Okay, okay, maybe domestic goddess is too strong a term, but I do enjoy cooking, keeping a clean house, and staying at home. When it’s cold out, I’ve been known to pick up my crochet needles. I can build a fire to warm up a winter home. I love to bake. (I miss baking! Thai apts do not have ovens!) I’m not particularly great at sewing, but I can mend simple things. I like gardening and having plants. I also love power tools, and I’m not afraid of a little DIY. I believe because I enjoy simple domestic activities that I’m a happier person for it.
domestic goddess (noun)
- The definition of a domestic goddess is woman who manages a home, cares for a family, and prepares meals with beauty and grace. An example of a domestic goddess is the TV mom, Donna Reed.
- A hearth goddess.
- (informal) A skilful female homemaker.
When some folks picture a domestic goddess they see a Martha Stewart or a Carol Brady. Others will envision the misery of Betty Draper. I get it, but let me also toss in frontier and pioneering women into the churn. And your mom, grandma, and maybe even your dad.
Being competent in the home is useful, practical, and has nothing to do with regressive gender politics. If you are a single woman, and you like single men (heyyy), and you went to his house, and it was clean, and he cooked you a decent meal, would you be turned off?
Working with your hands
There are mental and physical benefits to working with your hands. No, I’m not talking about typing on the keyboard or swiping left to open your phone. In fact, there’s actually something called ‘smartphone thumb’. Medical students have lost their dexterity for stitching and sewing up patients.
And another result of the overuse of smart devices, “Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Kids can’t hold a pencil?
Yeah, being domestic doesn’t seem like such a bad thing anymore, does it? I’m reminded of a saying that I learned when I was training to be a Waldorf teacher, “nimble fingers make nimble minds”. I’m reminded of the lost art of penmanship, crafts (which is considered for the indigenous or grandmas or hippies – or indigenous hippy grandmas) and even visual art. What do you mean painting’s dead?
Household chores get you off your butt, physically moving, and using your wonderful hands.
Taking care of yourself and your home
Taking care of your home should be seen as an extension of taking care of yourself. After all, your home is an expression of you. Your home is where you eat, sleep, recharge, and so much more.
It simply makes good common sense to keep the area where you live, clean. I mean, it’s hygienic. Restaurants have to live up to standards of cleanliness, your home should too.
The term self-care came into popular use around 2016. I think taking care of your home is included in self-care. There are also great benefits in taking care of pets and plants. There’s something about being responsible for yourself and others, making the commitment to care. We need it, as in we’d wilt if we didn’t have to take care of ourselves and one another. On the one hand it seems obvious, but on the other, when we’re depressed or repressed, why do we say, “I’ve stopped caring”?
It’s the simple things that give us joy and contentment. With so much information and products out there on taking care of your home, there’s really no excuse. I read something like giving yourself two or three minutes to quickly tidy up a room before you leave it.
Master of your domain
This is, by far and away, the main reason why I enjoy being a domestic goddess. CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL.
So much of life is out of our control. We’re tossed about like the damn plastic bags littering our world. Suddenly, you hear that your cousin has cancer or they’re downsizing at the office. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to create a slice of heaven pie in your home.
Especially as an expat living in a country 180 degrees different than my own, it’s so so nice to hide away or hang out in a space that is entirely mine. Sure, there are times when appliances aren’t working, you need help, but for the most part, home is whatever you make it to be.
Cooking: I can control what I’m putting in my food and in my body. I can create my own diet. In the kitchen, I can be as elaborate or as efficient as I want to be. I choose to be mostly vegetarian, and I do the cooking. (He can’t, but he can cut the cheese. Hahahaha.) I also like to try new recipes. And yes, at a party, if I’m feeling uncomfortable, I escape to the kitchen.
Cleaning: I don’t love it. I do it because it needs to be done. I don’t make it fun or play music. I can’t listen to podcasts at the same time because I’m an active listener. I’ve tried earbuds. I find music pleasurable, and I’m not interested in prolonging cleaning tasks. (Washing the car is the exception.)
This is definitely the arena where I think couples and roommates argue the most. Honestly, the BF and I are happier when we have our own space because I have “higher standards of cleanliness” and he’s a super private person (aka Scorpio).
I have to confess though the landlord insisted on having a cleaner come in once a month. I prefer to not be here. It’s very frustrating for me to watch another woman clean my apt! In Thailand, having a cleaning lady is common, and for many years I’ve been able to dodge this broom even when I lived in a house. She’s very good though, and she’s freed up my time.
Décor: I love going into people’s homes. I like seeing what’s their aesthetic is, and what’s important to them. I remember walking into this guy’s apt and it was all records and books. He was a slob about everything else, but his music and reading material was organized and cared for.
It’s important for me to live in a pleasing environment. Maybe this stems from being born and raised in Hawaii. Maybe my parents provided nice living spaces. I had art to look at and my mom collected Asian vases. Again, there are a bouquet of solid reasons why beauty matters.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about spending money. I’m a huge fan of secondhand. I like looking at a room and trying to figure out how to make it work. I used to be impatient when it came to decorating, now, I’m willing to wait for the light bulb moment or the right lamp to cross my path.
So maybe I’m not really a domestic goddess, or maybe it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I have burned the pancakes, and some meals have not turned out so well. I certainly have loosened up in my cleaning standards because of a certain Scorpio. And I haven’t been able to transform every place I’ve lived into a Better Homes and Garden showroom, but I like to try.
Are you a domestic goddess?