Boxing Day question: Are dads cleaning up and putting away Christmas loot?

My house looks like a tornado blew through. I feel completely overwhelmed when I look at what’s happened.

I just saw this on my Facebook feed from Gallant Girls.

Good morning, Gallant Girls and Guys! Now that the holiday festivities are over (until New Years), hopefully we are ALL working together to clean up and put away the aftermath of the holiday. Right?!


My husband is cleaning up this morning so I can take a few hours to write. I have to get my next chapter to my editor by tomorrow. Without his help, that would be impossible.

Sheryl Sandberg has said that who you marry is a career decision, and I couldn’t agree more. If I didn’t have a partner who supported my work and my dreams, there is no way, with three kids, I would be able to act towards making them come true.

Erica Jong has said lots of people have talent but what is rare is the courage to follow it. I read a post on Salon that I can’t take the time to find right now (because I’m supposed to be writing my chapter) about sexism, literature, and “chicklit,” where the author writes something like: How many women are going to close the office door and tell their family they need to write?

Now, consider how many men are going to close that office door? How many men have wives who will organize and put away everything without expecting their husbands to do equal work or will be so grateful for any “help?”

There is another reason I get to write today. My three kids are in camp. I can afford to send them there. How many women also have the income to put towards childcare so they can write? And this principle, of course, goes back to Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” her essay about Shakespeare’s mythical sister. Without the space and the income, women can’t write. If women can’t write, they can’t create narratives with female protagonists. If stories with female protagonists don’t exist, women and men both learn that females belong on the sidelines and in supporting roles.

Once my three hours of writing are up, it’ll be my turn to clean, food shop, and pick the kids up at camp. Because I will have gotten my work done, I’ll be excited to go on with this part of my day and be a better mom.

If dads did half of the childraising and the housekeeping, moms would be that much closer to changing the world.



4 thoughts on “Boxing Day question: Are dads cleaning up and putting away Christmas loot?

  1. Thank you for referencing Gallant Girls and I LOVE this blog post! Keep doing what you’re doing and being such a stupendous sister site to empowering young women and women (and men!) alike. I am proud to know you, and I am so glad you’re kicking butt in what you do. As another writer, I feel your plight, but having people in our corner is an aid to all we do, even if we would do it without them. It’s so nice to recognize that this is a joint effort, this thing called life. I am so happy that we have communed in our agenda, mission, and movement. Your site is wonderful! Keep inspiring!

  2. I had three hours this morning to write. And then when I walked into the kitchen I found the remnants of lunch awaiting me. That was annoying. Then the mister spent the whole afternoon doing everything so I could grumpily drink a spritzer and look at Reddit.

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