You are busy.
But are you too busy?
How can a mom tell when she has crossed line from Acceptably Busy into Too Much Busy?
I have a few different “Busy Rulers” in my life. A peek into my purse or my minivan will give you a good idea of whether or not I’ve been running around busy, but there’s a much simpler, more accurate method for diagnosing Too Busy Syndrome.
At your legs.
What do you see?
- If your legs remind you of the Amazon Rainforest… you might be too busy.
- If you think you might need to borrow your husband’s hair clippers before you pull out your razor… you might be too busy.
- If you have been wearing pants or leggings for three weeks straight to hide your legs, even to bed… you might be too busy.
- If your children catch sight of your legs and exclaim, “Your legs look like Dad’s!!”… YOU MIGHT BE TOO BUSY!
The Shaved Legs Principle
Now don’t get me wrong: this post isn’t about shaving your legs, or leggings, and it’s especially not about vanity. I’m not saying that if you don’t shave your legs every day then you’re doing something wrong, because I don’t know any mother who has that kind of time! (Shucks, I will admit that I often run out in capri pants with a little bit of stubble showing. This post is definitely not about keeping perfectly shaved legs!)
What I *am* asking you to ask yourself is this: “Am I so busy that I don’t have the time to take care of myself, the way I want to take care of myself?”
If the answer is “yes” then you know you have been spending your time in other ways – probably all very good and noble and important – which have prevented you from taking even a small amount of time to take care of yourself.
And if you have neglected to take care of yourself long enough that you feel you need to bring in power tools or hide it to avoid embarrassment, then you know you definitely need to cut back a little.
But if you could say that this is a regular occurrence, that you regularly find yourself trying to cram in a few minutes just to shave your legs? Then there’s a very good chance you might need to cut back a lot and let some things go.
Maybe your problem isn’t your legs.
Maybe it’s never having time to trim or file your raggedy nails, except that one that tears and catches on everything so you have to stop and deal with *that* one.
Maybe you are always behind on other things you’d like to do for yourself, such as self-coloring your hair, or plucking your eyebrows, or taking care of those stray chin hairs.
Make no mistake – self-pampering and indulgence are not the goal here. Taking care of yourself, both what you need to do and what you want to do, is important for so many reasons.
- As mothers we are setting hygiene examples for our children.
- As wives, we are holding a hygiene standard for our marriage.
- As Christian women, we are honoring God by being good stewards of what he gave us (and that may or may not include shaving your legs if you want, but that does include taking the time to take care of ourselves as we each fit and appropriate).
Furthermore, if you are so so busy that you feel like you are always behind on taking care of yourself, there’s a really good chance you are also feeling overwhelmed and behind in a lot of other areas, too.
I write about all this, because I know this. I have been too busy too often for a while now. (Especially the last three weeks. I’m wondering if my razor is going to be able to handle the job.) I haven’t made time to file my rough nails, push back my cuticles, get my hair done, or check for chin hairs.
All of these things are flags, warning signs, for the house I’ve been struggling to maintain, the homeschool I’ve been trying to stay on top of, the church stuff, the family stuff…all the things I am juggling. A simple look down at my legs or my nails tells me that I need to re-evaluate how I am spending my time. Certainly not *all* the ways I am busy are noble, or good, or important.
So please, do not feel like you need to keep a perfectly clean shaven, manicured, and coiffed appearance at all times, because that is not what I want you to take away from this. I want you start seeing those little undone self-upkeep tasks as reminders. Let the undone tasks remind you to make time to take care of yourself.
When you start to feel too busy and you ask yourself, “Am I just busy or am I *too* busy?”
Well, just take a look down at your legs.
Hairy Amazon Rainforest Legs don’t lie.
For Those Who Are In An Unavoidable Busy Season Of Life:
On a serious note, I feel the need to add this: There are THINGS in this life that we will go through, things that make life harder, things that make it harder for us to take time for us. And if you are there, you do get a free “Unshaved Legs Pass” because honestly, shaving is much less important than holding a dying loved one’s hand. If you are there, I would encourage you to stay strong, lean into Jesus, and take whatever brief moments you can grab to take care of yourself–but don’t fret what you can’t do as you spend your time focusing on what most needs to be done.