On Being a Domestic

you can be a domestic and be a housewife.

OR you can be a domestic and be a full time, out of the home, working mother.

you can be a domestic and be a single mom.

you can be a domestic and not be a mom at all.

you can be a domestic if your home is a mansion, a hovel, a duplex, a double-wide, a single-wide, a squat or a bridge.

anyone who loves their home, who sees it as an ever-evolving work of art, a life influence which can be tweaked and prodded daily to be something amazing, and does so for the love of not only the eternal project, but the residents (including themselves), is domestic.

the word “Domestic” comes from the Latin “Domesticus” which means “Of the house”.  Pretty simple, but there’s a lot of definitions.

do⋅mes⋅tic

–adjective

1. of or pertaining to the home, the household, household affairs, or the family: domestic pleasures.

  this one is pretty commonly where we go, and generally what I mean when I use the term “domestic” or refer to myself as being “domestic”.

2. tame; domesticated.

this one is obviously going to be my least favorite, but all it really means is “you can keep it in the house”.  LOL.  in the sense that a raccoon is not domesticated, it will tear your house to pieces, make weird noises, and likely bite your children.  maybe fun for one night, but definitely not something you keep indoors for long.  we did briefly have a pet possum though.  prehensile tails are amazing things.

3. indigenous to or produced or made within one’s own country; not foreign; native: domestic goods.

this one is a bit of a twist.  get it?  like a domestic ale.  something locally created.  I try to create as much as I can in our home, and I like to feel like this house is our own country.  no one else made up the laws of our house, we have our own general rules that we’ve honed to make sure we can all live happily together.  like any country, we do have occassional strife and issues, but we resolve them within our own rights.  this is my world.  my world I choose to live in with those dear to me.  it is very important to me.

in fact, I would say, it’s more than just our country.  it’s our sanctuary.  it’s where we get away from the shit that’s pressing on us in the outside world.  here we are free from judgements or disrespect, and the most important thing is family.  I treasure my home.

and that is why I am a Domestic.  my job is to help create and maintain an environment that my family, including myself, can thrive in.  I try to create a world in which my children can exercise as much control over their own lives as possible, and live as truly creative and independent beings.

I’m not saying it’s perfect.  of course it’s not.  we are humans.  we are animals.  chaos roars in our veins, minds and ears.  but we are also wave patterns.  which means we are exactly what we are meant to be.  we develop character and opinions, hone our personalities and identities day by day.  we fight, we scream, we fuck up, we apologize, we come back together, and we laugh together, we dance together, we read together, we create together, and we are secure in the knowledge that no matter how much we fuck up, we are still family.  we always will be.  we will always respect eachother as individuals who are evolving through our mistakes.

…when you’re a housewife, it’s easy to lose track of why you’re doing what you’re doing.  you spend your days trying to pick up after kids, while trying to instill in them the urge to pick up after themselves, an urge that for many of us does not cement until our 20’s or 30’s, if at all.  you get things cleaned up, and then decide to make a meal or do a project, only to have to clean up, all over, after all of it at the end.  it becomes easy to feel trapped, in the home we struggle to maintain.  because it’s so easy to forget why we do it.

think about it.  is it absolutely necessary?  will the world fall apart?  will our children become depraved politicians if raised in a messy and generic home?  probably not.

so why do we do it?

out of love.  love for a sense of belonging and comfort and peace that comes from our surroundings.  love for our families, and ourselves.

our homes, no matter what or where they are, are our sanctuaries.  we should respect them, and honor them, as the places that set us apart, the places that we name, shape and define.  the places that absorb our imprints, till they fairly sing with them.  my son and my daughter, my husband and myself, are written all over this house.

and that is why I take care of it.

-Domestic Anarchist

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