Wednesday 5 September 2012

Some thoughts on Mother Culture

Alarm bells started ringing for me this week when I started feeling overwhelmed and over taxed with the smallest of tasks at hand.  Poor Sir N was struggling to grasp a new math concept and I had no patience to give him or time to explain, I just wanted out.

There's no doubt about it homeschooling full time can be a taxing undertaking and even more so when we as mothers do not commit to care for ourselves in order that we may better care for our families.

This past Monday some of my homeschool friends came over to share and discuss chapter 46 Mother Culture in The Charlotte Mason Companion.  It has been a timely reminder for me that if I want to continue this journey with Sir N I need to dedicate some Mother Culture time in my schedule or burnout will be my constant companion.

"A mother is only a woman, but she needs the love of Jacob, the patience of Job, the wisdom of Moses, the foresight of Joseph, and the firmness of Daniel. But a mother not only has to have all of these things, she must have them all at once, often when she is quite young, and too often when she has had no previous training for the marvelously varied duties she has to perform."

To obtain this high ideal we certainly must never languish in the rut of the daily drudgery of life.  It is up to us to continue to grow and move forward so as to be an example to those in our sphere of influence and care.

My Gleanings for the day:
  • Some may say, "I simply have no time for myself." Others, "I don't think it is right to think of myself." Such mothers are stuck in a rut of self-sacrifice to the extent that they are starving themselves spiritually, mentally, and consequently, emotionally. (page 344) It was good to be reminded of this.  I know this from before but had forgotten the implications of starving myself of growth.
  • He blesses us with His strength if we are in His Word renewing our minds, if we pray, and if we follow the fourth commandment. (Page 344) Ultimately my salvation and strength are in Him and this was a stark reminder to spend time at His feet and He will lift me up.
  • We must also exercise our minds and give ourselves some healthy leisure and diversion in order to be strong (Page 344-345) I think that far too often we as mothers forget that we need leisure in order to be strong.
  • We need persistence to find time for ourselves, especially if our lives are hectic, hurried, and we have learned how to live on adrenaline in place of that highly practical virtue, fortitude. (Page 345) Persistence is key to accessing a healthy balance at home when alone with our children. I need to persevere in making it a priority and a happening thing.
  • When the time is over, ring the little bell and reward them with time spent outdoors together, or preparing a meal together, giving them attention and kind words. (Page 345-346) I loved these words.  I find that homeschooling an "only" child is far different than homeschooling two.  At the end of room time Sir N is needing to connect and I am needing to get on with the next thing which causes him frustration and conflict between the two of us. These words made me realise that if I schedule room time earlier in the day and factor in a time to reconnect after it is done this will be a better transition into the hum drum of the balance of our day.
  • "Besides my Bible, I always keep three books going that are just for me - a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel, and I always take up the one I feel fit for." That is the secret: always have something "going" to grow by. (Page346) I used to live by this adage and over the years it has gone by the wayside.  I recently have re added reading back into my routine and I do feel better for it.  I have been reading a lot of blog posts and do find that I need to be careful of the fair I choose to meditate on as this has a definite influence over my thoughts and feelings towards those in my care.
  • Charlotte Mason advised the teacher to replenish her soul with a continual supply of ideas. ...stimulates your educational thought in many directions and keeps you from drifting into mere routine... Do not think this is a selfish thing to do, because the advantage does not end with yourself.".
  • We should continually take our minds out of the "laundry bag" of domestic perplexities, and give it a fragrant soaping, a rainwater rinsing, and a sunny airing in that which keeps it growing. Mother Culture is living the educational life with our children by learning alongside of them. But it is also learning and contemplating off to the side. (Page 347)This is such a timely reminder for me as I seem to consistently have my mind in that "laundry bag of domestic perplexity".
John Ruskin said: "Make for yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts, bright fancies, faithful sayings; treasure-houses of precious restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor poverty take away from you, houses built without hands for your souls to live in."

Think seasonally. One interest per season, coupled with thirty minutes of reading a day, may be all that is needed to keep up the Mother Culture and regain any lost enthusiasm for living - Karen Andreola

On the Web

This foray into thoughts on Mother Culture has encouraged me to invest in looking after myself as a gift to my family.

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on this topic of Mother Culture.

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, I have found that things get very overwhelming if I do not take some time to make sure that I'm all good to be up and running. It was lovely to come and be reminded of this today. Thank you for sharing.


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