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Fellas: 5 Reasons to Avoid the Royal "We" During Pregnancy

By John Cave Osborne |

The royal we of pregnancy.

I’m tired today. With good reason. You see, I drove down to New Orleans on Thursday to attend the Mom 2.0 Summit and didn’t return until last night. I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a mom, right? True, but I’m also not pregnant and you’re currently reading my writing on a blog called Being Pregnant. But more on me not being pregnant later…

See, I was in New Orleans because I was asked to be on a panel to discuss the evolution of dad bloggers. Given that I’ve been doing more and more professional writing on account of my blogging, my wife and I both agreed it was a no brainer that I go.

But while I was off presenting, carousing and schmoozing, my wife was busy feeding, chasing and bathing. I rocked the French Quarter, while she rocked french toast. And as I talked excitedly about her pregnancy, she simply lived it in a manner that was anything but exciting.

It seemed unfair. Check that. It was unfair. If she weren’t pregnant, we would have made arrangements for the kids and she would have come with me. But she is pregnant. And I’m not. So I could go, yet she couldn’t. Which prompted me to give lots of thought to the “royal we” some men use during pregnancy. You know, the clown who says “We’re pregnant” while pointing to his wife’s belly?

Well, I’ve come up with five reasons why men should never, ever do that.

1. Biologically impossible: No, this isn’t where you zip down to the comment section and leave some link about that “pregnant man” person who surfaced a coupla years back. Instead, this is where I tell you this: I searched for hours and hours on end last night and I still couldn’t find my cervix. I even used one of those bad, hand-held mirror deals.

It turns out that I don’t have one. So I suppose I shouldn’t be all concerned about the length of it. But Caroline’s concerned about the length of hers. Because she’s actually pregnant. So she’s allowed to refer to herself as such. Me? I’m just some guy who can’t find his cervix.

2. Constant state of discomfort: You know what used to really get my goat? Whenever I broke something back in the day, like an ankle or wrist. I always hated how uncomfortable my cast was. I remember looking at all the other school kids and thinking:

Y’all cannot POSSIBLY imagine how bad this SUCKS, the fact that I can’t even scratch my foot right now. No idea. NONE. And don’t even get me started on the emasculating little shower routine my mom’s drummed up. OH. And to add insult to injury, all y’all walk around as if there’s nothing wrong in the world. Yet, THERE IS, friends. I BROKE MY FREAKIN’ ANKLE AND YOU DON’T CARE.

So if I went on such angry internal rants as a prepubescent 6th grader about a measly 6-week stint in a walking cast, I can’t even imagine how bad the internal rants must be for a woman who is experiencing the sensation of suddenly being twice her normal size while hopped up on staggering levels of estrogen during a 40-week pregnancy.

Yet going with “We’re pregnant!” implies I can.

3. Sensitivity issues: I’d be willing to bet that most of the predominantly female (and likely pregnant) readership of this blog drew an audible gasp when they got to the “twice her normal size” comment in my last paragraph. You know why I kept it in?

Because I’m an idiot who could never possibly understand how offensive my (rather lame) attempt at humor is because (get this) I’m not pregnant. So no need to compound the insensitivity and go all “royal we” and illogically insinuate that I am.

4. Sacrifices: On Saturday morning, Caroline endured the ensuing DEFCON 1 meltdown which occurred after our oldest daughter accidentally locked everyone (as defined by my wife and all four of our children) inside Kirby’s room. Me? I was dealing with a pretty gnarly hangover. While Caroline searched in vain for a hanger that would jimmy the lock, I pondered the odds of the concierge being able to hook me up with an IV drip of saline.

Yet, answer this question, friends: Which spouse was in greater need of a drink? I dare say it was my lovely wife. But alcohol is one of the countless sacrifices she’s made while carrying Grand Finale. Me? I’ve really not sacrificed anything. (Well, except ice cream, but that’s only because I know Caroline’ll kick my ass if I eat any of it.) If Caroline’s not saying “We really got hammered in the French Quarter last night,” then I can’t say “We’re pregnant!”

5. It’s just wrong: I’ve made my fair share of mistakes during this pregnancy, my friends. Like the time I accidentally called my wife fat. And old. But one thing I’ve tried to avoid is use of the royal we. (Please feel free to go back and look at all my posts to double check, though. My stats totally suck this month and I could really use the traffic…)

Because using the royal we to describe a pregnancy is just wrong. And never was that fact more apparent to me than this weekend while I was away in NOLA on legitimate business and Caroline was trapped at home. As I already mentioned, ordinarily, we would have made arrangements for the kids and Caroline would have come with me. Yet that was impossible because at this stage of the pregnancy, her doctor doesn’t want her outside of a 30-minute radius of the hospital.

Me? I’m allowed to go wherever I want. And the reason why I’m allowed to go anywhere I want yet she’s not?

Because “we’re” not pregnant. She is.

Image: stock.xchng

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About John Cave Osborne


John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months after marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, they have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. Read bio and latest posts → Read John's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Fellas: 5 Reasons to Avoid the Royal "We" During Pregnancy

  1. AQ says:

    I love this!! I hate “we’re pregnant.” But, I think “we’re expecting” is sweet, because both parents get to look forward to the baby’s arrival.

  2. Patrick (yeah, that one) says:

    You’re right on, as usual. :-) And though I can understand a guy’s potential sense of pride about being an expecting father, he doesn’t get to claim the pregnancy any more than I get to claim the paycheck of the candidate that got elected to Congress from my district. Sure, I may have voted for him, but that doesn’t make it ‘our’ paycheck. Although if he wants to give me a little gratuitous kickback for my support, I’ll take a milkshake from Sonic.

  3. Missie says:

    :) I Love this article. That is so sweet for him to take that kind of concideration for his wife. I think I may have my Husband read this. But he has never refered to “us” being pregnant… I did… Hrmmmm.. Interesting. :D

  4. Shannon LC Cate says:

    Amen. I have never been pregnant, but I still hate it when men use “we.” I hate it, perhaps, even more, when women do it about their spouses (male or female). Give yourself some credit, woman.

  5. SNSinNC says:

    Well, you did say “we’re pregnant” in the post you linked to above about why you can’t eat ice cream… There, I improved your stats. I think I said “we’re pregnant” more than my husband did. It made me feel less alone :)

  6. Lizzy says:

    I have been prego 4 times! My husband said the “we’re pregnet” with the first one. But, when your hanging over a toilet puking up stomach acid because u can’t hold anything down for several weeks!!!! The mear thought of him saying that pissed me off. I snapped a few times never at him always at other people. but he kinda got the hint i guess. he NEVER says the “we’re pregnet” or “we expecting”. But, he knows when I am pregnet he has a new job, an new title. Concierge!
    Your blog made me laugh no offence at the “double her size” comment.

  7. Dana says:

    Amen to that. Hysterical as always. Loved it.

  8. Alex says:

    I couldn’t agree more! My husband has never say that but then my MIL started saying “our baby”. I thought how dare she – sure a baby is part of the bigger family but only the mother and father get to say “our baby”. Thankfully my husband spoke to her but boy that got under my skin!

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