“Mother Culture” is a term many Charlotte Mason mums will know. It was apparently coined by the author going by the oddly mysterious name of “A” who wrote on this subject in the Parent’s Review Magazine in 1892. It is an idea picked up by Susan Wise Bauer when she wrote Stop Cleaning the Kitchen and Read a Book. Essentially what these and other women are saying is, take some quiet time each day if possible and recharge your batteries, or else you will quickly become neither use to man nor beast.
For those of us with younger children finding any kind of uninterrupted quiet time can be almost impossible and so we have to be a bit canny about how we go about getting some. Being exhausted is a dreadful feeling that hurts your bones and needs to be avoided as I (like far too many mums) have learned the hard way. It is also wise to have quiet mum time, just to make you a nicer person to be around. Just as Charlotte Mason insisted that all children are persons, well, so are mothers. It isn’t selfish to need just a little time to yourself-it is a way to make sure you still have enough of yourself to give to those around you who need you. It’s time to re-charge the batteries so you can keep going.
So, there we are, acknowledging that a mum needs some time to herself for reading, prayer, writing or just chillin’-the question is HOW?
I have decided that from this year onwards I will make every effort to have some quiet mum time- to increase my mother culture. I willspend the time reading, not just for the sake of the children but for my own sake too. There will be writing time; who knows I might get a whole blog entry written in one uninterrupted go! I think a relaxing cup of Earl Grey will always be part of my Quiet Mum Time. As Mrs Bauer points out, for home ed mums we need to be reading to help educate our children. Quite often we need to read ahead any books we are thinking of letting them read to make sure they are appropriate
I am telling the children that this is my Quiet Time and I want them to respect that. They are doing quite well with this-even Heleyna is getting the idea that during Quiet Time I want to be, well, quiet. None of them have quite got the idea of what is a good reason to interrupt mum time, but I am hoping practice will make perfect on this. I am aiming at half an hour a day and about 2hrs on some Saturdays if their dad can take them out for a while or play with them.
While I don’t go through the same levels of daily pain that I used to (thanks to the wonders of the chiropractor) I do still have this to deal with and on top of the business of the average day I can often feel really horribly drained by the evening. Cooking the evening meal is often quite an ordeal. So. I need another plan. Iona cooks on a Tuesday night and she often comes and gives a hand on other nights too. She does the light tea on a Saturday evening for the kids.
I am thinking that I would like to buy some bigger dishes-like roasting tins and cook huge two night meals now and then so that I get an extra free evening. At the moment I am not quite sure how to work this, but Wednesday and Friday nights need rearranging somehow. I noticed from some of those big-family-TV-programmes that some mums do cook in advance and I thought there must be some way I could do this. I’ll let you know how I get on with the master plan – or should I say mother plan?
I’ll post tonight’s recipe in a mo.