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Hate Of The Week - The Expression "We're Pregnant"
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There are a lot of things that annoy the hell out of me, but almost none more so than people who use the term "we're pregnant"
I don't know where you grew up, but even in the banjo playing, seven fingered, small country town where I spent my childhood, we understood one thing. That only women can have babies. People in my town might not quite have got the message on not breeding with blood relations, or be experts on producing children with the correct number of digits, but that point we were sure on. Men can't have babies.
So where the hell did this phrase come from? Why do otherwise seemingly intelligent men and women, who presumably fully understand the mechanics of procreation, insist on using such a ridiculous phrase. Because here's the big news, you're not both pregnant. If it's your wife/ girlfriend/one night stand who is pregnant then what you need to say is "she's pregnant" and if it's you that's pregnant you say "I'm pregnant"- not really so hard, is it? Unless it's a lesbian relationship and both women are pregnant there are simply no excuses for using this phrase.
I have my suspicions as to why this has crept insidiously into our language, and none of the reasons I can find make "we're pregnant" any more palatable as an announcement. Oh, and whilst we're at it, the phrase "they're pregnant" is just as bad. They're not, the woman is. The man may have been involved in making her pregnant, but he sure as hell isn't involved in being pregnant.
The Reasons Why Women Use This Term..
Presumably, the women that are using this phrase are doing so out of some misguided desire to include men in the pregnancy process. Sweet, but ultimately futile.
I have some very bad news for women that use this phrase with this intention. Saying "we're pregnant" may indicate that your partner was there at the conception, but it won't have any influence on whether he is there at the birth. Trying to make him feel more involved by describing him as pregnant will have one of two effects. He'll either stay with you, because guess what, he was going to anyway. Or he'll leave you before the baby is born. In which case he was probably going to anyway, and using the phrase we're pregnant won't be the reason that he changes his mind and hangs around. If he's a deadbeat two little words won't change that.
If I was a man and my wife insisted on using the words "we're pregnant" I would be very, very worried. Whilst the majority of stay at home mothers are the most hardworking people on the planet and deserve to be paid handsomely for what they do, there is a certain subgroup of women that make helplessness into a fine art, and who cope with demands of parenting by making the television their babysitter and their husbands do all of the work. These women make not coping and dependency into an art form. I have known husbands with stay at home wives who, as well as working full time, get up early to do the washing, do all of the supermarket shopping and clean the house late at night. Meanwhile their wives spend their days aimlessly cruising the shops whilst grandma or the television takes care of the children. The weekends are spent with the wives sleeping in before heading out to shopping and hair appointments whilst their husbands take their "turn" at parenting. I have also noticed a disproportionate amount of these no-getting women use the term "we're pregnant". I see it then as an indicator, a verbal red flag, that the woman might be pregnant but she wants you to know that she is now dependent on her man entirely, and intends to be for the next 18 years. She was a princess before she had the baby and she intends to remain the princess of the house after the baby is born. Such women make a virtue of their domestic helplessness, preferring to show their parenting superiority by spouting the latest parenting theories gleaned from whatever this weeks parenting book is. All of this parenting talk is however simply to mask their laziness and prevent them from having to get on with the nitty gritty of actual parenting or with reading stories or playing with their children when they could be shopping.
There are also a set of women who make my blood boil more than any other. This is the subset that use this phrase as a way of letting people know that they are happily in a relationship. The phrase "we're pregnant" to them is a form of verbal one upmanship on single mothers and those who have accidental pregnancies. They want the world to know that they are in a respectable relationship and use "we're pregnant" as a means of demonstrating their superiority. You can spot these users of the phrase because they say it more frequently, and more loudly in maternity wards, around single mothers and during birthing classes. Avoid them like the plague. They are the same women who when they become parents will spend their whole time boasting about their child's superiority in almost every area of learning. If you value your mental health, and that of your future children, you need to stay the hell away from these people.
Another group who use "we're pregnant" are the ones who do so more in hope than certainty. Yes, they think they're having a baby with their partner, but due to the circumstances of the conception they may actually be having a baby with the milkman. In this case "we're pregnant" can be seen as a kind of prayer- a form of wishful thinking. The bad news is that just because we want something to be true doesn't mean that it is. The phrase "we're pregnant" cannot change the outcome of a paternity test. It just can't.
Men Who Say "We're Pregnant"
I have often wondered what kind of a man would use the term "we're pregnant?"
Yes there are men that are simply so excited about the prospect of having a baby that their brain is temporarily fried. Here's the good news guys, you don't have to pretend that you're pregnant to be a good father. Your time is better spent on preparing the house for your child and in supporting your partner through the difficulties of actually being pregnant. Of course, not every man that uses we're pregnant falls into the over-excited puppy category. Most of the others do so for far more sinister reasons.
The first of these is the nerdy guy. When he finally gets the opportunity to impregnate a woman he wants and needs everyone to know about it. This kind of man uses this phrase partly in disbelief and partly just to reassure himself that it really did happen and he is no longer a virgin. He can so little believe it himself that the fears that no one else will either. Hence his need to announce "we're pregnant" to everyone he meets. This is about the only group of people I can forgive for using this phrase, because you can understand the desperation from whence it came.
Another group of men that use "we're pregnant" are the men who somehow feel that saying "we're pregnant" makes them seem more caring and involved. I have news for you. Until you have hemorrhoids, backache and enormous, milk engorged breasts how about you show your support in more practical ways than by claiming a miraculous pregnancy. Rubbing your partners back, fetching her choc chip cookies with mayonnaise at 3am and actually putting together the cot BEFORE the birth is far more appreciated than using the term "we're pregnant."
As for the men who mask an unwillingness to actually help with anything practical behind a facade of caring, sharing, "we're pregnant", you deserve to be exposed for the lazy fathers to be that you are. If you are prepared to start saying "we have our period" when appropriate, then I'm happy for you to keep up the "we're pregnant" thing. Otherwise give it up girlfriend.
Linked to the "caring- sharing" guys above are the kind who are actually saying we're pregnant to get other women interested in them. They think by appearing to be a "new man" other women will fall over themselves to want to sleep with them. There is nothing more attractive to a certain type of woman than a man who appears to be committed to someone else. Ladies, this kind of man is bad news. Avoid them at all costs and treat them like the scumbags that they are.
The final kind of man who uses the term "we're pregnant" is the kind that quite simply needs to grow a pair. Browbeaten into submission they have been directed by their partners to announce their pregnancy this way, and frankly they wouldn't dare refuse. If you fall into this category there is only one way for redemption. Man up, and quickly. Pretty soon you need to be a father and you need to set an example for what it is to be a man. Teach your child that relationships are about communication, not dictatorship.
Only Women Can Get Pregnant
I know, I know, some of you out there were about to angrily comment about how wrong I am, and about how all of this "we're pregnant" business is about love and caring and sharing the wonderful experience of pregnancy. The truth is though, if you are going to have a loving, caring sharing pregnancy you'll have it anyway, without those two little words.
And here's the thing. Just because you want something to be the truth doesn't mean that it is. MEN CAN'T GET PREGNANT. So when you tell people "we're pregnant" it simply isn't the truth. Feel free to say "we're expecting a baby." I have no problem with that. It's the truth. "We're pregnant" however is gramatically wrong, literally wrong, and not only that, it makes you sound like a moron.
Just stop trying to convince me that you've performed a medical miracle. ONLY WOMEN CAN BE PREGNANT
"We're pregnant", seriously. Whatever next.