Sunday, March 27, 2011

A sweet way to earn money at home?

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This post is part of The Christian Home, an online magazine hosted by Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home. Please visit her site to read more of The Christian Home.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the ways I have earned money at home. This can be both a blessing and a curse, since many of my 'jobs' have taken their toll on our family and my peace of mind. I've come to the conclusion that sometimes the best way to make money at home is to avoid parting with the income you already have.

Proverbs 14:1 
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Today, I will share with you something that did not work for me. Will you join me for a trip down memory lane? Fasten your seatbelt for a ride down Terri G.'s Rocky Road to income from home.

Cake Decorating or 
My recipe for disaster

When I only had one child, this seemed like a fun way to bring in a few dollars. My friend and I attended the Wilton cake decorating classes at the local craft store. I was eager to try my newfound skills. I am not crafty, I just have the ability to read and follow directions. Paired with a steady hand, cake decorating can be successful.  For me it was, somewhat.

I quickly was able to sell my cakes, please brides and the word spread. I charged about $1 to $2 a slice and did wedding cakes while charging between $120 to $450. It sounds like a large amount for just making a cake, but in reality, it wasn't.

Because I have never functioned well without adequate sleep, I always paced myself. My weeks with cake creations looked like this:
  • Tuesday purchase all of the supplies.
  • Wednesday, bake and trim.
  • Thursday ice cakes.
  • Friday decorate cakes.
  • Saturday, pray while you drive with the precious cakes, deliver and assemble, and stress over if the bride will love it.
During cake jobs, my family ate poorly and I was a grump. Pizza had to be ordered by Friday night. My back was sore from hunching over the cakes. Weather hampered decorating. Weekend traffic freaked me out. I was a slowpoke menace on the roads for fear of stopping short and ruining my creations. And these were the easy times.

See the pregnant lady with the fake smile? She spent the morning abusing her husband.
Then enter the blessing of new babies, Paperboy and his brother, Random, seventeen months later. The home is no longer a great setting for a bakery.

I remember my last wedding cake. 

The one in which I lost control. The one for the lovely couple who had married in Paris and wanted their perfect stateside family wedding, near the ocean. The cake with little shells on the sides. I had broken a few rules. I took an order over the phone. I envisioned what they wanted. I had hoped my vision was theirs. There was a nagging feeling the whole time, I think this is what they wanted. The weather was 80 degrees and humid. The frosting disobeyed. The cake didn't fit in my refridgerator. I had to air condition my bedroom just to keep it fresh. That probably cost me half my profit in electricity. 

The morning of the wedding, I had found myself screaming at the kids, again. "Stop running by the cake", "You're making the whole house shake", "You'll have to wait for breakfast." Didn't they care? At that point, I was possessed.

The final straw came when it was time to load the cakes in the car. When I looked at one of the layers, I wanted to cry. "What was this stuffed dinosaur doing in the cake?" This was not the bride's vision. My vision began to blur through angry tears.

Thankfully, Paperboy has blotted out this memory of his scary mommy. Paperboy, at two years old, survived my temporary insanity. Only because God in His grace had made him the second born. There was a witness to my meltdown. As my temper tantrum was in full force, I realized my oldest son was watching me screaming, while contemplating hurting my toddler.

What am I doing? This is insane, he is a two-year old and it's only a cake.

I was frightened at how much rage had gotten a hold over me. I was taking my stress out on my family. What if I had acted on my feelings and struck my son with that angry spirit on me? I am thankful to God, that in my terrible state, I was able to hear His voice. I was able to repent, in time. 

I repaired and delivered the cake. No accidents, no ordeals. 

The bride loved it, she begged me to stay for the reception.

I had to decline, my family needed me back.

Even though I was at home all week, they missed me.
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Laurie said...

Wow!! I have been there, done that!! I have always wanted to find a way to supplement our income, but it has always been at too much of a sacrifice to my family. We have had years of no new clothes (tough on growning kiddos), and having to put back items at the checkout stand, but it has been so worth it. The only thing that has worked even a little bit is daycare- not in the sense of running one, but taking in one or two children who join our family for a while.

Debbie said...

I was going back in time as I was reading this post. I've been at home all of 18 years (since my oldest was born), but when he was 3 yrs. old, I took a job at a pre-school, thinking it would be a great way to make money. My husband had been laid off, so I guess I thought I would contribute.
It was only half days, but I remember every day, as I was driving home with my son in the back seat, screaming at him for something. Obviously the stress was too much. After working with other people's 4 year olds all day, I had no patience with my own son. Needless to say, I quit. The only thing good that came from that experience was it helped me to see just how young those kids really were, and there they were, in my care all day instead of their mommy's. It was one of the reasons we decided to homeschool and have been doing that for 14 years now!

You got it right when you said that the best way to make money for your family is to control what you spend.

Come to my blog and read my coupon posts and see how I'm "making" money:)

Enjoyed it -
Debbie said...


Shell said...

I can't imagine how hard that would have been to try that!

Working from home is definitely not easy. You nailed it- you are home, but you aren't really there for them.