It happens every single year. April Fool’s comes around and somehow 1/4 of my friends are using the same day to announce their pregnancies. They get a ton of congratulatory comments full of well wishes and then they tell everyone “Haha, we got you! We’re not actually pregnant- calm down.” I am not saying that they meant to be hurtful or anything of the sort; they probably didn’t even think about a post like this being anything more than a good joke.
I am quite gullible and last year, I believed it when I saw one of these announcements. I have enough trouble keeping track of what the date is let alone keep in mind that a silly tradition like April Fools Day even exists. This year, I was prepared for all of these announcements and sure enough, the first thing I saw when I checked Facebook was an announcement just like this one. I just scrolled past it.
Yes, everyone has the freedom to post whatever they like, to each their own etc but a post I saw right after that one was an obituary posted by a friend who recently and unexpectedly lost her brother. After that, I saw a post from a couple who have been known for wanting children ever since they got married a few years ago and are still struggling. People are going through things that are so much more important than a good prank. Even when you look up the origin behind April Fool’s Day, you read:
April Fools’ Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar. -Infoplease
Lighthearted, sure- but some people take these pranks to heart more than others. That is when I saw and I shared this photo. I thought it would be interesting to see how people reacted to the photo so I went on to read the comments. They varied between individuals talking about their own infertility stories and those mourning a loss of a child to comments stating that people need to lighten up and if they don’t want to react badly to these pranks, then don’t read them. Here are a few examples of the comments:
“Everything in the world is going to offend someone else. And this post isn’t going to stop people from doing or saying anything about it. So how about educating people to be strong and turn the other cheek and not get offended by every little thing they see or hear? I am not trying to be negative. But in all seriousness, this is a little bit of an unrealistic goal.”
“Another reason to be afraid of offending someone. Last year for Christmas my mom put a fake positive pregnancy test in a “Daddy” card for my dad. He’s 54 and she’s 48. He actually got scared and it was hilarious. Let people enjoy their fun. Everything is going to offend everyone at some point no matter what you do. Don’t like it, don’t read it.”
“I have done this to my mom. But the poor women has 8 grandkids. Six being from Me. So its funny hearing her freak. Before all the sensitive ppl freak out. I lost triplets. The way it happened to was awful. But life goes on. Maybe ppl should just stop being so damn sensitive. Live and let live!”
I understand that everything will be seen as offensive to someone and it is impossible to make everyone happy but since when has it been a bad thing to THINK about what you post before you post it? I am sure I have posted something that has been seen as offensive to someone and I truly apologize since it is not my intention, as I am sure people aren’t intentionally trying to be hurtful with these posts.
Many people may think that I am only writing about this now because I actually AM pregnant and I am just being overly sensitive to things that involve pregnancy. Yes, knowing I will be a Mother has changed several aspects of my life for the positive, (as it should), but these posts got my attention last year as well and I just kept my mouth shut. Now that I have been in touch with other couples and women going through their own pregnancy journeys, it made me want to be a bit more vocal about it. I have met so many wonderful women (and men), whether by reading their own blogs or via baby forums, who opened their hearts to discuss how painful losing a child is or how frustrating it is to struggle with infertility. Until you go through it or know someone who has or is going through it, you have no idea how these posts can affect someone. It is not up to us to decide how someone will or should react to a post, but what we can do is just think a bit more before posting something.
What do you think? Is it really just a lighthearted joke and people need to be less sensitive or should the people posting such pranks take other people into consideration a bit more?
Let me know by commenting below or finding me on Facebook!
Happy April 1st Everyone!