15. Leaving the house without first checking whether or not you’re filthy. There’s nothing like being out, enjoying a little Me Time. Perhaps you run into an old pal at the market and get to talking for several moments, or you have an unusually pleasant exchange with a sales clerk. Then you make your way to the powder room before your departure back to Mommyville and notice the crusty splotch of old peas on your left earlobe. You look at your watch: 6.30pm. When did my kid have peas? you wonder. Oh yeah—at noon. And you’ve been, like, ten places and have talked to a dozen people since noon. Awesome! That’s really happened to me. I’ve also braved entry into a very upscale boutique, heartened by the fact that I was wearing nice shoes and was not wearing Forever 21 or Target for once (not that there’s anything wrong with it, believe me). But see, wearing nice shoes doesn’t count when you have a dried up drip of spitup running down the heel. Not fancy. So, please—and I’ll try to remind myself, too—do a very thorough check of yourself before you go out. Hopefully, you’ve been checking for deodorant skids for years, so tack this on to that routine. Do consider the least likely places: strands of hair caught in the line of fire of your food-hurling baby; stuff under fingernails that should not be under fingernails. Did you set your elbows in cereal when feeding your child and not notice? You so don’t want to be that person who doesn’t notice; sadly, it’s neither cute or endearing. Friends, let’s pledge to one another that we’ll combat anything closely resembling maternal homeliness together, one step at a time. This isn’t a girly-girly, anti-feminist thing; it’s a let’s-be-squeaky-clean-and-avoid-laughter-slash-gagging-behind-our-backs issue.
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