A friend of mine recently announced on Facebook that she had become a parent. She illustrated this announcement with an adorable baby picture. I’m not very close to this friend. We were colleagues together at a previous job and have stayed in loose touch via social media. I didn’t know she was planning a family.
While scrolling my phone in the parking lot of World Market, I smiled when I saw her announcement. I sent my love and congratulatory wishes (AS YOU DO) and didn’t think much more of it besides to be happy for her.
Later, when scrolling my phone again, my friend’s announcement surfaced to the top of my feed. I noticed a couple glaring responses including: Is he yours? What?! And Who is this sweet baby? Really, people?! As a transracial adoptive mother myself this sadly isn’t the first time I’ve encountered blatant baffling rhetoric concerning the ways people become a family.
The new mother in this story is a brilliant, caring woman. Her creativity and cunning humor in the classroom make math inspiring. As I stopped to consider her growing family again, I had a sweet vision of her son singing a song about the quadratic formula in his preschool class while the other children were still working through itsy bitsy spider.
My friend’s announcement, like all new parent announcements, was one of joy. She and her partner had been quiet on social media about their family planning--a choice I can respect. Yet, I am alarmed by the apparent lack of know-how on how to respond to such good news. And so, I’ve created a helpful flowchart on how to respond if someone in your social media circles or workplace announces they have become a parent.
Feel free to share with friends, family, and your other networks as needed.