Saturday, June 25, 2005

Outlook on Life

I've realized lately that my big problem in being a homemaker and mother is that I just don't know how to do it! I didn't go to school for it, my mother (whom I love and respect more than I can say) didn't have time to show me how (she was forced into the work world when I was 7). I grew up in the age of blossoming feminism and rising rates of divorce. And now I find myself smack dab in the middle of the 'me, me, me' society.
On top of all this one of my greatest struggles on the path to salvation is sloth. Don't get me wrong; I do not sit around watching soaps and eating Twinkies. I just find it much easier to sit here (at the pc) than to try and dive into one of my many piles of clutter. Or to try and create some semblance of organization. I am always saying that I wish I were more organized, consistent and simplified, but to actually make it happen is like trying to fit a square into a round hole for me.

I’ve decided what I need to do, as hard as it will be, is to rewrite my outlook on my life. I need to prioritize and decide what it is that I really want, kind of like writing out a business plan or creating a mission statement. But to get to that point I need to really try and understand the importance of my “job”. The responsibility I have as a wife and mother.
I’m reading a book right now recommended by Katherine Levison who has written several books on the Charlotte Mason education methods, called Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions.

The first couple of sentences on the back cover read like this: “A sage of the Victorian Age resurfaces with Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions. Are you pleased with your family life? If your answer is ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know,’ Dear Reader, welcome home to Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions, an old-fashioned resource created especially for modern families.” I’ve only just begun reading this book but I highly recommend it! It talks a great deal of the changes that took place for woman in the 19th-century. She introduces me to Mrs. Beeton who was the author of a book written in 1861 titled The Book of Household Management. I did a google search for this book and was pleasantly surprised to find an Ebook copy here. I MUST share the first section of the first chapter (titled The Mistress) before I close for today.

AS WITH THE COMMANDER OF AN ARMY, or the leader of any enterprise, so is it with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment; and just in proportion as she performs her duties intelligently and thoroughly, so will her domestics follow in her path. Of all those acquirements, which more particularly belong to the feminine character, there are none which take a higher rank, in our estimation, than such as enter into a knowledge of household duties; for on these are perpetually dependent the happiness, comfort, and well-being of a family. In this opinion we are borne out by the author of “The Vicar of Wakefield,” who says: “The modest virgin, the prudent wife, and the careful matron, are much more serviceable in life than petticoated philosophers, blustering heroines, or virago queens. She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice and trains up the other to virtue, is a much greater character than ladies described in romances, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with shafts from their quiver, or their eyes.”

This statement has greatly opened my eyes to the significance of my role.


Mimi said...

Interesting thoughts, Susan.

sara said...

sounds like an interesting book...I read on of her Charlotte Mason homeschool books and appreciated the style. excellent things to think about and even better things to do something about! thanks for sharing :)