On her Tuesday night appearance on Jimmy Kimmel live, Mila Kunis provided some pretty sound advice to future fathers: Stop saying "we're pregnant." As Kunis explained, you are not pregnant unless you have to "squeeze a watermelon-sized person out of your lady hole." It's true, men can't get pregnant. Women get pregnant.
Modern fathers (and I am one) are so excited about having children that they want to claim pregnancy for their own. Except they can't. Look, I applaud modern fathers who are involved with raising children more than ever before, but saying "we're pregnant" has simply got to go. Saying "we're having a baby" is also questionable. "We made a baby" might be okay, but it's kind of awkward, so skip that one.
Some better phrases for soon to be fathers would be to say "I'm going to be a father," or "my wife is pregnant with my child," or even "I am going to be raising a child after my wife squeezes it out of her lady hole."
Modern fathers may feel like they are pregnant because modern relationships are based on a true partnership. Soon-to-be fathers now attend OB/GYN appointments, tour hospitals before a birth, learn about the stages of the pregnancy, follow their child's development on baby center, attend birth classes, and discuss a birth plan. They learn about which prenatal vitamins are the best and which foods the soon-to-be mother of their child should avoid. Some may even attend a prenatal yoga class.
Modern fathers also read baby books and experience stress and anxiety about the birth, the health of mother and child, and also sometimes wonder "how they hell are we gonna do this?"
Modern fathers may also feel like they are pregnant because, let's be honest, they too gain a shit ton of weight during the pregnancy. Even though they are not growing a person inside of their bodies, late night ice cream and cake and cookies and candy and other celebratory eating will do that.
Modern fathers also often take part in the delivery, acting as coach, teammate, leg holder, masseuse, water boy, towel provider, or whatever jobs are called for at the time. And, let's not forget the cutting of the umbilical cord and the role of liason to the family in the waiting room.
Dads also share equally in the pain and joys of raising children and can lay equal claim to parenthood. And, I certainly don't want to stand in the way of the pride and sincere happiness men can exhibit about becoming a father.
However, no matter their involvement, men still can't get pregnant.
After their child is born, however, modern fathers have a lot of things to say, beginning with: "I am your dad." And later: "I had no idea that is what the first shit looked like"; "We have to do laundry again?"; "I'll take this shift"; "What can I get you to eat?"; "What do we do now?"; "Is it supposed to be like this?"; "Look it up in the book"; "Why won't he/she sleep already?"; and "I don't want to return to work."
And, while men need to stop saying "We're pregnant," I think it's only fair that after months of sleep deprivation and stress following their child's birth, after changing diapers and attending pediatrician appointments, after hours of tummy time and singing and reading, after having a tiny human fall asleep on their chest and smile up at them, and generally worrying about the future of humanity, they have earned the right to say "we're parents."