When I found out I was pregnant, I was beyond excited. I’d always daydreamed about fun and creative ways to share the news with my hubby, but the moment I saw that second line emerge on the home test, I just went bounding into the bedroom and jumped on top of him to scream, “I’m pregnant!” Like many parents-to-be, we decided to wait a few months in before sharing the news with our social network, and I put a lot of thought into unique ways to do so. Because we were living in another state from most of our friends and family, and had a good handle on keeping things under wraps until we were ready to share, our social media announcement went off without a hitch. But after a few months hanging out in some Facebook mom groups, I realized that plenty of others had not been so lucky.
These days practically everything — from the distance you ran to the inner thoughts you experience while waiting on line at the supermarket — is shared, it seems something so sacred as a pregnancy announcement would be met with nothing but “likes” and joyful comments. But I was pretty horrified to find out that many of the women I interviewed on the topic experienced just the opposite. From drama with family to threats from exes, or the terribly unfortunate oopsy-share where a trusted confidante spilled the beans publicly before the parents were ready, Facebook can be just as much of a curse as it is a blessing in announcing life’s biggest moments — especially this one.
Here’s what some moms had to say about the virtual nightmares that unraveled after they (or someone else!) shared their big news:
“A friend of mine posted bump shots before I was ready to share,” says Anna D., of New Jersey. “It wasn’t a secret, but it wasn’t something I necessarily wanted on social media.” After her baby shower, a well-meaning friend posted a bunch of photos of Anna’s baby bump and suddenly she had tons of questions and comments to answer that she hadn’t been prepared for. “I wish I had been able to make the announcement for myself on social media—and I feel, even if someone is relatively far along, a friend or family member should ALWAYS ask if bump shots are okay before posting!” she adds.
“We were immediately accused of overpopulating the world,” says Diana B., of Oregon. After announcing a third baby was on the way, Diana and her husband endured myriad sarcastic comments like this gem from her brother-in-law: “Well, I guess we don’t need to have any since you two are having them all!” The family had made plenty of rude remarks like these during a previous pregnancy, and it was painful to experience it again in a public forum while simply trying to share their joy with family and friends.
“My dad and stepmom were pissed that they found out our baby name via Facebook,” says Kelsey F., of Washington. Kelsey and her husband e-mailed their baby name decision to close family members before posting to Facebook. As luck would have it, the expectant grandparents checked Facebook before their e-mail, and soon called to chastise her for letting them find out the name on social media. “The announcement was not about family or friends; it was about my son and his name and was supposed to be exciting,” she says. “Now when I think back about it, it just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.”
“My husband ruined my perfect announcement,” says Alysha F., of California. This first-time mom had been dreaming of the moment she and her hubby would share their big news. Then, her excited husband took it upon himself to upload their first ultrasound picture to Facebook with the caption, “Alysha is pregnant.” While it wasn’t a nightmare, it certainly wasn’t her dream announcement. “The hormones made me mad at the time, but now I can laugh,” she says.
“My mother-in-law called me selfish for not running my post by her, even though she already knew I was pregnant,” says Brooke C., of Nevada. “We were really excited to share our news and it was just received so poorly. By her behavior, you never would have thought we were a happily married couple who had been trying to have another baby.”
“We were told we were going to Hell because we aren’t married,” says Sarah J., of Kentucky. With a toddler in tow, Sarah and her husband told her religious side of the family that they were expecting baby #2, and all hell broke loose (literally). As if the slings weren’t bad enough in person, these judgmental family members shared their ugly opinions about the couple’s choices on social media for all to see.
“I had a huge fight with my mother who posted my baby news on Facebook before I had a chance to tell anyone myself,” says Eliisa R., of New Jersey. “My mum is Facebook friends with some of the same people I am, so I had to send quick announcement messages to my besties and brother. It completely ruined me sharing our news and I didn’t speak to her for a week even though she was here visiting from Australia.”
More Mom Confessions:
- I’m Worried That I’m Having Another Boy
- Dear Baby: Sorry Your Mom Is So Old
- Why I Refuse to Take ‘Maternity’ Photos