Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When did I become so domestic?

My kids ate homemade yogurt and homemade bread at dinner last night. As I type this, there's milk turning into yogurt in the yogurt maker, and granola in the CrockPot. At some point in the evening, I found myself asking (again), "When did I become so domestic?"

I've enjoyed cooking for a long time, but I think I really got into it after we moved two years ago. Our first home was built in 1973, and it had a small kitchen that was not open to the living room. Not only did I have limited cabinet space, I was also very much alone in that kitchen.

Our home now has a spacious kitchen with plenty of space, and it's open to the living room. I can talk to The Engineer, watch the kids, and even watch TV while I cook and clean up.

It's interesting, though. I think about the cooking and baking I do, and I consider that "domestic"--but my house is usually not as clean as it "should" be. I'm not much of a decorator. I rarely sew. There are a lot of "domestic" activities I just don't care for.

And I think that's what it comes down to. I love cooking. That's why I do it a lot. Not because I "should." Often we women compare ourselves to the women around us. I think, "Wow, so-and-so keeps her house so clean!" Or, "Could I ever end up with a house as beautifully decorated as hers?" Or, "That mom does so many amazing crafts with her children!"

And I bet some of those moms look at me and think, "Oh, I don't know how she spends so much time in the kitchen; should I be more like that?"

But when it comes down to it, no one can do it all. So I figure, whether you love cooking, cleaning, sewing, working in an office, doing crafts with your children, or gardening, do it joyfully! Do it exuberantly!

And let's not beat ourselves up for not doing everything.


Anonymous said...

Beth -- I'm sure it doesn't ALWAYS hold true, but my grandmother said many times that "you can't be both -- either you're a cook or a cleaner". And she and her sister seemed to prove that. Grandma was a wonderful cook, while doing the minimum of houskeeping, while her sister was a WONDERFUL decorator and housekeeper, but did the bare minimum of cooking.

It is easier to be good at what you enjoy!

LEstes65 said...

Amen! That comparison thing is hard to kick. And it beats me up quite often. Especially with the wonderful mom friends I have (like YOU). But I know you look at me and think, "Man, if only I could be a tall, lanky supermodel who never makes mistakes like HER!" Bah ha ha ha ha ha ha! Sorry. Couldn't resist. But seriously - I wrestle with comparing myself to EVERYONE around me. It's a hard thing to just let it all go, give myself some grace and move on.

Scriptor Senex said...

We can all find people who do some things 'better' than we do but what we have to remember is that we are all different and there will undoubtedly be some things we do better than they do.
My partner has never sewed a thing in her life - I do the sewing (and the ironing, etc) but she makes all the business phone calls... If we each do what we are best at and all the basics get done what does it matter if we aren't perfect.

nopinkhere said...

Good insight Beth! I definitely come down on the side of making things--myself or with kiddos. Then comes cooking, especially baking, but I consider that making things too. Then comes cleaning, and last comes decorating. I definitely need to go with what I like and not stress about dog hair or unhung pictures.

Special K said...

Love the blog post. I sew, I straighten, when the urge hits, I organize, I keep on top of the floor-washing. I dont' cook that much. I make food, but certainly dont' enjoy it and the meal planning is kind of a big groan and a whine as I try to think of something 4 different people with 4 different sets of tastes actually enjoy. But I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And the satisfaction of making my husband something from sugar, oats and apple that he thinks is divine, or hearing Logan say "Mom, these are the best cupcakes EVER." is so worthwhile. No one says "Wow, mom, that shelf you dusted looks GREAT!"

MarjnHomer said...

that is so true. I have a cousin who is always cooking whenever I talk to her and I wish I could do more and be more like her. I just do the best I can with what I have.

Our Scoop said...

What a great post! And I am super impressed by your homemade cooking skills! I think I go in phases. Sometimes I am in the cleaning phase, sometimes the baking phase, sometimes in the get-in-shape/eat healthy phase. I have a hard time getting a little of everything in! I guess everyone does :)

Eternal Lizdom said...

I had read this post yesterday and then when Good Eats came on last night and was all about yogurt... i totally thought of you and just knew I had to find a way to share Alton's yogurt mastery with you!


And do a search on YouTube for "Good Eats Yogurt" and really get in on the fun!

2Wired2Tired said...

Isn't that amazing how it that happens? I never enjoyed cooking and now it is one of my favorite things to do.

Granola in the crockpot? Sounds interesting. I haven't tried that yet. If you get a chance will you email me your recipe? I'd love to try it.