Domestic Bliss

mother toddler daughter african bracelets


On Friday, Iris and I went to an event featuring the Zulu Birth Project. I’m acquainted with a local doula, and she was one of the hosts for an evening with South African birth professionals, Native American singing and traditional African dance.

Iris is a dancin’ fool, and always starting dance parties around the house. So when there were drums and voices and women performing large, joyful movements, she was so there. Outside of worrying that she was going to get accidentally kicked by the performers, I loved watching her participate.

Something else sticks with me from the night… I purchased three bracelets made in South Africa, and was given an interpretation of what my choices suggested. While I don’t typically place significant belief in such things, I do think it’s worthwhile to consider the bigger concepts these readings put forth, and dwell, at least for a few minutes, on my life.

The colors and shapes in my bracelets represented many feelings and elements, but the one most repeated was domestic bliss. I think that, sometimes, this phrase connotes images of a happy, perhaps somewhat suppressed, housewife, submitting to her husband and caring for her children, all the while finding “fulfillment” in keeping a clean, cooked-in home.

But, what if we did a 180, and thought of domestic bliss as something we build together – in my case, as women who embrace our homes from the roles of partner, mother, creator, professional and, yes, home keeper? What if domestic bliss isn’t about submitting to an outdated ideal, but making our homes exactly what we want… spaces in which to relax and grow?

I assume this isn’t a revolutionary concept to most of you, but it is what I’ve been thinking about, and what I’m working toward during most of these wild days.

Let’s start the week.

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