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Well ya’ll, I just don’t know how to keep doing this.
I love cake. I love cake decorating. I absolutely love this business I’m in. It’s a dream come true – I’ve said that before. But as my business has grown, it’s also become burdensome. Cake decorating is a very demanding, life-consuming business.
Today I realized that my very best friend, who lives in Italy, is coming to the States for 6 weeks this fall, and it’s quite possible I won’t get to spend any time with her. She lives on another continent and I haven’t seen her in more than a year and I may miss this chance.
Why? Because of cake. You see, I’m completely booked up for all of September, October, and most of November. The orders are such a huge blessing and it’s amazing and yet, it breaks my heart.
As I sat on the couch with tears in my eyes thinking about this today – trying to figure out a way to make it work – I received an email from a bride wanting to book her wedding cake. For Summer 2015.
I just shook my head and cried harder. It’s my 7th cake request for 2015. How can I know what I’ll be doing next year? In January? Or May? Or July? Or what I’ll want to be doing? How does anyone plan out their life and their weekends months and months in advance??
I don’t blame the bride for wanting (needing) to plan her wedding well in advance – I know that’s just the way things need to be done. But can I really spend my life this way?
What if our church plans another mission trip in June like they did last summer? I will not want to miss it!
What if my kids get invited to camp and I want to chaperon? Or there’s a conference I want to attend? Or a concert or a party? My poor kids have missed birthday parties they were invited to because I couldn’t get finished with cake orders in time to take them. How sad it that?
Or maybe I just suddenly want a weekend to hang out with my family and watch movies instead of working in the kitchen all day long and into the wee hours of the morning Thursday, Friday and Saturday night?
Two years ago we missed our nephew’s graduation a few hours away because I had a wedding cake that weekend that had been booked months before we knew a graduation date. There was simply no way to do the cake and make the drive to and from the graduation. It was awful.
Over the past couple of years – that’s happened a lot. I’ve missed out on more things than I can count because my calendar was already booked up weeks and months in advance. Or I should say “we” missed out on things… because often my family misses things too.
How do I keep doing this?
I appreciate my customers. More than I can ever say. I’m so, SO very thankful for this business and the income and well… all of it. I love it. I know there are bakers and cake decorators who would give anything to have a growing or full-time cake business. I don’t take it for granted. Ever.
I’m overwhelmed and sometimes still in disbelief with how successful this little adventure has become. My life is wonderful – I am blessed beyond measure with the opportunities I have – to work from home and homeschool my children and live out my dream of cake decorating.
I can’t emphasize enough that I love, love, love what I do!!
But. Such a powerful little word.
But…. how do I balance that success with wanting to live and enjoy my personal life outside of cake? As much as I love cake, I don’t want to look back on my life and have regrets . I don’t want to look back and see that everybody had their cakes for their happy events, but I missed out on my own happy events because I was doing those cakes!
I’ve even managed to slack on my own kids birthday’s more than once because I was so caught up and busy doing other kids’ cakes. That’s not how I want to remember my life.
My kids will be grown and gone in a blink and I don’t want to miss it all.
I don’t have a staff that I can pass my orders off to if I need or want to go somewhere one weekend. My “staff” is me, my husband, and my kids. Period. If I commit to a cake – I do it. I do it. I’ve never canceled a cake order. I’ve never backed out after making a commitment. That’s just not how I’m wired.
It’s not just a matter of cutting back or taking less orders. I’ve tried that before. Yes, it relieves my stress. Yes, I get more sleep. And yes, I need to take a break again and get back to my realization of what I really want!
But it only takes one cake – even if I only do one per weekend – one cake can be too much (such as the one and only wedding cake I had on the weekend of my nephew’s graduation). That one cake caused me to miss a once in a lifetime event. And I can’t get it back.
So help me please. If you have a cake business (or any kind of business) that gets booked up weeks and months in advance, how do you do it? How do you handle conflicts with things you want to do? Or how do you plan that far ahead and still have a life? Am I thinking too hard on this? Is there a simple answer that I’m not seeing?
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