The top 5 bras every mum should own

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Fashion blogger Jessica Fowler shares her tips for stocking your underwear drawer with five essential types of bra.

If you’re a mother you know that every day presents a set of unique challenges and experiences, for which need you to be a hundred different people over the course of a twenty-four hour period. You are a taxi driver, provider, carer, teacher, adviser and friend to your offspring, and your unique set of roles each day calls for a unique array of underwear to get you through the experiences!

Because of this, all mums could benefit from a specific set of bras to support them in a wide range of situations, meaning you’re always ready for whatever life (and your toddler) throws at you. Check out these top bra styles and make sure you’re fully equipped to face each day with confidence and style…

The raunchy one

Admit it, there are always a few times each week where you and your partner can forget about being parents and take a few moments to remember what life was like before it became full of nappies, Fisher Price toys and childcare. It’s really important for even the most harried Mum to have some me-time with your partner, and there’s no better way than to enjoy this moment than with a great, raunchy bra. Even if you pop it to the back of your collection, having a lacy, revealing and colourful bra that screams “Woman” instead of “Mummy” will work wonders for your self-esteem and your partner’s mood!

The workhorse

Every day, you need to be ready for whatever life has to offer. Because of this, every mum needs to have a reliable, practical workhorse bra to hand for the day’s challenges. Comfortable, well-fitting and flexible, this bra will support you as you go through the day without compromising on the support it gives you. Like a best friend, your workhorse bra helps you all day, unobtrusively keeping you comfortable and ready to chase after your kids, clean up, or go to work safe in the knowledge that you are fully supported at all times.

The T-shirt bra

If you’re yet to get your hands on one of these, you need to invest in a great t-shirt bra. Seamless, comfortable and easy to wash and dry, the t-shirt bra is designed to slip under any outfit and provide invisible support and maximum comfort. Taking you through the day without any discomfort, the t-shirt bra is the equivalent of snuggling up in front of the fire with your pyjamas on, nestled in a warm soft duvet!

The personal favourite

Every mother has a bra that they reach for day in, day out, because it offers everything you need to get you through the day. Reliable, perfectly fitted and familiar, it is the comfort blanket of underwear. If you have one of these, you know you can always feel comfortable and supported no matter what life throws at you. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this gem of a bra – stock up and get six more, to make sure you’re not waiting for the wash cycle to end before getting the support you need.

The multi-way

Just like a mother, the multi-way bra can adapt to any circumstance without hesitation. It fits beautifully under strapless dresses, goes under chunky sweaters or takes you from day to night wear with a few simple adjustments. A multi-way bra in your underwear drawer is similar to having a tool box at the ready for whatever task you need to do – it is your flexible friend, acting like a chameleon to change shape whenever you need it. Invest in a couple of great multi-ways to make sure you are equipped for any scenario, at any time.

This is a guest post by Jessica Fowler, blogger for Playtex and the L&F Lingerie and Fashion blog.

9 Ideas For Keeping Your Kids Busy While You Work

Strike action this week for parents of school age kids and then there are the holidays. When you work at home, you sometimes have to work with kids underfoot. Here are some ideas to keep them busy:

• Ask them to create a play in secret that they can perform for you when done.

Image credit OneTwo (

My daughters love this one, the secret rehearsals can take a few hours. Props, toys, Wii all form part of the great play they will put on. Sometimes if they get loud with their arguing, I mean stage direction… I call out and say I can hear the secret play :) Good for school age kids.

• Have them sit beside you with a computer and toy phone and “play” work.

This was my favourite one when my 16 year old was little, it’s perfect for toddlers and kids in the first years at school, they love playing work :)

• Have special toys that they only get to play with while you’re working. Give one at a time, not all at once.

Ok, I’ll admit this one never worked for me but a friend of mine swears by it. She has a tub under her desk and a timer, the kids get to spend 15 mins playing and when the buzzer goes she lets them choose another one, lucky dip style. It works for her, it might work for you :)
• Older  kids- have them write out ideas of activities they can do without your help on scraps of paper and put them in a jar to pull out when needed.

Again the lucky dip idea, I like to through in a few icky ones like sweep the porch or tidy the car just to add a bit of extra excitement when we are doing the draw. Cake making and icing is never added to the jar, why should the kids have all the fun on their own???

• Set up a craft station near you.

This one is great for when you just have to finish something, it buys you precisely one hour of peace and quiet. Glue, glitter, coloured paper, pipe cleaners, fuzzy balls and paint… and if I am daring I’ll ask them to create something for me like a Christmas card or decoration for the tree. The downside? I’ll be hoovering glitter up for ages afterwards.

• Have special coloring books or activity books on hand only for this time.

Both my girls are dot to dot mavens. We have a special dot to dot session where we see who can complete the most, the neatest and the best coloured ones in just 30 minutes. We then put them up on the wall to make a gallery of all their hard work. Nothing makes them happier than seeing their creative outpourings praised :)
• Give them “homework” to do.

Over the summer holidays we had an hour of sums everyday and writing. It was a struggle but after the third day they got used to it and really enjoyed counting things around the house and garden adding three flowers to four flowers, counting how many bounces they can do on the trampoline in 30 seconds, writing practice. It soon becomes fun rather than homework.
• Ask them to wrap their toys up as presents and hold a birthday party for their favourite cuddly toy animal.

Originally this started out as a tea party for the dog. Whilst huddled over my laptop the dog climbed on the table and ate all the birthday party trimmings… so we progressed to cuddly toys and dolls. This works best when you make cupcakes and party food with them, then the treat is they get to have the party by themselves, just like grown ups do. This give you a good thirty minutes to get some work done.

• Have an older neighborhood child come over and play with them.

You can’t do this one too often, it has to be the icing on the cake. If the other parent is also a working mum she’ll be happy for the couple of hours quiet time and you will be happy for the time that you get. If you have the money then dropping them all off to the cinema works well (usually this works well for us as my eldest is 8 years older than her sisters and can happily be bribed to take them to the Pictures).

Working at home with kids can be rewarding, yet a challenge. Take a proactive stance and be ready with ideas to keep them busy.

Share with us in the comments what tips you have for working and keeping the kids occupied.


Kids driving you crazy? A coping technique

Courtesy of Brittney Bush via Flikr creative commons

Are you children driving you up the wall? Irem Bray shares some tips that might just change your life.

When did you last exclaim, “These kids are driving me crazy!”?

Every parent deserves living in happiness and harmony. When parents equip themselves with the right skills and apply them in their lives the children respond. We admire these kids’ confidence, success and caring attitude. Many parents lack the skills and knowledge that makes a difference.

In my work as an online family therapist I came across so much suffering that I decided to create online courses to reach more families. I want to share a very important technique from my course which will rapidly affect your family life.


One of the major components of my courses, both online and offline, is the premise that focusing and giving your child accurate feedback about their behaviour will help problems to disappear.

The rule of thumb is 3 to 1; every criticism should be balanced with 3 compliments.

Many parents find this difficult to believe. Even though their day to day experiences show the opposite, they still think that solely criticizing the problem behaviours, telling the kids off, shouting, hitting or other sorts of punishments are the only ways to bring up children.I would like to share a quote that inspired me. It’s from Leo Buscaglia, who was an author, motivational speaker, and a professor:

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Negative cycle

Have you fallen in a negative cycle with your kids? Small changes can make so much difference for children! Think about your relationship with them during the last couple of days. Reflect on your feelings of irritation as well as joy and happiness. You may have felt bothered by their fearfulness, junk food consumption, choice of spending long hours in front of a screen, or relaxed attitude towards their school work…

Parents tend to have a list of expectations they want children to live up to. When they do not, some feel overwhelmed as they attempt to impose upon their kids what they believe is right and good for them. This can go disastrously wrong. When tempers are lost, children may be over chastised, or even unintentionally injured.

The positives

Are there things your children have done recently that you have enjoyed? Perhaps they helped carry the shopping, or that they came home as soon as you called when they were playing with their friends outside? Maybe they finished their plate at the dinner table and said, “Thank you”?

See if you can remember what you like about your kids, and how their presence adds to daily family life. How often do you take for granted your children’s good behaviour? I hear many parents deliberately avoid giving compliments to children. They think good behaviour is what the kids should do anyway, and so encouraging them only spoils and weakens, youngsters. How wrong they are!

What about your irritation? Did it come out as a stern look, a disappointed tone of voice, or an authoritarian order, or even a slap on the face?

The technique

My technique requires you to focus on your feelings and to interact with your children with awareness.

This technique encourages you to compliment sincerely your children’s good behaviour whilst selecting and delivering your criticism with thought and consideration. You take care of balancing each criticism with three compliments.

Children most of the time understand what you believe to be right, and what you will never approve of. If you think they do not know, you must tell them. Even when they know the rules and expectations, we can from remind them and elaborate them as our children get older.

In order not to overload children with criticism, which would lead to a possible loss of confidence, or perhaps more behavioural problems, we focus on just the really important subjects.

Getting started

The best time to help children behave better is when you have them away from friends, or other people who they are trying to impress. Choose a private time and explain clearly why you expect them to act differently in the future.

Experiment with this technique for one week. Your children will show signs of curiosity, and may even think you’re behaving oddly.

Experiment another week, they will be calmer and more confident.

If you continue with your experiment on the third week you will start hearing other people commenting on your children’s good behaviour and note both you and the children seem happier and more relaxed. They might even ask your secret.

Irem Bray is a consultant psychologist with an M. Sc. in Family Therapy from London University. She is one of the forerunners of on-line face-to-face family and family business counselling. Individuals, couples, families and family businesses consult her to overcome their difficulties. She speaks fluent English and Turkish.

Visit for more articles and for her full biography, or for your free 15 minutes interview before making an appointment.

Hard work never killed anybody (or, Can we ban X Factor?)

Our guest daddy blogger for this week is Rob Fletcher, who is more than a little concerned about the X Factor generation… (warning: rant enclosed)

It’s Sunday as I write this, a day of rest for some – certainly for my family and I. I feel that I deserve this day of rest. Throughout the week I am in work from around 07.30 to at least 17.00. Mrs F begins her working day around the same time, ending at 16.30 before preparing the family dinner etc. A lot of our evenings and down time is willingly devoted to our three children, and administering a family home inhabited by all of the above.

Most of you reading this will relate to that. Some will probably think that that it sounds like luxury compared to their own work-life patterns, others may be a few years away from this but looking forward to it. Some of you may squirm in fear, but it is My Utopia.

The X Factor generation

But then there are those who think that they shouldn’t have to work – that the country owes them a living. Those that feel that they can conquer the world without having ever done an honest days work in their lives. Those just like the ones we see on shows like “X Factor” who feel the need to parade themselves on our TV screens, and in certain red top newspapers in a bid to whore themselves to any media willing to pay.

I mean, what concept of reality do some of these kids have? How can they possibly grow up to become valued and respected figures if they don’t know what it is to contribute to the working world? For every one with a natural talent (whom I admire greatly), there are 10,000 or more of these wannabes with no respect for their leaders, their peers or each other. They snarl in the face of the rest of the rat race, demand thousands of pounds for achieving nothing and generally walk around with the nonchalance that we all love to hate. In fact I don’t love to hate it, I just hate it.

Today’s Great Britain

It disgusts me that we as a country condone and supports this new attitude. Ask the generation aged 6-16 now what they would like to be when older, and I guarantee that there will be many who seriously think they have a chance of becoming a multi-millionaire star, or a WAG as they have seen it on the TV. They have been fed the false hope that you do not have to work for a living in this new world.

When I was a boy, the delusions of grandeur extended to probably one in 20 with a serious talent for football or the like, some of whom made it, but most of whom landed with a bump and then settled into full-time, paid employment. I believe the generation of today are being damaged by this false hope that shows like X Factor offer, and are being led into a world where they dont have to try hard, or listen, or be respectful to those in authority.

Time for change

The phrase “Hard work never killed anybody” is often used by the generations before me, but I feel it needs a new airing.

Toughen up, Great Britain! Stop pretending it’s OK to push your children into a world where they don’t have to work to earn their living.

Support your children and encourage them to do well and get “a proper job.” It’s not easy – children can be challenging – children may not see the benefits of working hard at school at such a young age, but as parents it’s up to us to work hard, and not take the easy way out, not let them think they can be a pop star if they really don’t have one iota of talent.

And to the trash tabloids, report on successes, not on which 17 year old is sha**ing which footballer. Stop showing our younger generation it is OK or funny to behave like a spoilt diva who has never known what it is like to struggle for money. Be proud of a Great Britain that can be great, not of one that condones this superficial image of a youth that is destined for nothing other than a bumpy landing and ultimately failure.

I hear the phrase Broken Britain regularly, I’m not sure if this applies to the above, but if it does fall into that pigeon hole, I can begin to see why.

Fun in the garden (while the sun lasts) – a Giant Connect 4 review

What could be better than chilling out in the garden, making the best of the last of the sun? Playing Giant Connect 4 in the garden with an overexcited 3 year old? Guest daddy blogger, Mark, gives his verdict.

Giant Connect 4

J and I have been playing in the garden as much as possible lately, trying to make the most of the sun before it disappears for the year.

The Giant Connect 4 is a nice piece of kit – solid and fun to play with. J is too young to really understand the rules, but he did have fun putting the discs in. Once it was full, it was near impossible to get him to agree to emptying it so we could play again.

The discs are light, so J didn’t have any trouble there, and it’s about the right height for him.

The only problem we have is storage. Our garage is too far away from the house and although we live in a nice enough area, I’m still not sure the game wouldn’t disappear if left in the garden over night. There’s a netted bag to put the counters in, so we’ve packed them up and put it all the little shed at the bottom of the garden.

All in all though, a thumbs up from me and J. Now I have my eye on giant skittles :)

This is a guest post from Mark Leary, dad to JD and Miss J, wife to Emily. The product was provided for review. All Mums on the Blog bloggers review with honesty and integrity.