Reading comments, I realize I sorta whiffed the question on telling parents about a pregnancy. Redo:
1. Most importantly: Tell anyone you feel comfortable telling in whatever way you feel comfortable at whatever stage you feel comfortable telling them. This was the piece missing from the original response, and it matters. It matters a lot. I am sorry.
2. Delay telling (i.e. inviting opinions) from people who are known to be judgmental and crappy until there is something more concrete to tell. Parents who don’t think you should even be married definitely don’t need to know about the “trying” stage. But a good friend or a close family member might be a great support through the “trying” stage.
3. Use the “Miss Manners rule” of announcing good news with the enthusiasm you’d like it to be received. “We’re so excited to let you know, we’re having a baby!”
4. For the LW’s judgy parents, a phone call or a greeting card sounds like a great way to do it. Postal mail-that-is-not-a-bill is exciting to receive and thoughtful to send. It takes the pressure off the parents to make the correct face or noises in the moment, and takes some anxiety off the shoulders of the expecting couple. Plus you can seed the entire family at the same time. You can’t control if the parents will call you with “LOL WUT” but you can save yourself experiencing that in person.
Thanks for all the pregnant folks and parents who set me straight in the comments section.
If anyone needs me today, I’ll be reading my friend Megan Stielstra’s new book of essays, Once I Was Cool. It is really, really good so far, if you like that sort of thing, and if you like reading this site I bet you do. She’s going to be reading at Story Club next week, if any other Chicago people want to head there with me. June 5th, The Holiday Club on Irving/Sheridan, get there by 7:00 if you want anything resembling “a seat.”