Hi all! It's been so much fun getting to see all of your faces at the bakery over these past few weeks. SO much has happened and it's been such a mixture of emotions each day. I guess this is my chance to give you an idea of what this experience is really like....so I'll just continue to be honest and share my experiences with you.
Let's see.....week one was tough. And I mean tough. Probably the hardest week I've ever had emotionally, physically, mentally, as a mom, as a wife, and just as a human being who is supposed to function properly on a daily basis. I just about broke down at the end of week one and it wasn't pretty. The truth is, by the end of that week I wanted to curl up in a corner and not even unlock the doors for business. The amount of tears were just immense and the amount of sleep was so very little. I was making mistakes left and right, I wasn't eating, I only drank coffee, I couldn't focus long enough on one single task before I was then trying to focus on something else....there was so much that needed to be done every minute of every day that I just couldn't handle it all. I don't think I've ever felt so incapable or out of control. And I hated it. This was the first week that I was responsible for getting Mia to school at 7 am (Rob had been taking her the week before but now he's back to normal early work schedule so drop-off is totally my job now) so that alone was extremely stressful. And when I'm awake making dough, icing cookies, returning emails,etc. until 2 am and then waking up at 5:45 for daysssss in a row it really starts to break me down. And I can't think straight..and that's a scary feeling! So by Friday I was BEGGING Rob to just quit his job and help me. And obviously that's not even a possibility....but that's how desperate I was. And I hate to ask for help, so obviously something was really wrong with me. But alas, I survived week one. Somehow. And I think I did an ok job of putting on a (makeup-less, tired, tear-soaked) happy face while the doors were open for business each day. I survived it.
After week one we re-grouped on Sunday. We re-stocked, we planned, we talked things through. We made a semi-solid plan for whatever week 2 might bring. I scheduled sleep (though that didn't exactly work out) So once Tuesday rolled around I had things together. And Tuesday went ok. And Wednesday went ok. And then by Thursday things started to fall apart and I was running out of supplies and wasn't baking enough for the day, and I got behind on my orders, and the WEATHER, omg, the WEATHER! Could it BE any colder? Could the mornings BE any more unbearable to get a 3 year old to preschool? So by the end of the week things once again fell apart and I lost my mind. And on Saturday I slept through 8 alarms because my body was just so exhausted that I physically wouldn't respond to the noise....and I was late to work and the SNOW was annoying and the day was rough. And I felt like a complete failure once again. Although business was great and on the outside things seemed ok, I was feeling more broken than ever on the inside. But I survived. And two of those days went smoothly so I had something to go on.....
Week 3 began on a high note. I got some really great feedback from my customers, some awesome reviews and some really encouraging words on facebook, twitter, emails. texts, etc. I hadn't really had a chance to read everything from the first few weeks so once I got to review them it made me feel really great. It gave me hope that maybe, just maybe.... we were doing some things right. So to all of those who wrote nice things....and sent nice messages.....you have encouraged me MORE than you will ever know. I staffed some more help this past week, I planned things a bit better. The days were still very difficult and I was faced with some tough moments each day....I always feel torn between 9 different things that need to be done every minute, but I'm learning to deal. Mia is adjusting more and more each day. Rob and I are being an amazing team. He helps me so much at every possible chance that he can and thank God for that. The tears have begun to come at fewer and fewer times per day....and last night I slept 11 hours....because that's what I need to do on Saturday nights. I need to take the chance to sleep when I can, take the time to enjoy my family when I can, and find a balance. I need balance to survive.
As a business owner, I can tell you that the work is never-ending. From the daily accounting to the inventory to the BAKING, to the emails, to paying the bills, to shoveling the sidewalk, to mopping the floors, and of course being the head baker, decorator, cashier, etc. It's an alarming never-ending list. I knew a lot of this going in.....but it's just crazy really living it. There are so many things that I want to do in regards to different cookie recipes, social media, etc. I want to post our daily menu, have specialty cookies in stock for fun occasions like the superbowl and presidents day, etc. But right now we're in complete survival mode. I know that eventually there will be time to do more....and every day I set a goal to do something different....or add a new menu item, and to test the waters. I'm taking my time to do things right (Who am I kidding, there is no RIGHT way lol!) and I'm not diving in at a pace that's not manageable. You guys, I'm trying so hard.
This has been WITHOUT A DOUBT the hardest three weeks of my life. Somehow, thanks to all of you and all of your support, I've survived. I appreciate the business that you all have brought to me so so much! I'm hoping that I can continue to provide a great experience at the cookie shop for each of you! Thanks for listening, thanks for everything! Until the next update....