WATCH: Let it go: Author Tiffany Dufu on why moms should "Drop the Ball"

Want to be a better parent? Lower the bar


Mary Elizabeth Williams
February 25, 2017 6:30PM (UTC)

Working moms — especially those in heterosexual relationships — have spent the past few  decades barraged with conflicting advice on how to "lean in,"  "opt out" and "have it all." But now author and mother of two Tiffany Dufu has some practical advice we can actually use — it's time to "Drop the Ball."

Part memoir, part manifesto, Dufu's rallying cry is a call for moms to let go of perfectionism and the illusion if complete control, and aim for healthier, more equitable family dynamics for everybody. "The idea that men are useless or incompetent or don't know what's best or just aren't present and that's  reason we have to do it all is very damaging," she says. "Not just for us but for our families and the world."

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Dufu knows that unlearning certain ideas takes time, but that "If you're socialized to believe that your primary role is wife and mother and that's what you tie your value to, then it's no wonder that you're feeling [overwhelmed]" Yet she cites her own experience as as example, assuring that "Part of my process of dropping the ball was separating my performance in certain roles with my value as a human being."


Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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