About a month ago, my best friend, like many others, posted on social media, honoring her husband -- touting how great of a father he is to their two-year-old son. The post featured a family picture, including a burgeoning eight-and-a-half-month baby bump.
Happy Father’s Day to the guy who is the best guy to my little guy and who is going to be a father again next month! 💕 (Life got in the way, so this pregnancy announcement is better late than never!)
At first, I found the post funny. After all, I’d known since month three. I was not only in on the joke but had already planned on telling this offspring that his/her conception was a direct result of parents drinking too much tequila at my wedding. (The timing doesn’t exactly match up, but I maintain that exaggeration is an art form that small children truly appreciate.)
But the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I became on my friend’s behalf. Why should she feel sheepish for not telling the world about her pregnancy sooner? Since when had it become shameful to not share? And, in any case, who had mandated that every aspect of our lives that can be shared, must be shared?
Naturally, my dear friend is not the first to feel shame, nor will she be the last. In early July, Gigi Hadid had to publicly deny claims that she was attempting to “disguise” her pregnancy. Can you imagine? The audacity of not letting the world spend six months staring and judging her body waiting for the results of copulation to come to fruition? Haven’t we all earned it -- that right? I mean, she’s a celebrity – the ogling comes with the territory, no?
I blame the influencers: a group who was able to monetize overexposure, and thus paved the way for overexposure of our own lives and for it to become the social norm. There’s nothing wrong with monetization. I would LOVE to find a brand to that pays me to post pictures of free stuff they send me. But I’m over the guilt. And I can’t be the only one.
So how do we fix it? Step one starts by checking ourselves when we feel we are “owed” that window into someone else’s private life. Step two: tell the guilt to take a hike.
My best friend gave birth to a healthy baby boy last week. Mother and baby are doing great, and I’m pleased to say, my friend has felt no guilt to post on social media – yet.