Some of my friends and acquaintances ask me how I run a business and have two little ones at home with me. The short answer is I am crazy and would need to be committed if I didn't have something other than being with the kids. I was always this way.... I loved to be involved in activities in school, worked several jobs throughout high school and college, etc. Once I graduated college and started working "a real job", I slowed down quite a bit and enjoyed relaxing after working 10-12 hour days, but I still needed to do something with myself while relaxing. I baked, did counted cross stitch, and scrapbooked. If I wasn't doing one of those, I was trying to figure out what I should do next.
When I got pregnant with my first son, I was commuting to Richmond 4 times a week, which was about 9-10 hours in the car, on top of my 45-50 hours at work. I decided I was going to give my career a break and just be a stay-at-home mom. Yeah... that lasted about 2 months... as I started cleaning out closets by listing things on ebay. After that I got involved in some local mom groups and finally started making some mommy friends. Of course, at the same time I was getting phone calls from work asking me to come back. I resisted the first 2 or 3, but not surprisingly, I decided to go back. It was only part-time from home, and I mostly worked during naps. How could I turn that down? Of course that wasn't enough for me... so I started taking cake decorating classes too... and well I guess that is how all this started. At one point, I was running the business and working my "real job". I finally left the real job when number 2 was born, because I knew I couldn't handle doing both with 2 little boys.
So how do I get everything done? It's really quite simple... I make lists... very detailed lists. Everything from sharpening dowels, to putting couplers on bags, to making buttercream and fillings... it all is on there. When I have a spare minute, aka the baby ... er... toddler... is engrossed in something, I dig out the tools I am going to be using, wash a pan or two, respond to emails, blog, etc. I get most things done while Reid naps, and after the kids go to bed, but weekends, federal holidays and after dinner time when Daddy is home to watch them, I try to sneak some hours in as well.
Besides listing, I also TRY to stay on top of things and get ahead... so if I need to batches of buttercream this week and two for next week, I try to make all 4 at one time. I also try to combine like things... so I don't need to dig out and wash tools multiple times. This is also why I don't take orders without a minimum of a week notice. If I already made buttercream for the next two weeks, I now need to dig out the mixer again, the ingredients again, etc. to complete the new order. It's just not worth it for me at this time. I would rather be as ahead as possible and take a day off, than try to squeeze in one more order. I am crazy, but not THAT crazy.
One would think with all this I would be as thin as a rail... but alas... as my name suggests... I am not...