It is 2015, right?
I ask this because, in the world of trying to conceive (TTC) and pregnancy, I have read a LOT of books and websites since we started trying to have a baby three (wow, three) years ago. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. AmericanPregnancy. BabyCenter. The Bump. Happiest Baby on the Block. And you know what they all have in common?
They assume that mom has a partner. And that the partner is her husband and the baby’s father. It goes without saying that the partner is male. In fact, nearly every website has “tips for Dad” or “what Dad should expect when Mom is expecting” or “how to help your partner” or “tell Dad to do X so that he feels involved.” Of course, the things these sites and books recommend Dad do are also very sexist. (“He’ll be excited to get out those power tools to set up the nursery furniture!”)
Now, I get that for most expectant mothers, there’s a Dad in the picture. But again: it is 2015, right? Can not one of these sites/books consistently use the word partner instead of husband? Often they start out using partner, but then it’s like the author regresses to Dad when their attention drifts. (Note: when we went to our baby classes (birth, bringing baby home, etc.) it was also hard for the instructors to remember this. They addressed “Dads” a lot, even though I had introduced K as my wife and she was sitting right there. In one class they even segregated the Dads and Moms for certain sections, which was awkward).
Partner helps the single mom feel less isolated, as she likely has some help from a birthing partner, be it a sister, friend, or mother. It’s more inclusive to women who are not married to their children’s father, even if he is very active and in the picture. It’s of course more relevant to the many, many gay couples who are now having children. While we’re at it, could we get rid of the sexism too? My wife and I worked together to set up things.
It’s like this with grief books too, but I’m pretty sure I already wrote about those. C’mon authors, catch up with the times!