The Domestic Goddess Within…..

As I open a bag of treats that my mother has brought over, I can’t help but smile… Amongst gardening books and baby grows, a goddess gazes up at me.

Has the sun set on the domestic goddess?

Has the sun set on the domestic goddess?

The Original Housewife…  Recent problems aside, this women has shaped how many British women view their role in society….

Domestic Goddess: noun, informal

A woman with exceptional domestic skills, especially one who excels at cookery and preparing meals.

…I am not one of them, yet I admire any person who is highly skilled, motivated and passionate about what they do.

And the self titled Domestic Goddess, Nigella, is not alone in her passion for domestic supremacy.  We are in a time when classic DG skills like baking, knitting, gardening, sewing, and cooking are all making a revival – Dare I say it they are “#trendy”. Just look at BBC programming for examples.

It seems that everybody wants a slice (or at least an amuse bouche) of that old Domestic Goddess life.

Pushing nostalgia and 1950s fashion lusts aside, that life was due to necessity and not as glamorous as many companies, the BBC or Mad Men would have us believe.  Fortunately, as society changed, gender roles became more undefined and technology adapted to suit, freeing DGs to step through the Stepford gates onto the world stage.  As society and technology progressed so did the Domestic Goddess.  Her skill set diversified; baking alongside banking, motherhood alongside management, all to achieve the relentless goal of finding a balance between her responsibilities, aspirations, commitments and dreams.

In this blog I salute  a couple of the domestic Goddesses that have inspired me.

1) My Mother  This I’m sure is no surprise.  Studies show that it is the mothers achievements that play the most significant role in determining the aspirations of offspring.  From as early as I can remember my mother has worked, and I mean worked hard, yet still found time and energy to be spontaneous and caring.  She has shown me how to be determined and focused yet still find the work/life balance.

2) Boudicca Boudicca was queen of the Iceni people of Eastern England and led a major uprising against occupying Roman forces, and I had an absolute fixation with her when I was 6.  I think she was officially my first girl crush.  Obsessed, I pleaded with my mum to call me Boadicea, slightly different from the name change requests I receive from my students now… Although before I get all “the youth of today” my love of Boudicca originally spawned from a children’s television programme called Bill the Minder, in which the main character’s little sister was called Boadicea.

3) Josephine Baker To a fifteen year old girl, the autobiography of Josephine Baker read like a film script; a poor girl finds fame and becomes America’s first African American millionaire, moves to France, joins the resistance, becomes a spy, then in later life aims to overcome racism by becoming mother to her Rainbow Tribe of adopted children from around the world… Maybe Ms Jolie is also a fan.

4) Minna Salami In a small, sweaty dance studio in 2008, I met Minna shaking her thang to the Brazilian beat.  I couldn’t believe this beautiful, intelligent women was so humble… And brave.. Quitting her successful profession as a graphic designer, she declared her passion to become a writer and within a year Ms Afropolitan was born.

5) Benazir Bhutto Hearing my mothers childhood reminisces of how it was normal for her mother to pace “respectfully” behind her Pakistani husband along the cold East London streets, I knew that a women becoming the prime minister of Pakistani was an incredible feat.

6) Margaret Thatcher (Ok so I would not call her a goddess but…) A while ago I was asked whether I thought Barack Obama would really make a difference to the lives of young black boys, which lead me to the rather uncomfortable conclusion that the milk snatcher had inadvertently empowered and inspired a young mixed race girl from Peckham. Now I’m sure this was never her aim.  But she knocked down barriers for me that I never even knew existed. Growing up I never thought it was particularly impressive to have a lady as prime minister, in fact it was my norm.  If I wanted to become prime minister when I grew up, no big deal.  What I have learnt from this is that you never know who you inspire just by doing your job, also never assume that you have nothing to gain from somebody you despise.

With a couple more to add, the question I pose to you is..

Who has inspired you?

BH xx

 

29 responses to “The Domestic Goddess Within…..

      • For a few years here in NZ women held all three top positions: prime minister, attorney general, and chief justice. (It was a labour govt!) When they were voted out it all changed. I guess only time will tell whether that situation was a temporary blip or whether, fingers crossed, they were the first in a substantial change that will be built on in the years to come. Your post gives me hope!

      • Your comment has educated and given me hope! That must have been an incredibly powerful time and message to that generation of NZ girls! It’s exciting to imagine what impact that will have in the future.

  1. There is a power in women that is not to be underestimated.
    Women have an innate power that is deceiving to the naked eye. Beneath the gentle exterior lies a fire and power that is immeasurable – to be admired when it comes out, even under dire circumstances.

    And more beautiful than that is the cause for such power – from tapping into feelings of love and the yearning to protect what is important.

    I am the man I am today because I had an angel of a mother who raised me well. I am nothing without her. =)

    • This is such a powerful and moving statement, you are such a credit to your mother and an inspiration to all!

      Thank you for taking the time to write such beautiful comments on my blog, I really appreciate it!

  2. ‘As you opened the bag of treats that your mother brought over, you couldn’t help but smile… Amongst gardening books and baby grows…
    a hand mirror’ ? 🙂

  3. Besides my mother, I had 4 other women who inspired me. You never heard about them, they were my closest friends’ mothers. I think about the multitude of nameless women that play an important role in shaping the new generations. And with that, I ask myself: what legacy will I leave?

    • Sounds like a perfect title for a blog post!! I can’t wait to read it 🙂

      Yes, many of my friends are personal inspirations too! I had wanted to include more of them but when I showed them the draft they were shy 🙂 my friends are beautiful, powerful, inspirational AND humble 😉 xx

      Many of my friends are my biggest inspirations without even trying and they never realise the impact they have on me.

      That’s the reason I included Margaret Thatcher a person who’s political values and actions I abhor. Her mere presence as a women on centre stage effected me and probably most other young girls at the time subconsciously.

      We are all influences to our peers and it is our actions that dictate whether we are an inspiration or negative force.

      After reading your comment, I will make more of an effort to make sure all of my “unsung” inspirations realise just how much I appreciate them.

      Thank you for posting your comment! Xx

  4. I enjoyed reading this, a well written homage to those who inspired. Thatcher surprised me, but as a child of Thatcher’s Britain I guess she influenced me also, if not inspired. I then found myself surprised Ithat I can’t think of any who stands out. Sure, there are some who have affected parts of my life, but beyond my parents I genuinely can’t think of a holistic influence. I’ll have a think … Thank you.

  5. Now I have to think about the women who inspire me. Women who are strong and courageous are so beautiful. They inspire me to be the best woman I can possibly be.
    I enjoyed reading your post and I think it’s great that you put your mom at the top of the list.
    Thanks for following my blog.

  6. Yes! My dear Mama is a great inspiration to me-not actually for the things she’s done but for the person she is, and all her views and skills. My grandma too was a lion of a woman-brave, humble, socially adept, domestically adept, creatively talented. I wish I could have spent more time with her and learnt at least a fraction of her skills. That said, the admiration I have for these women stems in part because I myself am nowhere near it. Sure, I can handle myself around the house-clean and cook decently, but certainly not to that kind of level. I can’t really say I aspire to either-while it would be nice to be like that, it’s enough as long as I can get by. My creative and intellectual pursuits come first.

    Maggie Thatcher is certainly an inspiration to me-a strong leader if there was! I wonder if you’ve heard of Indira Gandhi? She was the prime minister of India around the same time as Thatcher was in power-they were very, very alike, they even met at one point.

    -The Ace

  7. Mom and, of course, Boudicca. Seriously, she’s not well known in the US but I’ve been an admirer of this warrior queen for decades. .

  8. You provoked many thoughts in my head but one that just seems to repeat over and over, Louis Jordan and Boudicca my heroine of days past just woulld not be a mixture that I would expect to see anywhere within a single blog or anything else for that matter, but you have made it possible with a most intriguing blog. I love the Louis Jordan vid.

    Best regards
    The Hatter that is from London
    Chris x

  9. You provoked many thoughts in my head but one that just seems to repeat over and over, Louis Jordan and Boudicca my heroine of days past just woulld not be a mixture that I would expect to see anywhere within a single blog or anything else for that matter, but you have made it possible with a most intriguing blog. I love the Louis Jordan vid.

    And who inspired me? That’s easy, my wife, she never let’s, or allows me to flounder when I hit a wall, gave me the strength to start again and continues to push me forward each and every day,
    Best regards
    The Hatter that is from London
    Chris x

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