Coming to terms with my domesticity

As a little girl/young women growing up in the church, all I remember is being told to do this, this, and this to be a good mom & housewife. I was taught to cook, sew, scrapbook and set tables. I was never asked what I wanted to be when I grew up as it was assumed I would marry a return missionary, he would work and I would take care of the kids. How prefect. Except that didn’t happen.

I ran very far to get away from my Mormon roots. I balked at everything domestic. I wasn’t going to fall into that mold.

But the funny thing is, I actually enjoy a lot of the activities. I love baking, cakes and pies, breads and  I make my own pizza dough. I enjoy making a nice meal and setting the table for my husband. I just bought myself a sewing machine so I can start making quilts, (which I have enjoyed making with my mom in the past) I mean, how Mormon is that?

I had to realize I could embrace those things, in my own terms, outside of Mormonism. I had to tease out the “this is all I’m good for” feelings, but I think I’ve gotten to a place where can I take pleasure in these activities without being stifled by them.

 

 

Views: 45

Comment by Happy Guy on May 27, 2011 at 1:24pm
That's awesome Zappalinda. The predetermined life path of the church is so stifling and soul-sucking. It's great that you are able to enjoy what you want to enjoy and do so just because you enjoy it, not because that is what you are supposed to do.
Comment by annd0lin on June 18, 2011 at 11:10am

I am so happy for you. For a while after I rejected the LDS religion I too rejected everything domestic, but slowly I found that I didn't mind them as much without the Mormon meanings attached to them. I even started learning how to knit! I asked myself, how can I even allow myself to do this? Especially since by that point I been diving into many feminist books. But something I read by Debbie Stoller (Editor of Bust magazine) in her book "Stitch'n'Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook", helped me feel better,

 

"Why was it still  so looked down on? It seemed to me that the main difference between knitting and, say, fishing or woodworking or basketball, was that knitting had traditionally been done by women. As far as I could tell, that was the only reason it had gotten such a bad rap. And that's when it dawned on me: All those people who looked down on knitting - and house work and housewives - were not being feminist at all. In fact, they were being anti-feminist, since they seemed to think that only those things that men did, or had done, were worthwhile. Sure feminism had changed the world, and young girls all across the counry had formed soccer leagues, and were growing up to become doctors and astronauts and senators. But whey weren't boys learning to knit and sew? Why couldn't we all - women and men alike - take the same kind of pride in the work our mothers had always done as we did in the work of our fathers?" (p.7)

 

I think this really helped me change how I viewed the "womanly" hobbies that I had been afraid to even try. I've even started learning how to bake recently, without fear of it reducing my standing as a woman. I know that there are ignorant or misogynistic people out there who will see this as my rightful place or as inevitable for my gender. But I don't let that stop me anymore. Its fun with yummy results. I support any woman or man who wants to get into this stuff. 

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