When I got engaged Beyoncé’s ‘put a ring on it’ song was still on the charts so my caption on Facebook was a pun on how my high school sweetheart had finally put a ring on it after nearly seven years of dating. I thought it was pretty timely.
I’m pretty sure that was my most ‘liked’ post that year (that was way before Facebook gave us annual recaps of our posts), but for the most part we felt like the post on social media got in the way of sharing this special moment with family and friends. When I called my cousins, godfather and dear friends, they’d already gotten the news. It was anticlimactic.
From there, when we got married sixteen months later, I chose not to post a lot of our wedding photos on social media. We did post a select few, but we felt that those closest to us had already seen the wedding because they attended it, participated in it and were present during the wedding. They didn’t need to see a photo recap of the day.
Fast forward six more years later, and when we found out we were pregnant with Maverick in summer 2019, our social channels stayed quiet.
Instead, we chose to share our best news ever with each person in our life one-on-one, in the moment that was right for each relationship. That included calling my sister-in-law the night I peed on a stick. Telling my dad over a Sunday night dinner. Sending a photo of the ultrasound on the fridge to my soul sister bestie from college because that had meaning to our friendship. Telling our dear friends over bowls of ramen noodles at Tampopo Ramen in Tempe.
By choosing to share our joy in real time, during real conversations with everyone in our lives, it felt like we were able to be more present as we embarked in the journey of parenthood.
We never hid the news, so anyone who talked to us found out; It was never a secret. Some people in our lives struggle to see the difference between it not being promoted on social and keeping it “secret.”
Some folks rolled their eyes at us ‘taking a stand’ against social media; others just ‘didn’t get it,’ but others recognized the thoughtfulness behind the decision and encouraged us. Most importantly, everybody respected our wishes and didn’t tag bump photos of me. My sweet cousin had to crop photos of her visit to Arizona to see us, since my bump was in full force, and one of my best friends would alert me to bump photos from work events when she saw them.
Maybe sharing our news the ‘old school’ way isn’t for everybody, but for us, it worked as a way to feel more connected to the news and to the people in our lives.
I noticed throughout my pregnancy it also made way for more one-on-one conversations about how it was going, how I was feeling, etc. Instead of posting the same bump photo to everyone I know, I could send one-off photos when I was thinking of someone specific, or when they proactively reached out to me to hear how baby was growing. For me, this strengthened my friendships and relationships with family—including my mother and mother-in-law, because communication was more organic, natural, and felt more intimate.
Another unintended benefit of our decision was the ability to maintain a self-identity that went beyond being pregnant. I struggled a lot at work with having co-workers all of a sudden see me just as “being pregnant” and not my full self. By having my social media presence be focused on the other aspects of what makes me unique, it made me feel a little more like myself during the roller-coaster ride of being pregnant for the first time.
I get a lot of questions about how long we’ll keep Maverick off social media. We aren’t sure. He’s less than 15 days old right now and we are focused on being present in these first moments as we adjust to being a trio instead of a duo. Let me assure you, there’s no shortage of photos and witty captions that can be posted at any time—and now with the publishing of this post, an explanation of our decision to be present with the news in our own way.