Many a homeschooling mother has heard the term mother culture, but not all of us have a good grasp on how to implement it in our own lives. As I enter my fourth year of homeschooling, I’ve realized the importance of setting aside some sacred time and space to nurture my heart, mind, body, and soul. This goes beyond personal prayer and devotionals. While those two things are integral to my walk with God, mother culture is a type of self care that fills me up so I can continue giving to my children. It also anchors my soul in a way that lets me be me. At some point, my little birds will leave the nest. When that day comes, I want to know that I haven’t completely abandoned my own growth. Mothering is never finished, but it will change as my boys become men. In the midst of those changes, I cannot forsake kindling the fires of my mind, heart, body, and soul.
At any given moment, I have two or three books on Audible that I listen to while doing dishes, laundry, or driving around alone. My book table is spilling over with Sally Clarkson’s words of wisdom and several prayer books. Every other Tuesday night I meet up with a handful of homeschooling mamas for a Charlotte Mason book club. We also get together once a month for kid-free fellowship.
On Sunday nights the boys attend Awanas…and I cozy up with books at a nearby Starbucks. Approximately every six weeks, my husband will take the kids for a fun Daddy Day so I can have an introverted date day. Six hours all to myself. This is time I set aside to feed my soul — not to do laundry or dishes! I’ve been known to watch plays, wander through museums, listen to audiobooks while getting a pedicures, or meet up with my mom for a fun girls’ day. In the beginning, I felt guilty for this time away, but it makes me a better mother. This sought-after mother culture recharges my batteries and settles my soul for the work at hand: motherhood.
If this concept seems entirely foreign to you, please don’t give up before giving it a shot! Ask your husband to take the kids to Chick-fil-A for two hours so you can read a book with a cup of tea in your favorite chair. Better yet, have him pop some popcorn for a movie night; this will buy you at least ninety minutes at a local coffee shop! If nature speaks to your heart and soul, sneak in a quick hike or nature walk around your neighborhood. Start small — steal away for a few precious moments to feed your inner self, and add more time each week. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!