while she was sleeping


I remember the first time I ticked "home duties" on a form asking for my occupation. It needled and I wasn't proud. 

If you'd asked me when I was fifteen, or twenty-five, how I'd feel about being a full time homemaker, I would have snorted my fair trade coffee up my nose. Homemaking was not how you changed the world.

And I wasn't even at all maternal until I was pregnant with my first baby. 

The idea of baking bread, gardening, tending chooks, making laundry soap, these weren't the occupation of a smart girl. The smart girl didn't even take the chef's apprenticeship she was offered at 21, though she adored cooking. She was going to be professional

And so she was.



I'm probably living someone's nightmare. 

I know that making clothes for your family is not everyone's cup of tea.

I know the idea of making your own tomato sauce seems like an utter waste of time to some. (Blogging, it turns out, can be seen as an abject time-waster.)


I also know that not everyone has the opportunity to stay at home with their kids. The financial or social reality for some means that homemaking is something that has to be outsourced. 

I'd like to think it's always a choice. Deliberate, considered. But of course it's not. Maybe once I've read Possum Living I'll figure out how people live without money. We haven't figured it out. 

You have to pay the rent, right?



Today, as my poor wee babe's sore throat and ears responded to the antibiotics and she finally slept for two hours straight, I got busy homemaking. Washing, baking, drying bay leaves, making laundry powder, casting on another cowl (this time on purpose) and making flatbread (details and recipe tomorrow). 

My critical feminist brain skittered across the jobs list, wondering at the feeling of satisfaction gained from folding washing off the line and re-making beds. 

Because it is satisfying. 

And I will not be told that I've adjusted to mediocrity. That finding joy in laundry means I've given up plans to change the world. I just found the world, right here, isn't so bad just the way it is. And from this place right here I'm stronger, able to organise, and my little words building a wall against the world's crap are a little bit clearer.

Is there something just a little bit holy in these everyday jobs? Particularly if you are there deliberately? Consciously? Not insanely pulling washing from the dryer while I wonder if I have anything for tomorrow's school lunches and what time was that meeting in the morning and the cleaner didn't come and so tired so tired spaghetti on toast for dinner. 

There is no doubt there's something political about it. 

So hello, homemakers. I hope you had a window of some kind to do a bit of homemaking today.

It's hard when you're out of action for any reason, sick babe, feeling blue, low energy.

Gives you time to think, though.




And there's always toast for dinner. 



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