“Mother Culture” — I’m sure you’ve heard of it. The beautiful Charlotte Mason principle that even as mamas we are still worthy of self-care and value. But more than that, it is a declaration that to be the best mothers we can be, then we absolutely must pursue our own quiet, our own rest, and our own enrichment.
As moms, it can be so easy to prioritize our kids and their needs, our home and its needs, our family and their needs… all the while forgetting to acknowledge we are human and also have legitimate needs for rest, beauty, friendship, and the exploration of our own talents.
If we would do our best for our children, grow we must; and on our power of growth surely depends, not only our future happiness, but our future usefulness. Is there, then, not need for more ‘Mother Culture’?
Becoming a mom has been, shockingly to me, one of the most isolating and lonely seasons of my life. The work has been heavy, and my ability to care for others — let alone my ability to care for myself — has been tested harshly.
One of the unexpected blessings of this season has been making new connections and friendships via social media. I’ve been privileged to meet like-minded mamas pursuing excellence for their children while also bravely expressing their own creativity in various mediums.
One special artist-mama friend is Ashley Titus of Handmade in Hymn. She is a rare soul, courageous in the face of adversity, and an intrepid Jesus-follower. We live in different states and haven’t met in person, but I continue to be so inspired by her. Despite battling chronic medical conditions, she perseveres as a homeschool mom, a talented artist, and a genuine encourager!
I was really honored when she reached out to ask if I would collaborate with her on a design project: an art piece using her hand-lettered calligraphy with my watercolor sketches. The subject? A beloved Anne of Green Gables quote about autumn, my favorite season of the year.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
Anne Shirley | L.M. Montgomery
Perhaps your littles aren’t reading L.M. Montgomery yet… but if you’re at all like me, a beautiful reminder of Avonlea might just breathe joy and peace into those hectic or exhausting mom-moments. When fielding questions about why giraffes have long necks one minute and cleaning up mini-disasters with sensory play tables the next, having artwork on my wall (or — because real life, people — resting on the piano) helps me check my overwhelm.
Much like prayer, I find art to be comforting and even healing. I imagine the “mother culture” that speaks to each of our hearts will look different for each of us. Maybe some of us read, some of us garden, some of us paint, and some of us dance. In this season, I find that a little creativity goes a long way in nurturing my often weary spirit.
What does “mother culture” look like to you? How do you make space for self-care and self-enrichment even in the bustle of motherhood?