Meet Steph @steph_dontbuyherflowers
They say the best way to enjoy Instagram is to fill it with feeds that make you feel good. Mine is personally a mix of whimsical creative accounts that make my mind feel inspired and then real life doing it without a filter mums, who make my soul feel inspired. Steph is one of those. Her feed isn’t curated or tactically thought out but her voice is clear and her photos make me feel good. In a world that is so hell bent on portraying life through rose tinted glasses, it is so refreshing to follow women who show life as it is. I hadn’t realised they had been through so much as a family until reading this, and it just goes to show what strength and love comes from something so difficult. Steph is always honest in her approach to parenting, life, business and everything around all that and I love her for this. She ahas a pretty wonderful business, called ‘Don’t Buy Her Flowers’, which if you haven’t gathered by the name, is a business based on gifting something a little more thought out than flowers. It’s worth checking out. Here is Steph’s happy….
Life In A Snapshot
Worked in brand and marketing, met and married quickly, got pregnant, Doug diagnosed with cancer, had a baby and got a load of flowers, felt overwhelmed by baby and flowers, went back to work part time, had another baby, went back to work, couldn’t shake business idea, started a blog, jacked in job to start business, took on team and warehouse, had another baby, felt very tired. Love gin and big believer in Sisterhood and that none of us really knows what we’re doing.
What makes you the happiest?
The weekend with my little family with no plans – nowhere we have to be and no-one we have to see, so we can please ourselves. And naps. And dancing. It’s been a while since I had a good dance anywhere other than my kitchen.
Who is your happy person?
Doug. Admittedly at the moment I’m a bit up and down due to tiredness and hormones, but he’s still the one!
How do you reset on a bad day?
Probably the gym or going for a nap, or speaking to someone that will empathise and then make me laugh. But also, there are bad days. I think my first two kids taught me that – it’s up and down and a bad day (or a good day!) doesn’t dictate that the next will be the same. So for me the most important thing to remember at the moment, three months in to our third baby, is that it’s normal to be up and down.
When it is time to stop and take check?
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and go in to ‘manic’ mode. The tiny things feel massive and it’s usually them that sends me over the edge. I’ll start shouting commands at Doug, and losing it about things like his shoes being left in the ‘wrong’ place because I desperately want to regain control. This usually means I’ve taken on too much and I’m anxious about all the things I need to do.
How do you nourish your mind and body?
What does ‘nourishment’ mean to you?
Taking my foot off my neck and slowing down. Naps (again), good food and time with people I love. Exercise is important too.
Reflecting on the hardest time in your own
life, what practical steps did you take to get you back on a happier pathway?
Probably when Doug was diagnosed with cancer when I was 14 weeks pregnant with Buster. That was a tough time and his surgery and radiotherapy all happened while I was pregnant, and finished the day before I went in to labour four weeks early with Buster. I think my whole body was just trying to get through Doug’s treatment and when he’d finished it was a release! I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it to be honest because we then found ourselves at home with our first baby and Doug recovering, but after I had Mabel I got quite low and we rowed a lot and I think it caught up with me. That’s the thing – you can go in to survival mode and cope or even thrive in tough times, but everything has to catch up eventually. I needed time to work through things – my husband being diagnosed, my first baby and all the changes that brings. I went to the doctor and found just saying ‘I don’t feel right’ was a huge relief, rather than smashing on trying to act like everything was ok and I was in control, and enough to start the conversation to get myself back on track.
What is ‘happiness’ defined by you?
When things feel relaxed and easy and the kids are happy and we’ve had sleep and I feel content and I’m not worrying about all the stuff to do.
Mantra to live by
‘But What If I Fall? Oh, But My Darling, What If You Fly?’ Australian poet Erin Hanson. I used to say this to myself all the time when I was starting Don’t Buy Her Flowers and regularly felt wobbly.
Favourite place in the world– Home. Or the Maldives.
Instagrammer who makes you feel good– Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka). Hardest working lady I know. Also wore a headbrace at school and I was a chubby kid that went to Mime club and we would have been great mates then too.
If you could have any super power? Flight
Biggest addiction? Probably Instagram.
Biggest strength? Multi-tasking. I am good at getting shit done.
Biggest weakness? Worrying about all the other things I need to do and not focusing on what I have done.
Nicknames? Weph, Effie, Dougie, B and I was known as Maverick and Miss Whiplash by teams at work. Make of that what you will.
Guilty pleasure? Four in a Bed, but I don’t feel guilty about it – it’s just pure pleasure.