Navigating the flavorful world of baking while mastering the art of motherhood is no piece of cake. If you’re a mom trying to perfect her macarons while keeping tiny hands from eating all the chocolate chips, this blog is your jam.
When I started Sinful Treats in 2009, I had a newborn and a toddler. The scenarios mentioned here are based on my real life experiences growing my business while raising my boys. Don’t worry, I survived, and so will you! Let’s go over the Top 5 Challenges many of us boss moms face and find some sweet solutions together.
1. The Blurry Work-Life Boundary
Scenario: When your home’s kitchen doubles as your workspace, the lines between ‘family time’ and ‘work time’ can get a bit, well, doughy. I would find myself mixing housework and business work together, thinking that multitasking will help get a lot of things done fast. I would do a load of laundry while baking to be efficient, or try to read messages from customers while feeding the kids.
Solution: Do NOT multitask. You’ll end up stressed out and burnt out. Designate clear working hours for your baking. Whether it’s during school hours or naptime, setting these boundaries can create a smoother workflow. And if possible, create a specific workspace within your kitchen – a little corner where business happens!
2. A Spoonful of Distractions
Scenario: In 2012, I opened up a storefront. My oldest son was old enough to be in school, but my youngest was only 4 years old. He had to tag along with me all day to the bakery. He would sit quietly, watching TV in the back room. But as soon as the phone rings, he’s right next to me asking for a cookie or a snack. I swear he did it on purpose to drive me nuts!
Solution: Minimize those pesky interruptions by preparing in advance. Set up snacks and crafts for the kids, use headphones to block out extra noise, and silence notifications on your phone during baking hours. Let customers leave messages so you can screen calls and choose the ones you want to get back to. Here’s a tip – there’s really no need for you to get back to everyone. Some customers are serious about doing business with you, some will end up wasting your time. Since your time is limited, choose wisely who you spend it on. Don’t feel guilty about it.
3. Prepping for Perfection
Scenario: You’re about to whip up a batch of cookies, and wait… where’s the baking powder? This has happened to me and it’s the most annoying thing! Having to stop in the middle of baking, get the kids, put them in the carseats and rush to the store to pick up whatever you’re short on. We all know it won’t be a quick trip. Just getting the kids in and out of the car takes forever. I don’t know why, but it just does!
Solution: Stay organized with clear storage bins and labels. Everything should have its home in your kitchen. Trust me, an organized space can work wonders for your efficiency. Set up a list on your phone, so you can easily ask Siri or Alexa to add an item on your shopping list. Don’t wait until you’re completely out of an ingredient or supply. Add it to your list as soon as you notice you’re running low on it.
4. Too Many Cookies in the Jar
Scenario: Between orders, soccer practice, deliveries, and grocery runs, life can feel like a whirlwind. It feels like there’s never enough time. From the moment I wake up to the moment I close my eyes at night, I feel like it’s nonstop. Wake up, make kids breakfast, get back to customers, kids are bored, process orders, kids are hungry again, shop for ingredients, cranky kids need a nap, bake while they nap, make dinner, clean the kitchen, put kids to bed, and so on. It’s a never ending cycle.
Solution: Accept the reality that you’re in. You will always have the kids around. You will always have 24 hours in a day. You will always wear a lot of hats. The sooner you make peace with that, the better. Time-blocking can help. Assign specific times for baking, family activities, and other tasks. I use the free version of Notion to schedule my day. Batch baking can also help. For example, you have 5 or more cakes due on Saturday. On Monday, plan and organize. Figure out what you need and shop for ingredients and supplies. On Tuesday, make all your buttercream and fillings. Mix all the buttercream colors needed to decorate your cakes. On Wednesday, bake all the cakes and freeze them. On Thursday, fill and crumb coat all your cakes. On Friday, do all your decorating and finish all the cakes. By Saturday, all you have to do is take care of deliveries and possibly relax afterwards.
5. All Work and No Play
Scenario: Sometimes it feels like there’s no end to the to-do list. The more I check things off, the longer the list seems to get. I’m exhausted all the time. I get cranky, and take it out on the kids or my husband.
Solution: Learn to say NO! It took me a long time to learn this, and it always came with mom guilt. But it’s very important to always make time for YOU. Set boundaries and clock out at the end of the day. After hours tasks should be shared between you and your spouse. Talk to each other and set clear expectations on what needs to get done and who gets to do it. During the day, schedule in breaks, or simply take a moment to breathe. Believe me, even a 5 minute breather makes a huge difference. It’s ok to hide in the pantry or the closet, and it’s also ok to scream into a pillow, or cry in the shower. I’ve done it, and a lot of moms have too. Remember, happy mom equals happy life for everyone. So take care of YOU first.
Here’s a BONUS – The Big World of Baking Marketing
You’ve perfected your recipes, but how do you get the word out?
You’re getting more orders, but how do you process all of it?
You’re getting more phone call inquiries, how do you get back to all the customers?
As you get more busy, how do you keep up with social media?
Solution: Enter the world of online marketplaces! This is where Sinful Treats Marketplace can help you. Joining our platform dedicated to bakers and food makers can drastically expand your customer base. Not only do we provide a space for showcasing your delicious creations, but we also handle logistics like order processing, payments and marketing, customer relations, and more, leaving you more time to do what you love and do best. Plus, you get to be part of a supportive community of fellow bakers and like minded professionals.
Click here to for more info on how to join and How To Become A Seller.
To all you fabulous boss moms, remember that while the journey might be sprinkled with challenges, you’ve got the recipe to handle them with flair. Keep that mixer running, and those spirits high! You got this!
About the Writer: Mariel Black, owner of Sinful Treats, Inc. and founder of Sinful Treats Marketplace. Mariel has been in the baking business since 2009, when her oldest was just a toddler, and her youngest was a newborn. She successfully grew her business while raising both boys. Now, she shares the lessons she learned from the struggles of balancing motherhood, managing a home and building a successful business.