In 1914, six years before women attained the national right to vote, President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in the United States. Much has changed since then, including the dynamics of motherhood. An ever-increasing number of women with careers outside of the home require fathers to assume or participate in domestic duties and child-rearing responsibilities once considered predominantly maternal. Even pregnancy, the precursor to motherhood, has been somewhat redefined. There was a time not so long ago when expecting couples would excitedly announce, “We’re having a baby!”
How can that be, I wonder? Getting there may be half the fun, but after getting there, isn’t pregnancy pretty much like driving a car — only one person in the driver’s seat at a time? Perhaps I’m a bit cynical, but at some point in the future, will this same couple readily exclaim, “We’re having prostate surgery,” “We have ED,” or “We have male pattern baldness”? Not likely. Pregnancy can be a shared experience, but only so far. Fathers pollinate, but it’s the mothers who gestate, incubate, lactate and wind up prostrate in the process of procreation.