Mail art: in defense of domesticity

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This suite of mail-art envelopes was inspired by former blogger Natalie Holbrook's 2015 book, Hey Natalie Jean. In the book, she is unabashedly proud of her role as "Queen of her home," championing the kind of feminist mantra that says feminism is about choice. Natalie has a choice and she chooses to be a homemaker (among other things).

It felt kind of refreshing to read this, because I love looking after my home, too, and I see it as an extension of looking after my family. But always in the back of my mind is a kind of niggling: in doing this, am I turning the feminist cause back fifty years?

Mr B's and my roles in our home are quite traditional. He goes out to work and, because his days are long (generally 14 hours or more) while I work part time and I do that work from home; the housework, cooking and all those other domestic bits and pieces fall to me. For us, the division of labour this way is both practical and financial. It has nothing to do with gender.

But also, I really like it! I love taking care of my home, and it gives me such a sense of calm and contentment when it is tidy. I feel as though caring for my house is also an act of love to my family, giving them somewhere clean and beautiful to live and think and play and grow. Am I a 1950s housewife? Am I setting back the cause? I hope not. This is what Natalie says:

"I make my home somewhere I love to be not to impress others, or live up to some standard or ideal, but out of respect to myself."

You know?

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