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The Instagram Interview: Natalie Lee From Style Me Sunday Talks Motherhood

The Instagram Interview: Natalie Lee From Style Me Sunday Talks Motherhood
Every so often we discover someone amazing, like Natalie Lee, aka Style Me Sunday. We discovered Natalie via Instagram and soon fell in love with her fashion sense and her life philosophy. A mother, a midwife, a blogger and something of a fashion icon in the making, as well as having a huge . . . instagram following and fashion collection, Natalie has a huge heart, and has recently launched her Warrior Woman project. It’s all about making women celebrate their triumphs, accept their flaws and turn their vulnerabilities into their superpowers. And we think it’s amazing. We caught up with Natalie for 5 minutes to discover more. You're a mum, a midwife, a blogger, a fashion icon and an influencer, but how would you describe yourself? Oh gosh that's a tough one. I think us women are notoriously bad at describing ourselves. So much of our identity is tied up in being a mum and our work. My work is so varied that I struggle to define it. At the moment I'm on my way to a casting for 'yummy mummies' to work on an advertising campaign for a big brand. But ultimately I'm a mum who is also juggling running my own business.  What is your blog Style Me Sunday all about? My blog is essentially about fashion for mums, but more recently it is also about empowering mums to feel confidence and good about themselves again. Often motherhood can be lonely especially in the early days and your self-esteem can be seriously dented. I'm encouraging women to not be so hard on themselves and celebrate the small victories. This new direction is my Warrior Woman Project which is going really well, and I'm getting just as much out of it as other people are.  What makes you feel vulnerable? Loads of things make me feel vulnerable, I have a wobble every now and again, but I know how to pull myself out of it and not let it fester. I think my ability, as a mother is my biggest vulnerability, because I feel so much pressure to get it right. It's the most important thing I'll ever do.  How has the Warrior Woman project made you feel differently? It's really given me purpose. The blog was great, but I feel a new level of passion for it now. I also feel like I should practise what I preach, so that has had a great impact on my confidence too. How can people get involved in the project? The best way is to follow me on Instagram, I will be announcing my third project shortly, and it's going to be mega!  If you had to summarise your approach to motherhood in 5 words... Nurturing, protecting, loving, guiding, and fun!  What do you love most about being a mum? The cuddles, I love cuddles and kisses, my primary language of love.  What do you find most challenging about motherhood? The mood swings, and the fact that they often don't listen to me. I repay myself a lot. This morning I think I asked my daughter to put her coat on at least 10 times.  What is your idea of the perfect mumday? Being pampered. I'm a big fan of massages, reflexology and reiki. Head to Instagram @StyleMeSunday to follow Natalie and get involved in the Warrior Woman project. Her blog can be found here. Know a mum who could do with a pick me up? Check out our range of mum approved gifts here.
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Enter The Ultimate Mother's Day Competition | Worth Over £900

Enter The Ultimate Mother's Day Competition | Worth Over £900
Win a pampering mum + baby bundle worth over £900 *This competition has now closed.* We're super excited to announce the opportunity to win the most incredible Mum + Baby Pamper Hamper! This week it's Mother's Day so to celebrate we have teamed up with our friends at Baby Mori, Le Salon, Little . . . Butterfly London organic skincare and Missoma Jewellery to create the ultimate Mother's Day competition prize!  Mums definitely need extra TLC when there's a little baby to care for too, so if you know a worthy mama who should win this prize, why not enter today? What's included?  A New Mum Indulgence Package from Mumdays £170 Our Mumdays New Mum Indulgence package includes a 60 minute at-home massage, a bouquet of beautiful blooms, a 3 hour domestic clean and laundry delivery services as well as our beautiful Mumdays gift pack so she can well and truly put her feet up!  Baby MORI's luxury 100% Mongolian Cashmere blanket and a MORI outfit £230 MORI's luxury 100% Mongolian Cashmere blanket, along with a MORI outfit crafted from organic cotton and bamboo. Everything is crafted thoughtfully and from natural, sustainable and environmentally conscious fabrics. Three mani or pedi treatments from Le Salon plus 3 x Nailberry polishes and a Le Salon cosmetics bag £200 Le Salon are giving away three at-home manicure or pedicure treatments as well as three Nailberry polishes and a Le Salon cosmetics bag. Mother & Baby Organic skincare gift box from Little Butterfly London £137 The ultimate Mother & Baby Organic gift box fromLittle Butterfly London contains three soft and natural baby products, one mother & baby product and two mother skincare products delicately presented.  £200 to spend at British jewellery brand Missoma  Missoma London are giving away £200 to spend on their demi-fine contemporary jewellery. Their design philosophy focuses on creating the perfect jewellery for your everyday wardrobe. Enter Competition Here Looking for a thoughtful Mother's Day present? Check out our range of mum gifts here!   Ts & Cs Competition closes on Mother's Day 26/03/17 at 11:59PM GMT. All entrants must be aged 16 or over. No cash alternatives available. Le Salon Manicure can only be used in London, UK. New Mum Indulgence Package from Mumdays is subject to location availability.
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Happy Mother's Day! 10 Ways To Make Mums Feel Special

Happy Mother's Day! 10 Ways To Make Mums Feel Special
How To Make it A Very Happy Mother’s Day Looking for ideas for how to make sure she has a Happy Mother's Day? From special messages to unique ways to make her feel appreciated, here's how to make sure she has a really Happy Mother's Day. (Or any day when you want to show her how much you care.) 10 . . . Ways To Make Her Feel Special On Mother's Day Mother’s Day is the chance we all take to appreciate everything the mums in our lives do. Whether it’s your own mother, your grandmother, your wife or partner, the chances are their role as a mum makes them a real VIP in your family. So what can you do to make sure that they have a Happy Mother’s Day rather than an average Mother’s Day? At mumdays we believe everyday is the perfect opportunity to show her just how special she is, so we’ve rounded up ten perfect ways to make it a Happy Mother’s Day to remember. Make it personal A hand written card with a special message is on the top of every mum’s wish list for Mother’s Day (in fact we’d love one every single day!), as are handmade cards. Taking the time to write a heartfelt message thanking her for everything she does will really go a long way in making her feel appreciated. We know it’s hard to put down in words just how much she means to you, which is why we’ve come up with message suggestions here. Let the woman sleep! Sleep is the magic word for most mums. NO matter whether they’re pregnant, have a three year old or a thirty year old, there have been a lot of occasions where she simply has had to sacrifice her own Zzzs to see to everyone else’s night time dramas. Find a way to make sure she gets a decent kip – no excuses – and allow her that luxury all mums crave – a deliciously long lie in followed by cuddles and breakfast in bed! (With those all important handwritten cards!) Give her some me time One of the things mums never have enough of is me-time. You know, quality, relaxation where they can put their feet up and do whatever they want, especially if she has young children. No matter what age her children are, one thing is the same for every mum; they’re always looking after everybody else. So why not gift her a mumday to ensure she puts aside some time for a massage, a manicure or even gift her some Help At Home so she has more time to do the things she loves? Send a surprise Who doesn’t love a surprise? Surprising your mum on Mother’s Day is a genius way to make her feel extra special. Live far away? Why not turn up unexpectedly on her doorstep with a bunch of flowers and her favourite wine/perfume/chocolate in hand? If you can’t make it to her in person, why not send her a pack of notes that she can open at different times in the day on Mother’s Day? A letter for her to open at breakfast, one for lunch time, one for the afternoon and some for the evening? Honestly, words and thought go a lot further than you may think. Keep it clean Every mum we know always feels happy the endless cleaning is taken care of. Simply giving the house a once over, putting those dishes away, washing the windows or helping tidy up the garden can all speak volumes to show a busy mum you care about all the daily kindnesses she does without complaint (well, mostly!). Start a mystery adventure If you’re self professed ‘rubbish at gifts’ then why not give her permission to go on an adventure day with you where you can discover someplace new together? You can have a set budget and can spend the day together - which really is the best thing of all. Mums are there by our sides on all our adventures so why not give her one as well? You could try anything from a National Trust place she’s not visited to the latest blow dry bar or new eatery that’s just opened up. Make it into an adventure by keeping her guessing until the last minute! Give her a hug It sounds obvious and we really shouldn’t have to say it, but mums want hugs. On Mother’s Day and any other day of the year, there’s nothing she wants more than a decent bear hug, a kiss on the cheek and a ‘Love you mum’ in her ear. Find her favourite things And put them all together; her favourite movie, snack, tipple, shampoo, perfume, jewellery brand and package them into a homemade hamper that no one else in the world could think of but you. Be nice Family life can certainly have it’s ups and downs so if you’re setting out to make it a Happy Mother’s Day it goes without saying that everyone should be on their best behaviour. No drama please! Make a Memory Is anything more precious than the chance to make a new memory together? Whatever you do on Mother’s Day make it memorable and why not print a picture from your day? Looking for the perfect gift to make mum feel special? All our presents are mum approved and ideal for any occasion, from anniversaries to birthdays and beyond. SHOP OUR GIFTS FOR MUMS  
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A Letter To My Children For Mother's Day

A Letter To My Children For Mother's Day
To my two darlings,   I know that Mother’s Day is usually a day where children thank their mums for all that they do. But I wanted to write you a letter, my children, to say thank you to you instead. There isn’t a ‘Children’s Day’ (it hasn’t been invented by the marketing teams yet!) so this is . . . my chance to pay tribute to you. Because without you, I wouldn’t get to call myself a mum.   Among other things, being a mum is one of the things that has made me so proud. It’s taught me so much about myself, and has given me skills, experiences and opinions that I never knew I was capable of. It has given me the confidence to be true to myself, to start a business, to believe in myself. And that’s all down to you showing me what I am capable of.   Motherhood gives you superpowers of love, patience, acceptance and determination. It makes you protective and assertive, fierce and maternal at the same time. It has made me look at the world in a different light because I realise that the world is not mine anymore, but yours. And your children’s, and theirs. So thank you, for waking me up to all these things.   Having you has made me want to do good, make good decisions – not just for us but for those around us and the world we live in. I want to thank you both for making me realise that I have a job to protect not just you, but good values, for the good of the future.   Since I became a mother, I realise that life is fragile. Nearly losing my life in childbirth hammered that message home pretty profoundly. Bringing you into the world nearly cost me my way out of it. It was a ‘circle of life’ moment that started my motherhood journey with an added sense that I am one of the lucky ones and that I have been given this chance to be a good mum to you both. I’m doing my best. And I’m sorry I’m not perfect. I want to thank you for your acceptance and understanding of me. You may only be toddlers, but you have total confidence in me and while that might not always be the case as you grow up and into your own people, I’m so grateful to have your trust.   You both came into the world together and as a bit of a surprise. You were born expectant that you would be loved, that your needs would be met, that your cries would be stopped, that your tiny bodies would be held and cradled, that you would be adored.   You’re the best things that have ever happened to me and yet so much of this early part of motherhood has felt like an uphill battle. It’s felt lonely at times, overwhelming and strained. I’ve questioned myself, I’ve gotten angry at times. I’ve had boring days with you and magical days with you. I’ve missed my independence and resented the constraints of motherhood, but you two have only ever lived with love and the expectation that you will be safe, cared for and loved.   Your innocence fills my heart and your joy at your daily discoveries gives me pure happiness. You remind me what life used to be like in the beginning – full of possibilities, discoveries and adventure. My role is to make the world open up to you with all its astounding possibilities and magic. And that’s a privilege to be tasked with.   I remember the first time I saw your heartbeats on the screen when you were just 7 weeks into conception. Knowing your hearts have beat inside of me and that we shared the same body all together for a time is just a beautiful miracle of nature for me, that I will never stop being grateful for.   You have both opened up my heart in ways that only motherhood can. You have initiated me into a world where I have made friendships with other women that I will treasure forever.   You’ve shown me the pure pleasure of discovering chocolate for the first time, or smelling daffodils in bloom, have shown me the pride that you have when you learn something new and inspire, motivate and move me every day.   You’re two little whirlwinds and I’m so grateful to have you in my life. I’ll love you forever, more than you can know. So it’s you I have to thank for giving me a Happy Mother’s Day, every (well nearly every) day.   Now if you could just let me have a lie in and not draw on the walls with my mascara, that would be great!   All my love   Mumma xxx
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Expert Strategies For Coping With Being A New Mum

Expert Strategies For Coping With Being A New Mum
Becoming a new mum is one of the most intense transitions you can make as a woman. From the shock of always being on call to the new challenges that seem to arise on a daily basis, new motherhood is as difficult as it is amazing.  But what if the key to feeling confident and content as a new mum . . . began not with the baby but with looking after yourself? This is the opinion of Clinical Psychotherapist Jerilee Claydon, she says, ”When we start with ourselves everything else is much easier.” She has shared some of her top tips with us on how to better deal with becoming a new mum. And actually, whether you've got a newborn or are sending your child to school, there's a lot here we can all learn from. Surrender to your new role Life will never be the same again and nor should it be, forget trying to return to ‘normal’ you have a new normal now and it takes time getting to know it, getting ‘back’ to something is not only unachievable you’ll miss out on the experience of being in the moment as a new mother. Don’t just prepare for childbirth, prepare for parenthood We often get so focused on pushing the baby out when we’re pregnant that we completely overlook the fact we are going to be raising a human being. Preparing for your future as a mum and as parents instead of just being a couple is key to making sure you feel more aware of your decisions and as such more confident. Claydon says, “If you can attend a course with your partner that teaches you about the emotional demands on becoming parents you will prevent many conflicts that commonly arise.” Take deep breaths Screaming baby, explosive nappies, public meltdowns… all kinds of situations can make you get into a flap each day as a new mum. It can feel incredibly stressful because you want to rock your new role, but let’s be honest, sometimes it feels like we’re in over our heads. Claydon suggests deep breathing in moments of anxiety and self doubt. She says, “When you can calm your mind and apply meaning to what you are doing it immediately eases away anxieties.” Remember the postpartum experience is a long journey It’s easy to think that once your body has recovered from pregnancy and childbirth that you’re out of the woods when it comes to things like post natal depression and feeling in control of motherhood, but Claydon says PND can strike up to 4 years in so be aware of this if you are finding your new life and motherhood a challenge. It’s really hard to admit when we are feeling out of our depth or lonely or depressed, but Claydon is a huge champion of talking therapies, and having all had a rant to our NCT buddies, we know that there’s something in it. Ask for help if you need it Whether you need help with the cleaning, the weekly shop, babysitting or learning how to express your milk, there are people out there who are able and willing to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. It’s especially important to ask for help if you feel you might be suffering from Post Natal Depression - and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. She says, “Postpartum therapy isn’t advice or a judgment or a guide on how to care for your baby, it’s an opportunity to explore what it’s REALLY like to be you. By talking it through and learning some calming techniques, a mother can manage even the toughest days making sense of it all and learning to cope with disappointments.” Make your relationship a priority If you find your relationship is suffering, don’t despair, in fact around 69% of new parents experience conflict. It can be a stressful time having a young baby and as Claydon says, “We all have a simple core need to feel nourished” and cared for and caring for each other can easily slip to the bottom of the to do list. When your baby is born it’s easy to think that this new person deserves your undivided attention but it’s really important to keep checking in with your partner and your relationship in order to weather the ups and downs of new parenthood. Meditation is your secret weapon It might not sound like meditation and new motherhood go together, babies hardly conjure a peaceful environment, however Claydon insists that even just a 3 minute daily ritual can make a huge difference. “Firstly I would suggest practicing saying an incantation which is similar to an affirmation but you use your emotion and body while saying it, so while walking with the buggy you could say the words to your inner self in a rhythm to your walking and really engage with the words emotionally – believe them.” Things like “I am a good mum” or “I am strong” are a great place to start. Be kind to yourself We can be extremely scathing of our own shortcomings and over think every wrong decision we’ve made as mums, but Claydon is a huge advocate of being kind to yourself and challenging that inner negativity. “As you go through the changes as a mother you can begin to lack confidence, practicing an incantation can help change any negative beliefs.” We definitely believe taking time for yourself and being kind to yourself is essential to feel happy and fulfilled as a mother. We all need some downtime and metime and that doesn’t change as a new mother – in fact it intensifies the need. So don’t feel guilty when you’re doing something just for you. You deserve it. Jerliee Claydon is a Clinical Psychotherapist and offers a range of therapy courses for mums to be, mothers, couples and new parents. Visit her website for more information here: www.Therapyproject.co.uk
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Why We're Not As Busy As We Think We Are | Mumdays Meets The Step Up Club

Why We're Not As Busy As We Think We Are | Mumdays Meets The Step Up Club
Ever felt like you’re failing at life? Whether it’s those moments of despair as a mother, or feeling like you’re not reaching your potential at work, we’re all guilty of beating ourselves up about how much we are or aren’t achieving. What if you took the pressure off? What if quieting that negative . . . voice inside was actually key to making yourself feel instantly more capable? We caught up with motivational speakers and general all-rounders Alice Olins (Contributing Editor at Red magazine by day and author of self help books at night), and corporate lawyer and maternity coach Phanella Mayall Fine to discuss the ingredients of success and finding balance. As mothers with a shared passion for women achieving their potential they put together The Step Up Club – a space (on and offline) for women to unite and talk about careers and what success means to each of us. If you’re stuck in a rut, dreaming of starting your own thing, desperate to get that dream job or get picked for promotion, or simply want to find the kind of work life balance that works for your family, their advice and approach is a great place to start. What is the Step Up Club and what prompted you to start it? The Step Up Club is a space – both online and in person – to unite women to talk about careers in a modern and stylish way. We all want to succeed at work, but success means different things to each of us. We hold monthly events, both as hosts and in collaboration with brands, to help explore success and all its facets and faces. We it’s founders, Alice and Phanella, sit at opposite ends of the career spectrum, from creative to corporate and we think this makes the Step Up Club unique. We want to take talking about your career out of the boardroom and make it aspirational, practical, fun and insightful.  Why did you decide to write a book together? We felt that there was a gaping hole in the market for a book that was practical, supportive and included this broad appeal across all types of careers. We were also motivated by time: our book is digestible in 10 minute slots, something we felt strongly would speak to busy working women.  Do you think employers are still afraid of the impact maternity leave and motherhood has on the workforce? It really depends on the industry you are in - and your boss. There are those of us who are fortunate to work in companies where women dominate, where it’s normal for employees to take time off and them assimilate smoothly again when they are ready to return to work. Of course, that is the dream situation; many women though have a much harder path to the motherhood/career struggle. Stigmas still swirl around many industries and women undoubtedly suffer discrimination because of maternity leave – this is something that we feel passionately should change, and we spend a lot of our time and energies empowering our members to make their careers work for them on all fronts.  What do you think the key changes are that need to take place? On one side, there needs to be a societal shift that celebrates not denigrates maternity leave. Also, there needs to be a shift of focus away from just the mother, to include both parents. Children are a family’s responsibility as a whole, but in a work context (and things are starting to shift with Shared Parental Leave), babies are still considered to be the parental demise of women alone. We advocate a Scandinavian style approach where both parents are brought into the fold when children arrive on the scene. What tips do you have for creating balance in your life? Balance is such a complex and emotive subject; we all feel pulled in different directions and to different intensities depending on the day, week or year. Balance is as much a mindset as a practical division of responsibilities. In our book we talk around a theory that explains balance through our personal FlexStyles. There are three arch FlexStyles that describe our approach to how we find balance: Integrators (feel balanced and happy blending work and life), Separators (feels happier separating their time between work and life) and Volleyers (are able to flit between the two). We believe that balance comes when we are able to work within our natural style. Obviously, on top of that we all need support. Support is a huge element in balance, and that comes from all sides: work, partner, family, friends and extended community.  Why do you think everyone is so time poor these days? In the book we explore time and how we view our lives. There is no doubt that technology, which ironically is meant to ease things for everyone, makes us feel busier and more time poor. I’m sure all of us would admit to filling those down moments with our Smartphones and in the long run, that makes us tired and overwhelmed. In our book we reference the work of Laura Vanderkam, who has studied the diaries of many busy working women. Her view: we aren’t as busy as we all think we are. Once we accept that – and this is excellent advice – we feel less busy and more able to take on new responsibilities.  Does me time matter more when you’re a mum? Many of us aspire to more time away from work, or a more flexible approach, but Me Time is something that isn’t necessarily connected to children. Everyone needs Me Time to be able to have perspective on their careers and lives. Sometimes it feels almost impossible, but those moments, even if it’s just a walk outside for 15 minutes positively impact our minds. And who doesn’t want that?!    Visit The Step Up website. Buy The Step Up book. Follow The Step Up Club on Instagram.
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Essential New Year Resolutions Every Mum Should Make

Essential New Year Resolutions Every Mum Should Make
If 2016 felt disastrously depressing then 2017 has to be the antidote. There are a lot of things in the world that can get a mumma down, when you think you’re bringing people into a world that has so much wrong with it, it can be hard to feel the positive. But that’s exactly what 2017 should be . . . about – the positive. May every change you make in your life in 2017 be a positive one. Here’s my list of Essential New Year Resolutions Every Mum Should Make. 1.Make more time for you However you make this happen, dedicate more time to yourself - regularly. Whether it’s writing a diary, phoning a friend or treating yourself to a monthly manicure or coffee with a friend. Me time is sanity saving, re-energising and liberating. You won’t regret it.    2. Smell the roses  Being online is a way of life now, but too much time in front of the screen can make you feel like you’re in a lonely black hole. Detox a little each day, smell the roses, make yourself unavailable from the digital world for a little time each day. Stop multi-screening in front of the TV; talk to your family, go for a walk and focus on being present.  3. Make memories So many resolutions are about goals we want to achieve, like a specific weight or follower count on social media, but the most important goal a mum could have for 2017 is making memories. I believe memory making doesn’t have to be about the once in a lifetime stuff. Discover a new walk to do with your family, learn a new skill together, set each other fun challenges. And let the magic happen.  4. Ditch the guilt If guilt shaming yourself is one of your reluctant hobbies then mumma, it’s high time you ditched it. Instead celebrate all the things you’re doing right. If you count up all the little moments and actions you do each day to have a loving and positive effect on your children, you’ll run out of fingers and toes in no time.  5. Find your happy  We’re told how to be happy these days but the truth is it's a deeply personal thing. In 2017 focus on finding your happy. It might be you’re happiest make up free and off the radar, or when making progress at work or rocking it as a stay at home mum. Listen to your heart in 2017 and figure out what makes it sing. Any changes you do make have to come back to this. I’m starting to feel excited about all of these resolutions! Here’s to a powerful, positive and beautiful 2017 mummas! Wishing you love and happiness and good fortune in the months ahead. Don't forget to stop by mumdays whenever you want to treat yourself and recharge, or if you know a mum whose in need of a special pick me up our gift selection has just the thing!  Love Ursula X   
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The unspoken battles every mum goes through

The unspoken battles every mum goes through
There’s a story behind every new business that comes about and there’s a story behind mumdays too. I launched mumdays just one week ago to give mums time back and TLC with quality experience gifts. But the idea for mumdays started to form when my baby twins were just a few months old and I was . . . feeling overwhelmed with the challenges of motherhood. It’s the most life affirming and empowering thing to be a mum, nothing will make you fiercer or more vulnerable. Nothing can make you as frustrated or elated. It’s the only job where you’re paid in pure love. But it’s also a battle. Often you’re in battle with the needs of your wider family, the needs of your work or your finances or the needs of your children. Most of all you’re in battle with the person you are, and the person you have to be in order to be a mum. And you’re in a constant battle with time. Your needs gradually get stored away for a rainy day. Mums don’t really have time to have needs. You know, things like a catch up with friends or a lie in or session at the gym. All YOUR needs are secondary to the needs of raising your family to the best of your abilities. At least that’s what we’re taught. We’re taught that thinking about ourselves is selfish and that wanting some appreciation is indulgent. We’re conditioned to feel guilt about every extra long shower we have (aka checking instagram) or about letting someone else help us when we really need it – because we’re supposed to be able to do it all, without complaint. We’re guilt tripped if we go back to work or if we don’t or if we go part time – sometimes it feels like we just can’t win. And the person putting the most pressure on is often that voice inside us. Mums come in ALL sorts. And the one thing we all have in common is superpowers of love, endurance and strength. It’s there in each and every one of us. Mumdays is about recharging your batteries. Making you feel special and making you feel valued, which is why our packages are perfect as gifts. But also as treats to self, because really sometimes we need to treat OURSELVES how WE want to be treated instead of the other way around. I really hope you like what I’m trying to do – start a mum-me time revolution and make mums feel special. Why not allow yourself to treat yourself to a mumday Moment? Better yet why not send your other half a gentle hint that you'd like a mumdays present for Christmas? I’m starting small, but I’m thinking big. Every mum deserves a mumday. With love, Ursula Xxx
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mumdays is here: Is this the start of the mum me-time revolution?

mumdays is here: Is this the start of the mum me-time revolution?
From what I’ve learnt so far nothing is more terrifying than putting your business live. Praying that it works – in every sense of the word. I had the idea for mumdays a little under a year ago, a few weeks after this photo of my twins and I was taken. It’s all consuming to launch a business, and . . . for me it really has been my new baby. And despite having a particularly bad labour, I’d say giving birth to a business is infinitely harder… although much less painful. In the past months, my mumdays journey has taken me from sheer passion and whooping in my living room to exhausting hard graft, working into the small hours, then as things got progressively more real, I’ve had heart racing excitement, coupled with cold fear. Right now I’m pretty terrified as I wait to press the green button to go live on this thing. If you’re reading this, then it means I’ve actually summoned the strength to press it – and here we are – live and kicking and real. A new business – tentatively taking it’s first breaths and most importantly, trying to bring smiles, happiness and love to mums that work tirelessly putting other people first. Mumdays is a little piece of my soul out here on the internet. A pink and rose gold part, that wants to give all mums,  a huge hug in the post or their inbox, to say that they’re doing well, that they’re good enough, that yes, it’s blooming hard work day after day. We understand the craziness that is motherhod, and quite frankly every mum deserves to know that doing her best is amazing. There are no days off or weekends with motherhood – you’re always on. It’s the only job where you’re indisputably the boss, but it can feel like you’re working without a brief. Having twins in 2015 was the biggest life change I’d ever been through and to be honest I’m still adapting. I think motherhood is very much like that – you’re always readjusting to new challenges. All you can do is take it a day at a time and try and find a way to cherish the moment. Time goes so quickly as a mum. Yet so slowly too. Most of all it gets spent on everyone and everything apart from you. Mumdays is all about giving time back to mums to spend on themselves. It’s so nice to have time to look forward to. It’s the most indulgent thing and the most special thing, because not only do experiences give you time out of the ordinary, they also make memories, and most importantly, give you the mind space you need to feel like yourself. Remember you? You’re important too! Mumdays is focused on experiences and time off. Those moments that give a break from the groundhog days of parenting. The partners I’ve chosen to work with are all able to enrich your life as a mum. And while I’m not able to say I’m nationwide at the moment, I’ll be working on it until I am able to offer more mums, more special experiences, in more places, more of the time and I'm so excited share this journey with you. I want to make mums feel happier and feel more fabulous. I want to give mums that epiphany that they actually matter too – and that a little quality me-time can be incredibly transformative. I also want to make gifting mums feel more thoughtful, more relevant, more special and more tried and tested. It’s been an insane 11 months of research, work and planning and here we are – launched and ready for business. I’ve met so many amazing mums, women and men who’ve all given me their expertise and help even if only for a moment, each of them believing in what I’m trying to do with mumdays. So what’s left to say now? Thanks so much for reading. Thanks for visiting, thanks for sharing my belief that mums are real life VIPS. Now that we’re officially live, I can finally dust off that bottle of bubbles in my cupboard and raise a glass. Here’s to making mums feel special! The adventure starts here!   Lots of love, Ursula x
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Meet the women making fashion & beauty baby proof

Meet the women making fashion & beauty baby proof
Motherhood can sometimes feel so incompatible with fashion and beauty; the whole process of making yourself look and feel a certain way goes right out the window when you don't have time to go to the loo by yourself, let alone chose yourself an outfit or style your hair. Talented duo Samantha Silver . . . and Gemma Rose Breger have put their joint fashion and beauty expertise together (Samantha is Beauty Director at Stylist magazine and Gemma is a celebrity stylist) to create a mum blog with an edge. This Is Mothership test drives everything it recommends and ensures your fashion or beauty purchases are built to stand up to the ultimate challenge - children. In your own words, what is This Is Mothership? This Is Mothership is a fashion and beauty destination full of bite sized content for mums on the go. How did This Is Mothership come about? We’ve been ‘Instafriends’ for a while but had never met. One night Gemma just emailed Sam asking if she fancied working on something together and Sam replied asking what time she should come over the following day. The rest is history! What was the first thing you bonded over? Having limited time to ourselves! You’ve both achieved so much in your careers already. Has becoming mothers changed your ambitions in anyway? We are both still as ambitious as ever but there are new things that are important to us, such as getting home in time for bath time, and making sure we have plenty of quality time with our babies each week. How has having children changed your perspective on fashion and beauty? We look for a speedy solution to everything these days – from the clothes that don’t need to be ironed to the mascara that will last all day. What used to be your favourite way to spend your me time? Getting a manicure with a friend. What’s your favourite way to spend time with your little ones? We’ve just introduced them to the zoo and aquarium. It’s amazing watching the fascination on their faces. Where do you turn when you find parenting a challenge? Friends – there will always be someone who has gone through something you are struggling with and their advice is always great and makes you feel like you aren’t the only one going through something. What three words would you use to describe motherhood? Magical, exhausting and rewarding. What has been the biggest surprise about being a parent? That no matter how crappy your day has been and how tired you are, it only takes one tiny little smile from the baby to make you forget the last 24 hours. What’s the hardest thing about being a mum? That it’s so constant. Not getting anytime to yourself is really tough- but I guess you just get used to it. What’s the best thing? Being fully responsible for teaching your baby how to do something that they will do forever. What’s the This Is Mothership team idea of the perfect mum day? Taking our babies for a walk in the pram to nearest Costa to grab a take out coffee (for us) before we walk to the park for some swing action. While we’re pushing them, we’ll have a little catch up which invariably leads to a blog idea that we get over-excited about. On a rainy day we’ll do a soft play visit and we’re trying to plan a weekend away with both babes and husbands somewhere lovely and quiet in the countryside. Anyone know of any baby-friendly hotels an hour away from London? Gemma, you’re a shoe addict, so what’s your go to pair of shoes right now?  I’m on my third pair of Vans – they are so comfy, black and white so go with everything as my wardrobe is basically monochrome, plus Belle has a matching pair! Samantha, you’ve tried everything when it comes to beauty, what makeup bag essentials should every mum invest in? Two really easy ways to switch up your make-up bag without straying too far from your staples are to swap your black kohl for a nude version and your black mascara for navy. A swipe of nude inside the eye makes your eyes look bigger while a blue-black mascara eradicates any redness. Can you share a couple of your This Is Mothership go to mummy style hacks? Gemma loves a backpack because it leaves her hands free for Belle related handling. Sam swears by a slick of red lipstick and a pair of sunglasses for tricking people into thinking that you're handling life. What’s the This Is Mothership philosophy for getting through motherhood? If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. And everything is a phase. Oh, and no one else has a clue what they’re doing either! The This Is Mothership Happy Life List: 1. Sleepy snuggles with our babes. 2. Watching our babies learn a new skill that we’ve taught them. 3. Red lipstick and sunglasses. 4. The sound of our babes laughing 5. A fresh manicure. 6. Fake tan. 7. New shoes. 8. Family holidays. 9. Instagram. 10. Love Island. What do we do now it’s over? Samantha and Gemma are on the mumdays Mum Knows Best panel. Check out their profile here. To visit their blog head to: thisismothership.com  Or follow them on instagram @thisismothership
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The Unmumsy Mum interview that all parents will relate to

The Unmumsy Mum interview that all parents will relate to
Sarah Turner is the real life woman behind The UnMumsy Mum – one of the most hilarious, honest and popular accounts of motherhood you’ll find on the internet. As something of a big deal, we were excited when we had the chance to interview her about life after babies, going viral and writing the . . . ultimate bible for new parents. What’s the best advice you’ve had about motherhood? I think the best advice I had was to try and keep in mind that nothing lasts forever. Even if it feels like the current parenting ‘phase’ you’re living in is relentless, at some stage it will morph into a new phase which will come with its own challenges… What prompted you to start The Unmumsy Mum? I wanted to write something about how I was genuinely finding being a new mum because everything else I came across online seemed at odds with my experience. I also hoped it would help me to see things more clearly - a bit like therapy (it has definitely done that!) Why did you decide to go with The Unmumsy Mum as your pseudonym? I’d been musing over how other mums I’d met seemed at ease with the role of being ‘mum.’ To me, being ‘mumsy’ was everything I wanted to be, because that would mean that I was doing okay and people wouldn’t suspect that I was the big fat failure of motherhood. I felt positively unmumsy in comparison, so the name was born. It was a mind-set more than anything else. What’s the one thing you’re most proud of since starting The Unmumsy Mum? I am most proud of the messages I have received from parents who tell me that something I have written in either the book or the blog (or something they have come across on my Facebook page) has made them feel better about themselves (and less like they are not cut out for being a parent). For somebody to say, ‘You’ve really helped me out’ is the best feeling ever. You’ve written a book about what to expect from motherhood, do you think you’ll write more books in the future? Yes! Book number two will be out in February 2017 and is basically my diary for this year. If anything it’s even more personal than the first one, which excites and terrifies me in equal measure. Do you feel you’ve helped open the floodgates in some way allowing other mums to speak truthfully about the reality of motherhood?  Well, I have definitely sensed a shift towards mums documenting more of the less-than-glossy bits of parenthood but I can’t take the credit for that. It’s a movement more generally, I think, and it’s a welcome one. Do you feel that time has a different significance now that you’re a mum? I have such a complex relationship with time! Sometimes time seems to drag and I find myself watching the clock (like when there’s an hour to go before bedtime and I’m desperate to get the kids in their pyjamas because they’re fighting over the same toy, again) but mostly time goes far too quickly as a parent. My biggest boy, Henry, starts school in September and I would stop the clock for another year if I could just to make the most of our time together. What used to be your favourite way to spend your me-time? I used to go out quite a lot with work colleagues and spend my Sundays hungover watching wall-to-wall soap omnibuses with bacon sarnies and endless cups of tea. They were great days! I also used to read a lot more than I do now, though in part that’s because I’m supposed to be writing my own book. What does quality me-time mean to you now that you’re a mother? Not a lot, at the moment, but that’s mainly because we haven’t quite sussed the work-life balance now that I am writing for a living (so I tend to divide all my time between looking after the boys and trying to finish my work, which quite honestly leaves very little time for anything else). My ambition this year is to go on a spa day – that’s actually something I’ve never done! What’s your favourite way to spend time with your children? I love being outdoors with the boys (weather permitting) so my favourite time with them is when we can all get to the beach or to the local forest and have a run around. I'm really rubbish at indoor activities (crafts, baking etc – I hate all that stuff) so time in the Great Outdoors always makes me feel better that I am doing something interesting with them.  Where do you turn when you find parenting a challenge? Usually to my friends who I know understand. My husband too is very good, we make a good team. And increasingly I find support in the comment threads of blog posts and Facebook posts from mums and dads who are feeling the same way. There is great comfort in knowing you are not on your own.  What three words would you use to describe motherhood? Hilarious, exasperating, worthwhile.  What has been the biggest surprise about being a parent? I never knew that such a whopping amount of love could exist for such small people. Everything has new meaning when you become a parent.   What’s the best thing about motherhood? I have also never laughed so much. Our house is filled with laughter and I am generally much happier than I have ever been (apart from when I’m so knackered I spontaneously start crying, but all things considered I’m prepared to let that go). What’s your idea of the perfect day off for yourself? Uninterrupted breakfast, leisurely walk, long afternoon nap, meal out with friends, early night with a good book and the promise of a lie-in?! I’ll keep dreaming. What’s your philosophy for getting through motherhood? Tomorrow is a new day… The Unmumsy Mum Happy Life List: 1. Copious amounts of tea (I chain-drink tea all day) 2. Hilarious (and wholly inappropriate) WhatsApp exchanges with good friends 3. Dancing in the kitchen with my boys 4. Watching The Vicar of Dibley (absolute fave) 5. Turning my phone off for a few hours every weekend (harder than it sounds) 6. A good book (if I can find the time) 7. Days out with extended family 8. Toblerone on a Friday (a whole one, to myself) 9. Singing in the car at full volume with no regard for how stupid I look/sound 10. Gin Read Sarah's blog at  www.theunmumsymum.blogspot.com Or buy her brilliant book here:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unmumsy-Mum-Diary/dp/0593078101  
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How It Feels To Be A First Time Mum

How It Feels To Be A First Time Mum
When you feel like the 1st first time mum in the world Having a baby is a big deal. It’s the kind of life changing event that takes years to adjust to. Some people will warn you about it, telling you to put it off. Others swear there’s nothing more fulfilling than having children. Don’t listen to . . . either camp, they’re not telling you the full truth. One thing that is for sure is that nothing is the same afterwards, and yet we often amble towards motherhood in our twenties and thirties, feeling broody and liking cute pregnancy pics on Pinterest, imagining ourselves with a baby carrier and drinking tea with our new mum friends. The reality is a LOT messier, a lot lonelier, a lot more joyful, a lot more profound. In fact, no matter how hard anyone tries to prepare, the reality of becoming a mum for the first time can feel completely disorientating. Unless everyone you know is a mum, the chances are you’re going to feel like you’ve been put on an entirely different planet as your world suddenly revolves around this tiny red faced creature that’s intent on eating/crying/pooping constantly, while everyone else gets on with normal life. That little creature is going to feel like a stranger for a while, you’ve got to get used to each other. You’ve got to get used to yourself in this new job too. Everything feels foreign and strange, the newness of your maternity bra with the breast pads floating about inside, the smell of the new baby-friendly washing powder, the way your breasts are hard and sore, the way your body looks like a deflated balloon. The smell of your baby’s hair, the sound of their cry, the feel of their skin. The way you walk is different. You can’t even sit down without thinking twice. You’re tired and yet alert to everything, waking yourself worried you’ve squashed the baby while sleeping – even though you put them in their cot first. You’ll worry about their weight, their nappies, their breathing noises. And you’ll worry about your recovery, your body, your relationships, your social life, your sex life. You’ll want to show your baby to the world but you want to keep them to yourself. You’ll feel like superwoman. You’ll feel like a fraud. You’ll feel surrounded by well wishers and facebook likes but completely alone when you’re struggling to cope. Having a baby can make you feel like you’re the first mum in the world. There’s a question on your lips every other moment. You’ll want to trust your instincts (and the advice on Google). You don’t know when you’re right or wrong. For a long time, everything is for the first time. From that first cuddle, to the first weigh in or the first time they get sick. There’s an infinite amount of things to worry about. And to appreciate. You’ll want to take it all in and drink in their newborn cuteness, their smell; you’ll save their first clothes, first photographs, first smiling videos. You’ll want to do such a good job. You want to be the best. And yet you’ll have days when you’d give anything for someone to do the job for you. You’ll cry by yourself. You’ll argue with your loved ones. You’ll wonder whether this mum thing is for you. You’ll find it too hard. You’ll sometimes find it easy! You’ll feel proud of yourself and invincible. You’ll find it exceeds your expectations and surprises you in untold ways. You’ll find yourself feeling nostalgic for every moment you’ve ever had in your life. You’ll realise that one day you’re going to die. You’ll see that life is fragile and magnificent and that the world is not a good enough place for the child you’ve brought into it. You’ll realise you’re important in a way that you could never appreciate before. Being someone’s mum is the most important job you’ve ever had. You’ll miss your old self and the life you had before. You’ll look forward to your child growing up and the memories you’ll share, but you won’t want it to happen too fast. Because already even as their eyes open wider, time is moving forward, they’re not brand new any more. You’re not a brand new mum anymore. You’re getting through. You’re doing it. You’re fine. Soon you won’t feel like you’re acting when you speak to your baby in that mum voice that felt like it didn’t fit before. Eventually it clicks into place. You grow in confidence. Day by day you rise to the challenge. You succeed. You make your own rules. You listen to yourself more than you’ve ever had to before. You realise that you are the first first time mum to this baby, this child. And no one is better qualified for the job than you.   Time to treat yourself (or send a hint!): Massage Moment | Floral Moment | New Mum Indulgence 
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