It was quite revolutionary to abandon the longstanding historical (and Biblical) role of being a stay-at-home wife and mother. Now it’s the opposite, almost a rebellious thought to chose to stay at home; it’s even more rebellious if you decide to homeschool and ultimately go against the standards of today’s society. I find it absolutely baffling some days that I have found myself drawn to the revolutionary idea of “just” being a wife and mother.
It’s challenging to find the support you need when the people who are around you don’t have the same lifestyle. If you enter into a Barnes and Noble, you’ll find hundreds of #GirlBoss self-love books and ‘How Executive Mothers Can Navigate Work & Life’, but you’ll have to online order #SAHM self-help books and “How to Accept that You’re Enough as a SAHM”.
That’s why I was drawn to Mother Culture by Karen Andreola. Even the cover of the book paints a portrait of what I’m drawn to.
I have to say, this book was a splurge though. I couldn’t find it at the library or thriftbooks.com – only through Amazon or Andreola’s website. The book wasn’t recommended to me by anyone, it was randomly suggested on my Instagram feed.
I hadn’t heard of the author until seeing this book, not the first thing she’s published. Mrs. Andreola is well-known in the Charlotte Mason inspired homeschooling circle. In the 80’s, when Andreola’s children were young, she found and republished Miss Mason’s works (which stopped printing due to no interest). Andreola is and was clearly a huge fan of the Charlotte Mason method for schooling and daily living.
Andreola was able to create an entire business on her love of Charlotte Mason, which eventually led to her book that I’m reviewing for you today.
The purpose of her book is to help you through the “burn out blues“, “develop the artist within you“, “keep growing in the Lord“, and “create the happy home your heart desires“. She went as far as to trademark the phrase Mother Culture, giving it’s definition in the book and on her website: “Mother Culture® is a way-of-life, the skillful art of how a mother looks after the ways of her household. With a thinking-love she creates a culture in the home all her own. A mother does a lot of taking care, so she needs to take care of herself, too. Much depends on how she manages her life….As a mother is feeding and cultivating the souls of her children, she is also nourishing her own soul with ideas from good books. So nourished and refreshed with ideas, she keeps growing closer to God and into the Christian woman God is designing her to be. When Charlotte Mason’s wise recommendations are followed, beautiful music fills the air. The family becomes intimately familiar with paintings and masters of art. Nature is observed with a sense of wonder. Good books are savored. The Bible is understood by reading and narrating it, too.“
In the book, Mother Culture, Andreola attempts to be that older woman that you look to for support (and she succeeds in the task). She takes the time in her own special writing style to show that the lifestyle of Mother Culture is attainable. I do agree with a negative review of the book that Andreola could have put more thought into how the book was arranged, as it was a tad disjointed. However disjointed it was, I was able to overlook because it allowed me to digest the words in small tidbits. One could even imagine through reading that you were sitting at the Andreola kitchen table sipping on hot tea whilst she was personally speaking to you.
One of my personal favorites of Mother Culture is the hand-picked illustrations throughout the book. They were all collected over many years by Andreola, further proving the care put into the book and the application of this topic in her own life.
If you are a Christian homeschooling mama who prefers the lifestyle of Jane Austen and Laura Ingalls, this is the book for you to grab.