I was recently accepted into a Facebook group that is for moms in the Milwaukee area. I can tell it’s going to be the perfect place to turn to when I’m looking for something to keep Eggroll busy or to figure out if what she’s doing is normal. In the meantime, it’s given me the chance to “meet” some interesting ladies all going through the same life changes I either am or will be experiencing shortly.
One of those ladies is Steph Davies, mother of Miss Remi and owner of Waxwing Boutique here in Shorewood. I knew Steph from the previous life of farmers markets and craft shows, but it’s only now that I see what a good juggler she is. Remi is only two months old, but Steph is already back in action at the store, working on her own art, and giving her all to her new baby girl. I love that she’s honest that it’s not all puppy farts and rainbows, but overall, she seems to be handling this big, huge life change with aplomb.
So let’s hear from Steph, my hero for this month, who interestingly enough is featured in almost every “oh my gosh, my life is going to implode” thought that’s crossed my mind for the past several weeks. If she can do it, maybe I stand a chance!
1. Who do you want to be when you grow up? Are you this person yet?
I think my dreams & aspirations are always evolving as I “grow up” which keeps me from getting bored & feeling old. So today I want to be a really cool mom when I grow up, I’d also love to do freelance illustrations for medical books while traveling the country with my husband while he plays music and we educate our little girl out on the open road…but that’s today’s dream. Tomorrow, who knows!?
2. What is your favorite part of your life?
My family, my little growing family. I feel so lucky to be married to the man of my dreams (literally) and to have the most amazing, gorgeous little girl added to the mix. Our dog is okay too, I guess. 🙂
3. What’s the most annoying part of your day?
Myself. As I learn the balance between motherhood and my own creative life, I am constantly stressing/freaking out about doing it all (and trying to do it all WELL!) There are moments when I catch my breath and I am just completely in the moment. Those are the best moments (and they usually involve holding my daughter while she sleeps or doing insane things to make her smile.)
4. How do you handle a stressful day?
It varies. Sometimes I’ll go on a walk…a nice long walk along the river. Or I’ll take a drive down to the waterfront. I haven’t done this since my daughter was born but, I used to just take drives late at night and sit by the water and look at the stars while listening to the waves crash, it’s very calming. Getting lost in a good drawing always eases stress as well…nothing like ink-stained hands to ground you.
5. What is the biggest secret to your success?
My mom. I was blessed with a mom who always told me to do whatever I wanted. She supported me when I wanted to go to the most expensive art school in the country and when I called her at 29 and told her I was quitting my day job to be an “artist” she said “do it!” Without her support, I would probably have a lot more self-doubt and hesitate when it comes to the big things/decisions in life.
6. What was harder for you to accomplish than you expected?
Marriage. I never saw myself as the marrying kind. Always pictured myself alone living in some cool loft in New York City making artwork. But then I met my now husband and it was like I couldn’t imagine a life without him. It was hard to give up my independence and merge my life with someone else’s. It’s still challenging at times, but always worth it.
7. What comes easiest to you? Does this help or hinder your awesomeness?
Work. I’ve worked at least one job, if not 3 since I was 15. It’s helped me pay my way through life and to accomplish everything I’ve set out to do. But it can definitely hinder my awesomeness! Sometimes I have to concentrate on turning the “work” off and just living life.
8. Have you had the same goal(s) your whole life or do they change? If they change, how often?
I think my ultimate goal has always been to never compromise when it comes to living a life I love. I met the man of my dreams so I asked him to marry me (screw tradition!). We wanted to get married at sunrise, on the lakefront, in Chicago with no back-up plan if it rained, so we did. We wanted to raise a daughter while still living our lives as an artist and musician and not give into pressures to get “real jobs”, so we’re doing it. I think too many people sacrifice their own happiness in order to live the life they’re expected to live (without even realizing it!) I refuse to do that. It’s not easy. But that’s my goal – to live the life I want without apologies and without compromising to meet some standard that society has set up for me. I hope to pass this way of living onto my daughter.
9. What is your ratio of life-planning to life-happening?
I think it’s pretty balanced, my daily life leads me along the road that often takes me to my “plans” and sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, but that’s when you change your plans.
10. What is the biggest surprise of motherhood?
This insane love. Everyone told me my life would change, but I wasn’t prepared to become a whole new person. And I am. My life is very much: B.R. (Before Remi) and A.R. (After Remi).
Many thanks to Steph for taking time out of her crazy busy schedule to answer my questions. If you’d like to know more about her art work or her store, please visit these Facebook pages.
It’s definitely worth your time – your Christmas shopping could be done within one visit to the Waxwing!