Taking Care of Myself: A better 'me' means a better family, right?

It started off like any other Monday. My alarm went off at 6 a.m., I lumbered out of bed, and I began the morning ritual as I tried to wake myself up: Make the coffee, rouse and feed the kids, prepare the lunches, and get myself dressed and off to the office.

As I was heading out the door, still in a fog in my jazzy miniskirt suit, my husband asked if I could take his vehicle — a massive truck — to work. I agreed, not thinking much of it as I ran out. Wouldn’t you know, he was out of gas. I headed for the station.

Getting out of his truck once I arrived proved awkward in my tight skirt, which hiked up to expose plenty of leg. The bright morning sun hit it at just the right angle, and that’s when I realized a troublesome fact. My legs were quite hairy, a not-so-subtle reminder of my Greek heritage. Yikes, was it bad!

A moment of panic hit me. I couldn’t go to the office looking like this. I tried to mentally conjure when I had last attended to my legs — nothing came to mind, although I could remember with fine-tuned accuracy the last month’s carpools, sporting events, and meals.

I didn’t have time to go home and change. I couldn’t wear tights on an 85-degree day. So I did what any self-respecting mom with barely enough time on her hands would do. I hightailed it to the nearest drugstore, and purchased some pre-assembled leg-waxing strips.

I drove to the Metro station, parked my car, then breathed in deep a moment of clarity. I was not going to rush through this grooming ritual. No siree, I was going to take my time waxing my legs right there in my newfound parking spot on the fourth-floor ramp while I enjoyed the remainder of my coffee.

I’ve seen women on the train do their makeup, cut their nails, and pluck their eyebrows. I’ve seen men in their cars shaving.

Stranger things have happened, right? I was going to take this grooming thing to a new level at the Metro, and I was not going to stress about it. It would be my secret waxing-in-the-car incident.

It’s really not easy to wax your legs in a car. It’s not even easy in an enormous truck. The space is cramped. Despite my best efforts, I ended up tied in a knot with my legs around the steering wheel, trying to get the right removal angle on the strip. Still, my handiwork was a fine improvement over the weedy leg pasture the bright morning light had revealed.

I wasn’t thinking about my Monday at all when I picked the kids up after school a few days later, so my daughter’s question came as a surprise.

“Mom, why is there a box of leg wax in the car?” she asked.

I stumbled on my words for a minute, then decided that fessing up was the only appropriate course of action. I sheepishly told her about my morning.

Her response was typical of a 13-year-old.

“Oh, my gosh, Mom, you didn’t. Please tell me no one saw you! Please?”

My son, age 10, was much more sympathetic.

“That’s not right, Mom, you shouldn’t have to do that. We should give you a spa day,” he said. “Next time do it in my mini-man-cave.” (That’s his hideaway created under the basement stairs, complete with bean bags, a TV, and coffee maker.) “I’ll make you a latte, and give you a neck massage.”

It wasn’t a stretch to imagine myself relaxing in his cozy little recreation room with my bottom in one beanbag and my legs propped against another, sipping a frothy coffee and meditating while fresh cucumber slices cooled my eyelids. I could almost feel his caring little fingers working the knots out of my kinked-up shoulders.

It’s an enticing thought I might have to accept.

Often, out of the ridiculous realities we moms find ourselves in, come creative, and sometimes precious, solutions.

More from Lifezette.com:

Reading, Writing — and Kale Drinks: Another 'win' for Mrs. Obama's nutrition dictatorship

Igniting Adult Creativity: Kids are urged to create, but parents have lost the wonder of art

Pumpkins Gone Wild

The Weight of Eternal Glory: Seeing the wonders of God in a whole new light