Any Other Home Bakers With Little Ones???

Decorating By lrlt2000 Updated 13 Dec 2011 , 3:52pm by dinascakes

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lrlt2000 Posted 7 Dec 2011 , 10:09pm
post #1 of 48

I am bawling my eyes out right now with my 16 month old. . . I literally can't do anything with her around. She is at my feet crying or whining all day and I'm not exaggerating. Obviously, she knows when I can't attend to her and she's playing off of that. But I'm so frustrated with this every time I have a cake(s) due that it's making it an absolute headache instead of the joy it should be. In addition, she makes my efficiency about 25% so I'm losing time and money.

I'm not even off my feet yet in terms of starting a business, partly because of her. She's only in preschool two mornings a week (9-1 at that, so with commute time, it's more like 3 hours, and that's not including start up and wind down time). I seriously am so frustrated, I'm ready to hang up my spatula until she's in Kindergarten and I'm so upset icon_sad.gif((

I have sitters, but I really can't afford to hire them right now, just to allow me to bake!


47 replies
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jgifford Posted 7 Dec 2011 , 10:50pm
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My heart aches for you, kiddo - - I remember trying to get anything accomplished with little ones. I went for months without any measuring spoons or cups because that's what my grandson liked to play with and they would all disappear.

Have you considered a play pen placed where your dd can see you? Maybe that would help. Do you have a neighbor you might be able to trade off babysitting with a couple of days a week? Any teenage girls nearby who might trade babysitting for learning how to bake?

Sorry I don't have any pat answers. But don't wish away the time you have with your little one - - she'll be big and pulling away from you soon enough.

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mrsbriggs06 Posted 7 Dec 2011 , 11:09pm
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I have 3-- 9yrs old, 4 yrs old & almost 2 yrs old.
I 'get' where you're coming from-- I do-- so please don't take this as condescending or judgmental, but instead as advice & experience.
I began my business when my 4 yr old was 2. It was not far into the first year that she was able to occupy herself while I baked. As for decorating, I sacrificed sleep.
Fastforward to last year when my son joined the crew-- I was floored! I didn't remember caking being this 'hard'. I finally realized that it was his age, and that the 'caking i remembered' was as the mother of a 2 year old (as obviously my older child was in school).
It took me a while, but finally this year I took a cake break. My daughter was diagnosed with Autism and I realized I needed to readjust my priorities for a bit. Since June I have kept my name out there with preorders of cupcakes & such, but I took down my dotcom and only maintain a facebook page and my email address. The orders I already had booked or decide to take are done largely while everyone else is asleep.

Now-- I am not saying that caking has ever come 'first'-- that spot will ALWAYS belong to my kids (and hubby, i guess), but I am saying that in.. even 6 months, she will be at a different place developmentally where you can get more work done-- and your talent will still be there.

My mantra is:

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
Shes up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, Ive grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shoppings not done and theres nothing for stew
And out in the yard theres a hullabaloo
But Im playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Arent her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as Ive learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
Im rocking my baby and babies dont keep.

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tsal Posted 7 Dec 2011 , 11:52pm
post #4 of 48

I'm a hobbyist but I seem to do cakes frequently and I always have to do everything after the kids go to bed. I have three boys (3, 5, 7) and they are a handful.

I don't have any advice but I totally understand your situation. I sacrifice sleep to get my cakes done but that sucks the fun out of it.

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traci_doodle Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 1:05am
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Yeah, I can't get anything done with a kid around. I always work when they're asleep or gone. Sometimes I can bake when my kids are up, but never, ever decorate (mine are 4 and 20 mos). I think it's a little easier having two kids because they can entertain each other for a bit. It will help when your child gets a little older as well.[/img]

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SnLSweetEscapes Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 1:58am
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I have a 4 and 2 year old and I also have a fulltime job an hour away from my home. A lot gets done during naps and when they go to bed. I am able to throw in a movie sometimes and that helps for a little bit. The kids live "Rio" so that is my go to movie right now. I do also have a set of kid dishes that they can use too if they end up in my bakery. I am sure that you are probably overwhelmed right now. Don't give up!

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sberryp Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 2:36am
post #7 of 48

I totally understand. I have a 4 year old and a 5 month old baby. I work when the are sleep.

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Sassyzan Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 5:11am
post #8 of 48

Get a backpack baby carrier. If she doesn't like it at first, try it out while vacuuming, walking, dancing, etc until she gets used to it. I do tons of stuff in the kitchen and around the house with my 22 month old in the backpack. You cant do fine details with them on board (they do wiggle around back there and can mess you up!) but you can get a lot more done and they are happy because they are in on the action!

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cupadeecakes Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 2:03pm
post #9 of 48

If you're really trying to start a business, then you need to have a suitable work environment. You should consider the daycare/sitter part of your business overhead. If your daughter were in daycare, could you sell enough cakes to pay for it? Would you still be in tears right now? Every person has to make their own choices as to what they really want to do and what they can really afford to do. Sometimes you can't have your cake and eat it too.

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melanie-1221 Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 2:32pm
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I have a 2 year old that is attached to daddy 24/7 until it's time for me to do a cake...then he has to be in the kitchen, has to have my attention, want's to play with " mommy's Play-doh" ( fondant ) . I was doing a cake a few weeks ago and he managed to grab the scissors and cut through the fondant on the side of a cake.
It's heart breaking because when daddy comes to get him out of of the kitchen he cries, and just doesn't understand why mommy is here, but he can't be near me.
Because of this I am trying to do all my cake -work at night and not growing my cake business at this time, I have decided to wait until he starts school and I can focus. I am exhausted from waiting for him to go to sleep to get any work done ( often I am up until 4am doing cakes ).
I feel your frustration...hang in there! thumbs_up.gificon_sad.gificon_cry.gif

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jlynnw Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 2:48pm
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Oh the momories of when mine were little. Not always so fond. I remember the problems you are having right n
ow. I made a special place for my baby, DD to "work" with mommy. Her little play table with a painters tarp underneath for her to work on her special creations. She would get out her tools - playdough cutters, rejected cutters, dollar store toy cutters, a small rolling pin and decorate with me. I would buy or bake cookies she could make into "cakes", fancy up the plain cookies, use her imagination. She also had to learn how to clean up afterwards. 10 years later, she is still in the kitchen needing to be by my side, thankfully, to help me out. She just finished helping cover the top 2 tiers of my neice's wedding cake. It was a struggle with her years ago but what a blessing today!

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Debbye27 Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 2:49pm
post #12 of 48

I sure feel your pain, my two boys are older now, 3 and 5, but 16 months is definitly a hard age!! There's not much you can do but wait, both my kids were attached to my hip at that age. After 2 she should start to occupy herself better, but right now she probably doesn't know what to do with herself! Too young for TV, too young to sit down and entertain herself for massive ammounts of only suggestion is to maybe have her be more 'involved' - like give her some fondant and a little roller or cookie cutter to play with- she may find it boring and go do something else- but chances are, that won't work either icon_wink.gif It's really just her age- I promise in 6 months- she will be very different developmentally and you will be able to get more done.

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AMACakes Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 2:50pm
post #13 of 48

I have a 3, almost 4, year old boy and he just loves his Mommy. He wants to be in the kitchen with me when I'm baking and see what I'm doing. He likes the feel (and taste) of fondant. He is the sweetest thing, always telling me how pretty my cakes are. He can be a handful and at times I have to get Daddy to rescue me, but I cherish the time that I can spend with him and perhaps even get him interested in cooking/baking. Never a bad thing for a man to know how to do. I will sometimes give him a piece of fondant and some cutout shapes and tell him to make something for me. That usually keeps him busy for a couple of minutes.

I do get frustrated sometimes, but I try to remember what it must be like for him.

I work a full-time job an hour away (each way) and it's busy trying to get my cake business off the ground, but I don't get much time in the evenings with my son, so I let him be around as much as possible.

Hang in there, it will get better. icon_biggrin.gif

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idreamincupcakes Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 2:55pm
post #14 of 48

I have a 14 month old and a almost 2 1/2 year old. I LOVE baking/decorating, but can't do it with them around, it's difficult. I feel your frustration. I have to add I also have a 7 year old, but she doesn't interfere, she entertains the other two icon_smile.gif

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meldancer Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 3:01pm
post #15 of 48

I have 4 - ages 8, 6, 5, and 3. I have always had to sacrifice sleep so that I could always be there for my kids. I bake during the day or the evening before. Once I get the kids settled down to bed, I begin. Its much quieter and you can really focus on what you need to get done. Just make sure you have EVERYTHING you need incase something goes wrong and you have to improvise at 2 am and nothing is open icon_smile.gif Hang in there, it will get easier!

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mrsvb78 Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 3:01pm
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Yes I have a nearly 17 month old. I was icing a wedding cake and 120 cupcakes a week after she was born. Up until now it has been fairly easy as she is a very good girl and happy to be in the lounge and play and talk to me in the kitchen. However, now she is demanding a lot more attention and gets very cross if I close the gate between the lounge and kitchen when decorating and the ovens are on. When she is let in, she finds sugar balls everywhere on the floor and little hands tap my work table trying to see what she can find. Last week she was sick for 5 days and I barely got anything done until hubby came home in the evenings. It has been so challenging but so worth it for being able to be at home with her and my eldest (5 nearly 6 year old). I am just pulling back a bit on orders, no more 10 cakes a week, keeping it to max 4 cakes and 4 cupcake orders so I don't feel the pressure too much and doing a lot of work late at night after 8 until about 1/2am making decorations and putting cakes together, I like the quiet at night though and hubby keeps me company icon_smile.gif

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IHeartCaking Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 3:11pm
post #17 of 48

Oh sweetie I totally get it! I have a 14 month old and a 3 yr old and theyre always up in my cake decorating! I work all day as a special ed teacher and do cakes at night and my daughter wants to 'make cake' with me all night, she plays with fondant, takes all my tools "I NEEED this roller" and eats a ton of fondant while shes at it. When my 14 month old is around he pulls at my leg and tried to grab things off the table. And when my husband takes him away he bawls..

I feel your frustration. Keep at it! It'll get better, some days are so much worse than others.

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Rach82 Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 3:19pm
post #18 of 48


I have a 5 year old boy & a 2 year old girl. Luckily the 5 year old is at school through the day so on my days off from the day job I can get stuff done easier, although I still have my 2 year old at home. With her birthday money we took my daughter to the toy shop & she chose a toy baking set complete with mixer, scales, measuring spons etc. Now I clear her a space next to me, set up her equipment & let her have some stuff. If I'm baking a cake she gets some icing sugar (that's what she always wants) & if I'm decorating she gets some fondant and some of her cutters. Keeps her occupied for a while & then she "helps" me clean up. If my 5 year old is home he loves to help & he can do a bit more. His job is to be in charge of the mixer! Makes him feel important & gives him something to do while I'm weighing out the ingredients, which he also gets to pour into the mixer.

A lot of my decorating gets done in the evening when they are in bed, luckily they are both in bed by 7.30pm. It is hard but it does get easier as they get older. If I'd started this when my daughter was a baby I wouldn't have managed as she was breastfed & loved being in her sling.


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tdovewings Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 4:55pm
post #19 of 48

I have a 3-year old and 17 month old twins at home. It's hard, but what I do is make them all nap at once. I bake/decorate/pipe intricate things while they are asleep. I don't get hardly anything done in the day. They go to bed at 7:30pm and I cake from about then to 1:00am. That way I can still enjoy it. Although I'm tired when they go to bed, not having the stress of them distracting me still helps keep the joy in it. Besides, nothing gives me more joy when my 3-year old brags about me to his playground friends. He says "my mommy is going to get her own cake show just like Buddy on TLC" and my 17 month old twins can say fondant and royal icing. They can't pick out a cat from a cow, but these kids sure do know their fondant.

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jgifford Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 4:57pm
post #20 of 48

What I would like to know is how in the world do you get kids to sleep at 7:30?!? I could never get mine to bed before 9.icon_confused.gif

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tdovewings Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 5:03pm
post #21 of 48

Well, they do wake up early about 6:00am everyday. However, we go outside and play for 1 hour everyday. If it's too rainy, we dance inside for an hour. We have dinner at 5:00pm, watch tv from 5:30-6pm. Then we have what we call " the Running of the boys". My husband and I chase the kids through the house pretending we are monsters. The kids run from us screaming and laughing. This goes on for about 30 minutes, we bathe, read a book, have a song, then they are out.

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tw33tybyrd Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 5:17pm
post #22 of 48

I totally understand where you all are coming from.. I have a 5 yr old daughter, and 2 yr old son, and a 14 month old son.. When i'm making my own fondant or if im rolling out the fondant they want to play in the powder sugar or in the starch.. and it gets so frustrating at times.. I just manage my time better because I know they are going to get in the way.. so all my cakes at least take 3 days.. day one... make the cake and bake them.. day two i fill and frost and make my fondant and color it...then on the day its due depending what time the cake is due ill do all the decorating on the last day.. so far it has worked out except on day two when they want to taste the

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SweetHeartTart Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 5:49pm
post #23 of 48

I am a busy exec during the day, I travel 1.5 hours each way to get to and from work, my laptop and BB are always on and buzzing, my kids are 3 & 7 and heavily involved in activities AND I decorate cakes at night....what was I thinking?? Recently, I put up a post about scratch vs. boxed baking and my frustrations with that, but I've come to realize that I just don't have to time to dedicate to scratch baking. Cake decorating and baking are things I enjoy, but my priorities are to my children and I've learned from my eldest just how fast they can realy grow. Something had to be sacrified, so I decorate at night and still enjoy time with my girls, but I did have to give up on the hunt for the perfect scratch cakes.

Perhaps you can give the "night time" cake decorating a try and scale back your orders just so you don't feel pressured to fulfil orders and can enjoy these wonderful pre-school years with your DD. This way, you don't have to give up on your dreams/goals and you don't have to sacrifice any time with your DD.

When she gets a little older, even before school, you can give her a corner of the table where she can decorate with you. My kids get a styrofoam cake and their own fondant and off they go.

What I haven't seen yet in this thread, is the effect caking has on significant others. Kids can be more vocal about spending time with us "cake moms", but my late night cake decorating has also taken a toll on my husband who I hardly get to spend time with anymore. I'm down to one cake a week so that I could make EVERYONE happy. As you can see, I'm trying to hold on to this cake decorating gig tooth and nail, but only time will tell if it is all meant to take off and that's when the true test begins icon_smile.gif

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Andrea0730 Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 5:57pm
post #24 of 48

I totally understand as well, and second the other ideas given in this section. It is great to know that others are going through the same thing.

Like others, I have developed a system where I bake, make icing and fondant, or make other preparations that don't require too much concentration while they are awake. Then I decorate while they are asleep. That way I have everything ready to go as soon as I put them down and can jump right in. Better to focus 100% and get it done in two hours (prep already done) than only give 25% and make it take 8 hours PLUS losing time with your children.

I have had three different businesses with small children (we are entrepreneurs) and finally realized that multi-tasking was NOT the best method. I couldn't be good at being a mom or a business owner while trying to do the other, so I ended up being bad at both of them, and our home life suffered because we were all frustrated with each other all of the time. When I finally segregated my time I was able to be good at both. Play with your kids when you are with your kids, and work while they are doing other things. Just my experience, by I hope it helps!

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jgifford Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 6:06pm
post #25 of 48

What I haven't seen yet in this thread, is the effect caking has on significant others. Kids can be more vocal about spending time with us "cake moms", but my late night cake decorating has also taken a toll on my husband who I hardly get to spend time with anymore. I'm down to one cake a week so that I could make EVERYONE happy. As you can see, I'm trying to hold on to this cake decorating gig tooth and nail, but only time will tell if it is all meant to take off and that's when the true test begins icon_smile.gif[/quote]

I agree that our "significant others" have to be considered also. My cakes do take time away from my DH, but it's his own fault. He's never once told me "no" or indicated in any way that he felt anything was beyond my capabilities. icon_smile.gif I asked him recently if he felt I was excluding him from my cake stuff. He pointed to the package of almond bark in my hand and said, "I see a hunk of white stuff - - what do you see?" I was going to make blue flower petals for a baby shower cake. "You go for it!" He knows it's something I'm passionate about and I do my best to give him equal time. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

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chanielisalevy Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 6:17pm
post #26 of 48

My children are ages 20 months, 4 years, 6 years, 7 years, 9 years, 12 year old twins and a 15 year old. The 15 year old can be the worst since she loves to decorate and I hate it when she's into my stuff! lol - but I learned that the only time I can work on cakes is naptime for the little one or late at night when all (even the teenager!) are asleep. I have to go with the flow since my children come first and it's a recipe for cake disaster to try to decorate with them under my feet. Good luck.

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smallnmighty Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 7:04pm
post #27 of 48

I am stRting over. I am raising a 3 yr old granddaughter and can't believe I use to do this with 3 little ones. I think they entertained each other. Having only one is def a challenge. Not that I'm m looking for more grandchildren to raise. Lol. I set her up with some fondant and cutters she is actually quite good for her age and since I am so gem conscious we have learned alot about hndwashing not putting our fingers in our mouths nt licking the spoons ect and we love germ ex!

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VaBelle Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 7:47pm
post #28 of 48

I have a 21 month old boy and I can't get a thing done with him around. Six months ago, I could put him him his highchair with some crayons or markers, but now he wants to do what I'm doing. He also likes to eat the fondant and I don't like giving him a chunk of sugar to eat. I'm getting him play-doh for his birthday so I'm hoping he'll use that and I may be buying a second set of tools. Otherwise, I take him to a neighbor who runs an in-home daycare twice a week so I can bake and run errands and the rest gets done at night. My little one doesn't go to bed until 8:30 so it's usually late when I get startes. And yes, my husband suffers and no, I don't ask him because he's the king of drama and I can only imagine what he'd say. I've been a hobby baker up until now, but I'm starting my business January 1st, mostly because I now have friends of friends requesting cakes and I am not doing free cakes for people I don't know. Also, I will only do two cakes a week and that may change since I'm starting back to school in January as well.

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chanielisalevy Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 8:05pm
post #29 of 48
Originally Posted by jgifford

What I would like to know is how in the world do you get kids to sleep at 7:30?!? I could never get mine to bed before 9.icon_confused.gif

MELATONIN Baby! My kids actually go to sleep between 6 and 6:30 simply because they wake up at 5:30! I've learned to go with the flow, and now I get up at 5 so that I can have some coffee in peace and start my day before court is called to order. And this is from the gal who couldn't ever get up for an 8:30 biology class in college lol! So now I can work on cakes at night when the small ones are sleeping. Like a previous poster I have also learned to bake, fill and crumb coat on different days than I'm decorating. Once the canvas is ready then I can put kids to bed and get right on with the decorating part- which is my favorite part anyway.

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ginny33 Posted 8 Dec 2011 , 8:06pm
post #30 of 48

I have a 3 year old and an 8 year old. All of the cake items I do is after they go to bed! I bake cakes during the day, put them in a taker and lock them in the office. I also have a cabinet I bought from Target for $50 that I put a lock on it. All of the thing that need to dry and need to be put out of the way get locked in there! I spent 2 hours once making a tropical bird with all the colors and everything, I put it in the office and walked to get the rest and when I came back the 3 year old had just bit his head off!! So, lesson learned, lock away or wait till they're in bed!

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