April 2, 2020

Autumn fashion: Getting cosy with Lauren Gibbs

Life as a mum of two suits Lauren Gibbs, and she’s happy soaking up all the time she has with the family’s latest addition, Madison, while she’s still a baby.

Photograph Haley Renee

When Lauren Gibbs found out she was pregnant with son Charlie, she had all the natural worries about adapting to life with a baby. And yes, there were – and still are – challenges, but even she surprised herself with how natural motherhood was for her.

The clinical pilates instructor and mother of two has rugged up for this month’s autumnal fashion shoot in the Adelaide Hills. Lauren spoke to SALIFE about how becoming a mum to Charlie, nearly five, and Madison, six months, has changed her.

Lauren, who is married to Adelaide Crows player Bryce Gibbs, was at a busy time in her life when she discovered she would soon be a mum. She had been juggling work, study and playing netball for South Australia, and then in the Victorian state league and in the Australian Netball League.

“I’d been working Monday to Friday, training or playing netball every night bar one and then I’d be travelling to play on weekends too,” Lauren says. “I was quite focused on myself, because you had to be, and then I found out I was pregnant with Charlie and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, how am I going to do this?’ But I loved it more than I ever, ever imagined, and it’s changed me.

“I’m not as focused on myself and now my life revolves around them, but in a good way. You do have to find that balance though.”

Lauren says, when speaking to her mum friends, They agree that the idea of balance is one of the hardest things to achieve. “You have some weeks where you feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends and you haven’t done anything for yourself. It’s always one of those constant challenges – sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I feel guilty because I might have gone out with my girlfriends for a lunch and the next day I’ve got work stuff on. But then I have another few days where I spend the whole time with them. It’s a constant juggle.”

Lauren says it’s important to find small opportunities to do things for yourself as a busy mum. For her, incorporating exercise into daily life is a must. “Even if it’s just a walk for half an hour, it just makes me feel so much better.”

Lauren and Madison modelled for the April issue of SALIFE magazine. Photograph Haley Renee.

Time spent with Bryce is also something that needs to be prioritised, especially with both their busy schedules. The couple make a point to spend a date day together when they can. “If we don’t book something in, it doesn’t happen. You can become so wound up in parent life that weeks and months go by before you realise you haven’t spent quality time with just the two of you.”

The jump from one child to two has been a learning curve for Lauren, but one thing she’s glad not to have encountered this time around is unwanted opinions. When she was a first-time mum, Lauren says everybody was quick to offer suggestions, which were often contradictory or didn’t help in her situation.

“I really struggled with that. You learn a lot about yourself and your kids as you go along and every single kid is different, so what worked for someone else doesn’t necessarily work for you. But people still want to tell you anyway.

The photo shoot took place on a private property in the Adelaide Hills. Photograph Haley Renee.

Thankfully, that hasn’t happened with Madison, but the new challenge has been adapting to a more hectic life. “Now, it’s about the juggle – trying to make sure I invest time in Charlie as well as Madison, but also make sure I don’t neglect my marriage, and look after myself too.”

The second time around, Lauren has noticed she’s more relaxed about things, because she has to be. “You have to get on with it. Get up in the morning, get to school drop-off, go to exercise, whereas I was a bit slower with Charlie. That’s normal for first-time mums and I think it’s good to do that because you don’t want to put yourself under too much pressure.”

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