Monday, June 4, 2007
So, I am not Catholic...
and as much as I love my pal Q, I have no plans of converting. But there is something that I think Catholics are better at than Protestants. Catholics, at least devout ones, revere homemaking. It is honored as hard, good work.
And you know what? It should be.
In my two years since leaving the classroom and devoting my life to my son, my husband and my home, I have really strengthened this skill. I have gotten better at it. I am a better cook now. I clean better and more efficiently. Clothes are clean, folded and organized. Like I have said before, I go a little overboard. I mean, you should see our sock drawers.
But, the point is, all this is hard work. It won't do itself. Someone has to do it and it does take skill. Isn't that weird? Last week, when we were gone for four days for Memorial Day weekend, I didn't catch up on "housework" until three days after we got back. It really showed me how much I actually do.
I feel like our culture looks down on homemaking. It seems cheesy at best, oppressive at worst. I can see how we've gotten there. There was definitely a point in our history when homemaking was sort of oppressive. When women were forced to be home and do everything just so. I absolutely see the bad in that. I can totally see how it is not for everyone. But, that doesn't mean that it is not for anyone. I find a lot of value in things well done. Even if it is a nicely mopped floor.
It is also interesting to me that I am improving. I know, mopping is mopping, right? And, at the surface, it doesn't look like I am improving. I mean, I used to do in a day what takes me a week to do now. But I am. I use less recipes. I know better how food works. I clean behind things and have found better systems for cleaning. The mere fact that there is improvement, that this is something that you can get better at, again, shows me that homemaking is: a skill. This should have been obvious to me when I started caring for my own home seven years ago. All I needed to do was compare my home to my mom's. She is the homemaking Rock Star. And, although I think she has a natural gift for it, she also has a lot of experience.
I wonder if there were more regard for housework...if it was commonly acknowledged as good and valueable...I wonder if that shift in thinking would change the way people go about their housework. I definitely find more joy and do a better job in work that others also value.
So, when tempted to think I am a total dork for finding joy in dusting, I remind myself of what Catholics have been saying for centuries: homemaking is an important skill. Just like teaching, doctoring, lawyering...
and then, I still sort of feel like a dork.
Posted by Dave at 12:28 PM