The other day when I was feeling particularly restless, I decided to channel that pent up energy into cleaning house.
Now cleaning house is not my favorite thing to do, by any means, nor am I particularly domestic. In fact, I was raised to think of housework as “oppressive drudgery” and something to do as least as possible. Domesticity is not my strong suit.
But as I went room to room creating order from chaos, I found my inner mood also became much more calm. The better things looked, the more it spurred me on. After I was done reclaiming the living room from under the piles of stacked and folded laundry I found myself sitting in the now tidy room, relaxing and enjoying the space, feeling calm and serene.
There’s something to nesting that is particularly female, I believe, and perhaps some of our current angst is due to a modern day suppression of this inborn instinct to create a beautiful space.
Unlike most modern women, my babysitter and her clan absolutely revel in household chores, cheerfully doing laundry, cooking up tasty treats, redecorating with ingenuity, and in all ways big and small turning a house (no matter how modest) into a home. It’s a busy hands, happy heart approach to living. Rather than begrudge such chores, they embrace them as an expression of love and nurture for their families, their contribution to the collective good.
Men also appreciate “a woman’s touch” in a home. As one male blogger said, a gal with a comfortable abode stands out in the search for a mate. And what guy wouldn’t love being with a gal who joyfully primps and preens their space rather than constantly harping, nagging, and keeping score with him that all household chores are split absolutely 50/50?
After realizing what a mood lift I got from nesting, it dawned on me that it’s something I have been denying myself, another piece of the feminist narrative it’s high time to discard. There’s nothing “wrong” or “demeaning” in nesting. Quite the opposite — it’s surprisingly deeply gratifying. Nurturing — both to myself and others.
For me, getting started is often the hardest part. It can seem daunting…where to begin? A good friend taught me a wonderful trick she used to get going — set the timer for 15 minutes per room, get as far as you can in 15 minutes, then either take a break, move on to another room, or spend another 15 minute burst in the same area. Somehow knowing I am only going to spend 15 minutes cleaning makes it seem less overwhelming and it is surprising just how far one can get in a 15 minute sprint. Before you know it, you’re done!
So if you too have been raised to see “woman’s work” as something to scorn rather than celebrate, I invite you to join me in embracing the lost art of domesticity. Let me know if you find the same uplift from doing so that I have! Here’s to creating and crafting a beautiful, bountiful nest for you and yours!
What do you think? Please share in the comments.