My friend Melissa is my hero in the world of SAHMdom. She cooks, bakes, paints, and mothers calmly, which she manages to convey both in-person and through her blog.
As the school year winds down, and with it, my various school-related activities, I've had time to read--and be inspired by--more homekeeping-themed bloggers in the blogosphere. Like Melissa, or Marisa of Food in Jars, or Liesl of Oliver + S, or the folks at Sew, Mama, Sew, or occasionally, Young House Love, and everyone on Pinterest. Thank goodness for them.
Without meetings and action items to occupy the space not taken up by homework and kid emotions, I retreat back into my own head. And what I do to occupy my hands while I am thinking is engage in all forms of domestic arts. I'll likely never share step-by-step tutorials or photos of a project on this blog, but I'm incredibly grateful for bloggers who do, keeping the nearly forgotten arts of sewing, knitting, needlework, baking, cooking, and furniture restoration alive.
It is surprising even to me, but I do feel a sense of satisfaction in completing tasks around the house. After buying a flat of organic strawberries at the farmers market on Sunday, I've spent the week thinking up ways to use them. I've made two batches of cobbler, two batches of jam, one tarte aux fraises one batch of ice cream, and froze many individually.
Last week, I completed a twin-sized bed for The Boy, made from a set of Design Confidential plans, and refinished a side chair that I found on the street a couple of years ago. I cooked dinner. I cleaned areas that are part of the regular cycle and areas that are not. I pulled out toys and put them in the garage sale bin. I made dinner every night, and on some mornings, I actually made my children a hot breakfast (something I almost never do on weekdays). When The Girl asked me to do laundry, I complied.
I cannot really explain this flurry of domestic activity. On the surface, the explanation is that I did / do these things because they need to be done. But part of me wonders if it's my brain's way of letting go of this school year. Perhaps, in the same way that my children will use the time off from school this summer to play video games, run around outside, stay up late, and generally recharge their psyches, all this introspection and domestic activity is restorative for me.