About 70% of the conversations my wife starts begin with the phrase “Guess who’s having a baby?” The answer to this question is, apparently, everybody we’ve ever known who’s within ten years of our age. It’s a little strange because my wife and I are already two kids in, and the view on this side is very different than it was when we were expecting the first one. I would be surprised at this spate of pregnancies, but then I remember that everyone admires my wife and I and aspires to be like us.
I don’t really know what it was like to have babies before the age of Facebook, but I feel like it’s an unbearably sappy thing anymore. It’s all sorts of cute posed pictures, coy hints with little baby shoes, and irritatingly vague status updates like “I’m having a baby!” Don’t get me wrong, pregnancy is a beautiful thing aside from the nausea, heartburn, and lack of sleep, and that’s just for the father. It’s very much in line with my experience raising children, a joyous experience covered in a thick layer of sleeplessness, crap, and dirty laundry.
Before anyone thinks I’m some kind of He-Man Baby Hater, I genuinely love babies. At least, I still like them after raising two of them, which is saying something. But I’d be lying if I said I love cutesy announcements on Facebook. So here’s how I recommend we announce all future babies on social media:
- For the first kid, a picture of the mother looking radiant and joyful, and the father wearing a confused expression that says he clearly didn’t assume that such natural consequences applied to him.
- For the second baby, a picture of a messy house, a pregnant mother looking run-down, and a father who is holding a struggling two-year-old, who is a blur of motion.
- The third kid is two parents sleeping with their heads down on the table while their two previous children comfort them.
- The fourth kid and up get no announcement, but everyone else comments on the parents’ profiles asking what on earth they were thinking.