On Mother Culture
“Is there not some need for ‘mother culture’? But how is the state of things to be altered? So many mothers say, ‘I simply have no time for myself!’ ‘I never read a book!’ Or else, ‘I don’t think it is right to think of myself!’ They not only starve their minds, but they do it deliberately, and with a sense of self-sacrifice which seems to supply ample justification.
Mother must have time to herself. And we must not say ‘I cannot.’ Can any of us say till we have tried, not for one week, but for one whole year, day after day, that we ‘cannot’ get one half-hour out of the twenty-four for ‘Mother Culture?’– one half-hour in which we can read, think, or ‘remember.’”
The Well-Read Mom Story
After years of managing a busy household of nine people, Well-Read Mom founder Marcie Stokman learned that she was a happier, more whole woman, wife, and mother when she was reading good books.
As her children grew, Marcie began sharing a talk with area women that she called, ‘The Well-Read Mom.’ What she learned through that experience is that moms want to read, but can’t find the time, or simply don’t know where start when it comes to choosing books.
Years later, Marcie’s daughter Beth, a new mother, voiced her frustration with the typical mom’s group conversation which seemed to be limited to sleeping habits and strategies for soothing teething babies.
“Isn’t there a place for women, after college, where they can keep exploring the good, challenging stuff – high quality literature, philosophy, theology?” Beth asked.
Just a few months later, in the fall of 2012, in a small town in northern Minnesota, twenty women gathered in Marcie Stokman’s living room for the first Well-Read Mom meeting. The reading list that year that included Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness and Sigrid Undset’s monumental Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, among others. Halfway through the year about 100 women met for the first Well-Read Mom Conference in St. Paul, Minn.
It was a wonderful year and by the end of it, many women shared their enthusiasm for the group, for the encouragement to read, and for the accountability provided by the monthly meetings.
Now, there are hundreds of groups in over 40 states and 10 countries. That’s approximately 1,000 women who are reading more and reading well.
We hope you’ll join us on this fascinating journey we are making with women around the globe.
You can sign up to receive our email updates, find Well-Read Mom on Facebook, check out readers’ pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #wellreadmom, and join us at the various events we host throughout the year.
Each year we read from a thoughtfully-considered book list, publish a Reading Companion filled with author bios, original reflections on each book written by women in Well-Read Mom, and discussion questions to fuel your group’s monthly meetings. In addition, you can listen to helpful audio introductions on each month’s book and bonus material from our conferences.
And most importantly, reap the benefits of carving out time each day to read great books and discover a new depth of friendship with the women who are reading alongside you.
Feeling inspired? Head to our Get Started page!
Psst… If Well-Read Mom is already a meaningful part of your life, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. We are proud to be an official 501c3 non-profit organization.