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Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Sitting in the library waiting for the next scheduled event, one begins to reminisce of times when one was a young mother and wife. My days were full of diapers, tiny plastic spoons, sippy cups, and with boys, shoes I could run in. My mind was full of breastfeeding worries, dinner decisions, house cleaning and not much else. I don't think I even brushed my hair everyday. Of course I read books (children books and how to raise children books) and watched soap operas to burn the minutes between my boys needs and screams.

But back then I was in survival mode not growing mode. I was a mother focused on my children and my husband and thought my education was done. But should our education end with a certificate that tells us we have accomplished our goal. Or does or should our education continue beyond that. So I picked up quilting with the hope of some growing. A cup half full has nothing left over to share with others. I also started reading more, you know those lovey dovey paper back novels (I couldn't get enough of them). But it wasn't until my oldest was about 4 and we needed to decide on his education, that I found this quote by Charolette Mason a well know education philosopher.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life." Charolette Mason

This made my husband and I realize that a public school education was not going to be enough for our boys. We were going to homeschool. I will tell you more about that journey later. I also realized that although my public school education was over my life wasn't over. I started reading educational books, listening to podcasts on homeschooling, and trying to expand myself for the sake of myself. I want to grow. It wasn't tell a few years ago while researching more homeschool stuff that I stumble on the topic of mother culture. I had of course moved on from raising children books to educating books and from smut books and soap operas to prereading my kid's school books and the James Harriet series. So I had grown a little. But I wasn't growing myself in all areas. This article from Charolette Mason's Parents Review Magazine hit me hard.

Mother Culture

by A.Volume 3, no. 2, 1892/93, pgs. 92-95

Especially these parts.

"There is no sadder sight in life than a mother, who has so used herself up in her children's childhood, that she has nothing to give them in their youth. "

"Then, when her children come to that most difficult time between childhood and full development she is nonplussed; and, though she may do much for her children, she cannot do all she might, if she, as they, were growing!"

Ouch. That was my early motherhood in a nutshell.

"The wisest woman I ever knew--the best wife, the best mother, the best mistress, the best friend--told me once, when I asked her how, with her weak health and many calls upon her time, she managed to read so much, "I always keep three books going--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. If we mothers were all "growing" there would be less going astray among our boys, less separation in mind from our girls."

"What we need is a habit of taking our minds out of what one is tempted to call "the domestic rag-bag" of perplexities, and giving it a good airing in something which keeps it "growing.""

This is what I should of been striving for. But my boys are not out of the house yet, so I have time to change.

I know that I am a Wife, a Mother, a Homemaker, a Teacher, a Homesteader, a Daughter, a Sister and a Friend. With all these titles I have many jobs and responsibilities and the last thing I want to do is shirk them. I have also realized that education should never stop with a certificate of completion but education is a atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. A person who stops learning is dead before they have reached the grave. I can't die, I must not stop learning for myself, my husband, my children, my parents, my sisters, and my friends. Must I stop being all these things and go back to school? This might be true for some (Hey Sis, so proud of you) but I realized what I needed to do was to grow my knowledge on what I was already doing. Let's take a Homemaker for instance, is a Housekeeper, a Chef, a Accountant, a Personal Shopper, and a Life Coach. There are a number of ways I could improve in these fields. This winter I worked on becoming a better accountant. This book was very helpful.

I am currently reading these books. Can you guess what professions I am working on now?

Mother culture is more then just reading better books but growing in all areas. I am also using the Duolingo app to learn German and Spanish. It is on my phone and only takes 10 minutes. Every morning while brushing my hair and getting ready for the day, I listen to the podcast The Daily Poem. ( Yes, I now brush my hair every day) Just last week I took a class on learning how use a spinning wheel to spin wool. I think I am going to enjoy the quiet time this will give me.

Are you wondering how you could fit Mother Culture into your life. The first step is finding a good book and blocking just fifteen minutes a day. Join me and share in the comments below.

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