Domestic Revival

Sometimes I get the distinct impression there’s a 1950’s domesticity revival taking place.  Everywhere I look there are perfectly formed cupcakes and books about organizing your home, craft cupboards that make Mister Maker look amateur and parties that put Vogue Living to shame.

Last week I read an interview with Antonia Kidman on the release of her new book The Simple Things.  A book which focuses on ‘everything from organising your household, fixing your finances and nurturing your family, to ideas for craft and gardening projects, making your own beauty treatments, and having fun with your kids’.  I know that we’re still in the throes of a recession but please.  Make it stop.

Unlike Kidman, I am not ‘the manager’ of my household.  Sometimes I don’t even know who’s running the joint.  It used to be the three year old but lately the baby’s been giving it a fair crack.  I wish that I had the time or inclination to feel powerful about small accomplishments like mending a pair of jeans but I’m too busy wondering when mothers are going to start teaching their sons to pick up a needle and thread.  Heck, I’d settle for an iron or a bloody saucepan.

And can we talk about craft?  I once spent two days looking for vintage paper straws to coordinate with mini milk bottles for a three year old’s birthday party.  That is 48 hours I will never get back.  I could’ve read a book.  My son could not give two gigantic craps about paper straws as long as the beverage being transferred from the cup into his mouth involves something carbonated.

I don’t wish to dismiss other people’s creativity.  Many are incredibly gifted at this stuff and I know plenty find it inspiring, it’s just that as a collective it’s all starting to wear a little thin.  Occasionally it permeates the world of blogging where pink Lego and princess movies are touted alongside Kambrook’s latest pressure cooker.  If you have children and blog, it is almost a guarantee you will be pitched cleaning products.

And if the domestic revival’s not in my twitter stream it’s there in my Mother-in-law’s streams of “I have a special homemade soap to give you.  It will really get your pots clean”.  Sometimes I imagine my tombstone “Here lies Carli.  She cleaned a mean pot”.

I might be a lone voice in a sea of awesome looking cupcakes that I never seem to appreciate because I’m too busy eating them, but today I’m speaking up.  Right after my son finishes sewing this button.


Do you think there’s a domestic virus going round?


  1. says

    I feel like an absolute failure when I see some of the things other parents do with/for their kids – daily or for birthday parties etc. Oh well, all the time I could spend doing those things are spent giving cuddles and just being with them. And my 4 year old son loves ironing and helping to cook! So there is hope x

  2. Carly says

    Yes, Yes, Yes! You have said it all for me. Urgh and if they are not doing it they are pinning it all over their Pinterest wall.

  3. Kim | Melbourne Mum says

    Hear Hear. This shit kills me. Maybe it’s the domestic goddess’s vain attempt to control the uncontrollable when her head is about to explode. Reminds me of Alice, one of the personalities in United States of Tara. All that twee organisation and immaculate cupcake decorating, brandishing a perfectly ironed apron. Shoot me now, please. I don’t mind a tidy house, but no, this level of perfection is just. Well, it’s whack.

  4. Mumabulous says

    Thanks for this lovely steamy cup of reality! I’m sure Antonia Kidman is in no way a bad person but she’s got considerably more means at her disposal than the average Jolene. You can be a household manager when you’ve actually got household staff to manage. Cheers Mumabulous

    • says

      No, and I didn’t want to attack her too much since according to the article she has endured 25 years of ‘heavy media scrutiny’ however the whole “since I’m the manager of the household it’s my responsibility’ made me a little ill. And I’m fairly sure that was the angle since they dressed her up like a 50’s housewife.

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