"Somewhere it is written that "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 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 of any kind for the marvelously varied duties she has to perform. Before she marries, a young lady does not imagine herself facing the difficulties of managing the complicated workings of a household. Untried responsibilities come upon her as soon as she does marry. And perhaps, just as she is grasping the situation, her first child is born and fills her whole heart. Then, not only her own health but that of another's depends on how she manages her life. The question of child training and how to "bring up" children becomes a new study and practical concern.
Another child is born, who eventually becomes a sunny companion for the first. But it seems that with each passing year, a mother's job description is revised. The desire for her husband's love and friendship is still strong, but a careful division of her attention is given up to the various aspects of maintaining a happy, well-managed home. Time alone with her husband now seems to have to be either previously planned moments or stolen ones. There are holiday celebrations to arrange, extended family parties and visits, church functions, occasions for neighbourly hospitality, etc. In the center of it all is one little woman- wife, mother, mistress all in one!
Is is a wonder she feels overspent? She wears herself out. In her efforts to be dietitian, laundress, nurse, hostess, teacher, taxi driver, wife, mother and mistress, she forgets that she needs a little time for herself. And it is then that she stops growing spiritually and mentally. Physically she feels ragged and drags through the day until, without being able to mark the hour it began, she lives with depression. Her mind is in a drifting fog when she wants it to think clearly and efficiently. With the distractions of her multi-faceted duties she is unable to follow a train of thought." (here, here!! thank heavens I'm not the only one!...) "She considers herself hopelessly behind in everything. Her feet are in the quagmire. It takes an incredible amount of effort to keep up appearances, to wear a winsome countenance. The last straw is the guilt she feels that she is "lukewarm" in the Lord. If I hadn't experienced these symptoms myself I wouldn't be writing this chapter. Therefore I can validate the need for Mother Culture.
A fresh wind of change will revive you when you participate in Mother Culture. 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. Their children will grow up with that "Oh it's only mother", tone in their voice. Some children will eventually carry the attitude that they know more than mother on all points.
But all this can be altered. Each mother must settle this for herself. The only way to do it is to be so deeply impressed herself with the necessity of growing that she makes it an aim in life.
I think it is a definite gain to the whole family when mother is able to take a little time to pursue her own interests, whether they be crafts, painting, sewing, gourmet cooking, a literature group, gardening, goings to plays or ballets with her husband, or bicycling. "I have no time for these simple pleasures," is the mournful cry. Yes, there isn't time for ALL of them. 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. Billy Graham said "Mothers should cultivate their souls, that in turn they may cultivate the souls of their children". If we would do our best for our children, grow we must. On our growth depends, not only our future happiness, but our future usefulness".
- Karen Andreola, The Charlotte Mason Companion, chapter 46 -
I love this. :) What do you all think??