Authentic motherhood, on your own terms
Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Sabine Eichbauer
A woman – and now a Mother. I will forever remember the feeling when I brought my first born home from the hospital in a typical Danish baby carriage. A huge piece of my heart had been taken out of my body – away from my protection and was now lying there sleeping beautifully – my baby girl.
Sabine Eichbauer is an architect. World traveler. Restaurant owner. Vineyard owner. But above all, she is a mother of two. Oh and she doesn’t have a stroller.
When she is not kite-surfing, traveling the world to visit all 3-star Michelin restaurants, working as an architect in Munich or hosting ladies lunches in her restaurant, Tantris, she is growing grapes for the first certified organic vineyard in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy. While doing all these things, she is always a mother first, taking her little ones on her route through life. Bringing them up surrounded by exclusive experiences, in nature and in luxury. But always close, with love and with passion. And completely unimportant, always in Artipoppe. The story of @elsalovesanton for @artipoppe.
What is the most important thing in life?
“Family is the most important in life, obviously. It’s deep in our core. I was raised in a very close family. I believe that a close family relationship makes people more authentic and allows them to connect easier to others in life and to your own self.
Motherhood changes you. It can be stressful sometimes. But I try to be a calm mother. For example, when a baby cries and wants to be held or carried, you could put him in a stroller, because you don’t want to or you can’t, but then that baby is under stress and that stress is a constant companion in life. That is why I carry my kids. Sometimes I succeed being a calm mother, sometimes I don’t.”
How did you picture being a mother?
“That what you imagine of being a mother is completely different from what actually happens when you are in the moment. It just hits you hard. I thought that I could just continue my life but then with children, strollers and nannies around me. Nothing to worry about. However, suddenly the outside world hit me and I started to worry. I don’t think you will ever stop worrying, because some deep internal side of you is in the outside now, breathing and being fragile. Before being a mother, you are only responsible for yourself, but afterwards you are responsible for another human being.”
Are you comfortable when travelling with children and what do you do to make it work?
“I am more comfortable when I am on the road than when I am at home. I have lived a nomadic life all my life. My parents loved to travel and see the world. As soon as I was old enough I wanted to learn English to communicate with people I met along the way. Fortunately, I met someone exactly like me. If we could choose we could live out of a suitcase, see the world and show our children how beautiful the world is we live in. I don’t do vacation, I travel. Eat move and drink. It’s a lifestyle, it’s part of me.
The sad part of the story is that I became a baby wearer out of necessity. While I was pregnant with my first daughter, someone who was like a mother to me was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. She lived in the United States and I was too late in my pregnancy to visit her right away. So when the baby was born, I carried my baby to go see her.
When travelling a lot, you want to reduce the amount of people who touch your baby. Imagine your baby front facing in a stroller at a crowded airport, and the high the amount of impressions, noises it will bring. I believe it is much better for my kids to be close to me. I always carry them on my left side, so they can feel my heartbeat, hear me and smell me. It just feels more natural to be a kangaroo.
I was very happy when I discovered Artipoppe, a brand that fits my sense of style. I love the fact that it is so luxurious to wear Artipoppe, especially after you had a baby and you don’t feel on top of the world, and your clothes don’t fit. You have a beautiful piece of fabric and it makes everything a bit better.”
Would you say you are a fan of a certain wrap or fabric?
“I am the biggest fan of thin wraps. My favorite wrap of all times is Argus September, black and blue, probably the first Qiviut Anna did. It was made for a Dutch actress, beautiful obviously and after haunting it for a long period of time, I found it. I love it because it’s thin, strong and warm. I love silk, mulberry silk, Japanese silk and I’ve got lots of these fancy fabrics. My baby also loves it, she likes to chew on it.”
What would you like to do when your children are out of the house?
“Well, the same as I do now. I never stopped working, but I also don’t consider what I do as work. Everything I do I love doing. I keep up with my work as much as possible, until I see that one of my children is in need, and then of course I dedicate my time fully to them. The restaurant and the winery are setup in a way that they can survive without us micromanaging every single day. I hope I get better at winemaking and I hope our children like what we like.”
Do you think you are building a legacy?
“No I am not building a legacy. If you do what you do for the future generation, I don’t think you are being true to yourself. So, that the best you can do to your children is do what you love, be authentic, and maybe they catch on, maybe they don’t, maybe they do the opposite. Love what you are doing. I could have continued being partner in a big architectural firm, but it didn’t feel like me. I do what I do to have a nice life and that includes my children. We wouldn’t have bought a winery if we didn’t have children. Maybe we would have invested in wine in a different way. Part of the idea is that they grow up living in contact with nature with seasons and growing periods, witnessing and living vineyard life. I think it’s fantastic as a family to experience! When I hear somebody saying they moved to the suburbs because they wanted to have a garden, I laugh. I either like downtown or country life, nature all around.
What really kills me is that I am 43 now. When you say 20 more years it looks like a lot. But when you say 20 more vintages, then it gets different. Wine is something so substantial. You get one shot a year, you either make it or break it. I wish I had more, because you get better at it, you constantly do.”
Why and when did you start this passion for wine?
“A long time ago. My husband and I met 22 years ago. I was already into food and wine and it was a very good match. When were into Bacardi & Cola, we were already into wine and occasionally champagne, which is a weird hobby to have when you are 21, right? He comes from a family were food is obviously very important, he inherited the restaurant from his parents. In the 60’s they were importing directly from burgundy because there were no existing importers. So, we have a very long history of drinking, eating and tasting. It’s been a ride. It is a passion that needs to be in you before, otherwise you don’t marry the guy. If you don’t drink and are able to eat a substantial amount of food every 4 hours, not being hungry every 4 hours. It sounds profane, but it was always something that held us together, a shared passion.”
What is your favorite wine?
“What are you asking me? It’s like choosing your favorite child!
I am a big fan of Burgundy. I like wine that has acidity, that’s why I love Brunello. I don’t look for fruit in my wine, sweetness or superpower, but freshness. I like herbal characters over fruity characters. Floral over vegetal aroma. I am less of a Cabernet Sauvignon person, although there is fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a development over time. When I started, I liked oaky, rich, chardonnay from California. It’s really an education, wine education. You get more refined and start to value the subtleness of certain things and you master your taste. I can taste the character behind wine when I know the people who made it. Again, authenticity. So, if I’m right, I like being right because I’m a woman, the wine we are making naturally will taste like our character and personalities. But I am wondering what my personality is going to do to the Brunello de Salicutti. It’s going to happen somehow, just like having children, you really don’t know. You do the best you can, make informed decisions and then the rest is up to nature and everything else right?”
What do you wish for your children besides happiness and health? How do you envision them growing up?
“The number one thing I wish for my children is health, you are right. Besides that, I want them to be empathetic. This has a lot to do with vulnerability. When you are authentic you are vulnerable, because you expose yourself to be judged as you are out there. So when I say I would like them to be empathetic, that also involves teaching them to be resilient. When you are authentic, you have to be able to deal with judgment, disappointment and failure. I start to believe that your comfort zone is a very comfortable place where nothing grows. So I want my children to be curious and empathetic. They don’t need approval from anybody else.
Empathetic human beings that have a deep sense of connection to themselves and the rest of the world. Having primal trust, having your needs met. That is why I never stop telling people how bad it is to not meet their children’s emotional needs. They have needs that go beyond a diaper change or being hungry. They need to be held sometimes, be able to explore stress-free. When they communicate with you, that is crying, you need to respond. It does not mean you are spoiling them or making them tough enough, quite the opposite. It’s almost a religion for me. There are lot of opinions you can have, but this is the truth.
My choice to give birth to Flora at home was more about me than about her. I think it is important how you come into this world, no matter what people say. If it’s stressful or not. It’s like making love, it’s two people. You and the baby. It’s not me having a child or her being born, both are involved. I needed that very much to heal from the very traumatic birth I had with Elsa. Persisting on giving birth to Flora at home was selfish of me and I am not sure if I would do it with a third. I think I now made peace with what happened and I am strong enough to have my next kid in a hospital. So maybe I endangered my child, went against what was best for the family. But it was taking a minimum risk since the closest hospital was 7 minutes away from where we live.
Judgement, that’s where the system grabs you. You do something that is not for everyone. Our full society is all about individualism and finding your true passion, while in education and birth everyone has to be the same. Everybody has to strive to become an executive, but what is wrong with being a carpenter?
There is a lot to be said about modern society. I am extremely proud of being an advocate for that. I am proud of what I accomplished, of giving birth by myself, on my own terms, but I also want other people to see that it is completely normal. That is why I take breastfeeding so seriously. It’s not that I want to show my breasts to the world, but I want to be one of those that can say ‘Normalize breastfeeding’ and if only the ones that never get published do it, it makes no sense. So for people like me, who get occasional exposure to the press, to be an advocate for that of course is essential. It’s also about vulnerability, you put yourself out there.
When it comes to travel, the places where I exposed my breasts are innumerable. Red carpets, restaurants, helicopters (laughs). It’s important, this is the most important job we have: securing a resilient, empathetic next generation. Me being an authentic raw model to my children, that is my job. That they drink an excellent wine is a bonus, but it doesn’t form a future. Me being an authentic raw model to my kids is part of that mission. I am not saying you need to stop what you are doing and be a perfect human being and be nothing but raising children, because that is neglecting yourself as a person. That is bound to backfire, and it has been shown in many instances that it doesn’t go well. It means giving up dreams and not setting a good example.”
How important is art in your life?
“I could say I am way too practical for art. But isn’t wine like art? Wine and Architecture have a lot in common, you take something that nature gives you and you let it be. You don’t force anything to your plans as you don’t force anything to your children. It’s less of an art if you define art as painting or sculpturing to express yourself. That is not what I believe architecture or wine should be. It should be less about your own ego. Architecture for example is translating what you interpret as being right for a certain person. I love when the client says: “this is how I want to feel when I wake up in the morning”, instead of asking explicitly for a pillar here or certain stone there. It’s about what you feel when you look out of the window. Art.”
What is your favorite place in the world and why?
“My favorite place in the world is where my family is. But if I close my eyes and meditate, I see the ocean. When I was little, my dad was a scuba diver. Can you imagine my dad? He is very calm but loves speed and boats, and now he is a golf player. So when I close my eyes I picture myself on the very front of a boat. Seeing the different colors and still my favorite color in the world, the deep petrol color of the ocean.”
What was the happiest moment of your life?
“I hope it’s still to come.
Every time I see my children interact, I see the love for each other, I’m touched, as if the world stops. I’m lucky having that at least once a day, sometimes not at all (laughs).”