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Hate Of The Week - The Expression "We're Pregnant"

Updated on June 3, 2010

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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.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Some Guy 5 months ago

      If we as a couple opt to say "we're pregnant" I'm not sure who appointed you the arbiter of speech and good taste? What that phrase indicates is positive, it is an emotional investment on the part of the husband in the pregnancy. I'm empathetic enough to basically experience much of what my wife experiences. I'm there to comfort her when she's sick or uncomfortable and there awake along side her in the middle of the night if she wakes up, worrying about her and trying to help in whatever way I can. What your criticizing is an indication of a loving two parent household. Why choose to criticize that when there are fathers who could give two shits about their babies? Yes, human males do not literally physically get pregnant but we all use phrases that are metaphorical and not intended to be taken literally. The metaphor behind this one is beautiful, a shared investment and a loving partnership. Give me your hand and I will help you from your high horse.

    • profile image

      Pam 3 years ago

      @Kevin,

      WTF! What are you talking about moron. Women do buy the house and car. I have several friends and e dry one of them works outside and INSIDE the home an we women help to pay for the house and cars too. You are a real idiot. And as far as pregnant. You cannot be pregnant and women cannot have Soren in an erect penis. Face facts moron!!! Do womenhave a penis

    • profile image

      Kevin 4 years ago

      I'll jump on board with the whole "stop saying we're pregnant" movement when women agree to stop saying "we're buying a house/car/etc."

      You should make your SO feel involved in the pregnancy for he will be splitting the load 50/50 when that baby shits and cries non stop for its first years of existence.

    • profile image

      Kevin 4 years ago

      fadf

    • profile image

      dee 4 years ago

      YAY!!!!!!! I hate that phrase. Thank you for sharing this. I agree the appropriate phrase is "We're expecting" because you are both hopefully are excitedly waiting and expecting a beautiful baby.

    • profile image

      balboa 4 years ago

      Couples that use that language are psychologically enmeshed and have "joined" their identities as one. The language may sound cute or even romantic but in reality its symptomatic of immature attachment issues.

    • profile image

      Pam is Serious 4 years ago

      @Seriously, you show how bright and smart you ARE NOT, when you use the same worn out statement "Get a Life" Try to be a little more original. And for your info, this is the US in case you are a foreigner, people here can get annoyed over whatever they want.

    • profile image

      I hate PC 4 years ago

      "We're....." What a stupid term. Probably uttered by 2 morons who'll soon put a baby on board sign on their vehicle's rear window. Might as well just say "We're stupid."

    • profile image

      nicedream 4 years ago

      If a couple was unable to conceive a child, would anyone say "We're impotent" or "We have a low sperm count"? Not likely.

    • profile image

      Smarter David 4 years ago

      It may "take a village," but I guarantee you no entire village has ever been pregnant.

    • profile image

      David 4 years ago

      It could go along with the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child". "Pregnant" means "pre-natal", "before birth".

      Get over your grievance please. No man is an island.

    • profile image

      mike 4 years ago

      I want to first respond to Not Bitter. I notice you call your husband, your hubbie. In my opinion this term is used by women who want to brag about how perfect there marriage is, when I see you use that term I understand why you dont get the fact that "we are pregnant" disturbs the hell out of a lot of us. The one who wrote the artice described how a lot of women who use this term are little priceses and if you are one of those than obviously you are to self consumed to understand how completely incorect that term is. For all of you who say why should we be so upset by such a small phrase, its because of the message you are trying to covey by saying it, do you understand now.

    • profile image

      Seriously? 4 years ago

      Of ALL the things in the world to feel annoyed about or feel there is injustice, this is what annoys you?! Seriously?! Wow, get a life! Boo! :-(

    • profile image

      Pam 4 years ago

      Thank you for this article, Angriest Hubber. We really should not be saying, "we're pregnant", unless we are going to say, "We have an erection". And I don't think men want to share that, do you men?

      Only males can have an erect penis and only women can be pregnant. The dad can share in the pregnancy by being happy and awaiting the birth of the child along with the mother, but he will never as a man be pregnant.

      You see men want what they want,when they want it, but do not want women to have autonomy. It's probably too, that they are afraid that this will give women some advantage over them, something they can't have. Well, for once, there is something that men cannot control!!!

      @NotBitter, don't you get angry and then complain about others being angry. Listen, face facts, men cannot be pregnant. And do not refer to a woman's crazy pregnant harmones as her complaining. That is such a cruel thing to say to women what with all that we go through being pregnant. What is wrong with the husband putting up with the wife's cravings? This is the way that women were made dear. Women put up with all the mess from their husbands, everyday, like him getting aroused in the middle of the night while the woman is trying to sleep. You see NotBitter and Chavonne, it's called, " the way men and women were made". Women get pregnant and men need to stop trying to take away from a woman's ability to say "I am pregnant." Men need to get over themselves. Really!! 12-5-13

      Cahvonne, needs to read my comment.

    • profile image

      Pj 4 years ago

      Oh thank you for this article and comments! I try so hard not to get upset over the fact that proper English is becoming a thing of the past. The misuse of grammar sets my blood to boil. People don't seem to know what an adverb is much less when to use one…but the word pregnant should be a no brainer. Pregnant is a physical state that only a woman can achieve. It's unfortunate that somehow the expression, "we're pregnant" ever took hold to the point that it's defended as correct English. Oh my!

    • profile image

      Steve 4 years ago

      I think people say, "we're pregnant" to get over some psychological bullshit or emotional baggage they're carrying. Needless to say, we all have some. However, it comes to a point we're your insecurities are conflicting with social normality. It's biologically incorrect and a direct contradiction to the definition of "pregnant" or "pregnancy" (or any variation whereof) to say, "we're pregnant". And I, like many others on this website alone, subconsciously label those who say this into one of the categories mentioned in this posting. Sorry, but you did it to yourself. Now, rather, it's much more appropriate and I think this is a much better alternative to say, "we're having a baby." That is perfectly fine and much more pleasant to hear.

    • profile image

      Not Bitter 4 years ago

      Wow... someone didn't learn what sharing is! I'm a pregnant woman and the fact that my hubbie has to deal with all my crankiness, complaining and cravings and helps me every time with a smile earns him a place in OUR PREGNANCY!!! Stop being bitter and selfish... if the man is responsible enough to stick around and be a part of the pregnancy then he earns this phrase with pride. Not to mention that most men that use this phrase would probably not mind carrying the burden of having the child themselves.

    • amhanel profile image

      amhanel 5 years ago from Ann Arbor, Michigan

      Glad I'm not the only one that feels this way! I hate it!! We're going to be parents, but WE are not pregnant. I wish HE could be pregnant, but it's just not possible unfortunately.

    • profile image

      Nancy 5 years ago

      Whatever happened to the phrase "we're having a baby"? IMO only a browbeaten man would utter a phrase like that. Guess what CHAVONNE, men don't get pregnant! Truth be told, they have all the fun but none of the pain so they shouldn't take too much credit for it!

    • profile image

      Bahston 5 years ago

      Thank you! Every time I hear this phrase I subliminally put the person into one of the categories you listed!

    • profile image

      Mandingo 6 years ago

      Chavonne... yes the man has something to do with making a baby. There is a word we use for this, and that word is ((parent)). Despite what you call "fact", a man can NEVER be pregnant. The mother carries the baby and therefore she is pregnant. It really is easy you see.

    • profile image

      Chavonne 6 years ago

      I can't believe what I'm reading, oh my goodness! Wow this is kinda scary to me that anyone would feel angry towards soon to be parents for being excited about the birth of their child. Yes the mother carries the baby but the father usually had something to do with the creation of the baby so in fact they are pregnant. It's his baby too, it's not his fault he can't carry the baby in his body. Wow, of all things to be upset about, such a beautiful occasion when people are the happiest they've ever been. I think men say it to feel as close the the pregnancy as possible. If I were a man I know I'd feel I was pregnant too because that's my baby! It's not my fault I can't carry the baby. Wow again.

    • profile image

      Charlie 6 years ago

      So pleased I'm not alone in noticing this! My very good friend keeps using this phrase. I just wonder if she'll be applying it to "our" stretchmarks, or "our" cracked nipples and will the baby be coming out of "us"!

    • profile image

      Tomas 6 years ago

      Excellent article!! Very funny and full of down to earth wisdom. Thank you so much - I am glad I found this. I had been wondering about this phrase for a while and the reasons why seemingly smart people would use it. I realize some couples get very excited about the pregnancy and just want to show how caring, loving and committed they are about the event. But they can do so much better than using this trendy phrase. As a man, husband and father I find it troubling to see younger guys saying "I am pregnant" - we guys have no idea what being pregnant is.

    • profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago

      THANK YOU! I loathe this phrase.

      That said, a friend of mine once yelled "we're pregnant!" after finding out over the phone from his wife. They'd been trying to concieve for years. He used it that once in his excitement and then became a sane human being again ;-) It's acceptable just that once

    • profile image

      sassy 6 years ago

      Thank you for the fresh insight on ridiculous phrases taking root in our language.

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