Why I’m not a domestic goddess

Sarahnaut via photopin cc

It’s true. I am not a domestic goddess. I know that this may come as a shock to some of you but I am simply not gifted in skills such as cooking, cleaning or, well, generally anything that occurs around the house.

In fact, if you follow my Twitter feed, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that I regularly burn steak, am constantly asking my followers whether I should wash woollens in hot or cold water (can we get a consensus please?) and am frequently out of essential groceries (otherwise known as chocolate).

This is possibly why I regularly drool over the Instagram pictures on AllConsuming.com.au and Baby-Mac.com; both regularly feature their culinary efforts and I look at them in awe, feeling decidedly inadequate when it comes to achievements in the kitchen.

But, apparently, in this age of SuperWoman-dom, we’re meant to be able to do everything. Alas, I sure as hell fall short when it comes to whipping up dinner parties or hosting afternoon teas. Indeed, over the years, my friends have come to the realisation that when I invite them over to dinner, their best bet is to divvy the courses up among themselves and bring everything over. If they don’t want to go hungry, that is.

Fortunately, I’m adept at providing crockery, glasses, wine and a menagerie of fluffy white animals to provide hours of entertainment.


Adorable Rex


Cute little Rambo



Darling Rocky


It seems that I missed out on “home economics” when I was at high school and went straight to plain old economics. Sometimes I think that’s a shame because a fat lot of good that J-curve has done for me since. And who needs to understand monetary policy when you can’t even poach a freaking egg? (True. I have tried many times – and failed. If someone has the secret, please share.)

I’m not sure whether this malaise is because I simply didn’t have the opportunity to learn these key skills. Or whether I was just born with a recessive “domestic” gene. I think the truth is probably that my Care Factor lies somewhere between zero and negative 10.

But for now, I think I can live with it. I’m owning up to that fact I’m not SuperWoman. Let’s face it. I’m not aspiring to appear on MasterChef any time soon. My neighbours have gotten used to my smoke alarm going off (“Oh, it’s just Valerie’s; she’s burning steak again”). And you know what? If you need a heap of shrunken woollen clothes, well have I got a deal for you …

About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.
  • http://www.kellyexeter.com.au/ Kelly Exeter

    I too am the anti-domestic goddess BUT, in the last 5 days I have made banana bread from scratch AND jam!! Valerie you have to try and make this jam – I can do it, anyone can!! http://alexxstuart.com/rustic-strawberry-vanilla-bean-jam

    • valeriekhoo

      Much as I occasionally dream of make jam on my country-style Aga (not), the less-than-zero Care Factor dampens the motivation somewhat!

  • jeff

    Love your work Valerie, always cracking me up

    • valeriekhoo

      Glad to hear it!

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  • Bambi

    Valerie,we can’t be good at everything! I missed out on doing home ec at school because too many kids wanted to do it. I ended up doing Latin instead! I can relate so much to your cooking and cleaning experiences! Fortunately my husband is a very good cook, and so are my two adult children. My mother came from Europe and she couldn’t cook either! :)

    • valeriekhoo

      Snap! I did Latin too. Did you learn all about Caecilius and Matella who went into the via to find their dog Cerberus?

  • http://www.facebook.com/danielle.raine1 Danielle Raine

    Bravo Valerie! I love this. I have a similar Care Factor (brilliant diagnosis) and anyway, most successful people delegate this stuff. (Apart from Johnny Depp, apparently….) Great post, thanks for standing up for us Non-Domestics!

    • valeriekhoo

      Johnny Depp would be welcome to help me out around the house any time.

  • http://twitter.com/lisa_lintern Lisa Lintern

    One day I plan to write a book titled ‘Can’t cook. Don’t care’. My care factor is right down there with yours. But I can pour a darn nice glass of wine… x

    • valeriekhoo

      We share similar talents Lisa. Now, where’s the merlot?