Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Welcome to my Home!

Not normally I’m not a “joiner” and I’ve resisted the urge to begin a blog for about a year now. Secretly, of course, I’ve kept a Live Journal for my friends. I’ve realized I must push beyond my safe harbor of friends and into the Blogsphere with the ideas that just won’t stay contained in my mind.

Welcome to my new electronic home and the chronicles of my journey as a Domestic Goddess!

The moniker “stay-at-home-mom” is one that the people I meet in my daily travels apply to me without thinking, and it’s a term I seriously object to carrying. First, I’ve never known more than a handful of SAHMs who actually stay in their home. I’m constantly running errands or going to a meeting. If you think my day is sedate just try keeping up with me sometime! Secondly, the term implies that I am first and only a mother. I am a home manager, a gourmet chef (no joking!), a writer, a home schooling parent, and a number of other things. Limiting me to that one little name is like saying someone “does medicine” when they are a doctor changing lives. I am very happily a mother, but that is not where my identity starts or ends and I want the people I interact with to understand how big I am. Third (and lastly), the term SAHM idly alludes to the prevalent misconception that I do nothing but sit on the couch, eat bon-bons, and play with my son.

It’s a downright lie and I’m out to change how people view women like me. The nice lady at the bank who mistakenly put down “unemployed” for occupation when I’d clearly said “Stay-at-Home-Mom” never knew what hit her. I didn’t really blast her out of the water with my sink sprayer, but I did distinctly correct her until she changed it to reflect Mother / Writer. It was a compromise on my part, but it was a beginning for a mission about which I feel very passionately.

I do feel for the bank lady with her preconceived notions because its not her fault that society has chosen to denigrate one of the most pervasive and innately powerful roles – that of societal caretaker. The lady had no reference point for the power and structure I give to my corner of the world and certainly the pitiful term she used doesn’t convey the idea that this is an important career and contribution to life as we know it. So, I’ve decided that in the future when asked what I do for a living my response will reflect the time, energy, research, asset management, focused attention, gentle and not-so-gentle care, and devotion I have for making our lives better.

I am a Domestic Goddess.

I consider myself to be a Domestic Goddess, but my concept of this job / role includes anyone who chooses the caretaking of family with passion, dedication, thought, and creativity. Family is defined loosely as those you care about. Blood, biology, and age aren’t a factor. You can be a DG without children, without a spouse, without anyone else but your furry four-legged friends. It’s an attitude and I dare anyone else to label me “just” anything every again.

(and just for reference: DG is just shorthand for Domestic Goddess)


gaeasson said...
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gaeasson said...

Beautifully written. I look forward to seeing how you further develop the fine art of the worlds true oldest profession.

Sarikat said...

I was privileged to grow up with a mother who did not look for work outside the home until I was 14. But something struck me in what you said: "how big I am." You know you're right. People assume that a SAHM mom has a small sphere of influence. I think that's what you're trying to get at, at least.

I really enjoyed this post, and I look forward to more articles from you.

Issa said...

Welcome to blogging! :-)

Rachel said...

What do you think of "homemaker"? It's quaint, but seems to be broad enough to include all of the things you do that keep your home running smoothly.

Scarlett, the DG said...
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Scarlett, the DG said...

"Homemaker" is a term I've considered seriously over tea a number of times right next to "Domestic Goddess" and "Chatelaine." Have you been peeking at my queue? Are you reading my mind? That's a post for a day or so from now, so you'll just have to wait!