the bliss of doing women’s work
Reading through my emails this week, I was struck by the title of Madisyn Taylor’s post in Daily Om.
“In the recent past, the term women’s work has come to have a derogatory connotation. Women’s work encompasses all the domestic chores that have historically been associated only with women–cooking, cleaning, and raising children. Whenever a person is limited to only certain kinds of work in a society, there is a need to break free from that work in order to inhabit a place of choice. However, when we choose to do women’s work because we enjoy it, there is nothing degrading about it. There is an honor to it, and when done alone or in a group this work can be truly meaningful and fulfilling because the home is the foundation of security for all who live in it. The importance of tending the hearth that nurtures all who bask in its warmth cannot be overstated.”from Madisyn Taylor in Daily Om
Madisyn has hit on something vitally important to remember; the idea of choosing to do the work because we enjoy it.
I love to bake. This is no secret to my family, friends and neighbors who often get large chunks of my creations. If I give you something I’ve baked, it means I love you. I might not say the words … but it’s there in every crumb … and every calorie.
My bubble mate (happy anniversary, babe) is retired; I’m still working. He does the laundry … woman’s work? Well, maybe, but to me that pile of freshly folded clothes on my dresser speaks of love and caring, not mandated roles. (Right now i hear him in the kitchen fixing my lunch. He cares for me, nourishes me and checks in on me at my desk several times a time to see if I need anything. I do the same to him when I’m off work.)
It’s a partnership, of caring and helping, beyond gender roles or expectations. And I’m grateful for it.
“The gift of women’s work,” Madisyn continues, “which still often comes from the hands of women, now also comes from fathers, husbands, and hired help. Whatever the source, our sincere gratitude upon receiving these treasures reminds us of the profound value of what is traditionally known as women’s work.”
It’s in that spirit of gratitude and awe that I honor all the “mothers” today .. the ones who nurture, care and tend to the “women’s work” with dignity and joy.
Without this, our world would fall quite short on bliss.