This week was a doozy – with a capital D.

We started off on Monday night / Tuesday morning with my littlest one screaming in pain, running a fever and unable to sleep. At 3:30 am, after a sleepless night, I rushed her to the hospital. After more than 9 hours, we were finally released home. The good news is that she’s on the mend and the medication they gave her is working perfectly.

I felt like a limp dish cloth. I fell into bed for a couple of hours. Got up but didn’t have anything like my full deck in play. We ate our supper. My sweetie and I put the kids back to bed again. I fell asleep on the couch.

At some point in the night, I was up again. The littlest one needed a dose of medication – and a cuddle from mom. And that continued. I’m sure fell asleep in my clothes at least once, and I know that my bra only came off for showers, because I was stumbling from one barely-conscious state to another.

We made it to Friday. I thought I was home-free. Not so. I got an urgent call from my son’s school to pick him up – he was not well. This then became round two of weeping, distraught child with a high fever. We got yet another prescription for medication.

Did I mention that I’d also been to the doctor somewhere in this same week?

I fell asleep on my daughter’s floor last night, trying to get her off to dreamland – my beloved made sure I had a pillow and blanket. This morning, I woke up – still wearing everything from the day before. I also noticed that my favorite underwire is now my latest lingerie casualty. One of the wires is now poking through.

So, back to the original question: how many bras should you have? While experts say at least three, I can’t see a single reason not to have a week’s worth. After all, crises happen – and how many of us want to do our laundry several times a week just to have bras to wear? (Not me.)

So, keep a reasonable number in your home. If you are going to treat them right and only wear for one day at a time, then have a number equivalent to the number of days between your lingerie laundry loads. In our house, that varies from 5 to 10 days, depending on the level of craziness occurring – I’m thinking that I’ll keep at least 10 in my drawer, just to be safe.

How do you build up your bra and panty wardrobe? You follow Monique’s smart shopper rules for lingerie purchases:

  1. You watch for sales, and buy a couple extra when you are getting them at a good price. Many of the lingerie chains like La Senza have predictable sales that you can plan for. Almost everyone will have lingerie on sale after Christmas, for instance.
  2. You indulge a little (because you are worth it) and make sure that you have different colors, fabrics and styles even in bras and panties. That way, you don’t end up with a problem when you want to wear that cute little summer top and realize you don’t have the right bra anymore – because it died from over-wearing.
  3. You might even buy a few bargain bras at your local Walmart or lower-cost department store, so that you have some all-purpose “work horse” underwear that you aren’t too worried about if you’re doing painting or gardening or some other hard, sweaty work. Just make sure that they still give you the right support for you and yours.
  4. You never sacrifice the health or beauty of your breasts with poorly made garments that are “cheap”. These kinds of bras are not a good buy: they are a good-bye.

And let my experience be a word of caution: even if your kids are really sick and you’re falling asleep in your clothes every night – try to remember to get out of that bra!