Drop the Ball
by Tiffany Dufu
Tiffany Dufu’s core message for women is to cure themselves of “home control disease”. This affliction, passed onto us from a young age, is fuelled in part, she says, by a reluctance to abdicate responsibility in the one place female authority is unquestioned. The cure is fairly simple: articulate the chores you’d like help with around the house (instead of assuming your mind will be read); wait longer before performing tasks and, by extension, care less about mess. Opening snail mail, for example, doesn’t have to happen the second it arrives. Or the minute. Or even the month. Her husband (delegated that job) had a threshold for disarray, they both discovered. “His tolerance was just way higher than mine,” she writes. Although the advice in Drop the Ball is simple, its impact is profound. In an age when it is not unusual for women to be earning more than men (and still doing more housework than their husbands, according to one study), it’s important for them to learn how to ask for help effectively. Dufu, who has two children, has an appealing way of advocating for women’s rights. “Working-mommy martyrdom is so yesterday,” she says.