Saturday, October 28, 2017

Keeping Your Mind Alive as a Mother (More Thoughts on Mother Culture)

I've sometimes been asked how I find the time to blog. This is an interesting question to me because, compared to other mother-bloggers I have come across, I barely blog at all. Some blog full-time, mother, and homeschool. They are incredible and I could not do that at all. I think I would fall a part! At the very least, my family would!

Perhaps I am naive, but that question also surprises me. For some reason, I just assume that all mothers find time to do things they enjoy or love. Even when I had a newborn and a toddler, I still blogged and read and did other things, like sewing. Sometimes writing would go by the wayside, but at the very least, I have never stopped reading. I couldn't. It's like a lifeline for my brain.

As I prepare to finish a little e-book I have been writing on and off for over a year, I have been pondering more and more about the importance of a mother continuing her education. And as I have read more of Charlotte Mason, the 19th-century educationalist whose philosophy we will loosely follow as we home educate our children, I can see why she established the imperative for all educating mothers the habit of "Mother Culture".

(For more sidenotes on this, see this post here.)

In essence, the blessing of continuing your education as a mother is this: you bless yourself, you bless your family. As you learn new things, as you continue to read, as you continue to be creative, your mind will continue to ripen and grow in knowledge and wisdom. Just like a well-tended garden, you will grow and blossom and thrive as an adult woman in your own right.

This, of course, will overflow into your family life. Your husband will have an engaged and lively wife, one with a spark in her eye.Your children will have an intelligent mother, not a brain-dead one. They will benefit from your growing knowledge and confidence in your ability to continue to educate yourself. I think, especially for homeschooling mothers, this continuing self-education is incredibly important. Though, of course, you will be learning alongside your children, you will be learning ahead of them as well.

So, as I finish up my writing project (keep an eye out for it in the future!), I am thinking of other things that I want to continue to grow in. This year I have been dabbling into watercolour. I think I want to relearn the piano next year. It doesn't matter that I'm no good. It's that I am learning and keeping the brain God has given me alive.

Is there anything you have been thinking of trying, or taking up, or relearning? Don't let time pass and wilt away. Continue your self-education and bless your family in the process.


  1. Thank you for encouraging ladies to keep learning and to continue to improve, especially busy mothers who sometimes think they don't have the time. I am not a mother, but I am a wife, and, like you, I feel compelled to keep learning and reading in order to keep my brain alert and progressing.

    My parents didn't know anything about Charlotte Mason when they started homeschooling me in the 1980s in 8th grade. They organized our homeschooling based on what was available, affordable to our low income, and what worked for us. My mom's most-important goal was for us to read well so that we could learn anything we needed or wanted to know. Both my parents wanted us to love learning. My dad wanted us to learn to think for ourselves before the Lord and to know how to do our own research and learn the things we needed to know throughout life. Essentially, they wanted us so have a life-long desire to learn. I think they were pretty successful! :-)

    It discourages me when I run across Christian women who don't seem to focus on their own need to learn and grow as they go through life. Biblically speaking, we are supposed to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." This means continual effort to improve in that area. I think, like you've discussed, that this continued learning applies to our lives, skills, and talents in general in order to be faithful stewards of what God has given us.

    I've been learning to watercolor over the last couple years, and I love it! It has been such a pleasant new skill for me to learn, although intimidating at times. I also have been working on increasing my writing productivity and ability, which has been interesting, if not always on target. :-)

    1. Mary, thank you for writing such a thoughtful and interesting reply. I have read quite a few of your posts before, and I know how much research and time you put into them. You're definitely a growing and learning woman!

      I love that your mother wanted you to read well. I think this is so important, it begins the child's journey of owning their own learning. Next year, that will be my primary goal for our son. God willing!

    2. It was a blessing to me to learn that you have read some of my posts! :-) I'm always thankful for my readers, but it gives me some extra pleasure to have readers in other parts of the world. I have not been to NZ myself, but my brother has, and I have visited Australia.

      Reading is not appreciated as much as it should be by some people. I would say it has been the single greatest influence in my life, particularly because of reading God's word and also other edifying and life changing things.