How Do You Do It With Kids?

Decorating By rosita6882 Updated 27 Sep 2006 , 3:21pm by ButtercreamCakeArtist

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 6:48pm
post #1 of 61

i have four kids. when i started decorating cakes i didn't have any. after my first turned 1 i put her in daycare and went back to work. now i have four and can't afford to put three in daycare(one is in school). so how do you all get through your orders on time?

60 replies
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projectqueen Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:01pm
post #2 of 61

I don't have any real orders yet, but I do all my decorating after 10:00 pm when hubby and dd are in bed.

I can bake the cakes easily enough with toddler underfoot, but I need peace and quiet for decorating.

I can't imagine with 4 kids how tired you must be by 10pm, though. icon_biggrin.gif

I guess I don't have any advice for you but just want to say kudos for being so ambitious. I hope you find a way to work it out.

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frankandcathy Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:08pm
post #3 of 61

Hmmm....good question.

I have three kiddos aged 5.5, 4.5, and 2.

My husband is gone most of the time (home about 11 days a month).

I am active in church, Mom's groups, etc.

So, I am definitely qualified to answer this one.

The first real thing to figure out is: Is it worth it? Is the money that you are making worth not spending time with your kids? (For me, the answer has become: NO! so I am stopping). This is one very, very, very good reason to never undercharge a cake.

Practically: you have to be very scheduled. I bake cakes ahead of time and freeze them so that I'm not going nuts on Friday before cake orders are picked up. I'll bake Monday-Thursday as well as make icing and fondant to store. Obviously gumpaste decorations can be made ahead of time as well.

I can bake while the kids are awake and playing but I find I need to concentrate during decorating so I try to do that during naps or after bedtime for kids.

Involve your children in your work. Let them dump stuff in the bowl, play with scrap fondant, etc.

Make sure that they have an activity for 15 minutes before you starting mixing, etc.

I don't (for the sake of your marriage) recommend doing anything after your husband is in bed....except your husband. icon_surprised.gif)

PM me if you want more details on any of this.

Hope it helps.

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:10pm
post #4 of 61

i have a 4 yr old, 2yr old twins, and a two month old. my husband works till 11 pm, so i wait up for him. and i put my 4 yr old on a bus at 7 am. i do my orders in the day so i have three at home. but it takes me twice as long (if not longer) to do my cakes. anyone with kids care to give some advice?

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:17pm
post #5 of 61

i dont think i can give it up. its the only thing that keeps me sane. i am a sahm, so i dont get out much. i dont really go anywhere cuz, well i'm sure you can understand why! so i cant give it up. plus its extra money.

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cassandrascakes Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:21pm
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I'm still laughing at frankandcathy's reply. I too bake while the kids are awake and decorate once everyone is asleep. I have tried to decorate with my two year old running around and she has mistaken icing coloring for hair gel more than once. She has ruined clothing, carpet and furniture. After cleaning up the cake mess, it's pure hell to clean up the baby too.

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mkerton Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:26pm
post #7 of 61

Naptime, Naptime, Naptime....that is when I do the decorating (but I dont have orders) I dont have the pressure.

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SweetConfectionsChef Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:27pm
post #8 of 61

My son, who is 6, has a strick bedtime of 8pm and always has. My husband retires to the bedroom to play playstation or watch the game about that time (he is up for work at 4:30am) so before my shop I baked and decorated during this time. I've always enjoyed having my late evenings to myself!

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:29pm
post #9 of 61

i guess i got lucky with the twin boys. one sleeps and the other is awake. then the other one goes to sleep and the one that was sleeping is now awake. plus my infant wakes every three hours to feed.

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awolf24 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:31pm
post #10 of 61

I have a 9 month old and he goes to bed around 8 PM so I bake, decorate, etc. after he is in bed. That means some late nights for me but that is more than worth trying to do it while he is awake, crawling around, chasing the dog, etc.

I will think of all you other late night decorators the next time I am rinsing BC out of tips at midnight (or later!).

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CakeDiva73 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:32pm
post #11 of 61

I love painting on fondant because then when I pour some vodka to dilute the paint, I pour a little more to dilute my temper. icon_lol.gif Then I am not such a freak-on-a-leash with the kids...... they love nothing more than to hover when I bake. Drives my up the wall!

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eriksmom Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:33pm
post #12 of 61

I have a 4 and 6 year old. I'm also a SAHM. I bake while they're around, and make frosting, fondant, etc. with them around. Sometimes they even want to help! I do some decorating while they're around, if its a simple design. My 4 yr. old loves to watch! Because they are so close in age, they are good at entertaining themselves while I'm busy.

It does take a while, as I do get interrupted to break up arguments, fix owies, and just spend time with them. My DH always asks me how long it took to do that cake. My answer is "How can I possibly keep track with so many interruptions?!"
I also make my cakes, icings, ahead of time so that I can concentrate on the decorating when the time comes.

Organization and priority are key in this matter. It depends on your children, your schedule, etc. If you enjoy what you do, then you manage to work it out. If its just too much, keep it as a hobby until they are in school full time, if you even want to do decorate full time.

Wish I had better advice, but I'm in the same boat as you. If I go full time, I have to put the 4 yr. old in full time daycare. The thought of having full days to myself is tempting. But then, if I do cakes full time, it might loose some of its fun and actually become a job!

Good luck, and let us know what you figure out.

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Chef_Stef Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:36pm
post #13 of 61

My kids are older, 7 and 10, and I've worked at home doing medical transcription all their lives. They're very quiet kids anyway and very used to keeping themselves occupied while I'm working (on whatever), even when they were smaller...Back then, I'd do late-night decorating (after putting DH to bed, too icon_wink.gif).

Now I homeschool them and don't type any more since July, but I run our business from home, so I'll bake while they are doing self-study stuff and pop in and out of the kitchen during quiet study time, then decorate in the afternoon/early evening before/after dinner while waiting for DH to get home (he's not home early most nights).

Late nights are always best for quiet and concentration (I call it my Mad Scientist Lab), but I agree with whoever said don't do it after DH goes to bed, unless tapedshut.gif...uh,....well, anyway...If you hear, "Are you going to be out here ALL NIGHT?"---it's time to change the schedule...!

I also don't work on more than one at a time.

good luck!

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rosiecakes Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:38pm
post #14 of 61

remember sleep? forget it! when mine were little i found it very peaceful to stay up late decorating in the quiet house, depending ont the project though i did tend to "pay" for it the next day if i stayed up too too late. what am i talking about? i still do this!

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:50pm
post #15 of 61

i think my biggest problem is when i turn my back, somones fingers are in the cake. i try to decorate on a high surface but they get a chair and find a way to it. iv tryed to preoccupie them with toys, or a movie but it only keeps their attention for so long. any suggestions?

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CakeDiva73 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 7:59pm
post #16 of 61

Does anyone else wish they had a sep. fridge, just for cakes? That is my dream I can keep all my frosting & perishable baking supplies in one place (so no one grabs my heavy cream to use in their coffee icon_confused.gif ) and then I can store my cake layers!! And no kids will pull a chunk off to munch on icon_lol.gif

ahhhhhhhh....well, I can dream!

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projectqueen Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:00pm
post #17 of 61
Originally Posted by frankandcathy

I don't (for the sake of your marriage) recommend doing anything after your husband is in bed....except your husband. icon_surprised.gif)

PM me if you want more details on any of this.

LOL, I want details on that part icon_lol.gif

Actually, (and sadly icon_rolleyes.gif ), my DH is usually asleep before DD.

Oh well, more time for cakes icon_wink.gif

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aggiedecorator Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:04pm
post #18 of 61

I can relate to most of you.

I've been wondering how anyone can bake and decorate with kids at home. I stopped doing any baking 2 years ago when my dd was born. Funny, I put 2 cakes and about 50 cookies in the lounge the day I went into labor. I teach (DH watches children) and then DH works 5-11 and then on weekends so that doesn't leave any time for Mommy jobs, much less baking. Now I have a 6 month old son too. I want to spend as much time as I can with the kids.

When my dh is home, we are running errands we are behind on like groceries, Wal-Mart, etc... it does take 2 of us. My dh also has a video business so even when he is not working his 1st job, there's something else that needs his attention. I like the idea of decorating at night but my ds still doesn't sleep through the night.

Well, I am bravely putting holiday baking flyers in the teachers' lounge in a few weeks so I'll tell you if I come up with any inventive distractions for the little ones. My dream is to get enough business that I CAN stay home and then I'd have their naptime.

I enjoyed reading everyone else's responses. Cathy-I just don't know how to phrase it here but let's just say in response to your bed comment, my hubby probably would not want me to have any more excuses than I already have if ya know what I mean icon_redface.gif

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:05pm
post #19 of 61

thanks everyone. anyone have twins? could use some help with pre-occupying them.

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tripletmom Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:10pm
post #20 of 61

I bake sometimes when the girls are up however I only decorate when they go to bed. Many, many late nights for me, sometimes until 5 AM. It's a small sacrifice for now, they start JK next September so then they will be gone every 2nd day for a full day. Then we'll have to see if this will be a feasible full-time kind of business. Right now it's mostly for fun......and how fun is it to say you play with food?

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dolfin Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:12pm
post #21 of 61

organization,prioritizing and strict bedtimes. baking and freezing cakes ahead of time. making icing and coloring ,filling bags day before. Clean as you go so not overwhelming when you finish. I split the decorating into two sessions. One for icing while kids napping during day and one for intricate work after bedtime at night. Kids asleep by 9:00pm. Time for honey, then time for me and cakes. If I stay up to late I find a 20 minute nap while kids napping keeps me going. Also always allow enough time for everything so if something dosen't go as planned you have plenty of time for plan B. Oh yea, have a plan b or even c. Course I do this with my grandchildren since they are always with me and I wasn't so smart with my own kids.

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CakeDiva73 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:16pm
post #22 of 61

As for the twins, what about making them their own fondant to use as edible play-doh? If I promise my kids play-doh, they will do darn near anything. At least with fondant, you could save leftover colors in bags for them.

Of course, you can also make your own Play-doh, which is easy and cheap and let the kids work on their stuff... this of course comes with it's own pitfalls..i.e. " Mom, loooook...MOM!! LOOK!! Mom.....LOOOOOOOK!"

My kids watch TV so rarely that when it comes on, they are glued. Comes in handy if I really need to concentrate. When I used to let them watch it all the time, they couldn't have cared less so now I don't feel so guilty since I hardly ever do that, ya' know? I also am a TV junkie so I have one in the kitchen icon_redface.gif and if there are truly wanting to see every little thing, I will put it on and have them sit at the island ( I tell them they can't get up ) and then they watch me & the TV as I work and I don't have to worry about tripping over them.

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RisqueBusiness Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:16pm
post #23 of 61

Has anyone of you SAHM thought about getting a "Mother's Helper"? Some local kid to come in and play/distract your little ones for a few hours a few times a week so you can get what you need to get done, done??

I highly recommend them!! lol

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MISSYCOMPOC Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:22pm
post #24 of 61

I give mine there own to work on. I make a huge mess myself so giving my 4yr and 19 month old some BC or fondant to play with is not a big deal - mine love to be messy (wonder where they get it from) icon_wink.gif
Now if I just had a playpen big enough so they wouldn't crawl all over me........... icon_lol.gif

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:29pm
post #25 of 61

what about the suger high they get from all the sugar? mine are already hyper enough as it is.

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Susieindy Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:38pm
post #26 of 61

I don't know how you SAHMs do it with kids running around! I didn't start making cakes until my 2nd child was 3 or 4. He is the reason I started making cakes. I wanted a certain look and decided to do it myself. I started to get better and better, but then as time went on, those late nights started getting exhausting, as I work full time. Plus when it gets late, it seemed like the decorating was more frustrating because I was so tired. I don't do hardly any cakes any more, not because I don't want to. Just because I don't get asked as much anymore. That's fine with me. A cake once every 2 months or so is enough to keep the interest up. Plus my hubby did suffer the nights I stayed up so late! icon_smile.gif

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doitallmom Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:41pm
post #27 of 61

I have 8 little ones believe it or not and all my baking and decorating is done with them at home. DH helps out when he's home, but mostly everything is done when he's working. I too bake one day; make icing and some decorations if possible; then frost and decorate on the day before/day of pickup/delivery. I used to have issues with hunks of cake missing or tiny imprints (fingers) in my buttercream but now that everyone understands that mommy is working and not just baking for cousins and what not , I don't have any problems. So long as they can watch it turn from plain cake into a car or baby carriage , etc. and lick the spoons and spatulas when I'm totally finished, they're fine.

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Tat Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:47pm
post #28 of 61 funny!!! I have 3 children. Ranging from 13 yrs to 4 years. I know, what was I thinking??? Anway, it's funny, I don't cook anything from like Thursday to Sunday...I'm working on cakes. Weekends are my busiest times. So, my husband says, that's okay, we'll just eat a sandwhich. My oldest daughter has gone on strike. She says if she sees another sandwhich, she'll croak!!!! Lots of bread, mayo, and bologna in my house icon_lol.gif

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rosita6882 Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:49pm
post #29 of 61

thanks everyone for responding. i think i will start freezing cakes for now untill my kids get older. i plan to have my own buisness someday so i need all the clients i can get.

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Diesel Posted 25 Sep 2006 , 8:50pm
post #30 of 61

I'm not a SAHM but I do work full-time and I have a 1 and 3 year old so for me, at least since I started decorating in June, it's all about preparation. I pretty much have to do all my baking and decorating after the kids go to bed and I work out, so, I'm usually starting around 9PM. I found that making any type of fondant decorations ahead of time is a huge thing for me. I also try to bake the cakes in advance and will freeze if necessary. The one day I did have to decorate on a weekend I made my 3-year old a cake of her own and gave her a bunch of icing to decorate her own cate. I think she licked more icing than I would have liked but what can you do.

On the rare occasions where I have had to bake while they are up I actually let my 3-year old help.

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