“I never have a boring day at work,” says Tiffany Davis, creative director at , the brand marketing studio that she co-founded with her sister, Amber. “I like to tell people that I help clients figure out how to make their outsides match their insides,” she says. “Telling brand stories through imagery, experiences and words is, well, my jam.” Most recently, Davis helped launch Zappos Kids. And with her husband, she is also helping raise their 2-year-old son, Avery. “He’s amazing, he’s sweet, he’s curious—and he has a sense of humor that feels like it was custom-made for me being his mom,” Davis says. “He’s teaching me a lot about myself.”
“I’m privileged to have work I can do from home,” she adds. “That said, full-time work for my partner and I, plus full-time toddler duties, have been an exercise in humility, exhaustion and willpower.” Davis has learned plenty of tips along the way. Right now, she’s reading , a book focused on “conscious parenting,” which she says feels more relevant by the day. “To be a good parent, you have to realize the biggest hurdle is actually learning to parent the things within you that still need to be parented; this can be personality traits or bad habits that you may have,” Davis says of the lessons gleaned thus far. “For Avery and I, that has a lot to do with our desire to be good at things the first time out of the gate,” Davis says. She recalls how her son recently felt frustrated when he tried to learn how to tie his shoes. “I recognize that feeling within myself,” she says. “It’s a reminder to give yourself the same grace you give your kid: ‘It’s ok if you don’t know how to do everything perfectly. I don’t know how to do everything perfectly either.’”
Davis is also an avid reader of The New York Times parenting column, . “It has the most genius advice from real-life parents, from what keeps their child occupied to what keeps them from having to say ‘no’ to their kid for, like, the tenth time.” Her favorite piece of advice came from a mom who was feeling so discouraged, she stopped wanting to take a shower. The fix: She started using her showers to have a glass of wine and a conversation with her husband. “They would talk through bills or random parent stuff,” Davis says. “I was like: ‘Oh, these are ways you can have enough time in a day.’”
Davis will take it one step further with a nice, long shower in the middle of the day, where she can devote that time to some well-deserved self-care. “There’s a big difference between the functional showers that I might take with my kid before bedtime and the showers where I can do all the little steps that I want,” she says. “It gives me a chance to actually leave the conditioner in, maybe file my nails, maybe finish the podcast that I started a couple of days ago,” she says. “Even if it’s just 30 minutes where the door is locked, it feels like I am reclaiming some of my own identity and space, especially at this moment where everything can change by the hour or the minute.”
Davis credits Avery with helping her learn to focus. “He’s really blasted to smithereens the idea of multitasking,” she says. “For me, that’s just not a thing. Having a person that’s constantly running around getting into things if you’re not watching them teaches you, ‘Oh, multitasking isn’t really what you were doing. You were just kind of checked into a little bit of everything.’” At their home in Brooklyn, Davis and her husband, who is a third-grade teacher, have figured how to tag-team it where she takes the morning shift and he takes the afternoon shift. “Nap time is when we try and check in with one another and say: ‘How are you doing?’ ‘Are you falling apart?’ ‘Are you having a hard day?’ ‘How’s it going?’ ‘Are we out of finger paint?’” she says with a laugh. “But one day at a time is really the philosophy around this house right now.” There’s also more noise machines and headphone moments than there were before quarantine, she says.
Davis makes a point to tune out from the world with 10 to 15 minutes of meditation each morning via the Calm app. “I developed a strong morning meditation practice last year, but when COVID-19 hit, I lost my way somewhere and didn’t prioritize it, because my son’s sleep was off,” she says. “I was scrounging any quiet adult time I could get with my partner, plus trying to sneak in work during those in-between times, and meditation fell to the wayside.” Not anymore—she’s back to making it her daily ritual, which happens before coffee, or even a word to her husband, and ends with an inspirational quote, courtesy of the Calm app, that helps keep her motivated throughout the day.
Davis is also careful not to veer too far from her schedule, particularly when it comes to social media. “I’ve found that whenever I have the urge to go on social media, it usually starts with the best of intentions, like if I’m looking for ideas on what Avery and I can do this afternoon.” (Davis loves the Instagram account for this purpose.) “I try and discourage myself from going into external stimuli, and post one or two pictures that I really had the day before and then I assign some level of gratitude to it,” she says. “It’s not going to be the most clever thing that I write that day, but it has to come from a place of: ‘This is where I am. This is how I’m grounded. Let’s go into the day with that reality first, then social media can happen second.’”
Living in Prospect Heights, they’re just a hop and skip away from Prospect Park, and frequently take Avery there for some fresh air. “We are his main source of exercise entertainment. We’re his favorite new toys,” she says. “My husband will put him in a hiking backpack and, literally, hike him to a part of the park that’s off the beaten path, so that he can have room to explore.” There’s plenty of sunny moments there, too. “My son loves animals and the other day, we were looking at birds, so I decided to start flapping my wings and run around like one,” she says. “My husband videotaped the whole thing, and when I watched it later, I felt like such an attuned parent. Very randomly do my crazy ideas and my son’s crazy ideas match up at the same time. He was fully a kid and I felt like I was a kid, too, which was really nice for us both.”
At the end of the day, Davis and her husband unwind with happy hour. “That’s definitely a thing in his house,” she says. “I’ll make my son pineapple juice, orange juice or sometimes an elderberry syrup cocktail. Somebody will be in charge of the music, somebody will be in charge of bringing out the bug-spray, and then we all just have a moment together.”
As a kid herself, Davis says her mother taught her a thing or two about style that she still uses to this day. “My mom definitely came of age in that era where if you find something great, you buy it in every color,” she says. “I think that’s where all of us eventually come back to after we explore every other route of our personal style and questions like, ‘How can I be unique?’ or ‘How can I figure out what my identity is?’ before landing on the confidence to buy something great in every color.”
Davis’s mom is a nurse, and in the middle of a pandemic, “she still wears a string of pearls to work every day with her scrubs.” For Davis, that’s helped hone in her own sense of style at a time when she’s coming into a space career-wise, financial-wise and needs-wise where she is building a more grown-up wardrobe made up of fashion staples that are “high-quality, last forever and are treated as an investment,” she explains. “I’m really excited that my mom has always emulated that for me, so yeah, thanks mom!”
“Freeze magnetic or other small objects into ice cubes. Pop them out as you’re cooking or anytime your kids are underfoot (and you don’t need them to be).”
“I’ve been sending my sis and mom ‘digital’ flower bouquets, which are just screenshots from my Instagram or Pinterest board, each morning for the last few weeks.”