Are you a stay-at-home mom who has a passion for baking but think you don’t have time to do it? In this exclusive interview with the amazing woman behind "Cake N Tel", Mommy Kristel spills her secrets on how she’s rocking being a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers while pursuing her passion at the same time — and how she makes money from it, too.
Many stay-at-home moms are probably thinking about how to make money while raising their kids hands-on and managing their household all at once. If you are one, you can learn a lot from Suzi Whitford’s 50 Real Ways to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom (+ Hourly Rates). In that post, she mentions catering and cake designing as among the many ways that a stay-at-home mom can make money from home.
If you’re reading this, you probably have a passion for baking and wants to earn from it, but isn’t sure where to start. Guess what?
I just happen to know a stay-at-home mom who makes money from selling fondant cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goodies from home.
With two toddlers to raise and no relatives nearby, she’s incredibly great at managing her role as a stay-at-home mom while also pursuing her passion in baking (and selling her cakes to make extra money).
Are you ready to learn her secret how she does it? Here’s her story (with a bit of mine, too).
Not so long ago in early 2018, I began my “actual” journey to being a stay-at-home mom. I say “actual” because that was when my in-laws moved out to another apartment, leaving me to look after the kids on my own. The first person I reached out to was Kristel, a friend of mine from our church community.
Kristel is also a stay-at-home mom with two small kids living in their own apartment with her husband. So you see now why she’s the one I approached for some advice. But not only that — she also runs a home-based business selling her own fondant cakes. Every time I see her post (on Facebook) a new cake someone ordered from her, I’m like, “How can she do that? She must be a superwoman!”
If there’s anyone whom I can refer to as an empowered stay-at-home mom, Kristel perfectly fits the bill.
I admire her parenting skills and how hands-on she is when it comes to raising their kids. That was exactly her reason anyway why she decided to quit her job as a flight attendant at Emirates Airlines four years ago and become a stay-at-home mom.
The first months as a stay-at-home mom
Just like any other first-time stay-at-home mom, Kristel was also overwhelmed during her first months staying home. And who wouldn’t?!
“I am a homebody, but I never thought that being a stay-at-home mom was way far from being at home alone,” she says.
I can totally understand her! I’m a homebody myself, but that’s because I like the peace and silence that being at home can give. But that’s not possible when you have kids, is it? Although it’s more fun, but still. Lol.
And when it comes to the struggles and challenges, she faced the same as most mothers have: sleep deprivation, time management, and postpartum depression. One thing that she also struggled with is performing her duty as an officer of our church organization.
How did she deal with these struggles?
- She sleeps whenever the baby sleeps;
- She plans everything she needs to do ahead of time;
- She talked to her mom friends for pieces of advice;
- And she prayed.
“I’m also lucky to have a supportive and caring husband,” she adds. She’s still finding a way to deal with her struggle as a church officer, but she’s getting there.
But there’s one thing she’s doing that I consider as one of the ultimate secrets of getting things done at home: it’s babywearing. Not just babywearing — back babywearing.
(Related post: Babywearing Saves the Day)
She was the one who also told me about this when I reached out to her sometime back to ask for some advice. I tried it myself and amazingly, I was able to do more things at home! Especially since my youngest daughter used to be so clingy when she was younger (she still is, but less clingy than before).
If you want to give back babywearing a try, just make sure to get someone to support your back when you’re trying it for the first time. It takes practice to do it all by yourself, but you’ll get used to it in time.
Another piece of advice: watch out when your baby starts to doze off while at your back. There are chances that their dangling heads might hit somewhere if you’re not careful.
Watch the video below for a quick tutorial.
Being a mom of two kids
In 2017, she had their second baby.
And a new baby often comes with another set of challenges, even if you’ve been there.
“I’ve had more sleep deprivation when we had our youngest. And my eldest became clingier,” she shares.
Her solution? They made sure that their eldest son would feel that he comes first in everything. They spend alone time with him and always involve him in everything they do with his younger sister.
Juggling motherhood and her passion for baking
For many of our friends in our church community, Kristel is well-known for her beautifully-crafted fondant cakes. She’s the go-to person when there’s a party that needs a stunning centerpiece.
Her love for baking and cooking started when she was a child, and she got it mostly from her family. They were the ones who taught her to cook at a young age, and her love for cooking evolved to baking. And it’s mainly because she loves art.
If you look at her cakes, you wouldn’t have to second-guess.
Everything she knew about baking and designing cakes, she learned all by herself (thanks to social media). She wanted to attend baking classes, but being a stay-at-home mom means she has a limited time to really do those things.
In early 2013, she started selling her cakes. Her first attempt (what she calls her “guinea pig”), was her husband’s cake which had an Angry Birds theme. Few months of more practice and with lots of trials and errors, she began selling cakes to her colleagues.
“Baking and cooking are my passion and my stress-reliever, even if it’s a stressful work of art!” she jokes.
Up until now, despite her challenges as a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers with only her working husband to help her, she continues to bake cakes and even makes some money from it. On average, she earns an extra AED1,000 ($274) a month from selling her baked goodies.
Another secret to getting things done
Do you want to know what’s her secret on how she juggles her role as a mother to her two small kids and her passion for baking?
“I work fast… really, really fast. My timer is my kids. I need to stick to their schedules like their feeding time, bathing time, naps, and so on. There are few bumps along the way but as much as possible, I follow their timings,” Kristel shares.
I think that’s where I really need to improve – working really fast! Lol.
And her advice to her fellow moms who are looking for ways on how to balance their time between motherhood and their passion?
“I think moms should attend to their kids’ needs first. You know the saying, ‘happy baby, happy mommy’? If the kids are happy and contented, moms can do their passion, too”.
And lastly, here’s her top advice to other stay-at-home moms who are still struggling on their new role: “Ask for help — from your husband, friends, relatives, and from God. It’s not easy being a stay-at-home mom but you’ll get the hang of it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you get mad or frustrated, forgive yourself. It’s normal. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, momma. And, enjoy the roller coaster ride.”
So, do you have a passion for baking, too? Why not start pursuing your passion today? Who knows, you might also make money from it soon, too.
For Dubai-based moms who needs cakes for their parties, you can get in touch with Kristel directly through her Facebook page. (I don’t earn any commission from this, lol. I’m just a mom supporting a fellow mom :p)
Share this post and let’s inspire other stay-at-home moms that they can pursue their passion, too (and even make money from it).