Is Homemaking a Burden or a Privilege?

Is Homemaking a Burden or a Privilege?

Sarah Rainwater
Jun 2, 2011

A couple of days ago I posted the work of ceramicist Asya Palatova, who is inspired by her childhood in Soviet Russia, where some of the simplest tasks of homemaking were viewed small acts of rebellion. This is a refreshing perspective for many, like me, who adore the idea of a perfect home, but whose busy and complicated lives make the concept seem almost impossible to attain.

There are times when my schedule does allow for making beds with freshly ironed sheets and baking the occasional rhubarb crumble, but more often than not, cleaning the toilet and picking up a steady stream of Hot Wheels cars and toy trains off the floor is about all I can muster. Recently someone told me how they loved to visit a friend's house because the friend didn't care too much about housework. It made the visitor feel better about her own tendency toward lack of upkeep, but the space was also actually comfortable, homey, and not too precious.

Awed as I was watching Downton Abbey and the fastidiousness of its staff, the truth is that without the resources to hire a full-time helper (or two or three) of my own, my house will never be dust free, perfectly styled, and ready for visitors at a moment's notice. But I'll happily take the middle ground — celebrating the small household accomplishments, not sweating the failures, and most importantly not being afraid to invite friends over to revel in whatever the current state of things may be.

Do you consider homemaking a joy or a burden?

Image: Sarah Rainwater

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