Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: mothers and their intellectual lives

I know I'm not the only stay-at-home mother who feels like my brain is turning to mush sometimes. Even though I am learning alongside my kids in the process of homeschooling them, I don't pay much attention to my own intellectual life.  I don't read as much as I'd like to; I don't learn new skills very often.  So in an attempt to buck myself up, here's a top ten list of reasons mothers should keep themselves sharp.

1.  "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." - Matthew 22:37   The more we know, the more we can glorify God.

2.  We are our children's role models.  If we aren't reading anything more than magazines, why should our kids?  If we don't bother to learn new skills...

3. We might be a role model for our husbands, too.  My father wasn't a reader, and while I won't say that grieved my mother, it did bother her a little.  He could say he was too busy working for his family, but, that's never true. Everyone has some time in their day, even just a little.  I know he did.

4.Or, maybe we could be better, more interesting companions to our husbands.  If your husband is interested in politics and likes to talk about it, but you can't because you don't know and don't care... 

5. How about: just for the joy of it?   Acquiring a new skill, reading a satisfying novel, or learning something we didn't know before can just give us pleasure. 

6. How old will you be when your kids are up and out?  I'll be pretty old, but maybe not too old to go back to school or back to work.  Many women are empty-nesters by their early 40s.  What then? 

7. Do you ever feel like all you can talk about is your kids?   And maybe the dog?   Isn't there something else you'd rather talk about sometimes?

8.  Staying sharp can help you avoid dementia

9.  Are you a grandmother?  OK, I'm stretching now because this is the pretty much the same as #2, but... grandkids need role models too.

10. Learning refreshes the mind.   (Yes, this is a lot like #5. Top Tens can be hard.)  We can go away from our duties for a little while and come back refreshed.  Don't you feel better if you have a break from homeschooling and homemaking, even for just a little while?  This is the concept of "Mother Culture," the idea that mother needs to learn and refresh herself alongside her children. Some people think of bubble bath and manicures.  That's fine, but wouldn't expanding your mind be more satisfying?

But before you click out to read about Mother Culture, tell me:  how are you taking care of your mind as you raise your children (and homeschool, if you do)?  If you are finished with that part of your life, what did you do?  What would you do differently?


jubilee said...

Hmmmm . . . something to think about for sure! Thanks for sharing.

wayside wanderer said...

I started a book club about 6 years ago that meets once a month. I love this time with friends. I think other things like being in a Bible study consistently, learning to knit and embroidery, and learning along with my kids keeps me learning. I think it is a habit that has to be developed.

Lori said...

I participate in a writer's group that meets every other Wednesday. I also take turns teaching a Bible study for women and the Senior High School Sunday School class. I am attempting to read 52 books in 52 weeks and just read the Bible in 90 days. I participate in National Novel Writing Month each November. All of these are great for keeping my mind sharp and demonstrating to my kids that life is about learning and growing! :-)

Good post, thanks for sharing!

Kathryn said...

Great list! Two things I'm doing right now to expand my mind is reading more (for my New Years resolution Jan 2010, I challenged myself to read a book a week) and playing the piano/listening to classical music.

I think blogging is also helping me... I'm writing regularly, editing, spelling, and trying to be read-worthy :)