Generations of women have debated whether to stay home and raise their children or climb the corporate ladder.
In the new book, “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity,” author Emily Matchar said more and more mothers were staying home and embracing old-fashioned domestic values.
“It’s what I called new domesticity, which is the re-embrace of old- fashioned or lost domestic skills and activities, like knitting and crafting and jam canning … chickens in your yard and growing your own vegetables,” she said.
One supposed trigger behind the new trend is the recent economic downturn.
Ali Rudel and her husband, Ben, were struggling to pay their bills when they gave up their big city, corporate dreams and moved from Manhattan to North Carolina two years ago. She freelances in design and also has taken to canning, gardening and making pies from scratch.
“I consider myself a feminist, but I’m also a stay-at-home mom,” Ali Rudel said.
Erin Branch holds a day job as a college professor, but she also sews her own drapes and knits in her spare time.
“So I approach a lot of domestic tasks or new cooking things as sort of a challenge. … When I throw a party, for instance, all of my things are made from scratch,” she said. “I don’t get it catered. I don’t buy the party tray at the grocery store.”
In addition to the economy, another factor behind modern domestication is more awareness about the environment, Matchar said.
Branch is definitely aware.
“I want to know what’s in my food. I want to know where it comes from,” she said.