Is It Really Worth It? (Sorry, Long Rant...)

Lounge By Tinabarena Updated 24 Aug 2010 , 3:11pm by kansaslaura

Tinabarena Posted 22 Aug 2010 , 11:13pm
post #1 of 17

Ok, so I'm kinda in the dumps right now. Can't really talk anywhere else, so I suppose I'll get it out here. The readers digest version is that I am coming up on my 10 year anniversary with my husband. My husband loves me more than he should. I have two children that are the true loves of my life. And, I have worked as a paralegal for the past 10 years at the same law firm a job that I still truly love to go to every morning.

Anyway, my husband lost his job about 2 months ago and there are absolutely no prospects for him (we live in Michigan, and Michigan is really just a horrible place to live right now). I have always done cakes for friends and family, so I decided to start my own business and actually sell cakes/do shows to try to earn some extra income. I am, surprisingly, doing very well with it and have either 2-3 cakes a weekend or a show (sometimes both).

I still work full time at the law firm, so I do these cakes after work and usually well into the middle of the night. When I, by chance, am not working on a cake, I am truly exhausted body and mind. Since this has been my schedule pretty much since March, time with my kids has drastically reduced. The kids like to help me and I try to let them as much as possible, but Im a bit of a Type A person and get anxious when they want to start helping me roll out fondant or something like that. My daughter has recently been asking me mom, if you didnt do cakes, would you have more time to spend with us? (shes 7 years old).

This kills me because I know my time with her is not like it used to be but I also know that I need to somehow make the house payment, or buy school clothes, or pay the pile of medical billsI thought doing the cakes would be better than getting a second job because I would actually be at the house instead of away, but apparently it is a lose-lose situation.
The stress of it all is making me resent my husband and sometimes I really just want to pick up and leave it all! Its crazy because I know there are so many other people out there that are worse off them me, but that thought doesnt make me feel better (actually worse, cuz then I start worrying/feeling sad for all those other people).

I have never given up on anything in my life, but Im to that point where I think I have to!

Anyway, if you got this far, thanks for listening to my rant! Hormones

16 replies
CWR41 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 2:42am
post #2 of 17

Well, at least you have a partner to help out. If he isn't working, HIM spending time with the kids is the next best thing when you can't. If you give up and leave, then you're stuck doing everything on your own. Can he help with things that will make your life easier while you're the one trying to do it all? If he loves you and his family, I don't see why he isn't already doing something to keep it all from falling apart. Sounds like you need to communicate with him and give him responsibilities to keep him busy.

Tinabarena Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 12:03pm
post #3 of 17

I know. You're right. I am bad at telling him (or anyone) what I need. Like I said, I'm very controlling, and I am HORRIBLE at asking for any kind of help.

I did ask him for help - once - I asked him to bake a cake for me while I was at work (simple 9 inch cake...that way it'd be cool by the time I got home so I could crumb/decorate it). He made the wrong flavor and then kept the cake on the stove, in the pan, while the stove was cooling off - so the cake became overbaked. I couldn't be mad though - I failed to tell him the flavor and to flip it onto a cooling rack. It was all there in my head...but silly me just forgot to tell him because these are all common sense steps for me. icon_razz.gif I had to laugh at myself as I rebaked the cake.

One thing, he is a fabulous father. He really is, and I am thankful for that.

I have to get over myself and as he says "let the purse strings go".

Thanks for your advice though. Last night was just "one of those nights" where I felt defeated. Pity party for me, party of one icon_smile.gif

TheCakerator Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 1:10pm
post #4 of 17

yes MI is a horrible place to live right now! Now, I know what you are saying but you have to keep asking yourself, if your husband was out of work, and you couldn't make cakes for a living, and you had to get a second job, be it wal mart, k mart, mcdonalds, wherever, would you be feeling this guilt? Would you be able to explain it to your children that this is a second job, so you can pay for school clothes, and food in their bellies? Sometimes people just don't really understand that a second job at home (cake decorating), is really a job at all, you know what I mean? I guess what I'm asking is, does your daughter ask if you didn't have to go to your "real" job, would you be able to spend more time with her?

Tinabarena Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 1:25pm
post #5 of 17

That is usually my response when my daughter asks me. I tell her "mom does this so that I can buy you bread for your lunch" or "you see how you're watching that Hannah Montana show...well, I have to pay the electricity so you can watch it!".

She's 7 and for some reason thinks that I can just go to the ATM and take money out. I just had her open her own "savings" account to hopefully show her that you have to put money INTO the account to take money out of the account! LOL...to be young again!

Someone once told me "the universe is always changing", and that has been my mantra lately...soon, things will turn around and in 5 or 10 years, maybe I'll look back at this time and laugh.

...or, that is what I'm hoping at least...

kansaslaura Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 2:09pm
post #6 of 17

You're in a "you do what you gotta do situation" right now.

You made no more mention about your husband except for the fact he messed up a cake.

If you haven't already, sit down with him and lay it out. A lot of men don't have a clue what to do to help you, especially with the type of personality you have. You sound a lot like me!

First of all--they're not mind readers, never will be.

Secondly--they're never going to do things to your standards. Get over it.

I'm sure, with just a little patience you can teach him to bake your cakes and make frosting and clean up. You're training your partner. Sit down and type out exactly...and I do mean EXACTLY the steps you go through to bake a cake. Space them out for easy reading, highlight the SUPER important steps.

Then, have him in the kitchen with you while you bake one and have him follow along on your directions and encourage him to ask questions along the way.

Same thing for frosting. Step-by-step.

Filling bags is another thing he can do for you a head of time. I would LOVE to have a couple of bags full of white buttercream ready for me to use. Covering cake boards, another thing! Putting boxes together. The list could go on and on.

I know this can be done. I taught my husband to make my buttercream. Never had to get to the point of baking, but I have full confidence he could do it if I showed him how.

Do not be condescending, but by the same token you don't have to just accept mistakes. But, gently show him how you'd like it done to make your decorating easier when you get home.

Don't make this seem like just some grunt work to keep him busy while you're out earning the $$. Trust me, he wants to be employed more than you want him to be.

I do know how hard this can be. But take a deep breath. You've invested 10 years and more importantly have children that are depending on a stable home. This can be done.

HUG!!

Tinabarena Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 3:11pm
post #7 of 17

kansaslaura, you are absolutely right. I need to just show/explain to him how it's done, and how I like it. To me, it seems simple and logical...to him, he'd be like "what is a sifter and why do you do that?".

He's also a 'fixer', so maybe he can suggest an approach that might be easier or more efficient that I don't see because I'm set in my ways?

I'm going to take this approach and try to work with it. Maybe if he's in the kitchen with me, it might mend some of the damage that has been done with our relationship (if I have no time for the kids, I certainly didn't have time for him icon_sad.gif ). It's worth a shot.

Thanks - I feel much better today! Things were just festering inside of me and I just needed to get the negativity out of my system! thumbs_up.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 3:41pm
post #8 of 17

I know all men are different...but my husband has really low self-esteem when he's between jobs, and if I told him he had to bake cakes because he wasn't working, he'd probably do it but he'd feel like I was trying to humiliate him. Or he would mess up on purpose to show me that I shouldn't be asking him to do things like that. I know a lot of men are a lot more enlightened than mine icon_razz.gif but if your husband is one of those old-fashioned guys whose sensitive about being the house-husband for the time being, then he might feel the same way about baking that my husband would.

Something else that might help you, or maybe not, is to look at your expenses and see if there's anywhere you can cut corners. For example, have the cable turned off. Buy an antenna...you'll be amazed at the picture quality of regular tv now that it all went digital. If you have cell phones and don't use your home phone anymore, get rid of the home phone. (Keep the internet for Cake Central icon_biggrin.gif and because your husband needs the internet for his job search.) Take the expensive data packages off your cell phone plan. Find out if the kids are eligible for reduced-price school lunches. If the kids are in daycare, take them out until your husband finds a job. Try garage sales, thrift stores or craigslist for clothes for the kids. If you're making monthly payments on your medical bills, call and ask for the monthly amount to be lowered until your husband starts working again.

Bottom line, if you've gone from a two-income family to a one-income family. don't feel like you have to work around the clock to keep the same level of luxury that you have when your husband is working too...if you have to live with a little less for a little while, your kids will deal with it just fine, and you and your husband will have a new appreciation for the extras when you can afford them again.

kansaslaura Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 3:44pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinabarena

kansaslaura, you are absolutely right. I need to just show/explain to him how it's done, and how I like it. To me, it seems simple and logical...to him, he'd be like "what is a sifter and why do you do that?".

He's also a 'fixer', so maybe he can suggest an approach that might be easier or more efficient that I don't see because I'm set in my ways?

I'm going to take this approach and try to work with it. Maybe if he's in the kitchen with me, it might mend some of the damage that has been done with our relationship (if I have no time for the kids, I certainly didn't have time for him icon_sad.gif ). It's worth a shot.

Thanks - I feel much better today! Things were just festering inside of me and I just needed to get the negativity out of my system! thumbs_up.gif




I've walked in your shoes. I do understand.

I know nothing about changing the oil in a car. If I was to do that the directions would have to start from opening the hood. And, trust me I've cursed under my breath trying to do that at times!! So baby steps! And since he's a fixer my bet is he'll be an asset!!

The fact that you're open to mending things is a very good sign. It's when you just don't care that red flags start going up. You know, wink wink.. if you show him while the kids are in bed it could get fun! I do happen to have a cookbook on my shelf called "Cooking in the Nude".... icon_twisted.gif You'll be so amazed if you heal what's hurt between you two,(and this could be the avenue) things will fall back into order, problems that seem too huge to even tackle will melt into manageable sizes.

Keep me posted, and if have issues you'd like to discuss, I'm just a PM away. Just don't give up!!

kansaslaura Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 4:07pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I know all men are different...but my husband has really low self-esteem when he's between jobs, and if I told him he had to bake cakes because he wasn't working, he'd probably do it but he'd feel like I was trying to humiliate him. Or he would mess up on purpose to show me that I shouldn't be asking him to do things like that.




It's all in the way you approach it, especially when he's already hurting and feeling less than a provider. Never tell him "he had to bake cakes because he wasn't working"... If you're working full time and the cakes are providing a needed income, the discussion should be around what the two of you can do to get past the tough time. Show him the value in what he contributes besides bringing in a pay check.

debbief Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 10:12pm
post #11 of 17

Kansaslaura, you are very wise and you give great advice. Tinabarena, I'm glad you took her words to heart! Good luck to you. You'll get over this bump in the road and hopefully it will build a stronger bond between you and your husband because you did it together.

btw, I think I have that type a personality too icon_wink.gif

Tinabarena Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 11:54pm
post #12 of 17

Maybe all bakers are Type A?? LOL

Good news though - my husband has an interview on Thursday! I'm keeping my fingers crossed! If he gets it, he has to train down in Ohio for 6 weeks, so that's a bummer, but there won't be any complaints!

If he doesn't get it, well, I'm basking in his good mood right now! It's amazing how the opportunity has lifted his spirits!

You cc'ers bring me luck!

Thanks all!

CWR41 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 12:45am
post #13 of 17

Good luck!

Karen421 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 2:25am
post #14 of 17

I wish your husband good luck with his interview Thursday!!! This economy has really taken it's toll on so many people! My husband's plant shut down just over a year ago, which left about 300 people without jobs. He was lucky and got another job, unfortunately it is 100 miles away, so we only get to see him on weekends, but it is a good job, so we don't complain! (to much)

Tinabarena Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 3:00am
post #15 of 17

Oh gosh Karen, that's so sad and gave me chicken skin (goose bumps). Again, my mantra is "the universe is always changing" so when I get down, I try to repeat this in my head (I'm sure I look like a looney person to the kids!), but it keeps me grounded. Sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me, but usually it helps me.

I remember growing up and being poor - my dad got laid off from Chrysler for over 3 years and my mom didn't work at the time. I had no idea as a child that we were poor. Looking back, I really don't know how my parents did it; and being in a similiar position now, as an adult and with kids, I understand why my parents fought so much. It's so stressful. But, they just celebrated their 34th anniversary - so my thought, they got through it and so will I!!

Hopefully your husband can transfer to a closer location or maybe find a job closer to home. If not, make sure a couple of those weekends are just for you two! icon_wink.gif

Karen421 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 3:20am
post #16 of 17

It's not sad for me, we are very thankful he's got a good job and my son is in school there, so they live together during the week. 100 miles is 2hrs, so I can go during the week, if my schedule will allow. It was and is sad for the other people, several of which are still not working. Some were husbands and wives.

kansaslaura Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 3:11pm
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

It's not sad for me, we are very thankful he's got a good job and my son is in school there, so they live together during the week. 100 miles is 2hrs, so I can go during the week, if my schedule will allow. It was and is sad for the other people, several of which are still not working. Some were husbands and wives.


thumbs_up.gif I'm glad your son can keep him company, and 100 miles isn't nearly as far as it sounds when it means a good job! I'm thankful you're blessed with this job!!

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