Not to be shown up by British royalty, a daughter of American political royalty just announced on the NBC’s Today Show that she is pregnant.
“I’m a first-time mom, but it’s something I’ve always wanted. I’m a teacher and I love kids,” Jenna Bush Hager said.
Bush, who contributes to the show, told the clearly already-in-the-know co-hosts that she is due this spring.
She was soon flanked by her flower-bearing husband and by a phone call from her parents, the former president and first lady.
George W. Bush said he was “fired up” about the pregnancy.
Laura Bush said she had plans to spoil the grandchildren, to which her husband added, “Kinda like we did our daughter.”
Matt Lauer and the former president also joked about how long they waited for the conception — in the sort of public private boundary trampling that makes some of us squirm.
In fact, the whole episode was rather boundary crossing. We would have all found out about the pregnancy eventually. Why feel the need to announce it in the most public of ways to the most disconnected of strangers?
Well, maybe, because pregnancy announcements have become public affairs.
After all, announcing on Facebook with a sonogram photo has become the norm. So common, in fact, that Facebook this year created a new category for users to choose on their timeline called “expecting a baby.”
Twitter, too, has become more likely to host announcements like Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’s 2010 tweet: “Brian and I are excited to announce we’re expecting; Cole will have a baby sister for Christmas.”
Etiquette experts and the more nervous among us shun the practice. Manner minders point out that pregnancy is a private condition to be shared individually. Others might avoid it because if something goes wrong, there’s little chance a couple would want to share that news publicly as well.
On the other hand, there’s a case to be made that if a couple has cause for a celebration, why not share it with a viewing audience? And, while they’re at it, let the soon-to-be-grandparents gush about it too.
Where do you stand on pregnancy announcements? Public, private or a personal decision?