go to sleep but can't because I have cakes to deliver at 9AM tomorrow morning that have to get finished. Can't believe that I would actually say that I think I just need a break from caking for customers. I have worked hard to get business and am finally getting a few non-friend customers, but I am whooped. The past three weeks have been nothing but caking every day after getting home from work, playing with the kids, and finally getting around to baking, etc. I am popping caffiene pills just to stay awake and I am exhausted. My DH has been so good to keep the kids occupied for me, but I feel like a bad mom for not being around them like I should be.... So I think I just need a break... finish up the orders that I do have and then just do my kids' birthdays.
Okay, sorry, if that was a long ramble I apologize, I am ready to fall asleep, but nope, off I need to go to finish this cake!
Look how tired you are & you must have caking on the brain, you wrote "tiered" instead of "tired" LOL.
I can totally relate, I am almost there too, doing 2-3 cakes per week plus my regular job, which thankfully is a field position & I am not stuck in an office from 8-5 all week.
But most of my free time is also taken up in cakes & I can feel a burn out coming soon!
I don't know how you even manage with small children. I have a full time "day" job and an 18 year old who doesn't even come in the kitchen during cake time and a DH who supports me more than I deserve. But I still feel the same way - is this worth it? Most of my orders have been from friends and co-workers. I've had two seperate occassions where I had 3 cakes due in one week and it KILLED me and normally I don't even have 1 cake a week. And these weren't even wedding cakes! Not to mention that at $3.00 per serving I'm not making any money due to the time I put into the cakes - a lot is just my inexperience and not doing cakes frequently enough. Plus I know I'm still under charging. So I'm right there with you! I don't think I'd want to do this full time and definitely not by myself. Take two weeks off and let yourself rest, play with your kids and then get back to doing the cakes you WANT to do. And to those of you doing more than 3 cakes in a week and working a seperate job with or without kids I am in awe of your skills!
This is definitely something I know a lot of people could relate to. Best thing is not to make any rash decisions while you are so exhausted and don't make any "official" proclamations about your caking. It sounds like you definitely need a break. You should do that until you find your drive for caking returns. It may take a couple of months. In the meantime, just politely tell people you're already booked or not available until you're ready to resume (or at least until you've given yourself some time to really think it over). At least by just declining because you're booked won't turn away possible business at a later date like it would if you told people you're done making cakes for others and then changing your mind later and trying to rebuild that business.
But life's too short to be doing something you're not enjoying so definitely take some time off! Good luck to you!
I feel your pain, I was there a few weeks ago. I was working full time, had 2 big cakes and 48 cupcakes due and a party for my daughter's kindergarten class.....UUGGG!!!! And oh yeah, my husband is a firefighter and decided to work a bunch of OT and then teach the academy on his one days off! Talk about stress, exhaustion, and burn out!!!! I was stuck in the kitchen until at least 1 am every night just to wake up for the new day at 5am. I developed a new addition to Monster Drinks that week!!!
The funny thing is, well, my just just ended since it was just a temporary job, and now I have no cakes on the books! I just got done making a cake for my in-laws anniversary, even though they don't know about it, just because I needed to decorate. Then I let the kids decorate one for the hubby.
It's a sick obsession!!!!!
But take a short break, sleep, play with the kiddos and enjoy some me time. Then, when you are ready, jump back in and do the cakes that inspire you.
As everyoone else has said, take a short break. Since it's not your fultime business/income it's nice to have the option to do that. Maybe just reducing your workload to 1-2 orders a week or every other week for awhile will be good.
But also, RAISE YOUR PRICES!!! You will probably loose a couple of orders, BUT the orders you will be doing are earning more income so you won't have to do as many orders to still make the same amount of money Less work, more play is always better.
Thanks to everyone who responded. I agree with you all. I am going to take a little break and enjoy some me time. It's just so hard to turn people away when I love doing this, but going to bed at 1-1:30 in the morning and then waking up at 6 is not ideal...especially when it is every night!
Leily - that is exactly what my husband said. He said that I just need to really limit my orders and give myself a break in between. I just need to learn to say NO!
Oh yes, and starting July 1st, I am raising my prices - I sticking to adding on for everything extra! I have a hard time not charging for fillings, fondant accents, etc. So I need to figure out if my base price includes fillings, etc. or not.
Now, off to get my coffee!
Thanks again everyone I knew I could come here to people who "get" it.
I completely limited how many cakes I am taking for the entire summer. One my kids are home from school and I am the same as you - feeling like a bad mommy some of the time. And two, I have no air conditioning so it can be absolutely miserable decorating in the heat and humidity. I made it known that I was only take a few orders and if they wanted on the schedule they better book quick.
There is nothing wrong with taking a break if it makes you a better and happier decorator. Use the time to figure out your pricing
I feel your pain Karen. I am a paralegal working 40 hours a week and have kids ranging from 4, 12 and 14 and a DH that needs attention. I have been averaging 3 cakes a week and sometimes more... 2 weeks ago, I had to task 10 cakes in one week. I absolutely love doing it but feel so exhausted at times.. And of course my main problem is that I can not anyone NO!!
Wow..sad toknow, bud also glad to know I am not alone on this busy boat.
I work FT and have five kids! Life gets crazy hectic sometimes that I often take breaks just to recharge. Usually after 2-3 weeks of no cakes I "need" to do one. It is an insane obsession...but one I love and cant live without!
Raising your prices will help more than you might realize.
1. You will not be buried under orders that are burning you out and not really paying for your time. (remember to respect yourself and your relationship with your daughter and husband - when you say yes to under pricing your work your GIVING AWAY time you could have had with your family.
2. when you are getting paid adequately for your work it does not feel so taxing.
3. you will have less orders and catch a break but the orders you do get you will feel more excited about.
This time of year even I want a break and I do not have kids or another job but baking in the sweltering heat here in the south is miserable. Tomorrow it is going to be 96 degrees 99% humidity with a heat index over 100 degrees and I have three 3D cakes going out this week. UGH. I want to just say "closed due to heat" and head for the mountains!!!!!
I can absolutely relate ... glad this is actually a thread! I don't actually sell my cakes, so I don't get the financial satisfaction from it, but I use them as my presents to people for different occasions. Last year, though, it got so that I was having a "special occasion" that people would ask cakes of me for every week (sometimes two). I am a doctor, and work 80 hours a week at the hospital (sometimes up to 100), and I have three munchkins. In order to avoid the "bad mommy" feeling, I was only baking and decorating when the kids were asleep, to not waste the few minutes I had with them on other activities.That didn't work out so well. I was sleep-deprived beyond my usual amount of sleep deprivation, absolutey not enjoying it anymore, and kept getting well-meaning-but-snide comments at work like, "Wow, if you have enough time to make this, you must not be working hard enough!". I ended up deciding to not do absolutely any more cakes for awhile for anybody but my kids and husband, and my parents. I've slowly started making more, but my limit is 1 per month now. And that's final!
Ugh! In the mist of being tired I forgot to take a picture of this AWESOME Mets cake! Hopefully a picture was taken by my customer and she can email it to me...this one was so simple, but AWESOME!!!
So glad that your cake turned out so well! One can see that you were very happy with it.
Summer is a great time to step back. Not that you need to give an reason, but you have children home for the summer and that alone says plenty. You obviously have a lot of support behind in whatever decision you make, but I agree that it might be good to step back a bit (especially with the additional stress of kids home for the summer) before making your decision. Just take a hiatus. I would expect that your customers will understand.