Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Culture and Mother Care

Charlotte Mason advises the homeschool Mom to make Mother Culture a priority.  Mother Culture is living a life of learning, of filling your mind with new thoughts and new experiences:   reading quality literature and non-fiction, exploring poetry, enjoying music, and studying God’s Creation.  Taking time to fill our minds with beautiful things, and enjoying the beauty of God’s world, helps keep our minds active, alert, and creative.  It inspires and encourages us, which better enables us to serve our children and teach them.  Just half an hour each day, or even 15 minutes, helps to brighten our minds and our spirits.

"Mothers should cultivate their souls, so that in turn they may cultivate the souls of their children."  Rev. Billy Graham.

A vital part of Mother Culture and Mother Care is caring for our spiritual selves.  We need to make it a priority to spend time reading God’s Word daily.  We need to meditate on His Word as we go about our day.  And we need to set aside time to spend in prayer.  We can’t lead our children spiritually, and answer their many questions, if we aren’t developing our own relationship with God.  And we can’t have the love and patience raising our children requires if we aren’t spending time in God’s presence.

There have been times in my life when EVERYTHING seemed to be TERRIBLE.  I was discouraged and everything seemed to be failing.  I felt like a failure, and I gave into despair.  I cried.  I ranted. I lectured my family about all the ways they were failing, as well.

And then I went to sleep.  I might have even cried myself to sleep.   When I woke up, I felt better.  What was so terrible, disastrous, and failing the day before looked better in the light of day.  And I realized that I had allowed myself to reach the bottom of my physical reserves. I had not cared for my body, and it affected my spirit, as well.

Besides Mother Culture, we need to care for our physical selves.  Mother Care includes getting enough rest, taking quality vitamins, eating nutritious foods, avoiding junk foods, and getting some physical exercise.  For me, it also includes drinking my Red Raspberry Leaf tea to stabilize my hormones.

When I hit the bottom of my reserves and sink into despair or depression, I have to look at my life.  What areas of Mother Culture and Mother Care am I neglecting?  What can I do to correct that?

Here are some suggestions of things you can do to enrich your Mother Culture and provide Mother Care for your body, as well.

    * personal devotions, Bible reading, and prayer
    * journaling your prayers, insights from God’s words, quotes from books or poetry, creative writing of your own
    * music that uplifts and encourages you
    * calming classical music
    * reading quality books  (and some fluff every now and then)
    * time alone to think and pray
    * exercise
    * rest
    * vitamins
    * good food
    * get outside, take a walk, enjoy nature
    * gardening (even if you only have a couple indoor plants)

It’s easy to say we have no time to care for ourselves in this way.  But if we don’t, we will burn out, and be unable to meet our family’s needs.  There is a fine line.  We shouldn’t selfishly (and routinely) seek "Me time" above the needs of our families.   But we do need to find simple ways to provide Mother Culture and Mother Care for ourselves, so we can better care for our families.

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