Vanessa Breuer on Motherhood and Slowing Down

Photographed by Linda Wit.

Model, mother, and chef Vanessa Breuer first moved to a centuries-old farmhouse in the mountains of Ibiza when her eldest daughter, Luca, was six months old, intending to live there temporarily. One year later, pregnant with her second daughter, Evie, she had fallen deeply in love with her new home. For Vanessa, Ibiza provides the best of both worlds—a peaceful natural environment in which to raise her children, only a stone’s throw away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Over the years, she and her partner, Oddy, have enjoyed fixing up their property and hosting friends. Now expecting her third child, Vanessa has been pleasantly surprised by how satisfying motherhood has felt for her, despite its many challenges. Through her first two pregnancies, she says, she learned to slow down, take mini-breaks, and let go of stringent expectations. As she prepares for her new baby’s arrival, she’s been living in lightweight dresses, massaging her belly and body nightly with oils, and spending lots of one-on-one time with Luca and Evie, who couldn’t be more excited to meet their littlest sibling.

Below, Vanessa shares a glimpse into daily life with her family as they prepare to welcome the new baby—plus a few of her transitional (and bump-friendly) favorites from our Fall collection.

Vanessa wears the Rhoda Dress with the Neva Cardigan

What first brought you to Ibiza? What was the draw for you to raise your family here?

We had some friends living here, so we thought we’d check it out. We decided to take some of our savings and live a whole year “worry-free,” not working and just spending time with our daughter. After one month, we found this gorgeous place where we still live today. It was very rustic back then—we did have electricity and running water, but the rest was very basic. We built a pool, started growing vegetables, and still traveled throughout the year. When I became pregnant again, we realized that we didn’t want to leave the love bubble we had created on this mountain. It was so peaceful. We shared a car and a phone and spent 24 hours a day together. We lived remotely, but at the same time—Ibiza being Ibiza—we had friends from all over the world visiting us. That’s what I love most about this place: it draws everyone in.

Vanessa wears the Persephone Dress with the Ember Wrap, Luca and Evie both wear the Addison Dress

What is the most surprising thing about motherhood?

How truly happy it makes me. It is such a challenge and requires a lot of time and dedication–but I truly love being a mother. I look at my children every day and my heart bursts with love for them.

Any lessons or advice you picked up along the way in your first two pregnancies?

Take it easy! I have to remind myself to take some little breaks—and to let Oddy take over more in the evenings. After cooking and cleaning, I don’t have the energy to take the kids to bed as well, but I don’t feel guilty not doing it, because I am not working much and not going away any time soon. Usually, I travel every week, so when I am home I want to do it all—cooking, supporting Oddy, and spending time with the girls. But that also uses a lot of energy, and I just don’t have that at the moment. Which is totally fine—I am growing a human!

Vanessa wears the Hill Dress, Luca wears the Addison Dress

How are Luca and Evie feeling about the arrival of #3? Any tips for getting kids ready for a new baby’s arrival?

The girls have been so excited from day one. When the news came, we were all so happy. At the moment, I am trying to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Luca and Evie. I play with them as much as I can, and try to be very present.

How are you practicing self-care during this time? Any rituals you’ve picked up that have been particularly helpful?

Since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been giving my belly a little massage every evening, and I oil the rest of my body. It’s nice being connected to the baby, and my skin is thanking me as well—it’s never been softer. I am also trying to take more mini-breaks and indulge in massages, and take things a bit slower. Twenty-minute daily visualizations prepare me for another natural birth, and I practice breathing techniques.

Vanessa wears the Rhoda Dress with the Neva Cardigan

And what about your pregnancy style? What kinds of pieces are you feeling your best in?

I was lucky to be pregnant during the summer because I could wear most of my dresses (I like them airy and thin). It was [unusually] hot in Europe this year—we spent six weeks in England and Germany, and I only bought one pair of maternity leggings. Back home, I live in thin cotton dresses.

Above: Vanessa wears the Hill Dress; Vanessa wears the Persephone Dress, Luca wears the Addison Dress

Evie wears the Little Rietta Dress amidst the Wildflower Whisper duvet cover and shams; Luca wears the Carine Dress

Vanessa wears the Jillian Dress, Evie wears the Little Rietta Dress