After laying an egg, the mother Emperor penguin is understandably exhausted. So instead of trying to incubate the egg, she returns to the sea for two months to feed.
Her partner, the male penguin, is healthier. He did not have to use his body’s reserves to create the egg. Instead, he incubates the egg for over two months through storms and freezing temperatures as low as -40C.
After the egg hatches, the mother penguin returns to take care of the chick, while the male returns to the sea to feed. Therefore, alternating between taking care of the chick and feeding makes sense.
Now think of what it’s like, traditionally, for us. The mom spends nine months pregnant, nurturing the fetus, giving nutrients, and using her body’s resources. The father, physically, hasn’t gone through any changes. He is healthier.
Of course, we shouldn’t alternate taking care of a baby months at a time. The question is, why are mothers expected to do more after the baby is born than the father?
Thanks for caring!