The tired mum.

I stumbled across a paper several months ago while researching the "Mother's Education Course" that had been established by Charlotte Mason.  In the MEC (later called the P.N.E.U. Reading Course), Charlotte Mason established a list of articles, books, and other reading assignments to mothers to further their own education.  There has been some great research into this course and I found Nancy Kelly's blog to be most helpful!  Read this for more information on the MEC!

What I wanted to point out, is that there is nothing new under the sun.  So many of us homeschool moms are tired, worn out, and burn the candle at both ends!  I can totally relate to this participant of the MEC in her beautifully penned letter to CM.

Dear Madam,
I regret the unavoidable delay in replying to your letter.  The M.E.C. has been of great value to me, although I have been prevented from working steadily for the examinations by having exceedingly delicate babies and other duties to perform which have left me no time for my own reading.  I think the course is beyond the average mother, and entails far too much reading for the busy one.  The examinations, I think, are difficult and require perfusly uninterrupted quietness for several half days, and this I find impossible to obtain in a month, far less in a week.  The books I most value are:
Home Education.
Care of Lufauss. (?)
Parent's Reviews.
Carpenter's Mental Physiology.
Froebel's Ethical Teaching.

Apologising for delay,
Yours sincerely,
Mary Voysey

I think this tired mom's letter can teach something to all of us!  Every season will have trying days where we realize we just can't do it all.  I admire her honesty in pointing out that with her own duties and expectations she finds it impossible to complete the task at hand. Yet, she finishes the letter with her list of the books that she does value!  I assume that she was able to spend some time on her reading assignments, even if she was unable to finish them all, and she still was able to learn something worthwhile to her and her growing family.  I can only hope that CM wrote back to her a letter of encouragement that she is enough!

In an ideal home the mother conducts a university, a clothing establishment, a laundry and a restaurant. At the same time she is police, health and truant officer. She is president of a little state called "Home," where she has to face all the problems of the economy. As president of a bank she must often study how to make ends meet. She is God's greatest preacher, the most effective teacher, indispensable companion -- the mother of ours.

A Spanish proverb notes that an ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy. George Herbert said, "One good mother is worth 100 schoolmasters." Neither of these statements is meant in any way to disparage the worth of the minister or the teacher. But both give an indication of the immeasurable influence the mother may have in shaping the convictions and character of the child. John Quincy Adams said, "All that I am, my mother made me."

The proverb from the Bible is true: "Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, eh will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). As a high school principal said "If young people are on the right track, they were put there in the home."
It is told of Monica, the mother of Augustine, that she went one day in tears to her bishop to ask for advice. Her son, the pride of her life, had left home to follow a dissolute path. He had turned his back on God and had spurned his mother's love. What should she do?

The bishop's answer to her was, "The faithful prayers of a loving mother are never lost." And they weren't. Augustine came back to the truths he had been taught as a youth, and his writings have blessed the world.
Long after we have forgotten the names and faces of many people we have met, the facts of history and geography which we leaned at school, and many of the things we were told at Sunday school and church, the influence of Mother will still be with us.
Her self-denial, her understanding nature, the touch of her hand on our brow, and her great hear of love -- these we shall never forget. -The Daily Journal

Mom, you rock!  Keep investing in your children.  You don't need a certificate of completion for furthering your readings (although I'm sure those that completed the M.E.C. felt accomplished!)  Keep reading when you can, but never stop loving, caring, and praying.  "The faithful prayers of a loving mother are never lost."


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