Stick shared this article this morning on Hipster Homemakers and Extreme Domesticity. Stick was pissed. Other friends of hers were pissed. I was pissed. Go ahead. Take a few minutes to read it before coming back here.
She has some misconceptions about those of us who do things ourselves, and take pride in it. They are not “charming old-fashioned chores.” They are how we take care of ourselves and our families and friends.
We have control over the ingredients and the quality of ingredients. And for some things, we have no choice but to do-it-ourselves. I have gluten intolerance and with gluten being in food andpersonal care products, it is easier to make it myself so I know exactly what it is in it instead of spend hours in a store scouring labels and calling customer service to talk to someone who may or may not know if the product has gluten or not. Plus, have you read the labels on some of the personal care products you buy? Chemicals. Chemicals. Chemicals. Can you say cancer?
“The most efficient, safest food production system the world has yet created” turns benign foods into poison for the bodies of those of us with food allergies and intolerances. Not to mention, the machines that break everything down to unrecognizable products so we can enjoy food in a flash are also the machines complicit in the demise of our metabolism. Nutrigenomics is how our food talks to our bodies. Whole foods and proteins talk to our body in order to make it run more efficiently. Processed foods speak a language our bodies don’t know. Thus, our generational epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. And those are just the top chronic conditions.
The author seems to think that making our own food from scratch is less efficient and less safe. I say it is more nourishing, provides an opportunity to teach our children how to care for themselves when they get older, gives us more time to spend with our family when everyone is engaged in the process and gives us a sense a pride when we create something amazing, like the Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake I developed as a part of an event with other gluten-free bloggers and as part of a challenge two of them gave me.
“It is a symptom of great wealth that a nation of educated women have time and money to spend on going back to time and labor intensive tasks. If the safety and provision of their children were truly at risk, they would be back in the workplace providing in the most effective way they could: by earning money.”
Hardly. Those of us who decide to take the time to engage in these “charming old-fashioned chores” see the value that it brings to the family. Our female ancestors did these things as a matter of survival. If you didn’t know how to do all these things and you weren’t rich enough to hire help, you wouldn’t make it. Most people in America don’t know how to cook. I’ve given cooking lessons to quite a few people who weren’t taught by their mother because they weren’t there for them or they didn’t know how. Not all of us can sew, but it used to be a necessary skill. I’m fortunate in that I learned how to sew from my mother before our relationship fractured. I’m not great like her, but I was able to make my own curtains, duvet cover, and pillow shams for my master bedroom when I couldn’t find what I wanted in stores. I can mend my own clothes, and if I had to, make them.
I am an educated woman. I am in the workforce. But, earning more money is not the answer. Unless you are dirt poor and are struggling to obtain the most basic of needs. Needs, not wants. I know for most of my friends who engage in this hipster homemaking it is about providing for our families with our own hands and being able to spend more time with our families while doing so. I could sit here and make snide remarks about women who play Super Mom, but farm their kids out to so many activities that they hardly see them and then have someone else fix their meals for the family. But that wouldn’t be fair or nice of me, would it?
We all have a choice. I can attempt to be Super Mom working full-time outside the home in a job that stresses me out and come home to engage in some hipster homemaking and wear myself even more. I can be Super Mom and not engage in hipster homemaking, putting my own health back on the line after just getting it back. Or I can be a full-time hipster homemaker.
After suffering for most of my life because I was always misdiagnosed, my choice is the latter. I find joy in doing these things within the home. I am my own boss with no one to tell me what to do when I’m working in the home. And I realize my limitations and wants. I do not want to have a bevy of other people raising my children. I would rather spent more time with them doing “charming old-fashioned chores” and passing this knowledge on to them so they will be able to care for themselves when they go out into the world on their own. I take pride in this choice because family is important to me. My children will know that even though Mommy went to college, got a degree and had a career in mental health, they were more important than all that. That I chose to put them and their well-being first as is my prerogative. This is the legacy I leave them.
Anyone who doesn’t like my choice can keep their opinions to themselves.