Hey, Brian here, chiming in for the first time with some thoughts I’d like to share with you frequent bloggy readers here at at Playground Dad. If you’re here, I think we can safely assume that you’re already drinking the Kool-Aid of continuous daddy-improvement, dad-bro lifestyle maintenance, and well-rounded-ness. Kudos.
So you already get that we are all constantly evolving. As my wife, Erika, gets closer to becoming a new mom (8 month mark!), I am also progressing as a dad-in-waiting, but she and I have noticed differences in how we approach the ever-present daily changes of pregnancy. As a dude, I have a totally different perspective about how we guys would handle things if we were the ones carrying the kids, and after sharing one of my thoughts on the difference in perspective, Erika suggested I share my thoughts, with you!
And so, at the seven-month mark of Erika’s pregnancy, I present…
If Guys Got Pregnant: The Top Ten Changes
1. We’d Embrace the Belly from Day One:
Some men are so comfortable walking around with their huge beer guts hanging out that Erika and I try to estimate their due date. These men are out and proud- they aren’t plagued by self-loathing for their ever increasing width. In fact, girth and size are how we men measure ourselves against one another. Yup, I do mean that in every way your mind reaches. It just happens.
I know Erika posted recently about the insane comments other women say about her growing belly, and to women, it is totally insulting. But with us, it would be a complete source of pride. Picture a 6-month pregnant guy strutting his stuff around the office as his male co-workers look on in envy. “Hey Larry, look at the size of you! You better give Tomlin a call and tell him you solved his offensive line problem… in 2030!” Har har har!! Lots of jovial hi-fives and good spirited belly rubbing ensues. No tears, no insecurity, no anger. Just pride, because “Larry’s getting larger!” (Airplane reference).
2. Most-Pregnant Man Competitions:
We live in a Super Sized culture with our mega cineplexes, mega truck shows and the World’s Strongest Man Competition. It’s not a huge stretch to see men competing for size when they become vessels of childbirth. I guarantee we would start seeing pay-per-view events where dudes strut their baby bump stuff and literally throw their weight around (safely, safely) for cash prizes and monster trucks and big belts. Again, size would be a minor form of good-natured one-upmanship. Like with all comparisons, there would be an edge of real competition as men try to outdo one another with their perceived massive offspring.
3. Sports Recruiting Starts a Generation Early:
There would be a whole new subset of recruiting in sports that would follow and bid on the offspring of star athletes from the moment of conception. You don’t think there would be a concerted effort to find the next Jordan or discover the secret sauce that created the Manning boys?
4. Losing the Baby Weight: Who cares?
Men wouldn’t even consider how long it will take them to “lose the baby weight” after childbirth. Read that sentence again. It would not be in our thoughts. We would have worked so hard to create a perfect being by force-feeding ourselves muscle building food to promote strength and girth. We would never ever worry about when the extra weight would come off. We would be too preoccupied with turning the back yard in to a gauntlet of sports trials and sponsoring the first Toddler Tough Mudder.
5. Fashion To Accentuate the Positive:
Speaking of the love of the belly, I guarantee these items would always be in style:
Trust me. This would happen.
6. Baby Sports Bars and Non-Alcoholic Beer:
Every sports bar would be kid friendly and child proofed. There would be whole sections of the bar especially designed for kids that served wholesome, baby approved meals (while dads enjoy wings, of course). Men would meet at these Meccas of Maledom to route for their favorite team and bond with other dads, and babies would be occupied across the bar in a day care type of atmosphere. It would be raucous, loud as hell, and grand. I want this to happen.
And speaking of Baby Sports Bars, I’m pretty sure there would be much more effort made in creating delicious non-alcoholic beer for pregnant dudes. A whole industry would spawn from creating this vast subset of man culture. There might even be non-alcoholic beer chugging competitions at said Baby Sport bars.
7. No more pain in the a$s car seats to install:
Cars and trucks would come with car seats made by the car company that easily fit in to the back seat with zero instruction manuals. Guys don’t read instruction manuals anyway. We’d much rather have the option, when purchasing a new Ford Escalade, to pay a couple hundred extra bucks for the car seat upgrade with luxurious accessories. Plus, it would totally have a badass name like Baby Rider 4000.
8. Baby Pop Culture
This movie would have an annual film celebration and would have a massive cult following like that of The Big Lebowski.
You see, men like Arnold. He crushed it in the 80s with action movies that had massive explosion budgets and even bigger muscles. That’s cool. There was such a surplus of testosterone generated from watching his movies that we forgave him this minor blip on an otherwise flawless run of male oriented movie making.
9. Always An Open Seat:
Guys would respect the code: Pregnant Dudes Get A Seat on a crowded train, subway, or any waiting room.
It would be “bro code” to immediately offer one’s seat to another pregnant dude who entered one’s presence. Other guys wouldn’t tolerate it otherwise. And there would most definitely be pregnant man seating at all stadiums, without question.
10. Man’s Body, Man’s Right To Choose:
I emphatically believe that if we men carried the children, we would NEVER let another man or woman take away our right to choose what we do with our bodies. I firmly believe that Pro-Choice would be the rule of law with no cause for further debate. The degree to which men today have inexplicably claimed any right whatsoever to debate what women should do with their bodies would never even happen if they were the ones who could become pregnant. Just my two cents.
So, these are my thoughts that come up when I hear Erika worrying about whether she’s getting too “big,” or wondering how she’ll lose the baby weight under the pressure of adjusting to parenthood. Ladies, you are beautiful, magical beings of creation and you hold life within you. Guys like me aren’t worried about when the baby weight comes off. We’re just in awe of what you’re doing. And like I always tell Erika, you’re doing a great job.
If the tables were turned, and given my Top Ten Changes, perhaps it’s best y’all are the ones who are the vessels for this miracle of life. Honestly (and all joking aside), I don’t think we dudes could handle the burden of the many changes in our bodies and the sacrifices we’d have to make, not to mention the process of childbirth.
I do know that we don’t have a right to tell you what to do with your bodies. Ever. So I’ll just keep offering my seat to any pregnant lady I see on the train, and be the best dad and husband I can be. But I warn you- I can still chug a non-alcoholic beer faster than you. Try me.