George at ASDA recently revealed the results of a survey about how parents choose to break the news of a new baby. Of the people polled, 57% announced their first pregnancy to family in person and 54% told their friends face-to-face. So far so normal right? However, 31% of 18-24 year olds and 33% of 25-34 year olds opted to go online for the big announcement.
The more I read about the subject on mummy blogs the more I started to despair.
Here’s what Vicki Psarias at www.honestmum.com said:
“I blogged about it after my three month scan and phoned and texted close family and friends…I also shared the gender reveal on the blog too with a light-hearted post called ‘I Saw A Ding A Ling’.”
I Saw A Ding A Ling? Oh dear. Some people even manipulate the situation for added drama. This from Caro Davies at www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk on expecting twins:
“We told close friends and family in person. We showed them one scan picture first, then waited a couple of minutes for the excitement to die down, before showing them the second photo.”
Talk about milking it. Now, I understand that social media is the easiest way to get the message out there quickly and garner responses. However, there’s also a narcissistic side to all of this. I remember surreptitiously checking how many Facebook likes rolled in once my wife and I had announced our engagement. I felt pretty self-satisfied with the final number before realising that (a) I was a massive bellend for doing so, and (b) I should just enjoy the moment sipping champagne with my beautiful new fiancée. You can’t be too smug about it, no matter how long you’ve been trying or how much you’ve spent on IVF.
The other factor is the way you tell everyone the news. First of all, people have short memories. When I didn’t have a kid, the fact that a friend on Facebook was pregnant didn’t particularly register with me. I didn’t really give a sh*t because it was an alien concept. Now I understand the gravity of the situation and can empathise, but be aware of keeping those among your peer group who don’t have kids interested. Also, what about friends of yours who can’t have children or who are struggling to get pregnant? You can’t be too ‘tah-dah!’ about it.
Here’s the Instagram post which first announced that my wife was pregnant:
Much better right? It happens to be one of my favourite films anyway, and perhaps I was subtly hinting at my deep underlying fears of having deformed baby growing in my wife’s belly or a premature birth? Maybe not, I don’t really know. I thought it was funny though.
And when we went for the scan that determines the sex of the child, Martha had her legs crossed so the sonographer was unable to tell us one way or the other. I found this highly amusing; sometimes you can’t cheat nature with technology:
A photo posted by Robin Sherwood (@letsgetanother8ball) on
In summary then, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share your good news over social media, just be a bit more creative about it; and absolutely no ding a lings!