If you already have children, do you refer to them as “my kids” or “our kids” when speaking with others?
Take note, pregnant friends, as you’ll want to have this down pat before the baby arrives – the difference is a notable one. The former connotes a more possessive or singular approach, whereas the latter sends a message of togetherness and unity. While “my” may seem harmless and unintentional, it conveys a certain message – whether you believe it or not – to others, but also to your partner.
It’s easy to come across stories, blogs, or social media posts from spouses who complain that they’re stuck with the majority of the household and parental duties. But wouldn’t the action of calling the baby “ours” drive home a greater spirit of togetherness when tackling daily familial duties? These spouses might not feel so alone in their work by calling the children ours.
The media drives this perception, too. It’s regular practice for food and home products is to exclude dads in advertising, despite none of the products being gender specific. It makes dads out to be the lesser parent, as if they don’t matter. Using the word “parent” instead of “mom” won’t make or break the marketing business model, and it won’t make a female look away in disgust. Rather, it will make a dad feel like an included member of the family and feel like a valued customer.
In the same vein, wouldn’t we all be doing ourselves a much better service by speaking in terms of “us”? That inclusion, that togetherness would mean a lot toward parental equality. If we all spoke with these expressions, it might even get companies to change their marketing ways.
Perhaps if we all started thinking in terms of “our, us, we,” there might be increased mutual respect and greater understanding in parenting.
Those kids, they’re ours. Try it.