Fear of Home

I find this  article intriguing. There’s a haunting quality to her writing and yet I do not feel this confusion or fear of home at all. I wonder if it is common among modern women. Judging by the 641 “likes” comments and 31 facebook shares I’d say so, how sad.

The main reason I fear being at home is that so much seems up to me when I’m there. When I put my key in the front door that’s it. There are no instructions, no rules of the game, no list of priorities. There is no-one to tell me what I should do and when I should do it. Nor for that matter is there is anyone on hand to give me imaginative permission to satisfy my domestic longings, or to credit my efforts when I’m done. There is no audience to reassure me that my hundreds of tiny efforts to make my home life pleasant are worthwhile.

We laugh at fifties housewives who had nothing better to do than to shine their linoleum until it gleamed. We’d never say it out loud, but we feel sorry for women who pride themselves on grating laundry flakes from soap. We wonder at the inconvenience of this kind of domestic do-goodery, and at what it would be like to have anything resembling a household schedule of our own.

No wonder I avoid spending long periods of time at home. No wonder I find it easier to complete my writing hours in the local library, where the demands of domestic life can’t reach me. No wonder I can only get back my peace of mind, and sit clear-eyed at my desk in my study, once I’ve cleared up the kitchen and my teenagers are in bed at night.

The bottom line is that when I’m at home I’m in a fairly constant state of confusion about what I should be doing.




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