I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silent hurt more.C.S. Lewis
Fools rush in
April 1st. The day that pranksters rejoice at the opportunity to be a tad mischievous and are absolved of all punishment under the guise of April Fool’s Day. The goal is to fool an unwitting victim into believing something or trick them into taking some sort of action you’ve encouraged them to.
My Dad loved playing tricks on us
Growing up in my household, we would be awoken by my father with the news that there had been a big snow storm overnight and that school was cancelled. Much rejoicing followed until we rushed to the window to see how much snow we’d be able to go out and play in with a day off from school – only to see bare ground. Somehow in the year between we always seemed to forget his go-to prank.
Whatever the hoax might be, it is meant to be received in a humorous way. To tease or get a bit of revenge but always to surprise someone when they learn the truth about a situation they have been enticed into believing.
All pranks are not created equal
However, there’s one prevalent hoax (especially since the invention and widespread use of Facebook) that many will resort to on April Fool’s Day.
The fake pregnancy announcement.
It isn’t funny and I’m about to share with you just why I urge you to never have this in your arsenal of pranks.
It isn’t a laughing matter
They hurt for the couple who wants nothing more than to get a positive pregnancy test result. The couples who have been trying to get pregnant for YEARS while everyone around them seems to be able to have children without even thinking about it.
They hurt for the couple who has been dealing with secondary infertility. They are so tired of being asked when they’re going to give their child a sibling because people assume you can have another child without difficulty.
They hurt for those who have suffered miscarriages, late losses or stillbirths. They’ve had their hopes and dreams and children torn from them.
The only one laughing is you
You might rationalize the announcement as being all in good fun.
You reason that you would never mean to intentionally hurt someone.
You’re only doing it because you know there’s nobody in your circle of friends or family who have problems getting or staying pregnant.
Their struggles aren’t always public ones
Just because you haven’t been told about someone’s personal struggles with pregnancy does not mean they have not happened or are happening in their lives. To think otherwise is extremely naive.
The harsh reality is that many people who are challenged with infertility or have suffered losses never talk about them openly.
They grieve privately, sometimes only sharing that grief with their spouse.
Please think before you hit “post”
It is for this simple reason that I ask you to please not let false pregnancy announcements pass over your lips or through your finger tips. Not only today but every day.
What may seem like a harmless joke to you can cause unimaginable wounds to reopen for those you love the most, without even realizing your words are having that impact.
By all means, have fun and celebrate April Fool’s Day but beware of the impact your antics might have on others.