One thing I had no idea about early motherhood, is how you will constantly be washing your hands. You’ll begin to structure the day’s activities to minimize trips to the sink. You will marvel at all the soap you can use in a day. By the time your firstborn is just out of diapers, your hands will have aged 10+ years, as you are now part of the Constant Hand-Washing Maniacs Club. Welcome. Here’s a typical day’s breakdown:

Start a roast
wash raw meat off hands

Load of laundry, heavy on the stain remover
wash your hands

Spot a rolled-up diaper behind the couch
run it out to the garbage
wash hands

Coach a child through every step of her bathroom visit
wash your hands

9:30, feed yourself, something with protein
take a bite, there’s a text
respond with just your pinky—
no need to wash hands, back to egg sandwich

Answer the door (in pajamas)
junk mail, open a package
wash hands

Solo trip to the bathroom (lock the door, always)
wash hands
refill soap dispenser, apply hand cream
double down with a layer of argan oil

Diffuse World War III ramping up in the living room
wipe tears, snot and simmering toddler rage with your sleeve,
also with your bare hand
attempt to wash just that hand (that’s hard to do, wash them both)

Decide to take the double stroller + kids out for a run
wash your hands so you can put in your contacts

Scrub so-called “washable” paint off 20 fingers and 4 arms, 
all the way up to the bicep
wash /scrub off paint that’s now all over your arms

Respond to a group text, take a bunch of pics of the kids being cute,
reach for an apple, stop and
wash your hands (that phone has been only God knows where)

Finally, breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner (at minimum, at best) = wash your hands x 5, + X number of trips to the bathroom (should be a lot if you’re all hydrating well) + X number of diaper changes + (almost forgot) DISHES. Many, many dishes to wash,

Look down at your hands and stare in brief confusion. Do these hands belong to a grandmother? It appears that way, but no, those are your hands. Go put on some hand cream.

All this to say—get yourself a good hand cream.

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Ashlee grew up in Newbury Park, and returned to the area after studying journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and teaching English in Santiago, Chile for two years. She spent three years as a working mom, before leaving the corporate world to become a full-time, at-home parent. Her daughters are 5 and 6 years old, and she relishes getting to experience her old childhood stomping grounds through their eyes. An Enneagram 4, Ashlee enjoys reading, running, music, collecting vintage fashion magazines, and sharing a fun cocktail with her husband after work while their kids sit/jump beside them on the couch and watch "Pinkalicious." She is a whole-hearted believer that “it takes a village” not only to raise a child, but also to raise a mother. She is grateful for a supportive family, friends, and community, and is passionate about the power of writing to connect us and let us know we’re not alone.


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