Charlotte Mason never used the term Mother Culture, but she was a strong believer in mothers infusing themselves with calm and serenity by having "courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or a half a day, out in the fields, or with a favorite book, or in a picture gallery..."
Karen Andreola, one of my favorite homeschooling authors, coined the term Mother Culture and says this about it:
"When a busy homeschooling mother takes part in Mother Culture she safeguards her enthusiasm, so she will be better able to cope with her responsibilities. To partake in Mother Culture is to feed herself with the Word of God, with ideas from books, nature, art, music, etc., thus taking care to keep growing spiritually and mentally. If there is such a thing as the joy of childhood, there is also such a thing as the joy of motherhood..."
Mother Culture is something I have been trying to make more time for lately. Sometimes I am able to leave the children with my husband or a sitter for several hours, but more often I might indulge myself in a few minutes of something as simple as sitting out on our porch and stargazing after the children are in bed. These moments always leave me refreshed and better able to carry out my ministry of motherhood.
I thought I'd share a few of my favorite "Mother Culture" experiences with you...
-Birdwatching from my kitchen table with a pair of binoculars and my favorite beverage...before the children are up or while they're playing.
-In the spring I enjoy taking walks through our yard and looking for any new green shoots poking up through the earth or any new flowers that have bloomed.
-I already mentioned I love to go outside after dark, sit on the porch and stargaze or just listen to the sounds of the night. This ministers such peace to my spirit.
-Spend even half an hour of a pretty day just sitting at a local park or walking a nature trail and soaking in the sunshine and all that nature has to offer.
-Steal away for a couple of hours to a favorite bookstore or coffee shop and enjoy a good book.
-My husband often works a late shift, and when he does, I sometimes head to bed early and curl up with an enriching book. My favorite titles are well-written historical fiction, maybe because they are both enlightening and enjoyable to me.
-Attend my monthly homeschool moms support group. The fellowship and friendship of likeminded Moms always encourages me in this journey.
-Having a daily quiet time of prayer and reading God's Word. This nourishes my spirit more than anything else.
It's my hope to attend a symphony concert and/or visit our local art museum with a group of Mom friends sometime in the near future. I'll report back when this becomes a reality. :)
Are you able to make time for a bit of Mother Culture in your life? I hope that you have been inspired by some of these simple ideas.