Why I love being a domestic goddess

Why I love being a domestic goddess

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)

  1. 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.
  2. A hearth goddess.
  3. (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.

WHAT???

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?

23 thoughts on “Why I love being a domestic goddess

    1. Hahahhaa. “Domestic lazy-ass” is that an industry term? So, are you one of those people who throw everything in the closet when company comes over?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually I am pretty neat. I just HATE cleaning. I have a cleaning lady who comes every week even though I really can’t afford it 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I really like this post. It is well said and I relate to so many things. I know it’s not the same as an oven, but I have made brownies and cake in my rice cooker!
    xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are the ultimate baking goddess – I think I tried the banana bread in the rice cooker after you, but I didn’t have the best rice cooker at the time. It helps if you have one of those fancy ones with all those settings. I should give it another go! Different rice cooker 😛

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  2. I also like walking through other’s peoples houses and look at the aesthetics and see how they laid out their house. A lot of the time my friends have very down to earth houses, nothing like what you see on some artistic home decor or bedroom IG account. That said, I do like looking through these accounts on IG – gives me something to think about when it comes to wanting to organise and declutter my home.
    Your post reminded me of this meme I’ve seen floating around recently:
    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/441/150/c01.jpg

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a YouTube channel that I like called “Tiny Houses” or something like that. The host is from Australia 😉 I like seeing what ppl can do with minimal spaces because I’m not a fan of those grand houses (I don’t have a big family, so why would I?) and as I’ve said before I wouldn’t want to clean a very big house.

      That image – yeah, I’ve been in guys’, apts like that. Hahahahhaa.

      I also don’t like to get too addicted to those living magazines/online collages of super put together homes. It’s fun for a short time, but then it gets depressing, as in, I can’t have that kind of place because of my lifestyle and I need outlets and electronic devices with wires. Hahahaha.

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      1. I also prefer minimal and smaller spaces, but my only issue would be the space feeling cramped when people visit or come to stay.

        Yeah, I don’t think you and I live in a picture perfect house. Like, I do leave things lying around which I then trip over… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lani, can you come to my place and spread some of that goddess magic around here? Haha! No, seriously, we have a new storage room and I can’t seem to find the right wardrobes/shelves. Things are currently in boxes piled on the floor. Not nice. Also, I don’t really like the furniture in the living room (it came with the apartment when C. bought it) but I’m lazy to change it/don’t know what I want/feel bad about wasting money when this furniture is in good condition.

    I’ve always been a hoarder (inherited trait from my grandma, I think) and as I child my room was always untidy. Now I’m not so bad. I’m definitely not a domestic goddess but I can’t stand a mess either. And I’ve recovered from my hoarding tendencies a little bit: sometimes I have “cleaning attacks” and throw useless things, give them away or put them up for sale.

    I’d love to be able to do more things with my hands. I should stop looking at the frigging phone (I’m starting to hate it) and maybe learn to do crochet or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to come over! 😀 I know what you mean about the shelves. I feel like one of the big challenges of Asian apts and homes is the lack of built-in shelves and places to put your stuff.

      Well, if you have ‘cleaning attacks’ then maybe one day you’ll have an ‘attack to get rid of the boxes’. Sometimes we just need to let a solution come to us and be patient. That being said, I know what you mean about the furniture. Like, where are you going to put the old stuff?

      As far as hands go, I’ve been thinking about getting one of those adult coloring books. It would be nice to do something ‘artistic’ while listening to music or podcasts.

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  4. I think my mom is the ultimate domestic goddess. Sadly, I only inherited a fraction of her natural goddess inclination. My dad says this jokingly – the main reason he wanted to marry her is because when he went to her house for the first time, he saw how spotless and organized it was and thought, “wow, this woman knows how to keep a home.” LOL!

    She used to get pretty stressed out when she’d visit me because I like my place to be clean, but not her level of clean. So she’d always find spots of dust even though I’m thinking, omg I just dusted there a few days ago! But on the flip side, she is a master of organizational systems. Her pantry is a work of art despite it being just a smidge bigger than a typical broom closet. It’s amazing! I wish I had inherited more of her domestic goddessness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Love it. So nice to have a domestic goddess role-model as long as you give yourself a break with the comparing!

      I like being organized, but I’m definitely not a perfectionist. I remember sometime in my 20s reading about the problems with being a perfectionist and I just stopped – it was causing me too much stress. But now that you got me thinking about it, my mom’s closets were/are always tidy. Fridges are another story…

      I think your goddess tendencies are in your cooking and amazing presentations!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, thanks! I think I channel what small amount I have into food/cooking. I know what you mean about the perfectionist thing. I’ve accepted that the cleanliness level of my house, at best, is gonna be “lived in but not embarrassed to have people over” lol

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My parents are extremely clean people, and growing up, I was always responsible for keeping my own room and bathroom clean, but I often put it off as long as possible. I know how to do simple things like clean my bathroom, vacuum, laundry, dishes, etc., but there was so much that my parents did behind the scenes that I didn’t know about. Once I became a homeowner, I realized things like window sills, baseboards, doorknobs, ceiling fans, and so much more! It was quite a rude awakening when I found a thick layer of dirt building up on things that I didn’t even know needed cleaning. Logically speaking, yes, nothing will stay clean by itself. But how was I supposed to know????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. I hear you. I keep trying to think back and remember when my mom cleaned our second bathroom or when she vacuumed. Like some stuff is just not in my memory, but I know she did it. And how it managed to stay clean is beyond me.

      But there are many more examples of stuff our parents hid from us. Or we now understand why they were hella stressed out about money.

      It’s nice though that you grew up in a clean household. And that they gave you responsibilities. I feel like this is not the norm in today’s world.

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  6. Lani, you had me at CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL.

    I don’t enjoy most domestic chores (from cleaning to ironing except for gardening and cooking). One of my life goals is to be rich enough to always have other people doing it for me, so I can use the free time to do things I actually like to do (like commenting this post), but same as you, I too appreciate having a clean, organized and pretty place to live hence I force myself to clean and organize (with the help of True Crime podcasts).

    Meanwhile, decorating the house is something I truly enjoy doing. Interior decor is one of my passions ever since I saw those magazine in a local bookstores so many years ago.

    So, eer what’s my point again? — ah, I too believe a clean, tidy and asthetically pleasing house nourishes the tenants’ souls. I also
    believe houses have energy/vibes too and it reflects on the owners and vice versa.

    I don’t remember seeing your current apt pics/post. Have you shared it before? Let me rummage through your past posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heh, heh. I haven’t posted any current pics of the new place because in the past when I described where I lived (rather loosely), someone commented, “I live in the same bldg as you!” and that kind of freaked me out.

      So, these days, I try to keep it a mystery, especially since I have adult students now. I guess I want a sense of privacy. Which is weird, right? As bloggers, we’re fairly transparent, but I actually stress over what to share or not to – hence, for the past few years, I’ve been pretty quiet about teaching and work…so no home pics.

      But yeah, we’re on the same page. No surprise! And since I’ve been on holiday, I’ve been decorating and moving things around 🙂

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  7. Dearie is more of a household neat freak. He just tolerates me. For sure, both of us,prefer to have home cooked meals to control ingredients we use for health.
    So cooking etc. Is not a big deal between he and I since we each enjoy doing it and sharing it with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s nice when you’re with someone who you can share the cooking duties with. I had that once! Maybe I’ll have it again…if you don’t like something, then wait, right? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just gotta give you props because you put in clips from new girl and how I met your mother, and those two shows are just… golden.
    I think everything about being “domestic” is very theraputic. I love cooking, it’s like yoga. I love the feeling of walking into a sparkling clean home after a hard day’s scrub… it’s fantastic and satisfying. And while I don’t know about gardening, I’m about go get into the habit and I have a feeling it’s gonna be worthwhile.
    Anyway, I’m totally on board with you. I just don’t know why women are usually the ones to be domestic (??). I guess social norms? My husband is getting better, but for the first few years of our marriage I literally had to tell him to do every household chore. He wasn’t as bad as Barney, but… you know, haha.
    Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve had these gender roles since hunter and gather days, so we’re trying to work against time and conditioning here. Also, women have the babies, so maybe it was considered ‘natural’ for women to care for them at home.

      In the cases of extreme poverty this is not the case. At least that was one anthropological case study I read about. This took place in S.Am, maybe Brazil, mothers learned to ignore their babies cries of hunger and ignore them until they died, basically. They couldn’t feed them.

      Sorry. That got dark and now I’m trying to u-turn out of that story…Hmmm. Gardening. Yeah, feels good to dig in the dirt, smell it, the whole experience.

      Thanks!

      Like

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