In Conversation With Lauren Gores Ireland Co-founder of Summer Fridays

Photographed by Joyce Park, Hairstylist Ashlee Rose at Forward Artists Agency using Oribe, Wardrobe stylist Monica Rose at the Wall group Assisted by Katie Peare, Makeup artist Maria Vargas-Guzman using Westman Atelier and Ilia Beauty

Rita vinieris sheer dress

How are you feeling?

I feel calm—something I wouldn’t have expected had you asked me a few months ago. As I’ve gotten closer to meeting this little being earth side, I feel more and more at ease with becoming a mother again. For as strange as this year has been, I also think it’s a beautiful time to welcome a child—he or she will enter into a time of change, of empathy, of forgiveness, and of newness. That’s a gift.

As a mother, it’s important to take some time out for yourself. How would you recommend mothers, and women in general, do that?

Prioritizing alone time is something that took me nearly two years into motherhood. I used to count my solo hours spent working or travelling for business as self-care because it was time spent alone. But I eventually grew tired, frustrated, and uninspired. That’s when I recognized that self-care needs to be truly that—time spent with myself, caring for my mind, body, and heart. Each day, I create space for at least some kind of self-care—sometimes it’s a workout, other times it’s a mask in a bubble bath, or even doing nothing at all but indulging in alone time outside or in my bed. For anyone—mama or not—I think we’re only able to prioritize ourselves when we stop feeling guilt over it. Self-care is not selfish, and it’s okay to ask for help in achieving that time alone.

How has your second pregnancy been different from your first? I can imagine it feeling more challenging given the pandemic.

It feels wildly different than my first. Of course, for some of the more obvious reasons because we are in the midst of a pandemic—my husband hasn’t been to a doctor’s appointment, I’ve had to be especially cautious of where I go, and a hospital birth comes with added fears that didn’t exist before. I also miss the warm embrace of my family—my siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and closest friends—who were very present with me during my first pregnancy. But at the same time, the circumstances have also meant a much more present pregnancy. I am not travelling every few weeks, as I normally would be. I am able to work from the comfort of my home, as I battled morning sickness and hormone changes, and my first-born and I have gotten to indulge in so much time together before we welcome another. I feel like the silver linings have been far greater than the sacrifices.

Vintage Jean Paul Gautier dress

Summer Fridays just formulated their Babymoon Belly Balm, which looks amazing. It must be cool drawing inspiration for new products during your own personal stages in life. Will Summer Fridays be releasing more pregnancy-related skincare or postpartum care?

Yes, we just launched our Babymoon Belly Balm! It feels like heaven on the skin, and it’s been a passion project of mine for years now. I started dreaming up the idea during my first pregnancy, and then later started the formulation process. This pregnancy allowed me the time and space to make any final adjustments and to actually use it while my body went through so many changes. I really wanted a hybrid product of an oil and a lotion—hence, the balmy texture of our product. It’s packed with super clean ingredients, and it’s 100 percent water-free, meaning it’s especially hydrating. We don’t have plans for more pregnancy-specific products, but we have a lot of really incredible launches coming up in the new year that I cannot wait to share!

What have been some of the biggest challenges as a businesswoman while being pregnant with your second?

I always envisioned being a working mom, because I really love creating, and I actually think it makes me better at mothering. But settling into the imbalance of my roles took time and self-forgiveness, and was much harder at the start of my company because we didn’t have a team of support at that point. Now, pregnant with my second, I’ve had a few years of settling into both of my roles and recognizing that they will each require more of me on varying days. I embrace the chaos, the imperfection, and the imbalance. Plus, we have an incredible Summer Fridays team now, and so I don’t feel concerned about taking some time away, which I plan to do. I really believe in maternity leave and carving out space to truly indulge in those early months, and I am grateful I am able to do that. My body needs that time, my mind needs that time, and my child needs that time.

How would you describe motherhood?

Motherhood is giving everything, and receiving everything—that is, the greatest love I’ll ever know. A love so pure, so simple, so infinite.

Motherhood is entering into a willingness to forever have a piece of your soul walking outside of your self. It’s giving up a part of you so that you can infinitely live within someone else. My mother did that for me, and so beautifully gave me parts of her spirit that now I will give my children. I don’t think about motherhood as losing myself, but rather, about creating space to grow and expand into someone so much greater than I could have done alone.

Vintage Levi’s

What’s your morning routine?

Currently, my son wakes me up with his not-so-subtle tip-toes pattering across our floors at 6:30. He’ll snuggle in with my husband and me for a bit before it’s off for breakfast. I’ll usually stretch or do 15 minutes of prenatal yoga before heading downstairs. We’ll put on some holiday music and have a breakfast date together, before getting off to preschool drop-offs (his school has been in session because of his young age, which has been a huge blessing)! This all sounds dreamy and calm, but I assure you it’s usually with a lot of chaos mixed in between trying to get a toddler dressed and convincing him a cookie is not a proper meal!

While he’s at school, I do my workout, urgent emails and calls, and my morning shower and skincare routine. For skin, I cleanse with our super amino gel cleanser, then apply our cc me serum (which is incredible for pre and post-natal hyperpigmentation), then moisturize and apply our lip butter balm. I love a creamy blush and some mascara for a quick routine. Then, I go pick him again before lunchtime.

Lastly, who’s your Mother Muse?

My own mother ❤ My greatest model of love.

Vintage gloves and sheer dress

Follow our Mother Muse Lauren Gores Ireland here

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