Domestic Pursuits

I was a young girl during the 1970's a time when "enlightened" woman were fighting so I could have "equal rights". During this time, many girls like me were being taught that we could have it all. A career, a family and all of the material trappings that would make us all so happy. Much happier than our poor mothers whom we were convinced were chained to a life of housework.

As I made my way through public school, I was never taught basic things like cooking and managing a home. My mother was a excellent example of taking care of our family, in fact she considered it her career! But, I being one of the "lucky" girls of the time was more interested in pursuing a career, so learning basic skills seemed pointless to me.

During college (and several major changes), I found myself studying early childhood education. I attended a school that had a lab school where we "practiced" our skills  on our young students. As part of the curriculum, we had to rotate to different areas of the lab school for two week periods. The classroom, the baby and toddler room, the preschooler room and the kitchen. I was terrified! Not of working with the children, but of being in the kitchen! I was required to come up with a healthy lunch menu. It was so easy to do on paper, but to actually cook the food, I knew I was in big trouble.

So I swallowed my pride and went to my teacher and confessed that the only thing I knew how to make was macaroni and cheese, frozen pizza and popcorn! She tried so hard not to laugh at me, and told me this was a great opportunity to learn. (Which was a good thing for Rob, because we were engaged to be married in a few months and at least I would know how to cook something!) So my crash course in cooking began. (However, I did manage to put iceberg lettuce in a food processor during those two weeks...let's just say that is not a good idea!)

I taught for 6 years before staying home with my own children. During that time I learned so many practical things that helped prepare me to take care of my own family and to homeschool my children. Yet it seemed too late to learn things like canning, baking, gardening and sewing.

But a few years ago, with the encouragement of my husband, I set out to learn how to do all of those things. At first baking homemade bread seemed like it would be so hard, yet somehow I have learned to grind my own grain and make into yummy loaves of bread, pizza and cinnamon rolls. I grew tomatoes and canned tomato sauce. It tasted so much better than the store bought stuff and I actually knew what was in it!

If you are someone like me, please know that it is not too late to learn domestic skills. You will be surprised how you will use these skills and what joy and satisfaction it will bring to your life and your family.