Last Monday the Globe and Mail’s Hot Button Blog ran a post on “Mom Caves” which they call the answer to the “Man Cave” phenomenon – instead of sports memorabilia and leather recliners, think cushy chairs, aromatic candles, and Sex and the City on repeat on the flat-screen TV. The best part? It’s all for you, mom, and there are no, I repeat, no sticky, unidentifiable crumbs anywhere (unless, of course, you’ve left them there yourself).
It turns out, the concept of the “mom cave” is one of the hottest trends in decorating. The brainchild of New York-based designer Elaine Griffin (with a little help from U.S. home decorating store Home Goods, otherwise known as Home Sense in Canada). According to this article, the mom cave is the place where, says Griffin “the woman who nurtures everyone goes to nurture herself”. A mom cave, she submits, has “a place to sit, a place to store things, a place to work and a place to visit” although, the first rule of mom cave appears to be that entry by non-moms is by invitation only. Your mom cave doesn’t have to be a separate room; it can be a corner, a nook — even the landing at the top of the stairs. But, it should allow for storage and a place to work because, says Griffin, “unlike men, women relax by doing things”.
Good idea? Shannon over at The Bad Moms Club responds by saying that a part of her thinks this is the best idea ever. Peace and quiet. Sunlight. Coldplay. And then, she says, “The other part of me snorts. Loudly.”
Loud snorts because, like so many of us, she’s barely got enough time to go to the bathroom by herself, let alone dedicate time (and, let’s face it, money, else Home Goods wouldn’t be involved) to decorating a room (or nook, or cranny, or niche) for use by only one person. For me, as much as I love the idea of having a room of my own (thank you, Virginia) there are already parts of my admittedly not-very-big house (no spare rooms, here) that I feel as if I rarely enter, if only because I’m too busy generally to enjoy them for their stated purpose (to wit: the room with the TV).
So, I’m torn. I’d love my own office space, and I’d decorate it (or not, knowing me) as I see fit. But I already spend enough time out of the house, so hiving off a separate space that is just “mine” seems unnecessarily indulgent. But what really rankles, is the idea that a woman’s personal space must be miniaturized, set apart from the business of the rest of the house. Setting up a cute and fashionable (and, if you check out the Home Goods ad, awfully pink) nook in a corner isn’t quite, I fear, what Virginia Woolf had in mind. If this space is supposed to be where I go to recharge, why does the idea of it leave me feeling diminished?
Plus that, there’s a lock on the bathroom door. And I have candles, wine and books, all of which are much cheaper than redecorating.