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life of a single innkeeper?

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loo who

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hi everyone - this is my first time posting - but i need some advice ....
i've been an innkeeper for about three years now. i have a five room bed and breakfast with a little store attached. i take care of the business by myself (no employees). i'm not married. no kids. i'm in my early 30s.
as most of you know 'innkeeping' is a full time job... maybe two ... sometimes three. i was just looking at my reservation calender and noticed i currently have one fully opened weekend this whole summer. ...i know, i know... par for the course.
with my schedule i'm not able to go out much and don't really have any close friends that live nearby. and even though i'm surrounded by people (my guests) ... it can get kind of lonely. my family (parents...aunts...uncles...etc) live in the same town. i'd like to think they realize how much time and energy i put into the business, but even though we are very close i just don't think it's sometime people 'get' until you actually do it. (i swear some of my guests think i sit and twiddle my thumbs all day.)
i love what i do, but i feel like i'm not getting enough time for me. i bought the business with little in my pocket, so due to loans and such i'm committed for about three more years at the very least. ...not that i'm looking to sell right now anyway.
just wondering if anyone has an advice? any other 'single' innkeepers out there?
i'd really, really appreciate any thoughts... and i hope all of the rambling makes some sense.
 

gillumhouse

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Welcome. Between my City commitments and the B & B I understand your lack of ME time. When I get some, DH manages to find something HE needs. I may not be "alone" but when it comes to understanding what I do, I am alone. There are a few on here who can offer some REAL advice. One innmate did more rooms so she will be a wonderful source of advice.
 

Penelope

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Welcome from Ohio~
No advice, just a warm welcome
 

Alibi Ike

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If there is a way you can make an 'appointment' every week with yourself, one that you keep, BTW, that might help. If you had to go out of the house to the dr or dentist, you would go, somehow. Another option is to find someone willing to take over for an hour a couple of times a week so you can get out. If family is nearby and there's someone you could count on, maybe a teenage niece, nephew, sibling, pay them $10 to come over and sit in the house and answer the phone, questions, etc.
So, with this time do what YOU want...read, walk, go shopping for yourself, take yourself out for lunch, go to church (Wed night there are often groups that meet at local churches), go to the attractions your guests go to, go to the places that make your area a reason for tourists to come. Essentially, carve out an HOUR a week for you.
Even with 2 of us here I have a tough time getting out the door some days.
There was an innkeeper on here who was in the same sort of situation you are...8 room B&B, miles from anything and she had a lot of the same issues...time for herself, any downtime at all, etc.
Check in here when you can. We're not the same as having friends nearby, but someone is hanging around here at all hours of the day and night if you want to talk about the B&B biz~
 

YellowSocks

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What Alibi Ike said!!!
I'm a single mom of twin 7 year olds and a four room B&B. In season (summer), I just kinda keep at it until I drop. In the winter I tend to procrastinate things as much as possible so that I can find time for myself and my kids. I'm active in my church (I go on Saturday night to have less pressure on Sunday morning), and I school my kids at home (yes, they're a little behind schedule, but we're getting there)
Based solely on what you posted...
1) Even though your family doesn't "get it" (what family I have left doesn't!) get out of your house and go to theirs. Often. Sometimes it helps not to be looking at what needs done.
2) Try to develop some relationships with other innkeepers. I'm friends with one here in my town... well, we'd be a lot closer friends if we weren't so busy being innkeepers, if you know what I mean! But when we do get together (like, maybe once every couple of months) it's enormously relieving to talk to someone who gets it. I'm also friends with another innkeeper who lives south of me... I don't get to see her often but we talk on the phone fairly often. Again, when I want to gripe about the biz, she gets it.
If you can't develop a relationship with a live person near you, then go with this forum. It's invaluable to know you're not nuts. (At least, it is to me!)
3) Like the others said, take time for yourself. Yes, we're tired to the business, especially on weekends, but then we have a few times that we can get out that others can't (midday, mid-week). Anything that gets you out is good... taking a walk, visiting at a nursing home, chamber of commerce lunch, church activities... I think things where you meet other people are particularly good.
4) Like Alibi Ike said, can you get some help? (And for that matter, do you have an emergency plan in place?) I can't imagine being tied to a store in addition to the B&B! The alternative is... pick a time when your store is always slow and close then, even if it's two hours on Tuesday afternoons. A lot of stores around here are closed Sundays and Mondays... obviously the scrapbook lady needs at least one day where she can go to the dentist!
I've had an amazingly bizarre year and one thing I've learned... you deserve time for you. Make what you want (time away, time to exercise, time to do Sudoku, whatever it is!) a priority. If you take care of yourself you'll be a better host for your guests!
(Hugs)
=)
Kk.
 

IronGate

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What Alibi Ike said!!!
I'm a single mom of twin 7 year olds and a four room B&B. In season (summer), I just kinda keep at it until I drop. In the winter I tend to procrastinate things as much as possible so that I can find time for myself and my kids. I'm active in my church (I go on Saturday night to have less pressure on Sunday morning), and I school my kids at home (yes, they're a little behind schedule, but we're getting there)
Based solely on what you posted...
1) Even though your family doesn't "get it" (what family I have left doesn't!) get out of your house and go to theirs. Often. Sometimes it helps not to be looking at what needs done.
2) Try to develop some relationships with other innkeepers. I'm friends with one here in my town... well, we'd be a lot closer friends if we weren't so busy being innkeepers, if you know what I mean! But when we do get together (like, maybe once every couple of months) it's enormously relieving to talk to someone who gets it. I'm also friends with another innkeeper who lives south of me... I don't get to see her often but we talk on the phone fairly often. Again, when I want to gripe about the biz, she gets it.
If you can't develop a relationship with a live person near you, then go with this forum. It's invaluable to know you're not nuts. (At least, it is to me!)
3) Like the others said, take time for yourself. Yes, we're tired to the business, especially on weekends, but then we have a few times that we can get out that others can't (midday, mid-week). Anything that gets you out is good... taking a walk, visiting at a nursing home, chamber of commerce lunch, church activities... I think things where you meet other people are particularly good.
4) Like Alibi Ike said, can you get some help? (And for that matter, do you have an emergency plan in place?) I can't imagine being tied to a store in addition to the B&B! The alternative is... pick a time when your store is always slow and close then, even if it's two hours on Tuesday afternoons. A lot of stores around here are closed Sundays and Mondays... obviously the scrapbook lady needs at least one day where she can go to the dentist!
I've had an amazingly bizarre year and one thing I've learned... you deserve time for you. Make what you want (time away, time to exercise, time to do Sudoku, whatever it is!) a priority. If you take care of yourself you'll be a better host for your guests!
(Hugs)
=)
Kk..
YellowSocks said:
. . . Yes, we're tired to the business. . .
Freudian slip?
Hugs to you too. You have been through the wringer.
 

JBloggs

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Welcome Loo Hoo!
If you feel like telling us which state you are in (if in USA) maybe we can get together at some point for support! I don't know how you do it. We understand, this forum gets it. All it takes is one Pita to suck the life out of you and you must continue, there is no calling in sick, no taking a long shower to destress, no walking out and going for a walk. It's you and you and only you.
Is there any way to hire someone to assist to give you a break, even for "nothing" I mean, just a break to have a nap?
Money isn't everything, as tight as it is, it is worth it to block off time and do something else for just a day or two. I know getting involved is difficult as you are zapped of energy, and if you did take two days off you might prefer to stay in your pj's and relax on your own.
We're here, we understand, we sympathize and tell you that it can't be easy and we applaud you.
 

Don Draper

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Welcome! You've definitely found a good source of support in this forum. Can you afford to hire someone to help a few hours a week? We always say if we could get someone to do check-ins OR breakfast a few days a week...just some days where you don't have to burn both ends of the candle. And no, even supportive families don't get it. It's like no other job.
 

Joey Camb

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hello from the UK! What you need is an aspiring who wants to get experience who will sit in for you any takers in your area? could advertise offering training as well as small wage to give you a bit of a break. Im a bit spoiled as my mum lives only accross town and will sit in for me when needed but sometimes you need someone you can have a good whine to which is what this forum is for. No one understands what it is like but people in the trade they think because it isn't busy it is restful. When we shut for a week in august (our quiet period here) it is even more stressful as I am trying to get a ton of renovation work done so is twice as bad! I get to the point where I think of guests as a wooly jumper necessary to keep warm but itches and scratches everywhere it touches after a while so sometimes you just have to take the jumper off to have a break!
 

Breakfast Diva

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Welcome Loo Hoo!
I'm not a single innkeeper, but I get it. One thing that really helps me is that I have developed a wonderful friendship with another innkeeper (single) in a neighboring town. We connect by phone every day just to check in and see how it's going, whine about a PITA or just be able to sit down and forget about business. It's very difficult, but we meet for lunch at least once a month. It forces you to get out.
Sometimes what helps is to discuss here on the forum what your schedule and policies are and maybe we can see some opportunity for you to change something which will allow you a bit more personal time. If you're like most of us, we've developed policies around our guests, and not us. Sometimes it takes an outside eye to see where you can protect yourself more. And it is protecting yourself! At this rate, you'll burn out before your time.
Don't even try to get family to understand what you're going through. They will NEVER understand unless they are there helping you first hand.
Hang in there, you found the right place for support.
 

JBloggs

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I thought about Loo Hoo last night,well this mornign at 2am when a smoke detector decided it was time to change the battery and had loud BURSTS vs little twirps...it had to be done RIGHT NOW! Our ceilings are 9 foot, so requires a ladder. I thought about being the solo female innkeeper and dealing with that. Wait, I think loo hoo is a female, sorry if I read or implied, I thought female from the way you wrote the post.
 

Cbz

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Warm welcome from India!
This may not be to everybody's likings but I used to play some online games to help myself get over the loneliness aspect.
Yeap, being an innkeeper is a full time job & I agree with your point - Grass is always greener on the other side. Heck! My own close friends think I get visitors without doing anything.
On a second note, forget sticking on with forums & games. Go out, keep a day or 2 for yourself - manicure/pedicure/spa/massage/ walks [high chance of bumping into new friends] even if you think you do not require it! This will keep your mind fresh, else it's just revolving around the guests & the inn.
 

loo who

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wow. thank you all so much for your kind words and honest advice. i am beyond grateful. honestly.
i suppose i was looking for some 'miracle' answer but i guess those really dont exist. But you have given me a lot of small steps to find a little more 'happiness.'
sometimes i think life would be a lot easier and potentially happier if i gave it all up for a 40hr a week job. i'd have days off... less stress... vacation days... sounds kinda magical... right? are we crazy? does anyone else think this?
anyway... i appreciate it. beyond words. thank you. please keep it coming if anyone else has more to share.
 

Generic

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I thought about Loo Hoo last night,well this mornign at 2am when a smoke detector decided it was time to change the battery and had loud BURSTS vs little twirps...it had to be done RIGHT NOW! Our ceilings are 9 foot, so requires a ladder. I thought about being the solo female innkeeper and dealing with that. Wait, I think loo hoo is a female, sorry if I read or implied, I thought female from the way you wrote the post..
Joey Bloggs said:
I thought about Loo Hoo last night,well this mornign at 2am when a smoke detector decided it was time to change the battery and had loud BURSTS vs little twirps...it had to be done RIGHT NOW! Our ceilings are 9 foot, so requires a ladder. I thought about being the solo female innkeeper and dealing with that. Wait, I think loo hoo is a female, sorry if I read or implied, I thought female from the way you wrote the post.
Slightly off topic.... Kidde, tamperproof, 10 year battery smoke alarm with hush button. goo.gl/AQKjM
I have 11.5 foot celings. I am not going up twice a year to change batteries. I have 7 more years to go. And frankly, replacing the alarm every 10 years is cheaper than 20 batteries.
 

Generic

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Look at your arrival times and just figure out some way to go out. To a movie. To dinner. To see others. To go bowling. Something, anything. It gets lonely talking to the four walls.
Welcome
 

JBloggs

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I thought about Loo Hoo last night,well this mornign at 2am when a smoke detector decided it was time to change the battery and had loud BURSTS vs little twirps...it had to be done RIGHT NOW! Our ceilings are 9 foot, so requires a ladder. I thought about being the solo female innkeeper and dealing with that. Wait, I think loo hoo is a female, sorry if I read or implied, I thought female from the way you wrote the post..
Joey Bloggs said:
I thought about Loo Hoo last night,well this mornign at 2am when a smoke detector decided it was time to change the battery and had loud BURSTS vs little twirps...it had to be done RIGHT NOW! Our ceilings are 9 foot, so requires a ladder. I thought about being the solo female innkeeper and dealing with that. Wait, I think loo hoo is a female, sorry if I read or implied, I thought female from the way you wrote the post.
Slightly off topic.... Kidde, tamperproof, 10 year battery smoke alarm with hush button. goo.gl/AQKjM
I have 11.5 foot celings. I am not going up twice a year to change batteries. I have 7 more years to go. And frankly, replacing the alarm every 10 years is cheaper than 20 batteries.
.
Thank Eric, I will have a look!
 

Alibi Ike

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wow. thank you all so much for your kind words and honest advice. i am beyond grateful. honestly.
i suppose i was looking for some 'miracle' answer but i guess those really dont exist. But you have given me a lot of small steps to find a little more 'happiness.'
sometimes i think life would be a lot easier and potentially happier if i gave it all up for a 40hr a week job. i'd have days off... less stress... vacation days... sounds kinda magical... right? are we crazy? does anyone else think this?
anyway... i appreciate it. beyond words. thank you. please keep it coming if anyone else has more to share..
There are days 9-5 sounds like a dream job and then you remember the idjits you had to work for, the lazy office mate who spent all her time on eBay and left you all her work, the office manager who complained about your footwear while all of her 'goods' were on display, etc, etc.
Then you look around and think, yeah, this guest is pain but just paid me $300 and will be gone tomorrow.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I'm in a similar situtation. I am also in my early 30s and run a 4 room bed and breakfast with very high occupancy by myself. I'm in my 6th year. Sometimes I don't have a day off for months. I do all the cleaning and cooking, shopping, reservations, etc. I love what I do but I do understand where you are coming from. I also don't go out and do a lot with people other than the guests and have the lonely feeling from time to time. What I do twice a month is go to the day spa for a massage. This helps me a lot. I try to go out for a walk or have lunch at a nearby cafe. I always make time to sit down after breakfast is done and after cleaning is done to have my tea and a snack. I also have a few hobbies and in the past have gone to weekly meetings as a way to socialize. I am friends with other innkeepers and talk in person or on the phone. If I am very swamped in the summer I will call a friend to help me out with the cleaning but it is just a day to day thing when she is able to come. I also take time for myself in the evenings. After 7pm usually is my time. I go into my living quarters and work on my projects or watch a movie.
 

YellowSocks

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wow. thank you all so much for your kind words and honest advice. i am beyond grateful. honestly.
i suppose i was looking for some 'miracle' answer but i guess those really dont exist. But you have given me a lot of small steps to find a little more 'happiness.'
sometimes i think life would be a lot easier and potentially happier if i gave it all up for a 40hr a week job. i'd have days off... less stress... vacation days... sounds kinda magical... right? are we crazy? does anyone else think this?
anyway... i appreciate it. beyond words. thank you. please keep it coming if anyone else has more to share..
loo who said:
i suppose i was looking for some 'miracle' answer but i guess those really dont exist. But you have given me a lot of small steps to find a little more 'happiness.'
sometimes i think life would be a lot easier and potentially happier if i gave it all up for a 40hr a week job. i'd have days off... less stress... vacation days... sounds kinda magical... right? are we crazy? does anyone else think this?
Seriously... these small steps add up to a LOT more happiness! I check people in and off I go... to my quarters, or take my kids to cub scouts, or whatever. (I LOVE having keypad entry!!!) Make yourself a priority!! You're worth it!! =)
I realized at tax time that I made a lot more money as an administrative assistant... with way better benefits and a predictable vacation. But I'm MUCH happier doing what I'm doing!!
Hugs!!
=)
Kk.
 

loo who

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I'm in a similar situtation. I am also in my early 30s and run a 4 room bed and breakfast with very high occupancy by myself. I'm in my 6th year. Sometimes I don't have a day off for months. I do all the cleaning and cooking, shopping, reservations, etc. I love what I do but I do understand where you are coming from. I also don't go out and do a lot with people other than the guests and have the lonely feeling from time to time. What I do twice a month is go to the day spa for a massage. This helps me a lot. I try to go out for a walk or have lunch at a nearby cafe. I always make time to sit down after breakfast is done and after cleaning is done to have my tea and a snack. I also have a few hobbies and in the past have gone to weekly meetings as a way to socialize. I am friends with other innkeepers and talk in person or on the phone. If I am very swamped in the summer I will call a friend to help me out with the cleaning but it is just a day to day thing when she is able to come. I also take time for myself in the evenings. After 7pm usually is my time. I go into my living quarters and work on my projects or watch a movie..
thank you for this! it's nice to know i'm not the only one. and if you've been doing it for six years i guess it's possible. thank you.
 
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