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Who Gets To Spill The Beans First?

Hi have a question for you where I don’t know if me and my husband were in the wrong or my SIL is overly sensitive/self centered.

I gave birth to my second child a couple of days ago, two weeks before the due date. Everything went incredibly fast and we only had time to tell a handful of people that we were on our way to the hospital (my parents, my husband’s parents and the sitter that was going to take care of child no. 1 while I was in labour). Everything went well and we had a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

Of course, after the delivery we began sharing the news with family and friends, starting with those closest to us. I informed “my side” of the family while DH started on his. My husband called his parents who unfortunately did not pick up, but he left a message. He then continued by texting his aunt, and before he got around to inform anyone else he got a text from his sister that “I hear rumors from (aunt) that the baby has arrived, thanks for letting me know”. DH were left a bit perplex because he was just then in the process of contacting his sister, and a bit unhappy that his aunt had spilled the beans on our behalf.

The day after, my SIL called her brother and was unhappy that aunt D was given the news before her. DH tried to explain that the notification time between her and aunt D was literally one minute (which can be proven by looking at time stamps on the phone calls and text messages involved). She accused him of lying and deliberately shutting her out. Nothing more came of that conversation.

My problem with this is two things – First of all, I very much dislike that other family members take it upon themselves to spread such information, unless explicitly told to pass it on on our behalf. (I must add that NO social media announcement had been made at this point, so I didn’t consider it public knowledge that the baby had arrived). But the aunt in question is a bit old and although she means no harm she doesn’t always think things through. I have chalked it up to a unfortunate slip om her behalf.

Second, my biggest issue is this – I think my SIL is acting bratty and rude when she apparently is offended that she was not “higher up on the list of people informed” and accused my husband of lying to her when he tried to explain what actually went down. She even said after his explanation that she don’t know who to believe and she don’t like being lied to. What’s to believe or not?? She was in the group of people that we prioritized to tell first, but someone beat us to it.. Get over yourself and accept that our first priority is to inform those closest to us about the baby’s arrival and not necessarily dwell too long on who is higher in the family hierarchy and thus must be treated this way.
Am I wrong? Should we have handled this differently?

I must add that SIL often creates this type of drama and it has really started to rub me the wrong way so I just might be a bit biased in my judgement of her behavior, but the bottom line is that she is not at all the focal point of this happening, she would have been informed promptly when things had settled down (so no deliberate shunning or otherwise “keeping her out” on our part), and I think that she should really get over herself and not make a fuss over the fact that “aunt x was told before me and I feel overlooked”.

Or she could just be the bigger person and let it go because me and DH just went through this big ordeal and this is not the time to create drama over nothing.

Any thoughts? 0823-18

There are situations in life where you just want to roll your eyes and insist that certain people get over it.    SIL is a drama queen who turns the focus of a new family member into being all about her not getting an exclusive update.   Sheesh,  get over it, SIL!  In the grand scheme of life this is so petty to waste emotions and time over.

And Aunt Blabbermouth races to share news that isn’t hers, even beating out the father of the baby.   If you are one of those people who immediately shares dramatic news you’ve just discovered, be it either a happy event like the birth of a child or a sad one like the unexpected death,  you should carefully examine why you feel the need to share that information when you are likely not the original “owner” of that information.   I’ve seen too many situations where a death is announced prematurely on social media by people who are not closely connected to the deceased.

New information has an “owner”, in this case it was the OP and her husband as the new parents.   They “loan” out the information to others who should be asking, “Can I share this?” , or , “Is this to be kept private for a little while?”   It is wrong to assume you “own” someone else’s news announcement and can circumvent how and when they want that news to be distributed.  It won’t kill you to wait to say anything.   In fact, I relish in the secrecy that I am one of the few who knows the whole story.

Dear OP, the only thing I might have done differently was to wait until you reached Husband’s parents with the news before moving on to other people.   It’s a small courtesy considering that they were one of the very few who knew you were heading to the hospital but not a big faux pas to beat yourself about.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • staceyizme August 27, 2018, 7:04 am

    Once you tell someone the news, you’re no longer in control of the message. Anyone who objects to the order in which the news is shared should be met with external tolerance, an inner eye roll and a refusal to do anything differently. There are a few occasions in life when it’s not “about” the recipient of the news, so there isn’t any need to feel badly. Honestly, I’d say the same if it was a new grandmother or grandfather complaining. News is generally shared in the order that makes sense based on proximity of emotional connection, frequency of contact and anticipated interest level of the recipient. If someone is “miffed” that they didn’t make the TOP TEN, they probably need to just get OVER themselves. Sometimes the people sharing the news about the birth, marriage, promotion, illness, job loss or death are busy living THROUGH the event and haven’t established a formal news network through which to disseminate it.

    • Harry's Mom August 27, 2018, 12:25 pm

      Staceyizme nailed it right here: Once you tell someone the news, you’re no longer in control of the message. I have a friend who must be the first to share any sort of news, good, bad, and worse. So now when I have news to share, I am explicit with her about what she does with that information.

  • Anonymous August 27, 2018, 7:08 am

    I think both Aunt and SIL behaved badly–Aunt for spilling the beans, and SIL for making a huge deal about it. The OP delivered a healthy baby, and she and her husband told their family, and that’s the important thing. Besides, why did SIL assume that the calls were being made in “hierarchical order,” when there might be another perfectly logical explanation? For example, maybe OP and Husband we just going through their lists of contacts (for family members) on their phones, which automatically sort contacts alphabetically.

  • Lara August 27, 2018, 7:26 am

    Sister-in-law needs to get over herself, and you and your husband should stop worrying about her or trying to appease her. You’ve told her what happened, and either she believes you or she doesn’t. In fact, that’s what I would say if she brings it up. “We told you what happened, and either you believe us or you don’t.” Then change the subject. Honestly, even if you had waited longer to tell her, that’s your decision too, and none of her business. Next time you have important news to share, though, I would move that particular aunt to the bottom of the list. She can obviously be trusted only to tell as many people as she can, as fast as she can.

  • AS August 27, 2018, 7:35 am

    OP is way more forgiving of the aunt than I would be. Not sharing information that does not belong to you is not a new etiquette, and so unless the aunt is suffering from amnesia or other disorders, being old is no excuse for messaging another family member within less than a minute! Though, maybe all aunt was doing was congratulating the SIL on becoming an aunt again, she could still have waited a bit, but more forgivable; she just didn’t think through completely, (or didn’t realize that SIL wasn’t in the hospital), as the OP said.

    SIL is a drama queen, as you pointed out. Seriously, just get over it, lady! Maybe it is time to get her some big girl pants while you are out shopping for the baby.

  • Kat August 27, 2018, 7:48 am

    This happened with my cousin and our grandma. Grandma found out his baby was here and called the family to tell them. Proud dad called my dad (his uncle) to say he his son had arrived, and my dad said “I know, Grandma called.” My cousin was a bit let down. My dad shouldn’t have said anything. Oh well, life goes on.

    I’ve asked a couple of friends in the past year how I should expect to hear about their new babies’ arrivals, if they’ll be posting on FB or privately messaging everyone. That way I kind of feel prepared for how I’ll hear the news (not that it’s about how I feel, at all). It seems to work out well.

    • Tracy W August 29, 2018, 2:30 am

      I think the etiquette is to excitedly congratulate the new parent.

    • galatea September 2, 2018, 9:49 pm

      I like the idea of asking how you should *expect* to be informed. That way, if you hear the news some other way, you can pretend to be surprised when it comes through the proper channel, and the person who owns that news won’t be thrown by you already knowing. That can really take the wind right out of their sails, spoiling good news, and making bad news worse.

  • Yuchin Robb August 27, 2018, 7:52 am

    Please do not lose the big picture! Congrats on the baby girl! Have you and your DH figured out the name yet? Please make sure to let her paternal grandparents know before Aunt D and SIL.

  • Val August 27, 2018, 8:42 am

    I would address it once with SIL and then refuse to discuss it any further. “SIL, have you stopped for even a second and considered the fact that maybe it is upsetting for US that aunt took it upon herself to spread ours news before we had a chance to? This is a moment that we will never get back. We understand that you wish you had heard about our daughter’s birth directly from us, but frankly your tantrum has gone on long enough. If you’ll excuse us, we have an ACTUAL baby to take care of so why don’t we all take a nice break from each other until your feelings can recover.”

    • Bernadette August 27, 2018, 1:18 pm

      “You’re tantrum has gone on long enough”! Love it – and that simple sentence could be used to handle MULTIPLE posts on this site. 🙂

      • OP August 30, 2018, 11:34 pm

        This!!! I will use this!

  • Vic August 27, 2018, 9:03 am

    I have to be honest here. I don’t understand why anyone thinks the aunt did anything wrong. I didn’t see in the letter that the husband told her to keep it under wraps until he had a chance to finish telling everyone. I would have assumed his sister had already been told, and wouldn’t have hesitated talking about the happy news. It’s not the same as a death in the family, in my opinion. I only share bad news if I know I’m the logical person to be stuck with that task. But happy news is cause for celebration.

    • Bada August 27, 2018, 10:11 am

      It’s the speed if the sharing by the Aunt that is a problem for me. She somehow shared the info in the one minute between first hearing it and when the OP notified SIL. She wasn’t just sharing the news in general conversation, she was immediately forwarding it to everyone she could think of.

      • Vic August 27, 2018, 2:09 pm

        Everyone she could think of? I think it’s more likely that she called the new dad’s sister to congratulate her on being an aunt again. I didn’t see anything in the letter about anyone else being contacted by her.

        • Cat2 August 27, 2018, 4:20 pm

          Within a minute? People are rarely THAT fast unless they have some other motive involved.

          • Vic August 28, 2018, 8:41 am

            Wow. You have a suspicious nature.

        • galatea September 2, 2018, 9:52 pm

          A congratulatory phone call usually takes longer than a minute. And besides, if she’s calling to congratulate, after receiving a TEXT announcement, you’d think she’d be calling to congratulate the actual *parents* of the new baby, and not the aunt. Especially since this is the aunt’s second niece/nephew. Not “You’re an aunt,” but “you have another niece/nephew to love.”

          Note, the aunt did not reply to the text, but just spread the news around, immediately. No congratulations, just spreading the news. That’s rude.

      • Jared Bascomb August 27, 2018, 5:29 pm

        Yeah, the speed between texts/notifications leaped out at me, too. OP implied that hubby was sending out messages one immediately after another, but I wonder if hubby was taking five minutes between notification calls or texts. That would explain how aunt got to SIL before hubby.
        And at the risk of violating an internet rule, there are an unusual number of grammatical and spelling errors and inconsistencies in this posting . That makes me wonder if the OP is not a native English speaker, and that we are therefore misinterpreting some of her assumptions because of a possible language barrier or cultural differences.

        That said, I still think SIL is getting miffed over nothing.

    • Ergala August 27, 2018, 6:20 pm

      I was raised that until a public announcement has been made you don’t discuss other people’s news. I.e. engagements, pregnancies, births and deaths. When my fiance and I got engaged his mother forbade him from telling anyone. She didn’t and still doesnt like me for some unknown reason. So we sat on it only to have her run out and tell everyone within the week. We were beyond upset. So we changed our FB statuses to engaged and she commented “dislike!!!” On my fiance’s. Guess who isn’t to the wedding.

      • Ergala August 27, 2018, 6:21 pm

        “Isn’t invited to”.

        • staceyizme August 28, 2018, 9:46 pm

          Why would he go along with the idea that his mother has the right to tell him how he should communicate the fact that he is engaged? To presume to have any say in the audience, the timing of the announcement or the context of the message? Just mind boggling! A fiance who would go along with that in the least degree would give pause to many.

          • Ergala August 29, 2018, 10:14 am

            He was living with her at the time and the woman is absolutely hostile. He was furious when he found out and I was in tears. This is a woman who threatened to lie to authorities that he hurt her in order to get him to back down when he stood up for himself against her abuse. So in order to keep the peace we kept the news of our engagement under wraps until he moved out and she couldn’t do anything to make his life anymore hellish than she already was. She has threatened me on several occasions and I just ignore her. She now has hyped up her attacks and loses her mind when he doesn’t give her any information about our lives. She starts threatening more. If there wasn’t an issue that keeps us having to maintain some kind of contact with her for the time being she would be out of the picture. That is coming to an end next month and I want to throw a HUGE party. Once she is gone she is GONE. I told him she is NOT welcome in our home ever. I don’t care if she apologizes or not….we know what she is capable of and I will not have her near my children. 2 years of her insults and threats for me and a lifetime of it for him. Nope. Not happening.

          • galatea September 2, 2018, 9:57 pm

            Replying to Ergala:
            Good for you! You protect your family. Even if she does change (for real! Redemption does happen, but it’s a rare enough thing that redemption stories strike us as a BIG DEAL and HEROIC), and apologizes, she has forfeited the right to be in your lives. Even with profound change, and profound apologies, you may “forgive” her but not trust her, and you do not *need* to have her in your life, taking the risk that she’ll fall back into old bad habits.

            People will tell you, “But faaaaaamily.” Well, she forfeited family by her abuse. You are embracing your new “faaaaaaaamily” and doing what is best for THEM. Which means you are just as much into “faaaaamily” as they are, in fact more so, because you are choosing to love and protect your family, rather than suffer them, because they share your genes.

            Stay strong!

  • DGS August 27, 2018, 9:14 am

    SIL is a drama queen who is trying to steal the thunder from the newest member of the family – she is best dealt with by eye-rolling and ignoring her. The only appropriate response to hearing about a new baby being born is, “Congratulations!”

  • Michelle August 27, 2018, 9:15 am

    So much this! SIL was told. She needs to get over it.

  • Melissa August 27, 2018, 9:19 am

    Neither Aunt nor SIL behaved very well, but since OP said that Aunt is elderly and most likely didn’t think it through, she gets more of a pass. She could have assumed that SIL was informed first, which is why she contacted her so quickly. The lesson for next time of course, is to either make sure Aunt is one of the last to know, or to make sure she understands not to pass the information along.

    SIL sounds difficult at best. Unless you’re going to send a group text to share information like this, some family members are going to find out before others, and that’s just the way it’s going to be. I could understand SIL having hurt feelings if your second cousin’s roommate’s brother’s dog sitter found out before she did, but another member of the family? And then she accused you of lying? Although that made me wonder if the parents contacted Aunt when they found out that OP was heading to the hospital, and if Aunt possibly sent congratulations to SIL before she (Aunt) actually found out the baby was born, and that’s where the confusion is coming from regarding the timelines. Whether that’s the case or not, it’s a lot of drama about something that should be happy news, and if SIL were a reasonable person, none of this would have come up. She was apparently 3rd on the list, after parents (I’m counting them as one unit) and Aunt, and that wasn’t good enough for her. I’m sorry you have to deal with her OP, if this was a detour from her normal personality, that would be one thing, but apparently this is normal for her. I would not feed into her drama or give in to her demands, because the more she is catered to, the more she will expect it. Good luck!

    • galatea September 2, 2018, 10:05 pm

      The order was grandparents, then aunt, then sister, so it shows a clear respect for the elders. I approve of this hierarchy, actually. Unless the sister is really super-close, and is likely to be visiting once a week, while the aunt may see the kids once a year, then this hierarchy makes sense to me. Especially since the sister was next in line, and only one minute away from being informed personally.

      SIL is a brat.

  • BMS2000 August 27, 2018, 9:41 am

    If the family members involved have this much free time, I suggest they spend it cooking a casserole for the new parents and dropping it off. Then they can go away and nurse their imaginary boo-boos on their own.

  • Cat2 August 27, 2018, 9:57 am

    There are weird things going on here which I think means there’s actually a lot more behind the scenes stuff of the whole family which is odd and dysfunctional.

    Husband *texts* aunt, but doesn’t basically just put together a group text of people who all talk to each other to tell all at once?

    Aunt runs off to tell others immediately, not even a minute to let the parents pass around the news? LITERALLY immediately? And how did she tell? Did she post on FB? Did she text/call others? Including SIL?

    I suspect that SIL is correct that there’s a dynamics issue here somewhere which leaves her on the outside of the loop/inner family circle and there are cliques and separations within the family but for lack of ability to really identify that she’s focused on the wrong issue(s). So it looks like what she’s fighting about is petty drama, but that petty drama are signs to her of the deeper stuff going on and she can’t verbalize that or thinks it’s so obvious to everyone that they should understand why these things upset her.

    I would have chalked it all up to her being excessively needy if it wasn’t for the slight oddness of the way husband and aunt handled the news themselves.

    • galatea September 2, 2018, 10:09 pm

      Yeah, I find it really odd that the aunt responded to the text by passing on the news, not congratulating the parents.

  • K August 27, 2018, 10:02 am

    Whenever I get notification of an event, after congratulating the new parents/expressing my sympathy to the bereaved/whatever, I always ask, “Is this public knowledge yet?” I’m on social media a lot, and I don’t want to mention something that the immediate social/familial circle does not yet know about.

    • BrownEyedGirl August 27, 2018, 9:08 pm

      First off, congratulations to the OP on your new daughter!

      I like your response of asking if something is public knowledge. I try to ask that as well; by asking this, there can be no misunderstanding whether or not you are supposed to share whatever the news might be.

      I do think that people who get mad because they weren’t notified about something soon enough to suit them need to get over themselves, for the most part. Of course there are extenuating circumstances, but in the OP’s case, I don’t think she or her husband did anything wrong. In this case, I think they need to just ignore her SIL’s reaction and enjoy their new baby and being a family of four.

    • Stinkycheese September 1, 2018, 5:38 pm

      Good rule of thumb: don’t mention someone else’s big life event on social media until you see them mention it themselves. You never know what people wish to keep off social media.

  • bopper August 27, 2018, 10:06 am

    Now you know not to trust Aunt with any info and to tell her last

  • JD August 27, 2018, 10:14 am

    SIL needs to get over it. And Aunt needs to not race to share the news. In every birth I’ve had or has happened in my family and circle of friends, the happy parents — usually dad, since Mom’s been kind of busy — like to hand out the news. They are excited and happy to announce it, so yes, let the PARENTS spread the news unless they ask you to share it for them. Sorry, SIL, but hierarchy? Lies? Really? I like what Val said, OP — try that on SIL.

  • ALM August 27, 2018, 11:14 am

    Your SIL needs to get over herself. However, if you know Aunt Blabbermouth will stir the pot (who knows what SHE said to SIL to incite this reaction), put Aunt Blabbermouth at the bottom of the list (unless it was your intention she carry on the message sending for you).

  • Bea August 27, 2018, 11:43 am

    I just assumed the aunt was reaching out to SIL saying “Wonderful news that the little one is here already, isn’t it?!” assuming SIL knew well before she did and was sharing joy. Instead it set SIL off because she found out through a 3rd party.

    I’ve had this happen frequently enough that I didn’t attribute malice or ill manners to it. But I know it can cause a big to-do when a drama llama is involved in the mix.

    My BFF sent me a pic and note when my niece came early. I’m glued to my phone. I got it. I know she then posted on FB after I got my message. I can see me not seeing a text. My mom seeing her FB post and calling in a similar manner. But I’m savvy enough to know things “cross in the mail”.

  • lakey August 27, 2018, 11:47 am

    There are people who go through life looking for treasons to be offended. I wouldn’t give it a second thought. In the future I wouldn’t even bother to give her an excuse or a reason. Your poor husband told her he had only told Aunt one minute ago and she accused him of lying. After the first whine, just say, “Uh, huh,” and go chat with someone else. Her silliness is a waste of time.

    Also, congratulations on the baby.

    • lakey August 27, 2018, 12:01 pm

      Oops, “treasons” should be “reasons”.

      • staceyizme August 27, 2018, 8:16 pm

        I don’t know, Lakey. I think you DID have it right the first time. For some people, the idea that the rest of the world didn’t come to a full stop and consider their FEELINGS before daring to make a decision WOULD go on their list of “treasons”. (I’m inferring that someone this unreasonable would have more than one, in all likelihood.)

  • AMC August 27, 2018, 1:16 pm

    I agree with admin and most of the commenters here. SIL is creating needless drama and should be ignored. You already have one baby who requires your attention; you don’t need another. One suggestion I may be able to offer for the future: When I was pregnant with my daughter, I dubbed my loving sister Director of Communications for her birth. My DH and I gave her the names and phone numbers of all the people we wanted to keep in the loop when I went into labor, and she called/texted them as needed. She even did the first social media post for us. I was so grateful to have one less thing to worry about during that time.

  • Ulf_Brett August 27, 2018, 1:57 pm

    On the one hand, SIL was definitely being a brat and drama queen over the whole thing, but on the other hand she does have a bit of a point. Husband should have contacted her before his aunt. When big life events happen, contact order should be parents, then siblings, then rest of family in order of personal closeness.
    I know I would be miffed if something big happened in my brother’s life and he chose to tell our aunt before me. I wouldn’t raise a stink about it, but I would feel a bit put out.

    • Sarugani August 28, 2018, 11:18 am

      I‘d say that really depends on the family. I know, I can‘t tell my mother anything without that thing becoming general knowledge within a few days. The most egregious offense from her happened to my sister, though: she had her first baby a few days before mom‘s 60th birthday. It was a difficult birth that ended with sister and baby in different hospitals, so sister discharged herself and managed to get a curtesy room at the children‘s hospital (BTW, everybody left there happy and healthy a week or 10 days later). She and my BIL asked for no visitors for the first few days, but mom nagged so long, that in the end the new parents gave in. The visit itself (from what sister told me later) was an inconsiderate slapstick routine, but the kicker that really infuriated sister was that all the many guests at the 60th birthday party were treated to an in-depth description of the birth and all the private details that go with such a story… If I have anything important to share, I‘ll call my sisters first, then my parents and my mom will take it from there whether I want her to or not.

      OP, congratulations on your healthy baby girl!

    • galatea September 2, 2018, 10:19 pm

      Some families really get into the whole “respect your elders” thing, so it would be parents, aunts/uncles, then siblings, then cousins, then others.

      Some families just scroll through the contacts list in alphabetical order, just to be sure that in their exhausted and excited condition, they don’t accidentally miss anyone.

      Others go by personal closeness. Like in Little Women, the sisters had the one they were closest with, who would come first, and then the others would follow. Not that they weren’t loved, but they weren’t closest. It works, as long as everyone feels special to someone, and loved by all.

      Not any of these three “hierarchies” is really wrong. But in order to avoid hurt feelings, it is a good idea to let people know what system you’re using. If they know there’s a system that is being followed, they are less likely to feel judged, and found lacking.

      Even so, SIL is still being a pill, and needs to get over herself. This announcement was not about her or her importance in the family or her relationship with her brother. It was about a tired and rattled person getting the news out to all the people he loved, in a timely manner, and making sure no one was accidentally forgotten.

  • Girlie August 27, 2018, 2:05 pm

    I had a friend who recently gave birth to a little girl after YEARS of trying just about everything she and her husband could think of. The whole family was on their tiptoes waiting for news of the impending birth.
    I texted her husband the morning after she went in to be induced to ask him to pass along my love and support to my friend (because I figured she wouldn’t necessarily be in a good place to answer her own phone), and was rewarded with a “Just between you and me – she’s here!” along with a picture of the new mama and sweet little baby. They hadn’t told anyone else yet.
    I knew I was privileged to find out this information before the rest of the world, so I relished it with my own family (as I knew they wouldn’t mind), but I NEVER, not in a million years! – would have considered calling her sister (who is also a dear friend), or her parents (whom I’ve known forever) and tried to be the one to break the news to THEM. That would have been beyond rude, and anyway, it’s THEIR moment to shine. Plus, being a new mom or dad only *has* a few moments in it where you get to shine, because pretty soon, anything that sparkles is soon covered in spit up.

    I guess my point is, I don’t give EITHER the aunt or the sister a pass on this. The aunt passing along the announcement in LESS THAN A MINUTE after she was told makes me think that she might be the sort of person who *has* to be the one to break any news to other people.
    As for the sister, I get that it might have stung to be told after the aunt, but I think she could have – and should have – kept her mouth shut and just focused on the fact that New Mom and New Dad were probably exhausted and really shouldn’t be blamed for that sort of small “misstep,” if that’s what she thought it was. If anything, people in general really ought to be more understanding with new parents; the whole thing about giving birth and becoming a parent is traumatic and beautiful and emotionally and mentally and physically draining for mom AND dad. Give them a break. Geesh.

    • Jen August 27, 2018, 8:26 pm

      I have to comment on this. You got told “Just between you and me” but shared the news with other people?

      That’s not “you and me”. You were given privileged information and passed it on anyway and gave people the news before your friends’ families knew. I’d be so disappointed if I found out if another family knew about my new baby before my own did. It wasn’t your news to share until you knew it was public knowledge.

      Re: the OP
      We don’t know what OP’s husband said in the text to say whether they were allowed to pass the news on. SIL is being a drama queen but Aunt shouldn’t have been in a rush to let people know.

      • staceyizme August 28, 2018, 9:56 pm

        She was given privileged information by friends who trusted her to deal with it. They didn’t exact a blood oath of secrecy and she shared it with her family. No catastrophic breach occurred and the tutting should be reserved, in my view, for ACTUAL breaches of confidence where there is some poor judgement that results in negative impact. I guess what I’m saying is that adults can be trusted to manage the news that you share with them unless they’re selfish and goofy. Sharing news that was given in an impromptu manner with your own family in such a way that it doesn’t impact the family of your friend who confided in you falls under “discretionary judgement”. She apparently knew that they would not mind, and they apparently STILL do not mind.
        I have to admit, though, that I don’t get the whole idea of “relishing” in a secret. You know a thing, you’re happy about a thing, end of story. The whole “well, I know and they don’t” bit is sometimes overdone and can be juvenile, when taken to extremes. (Not to say that this case is an example of that dynamic. Too few details, too many possible points of nuance. Just my curmudgeonly nature nattering on, again.)

        • Girlie August 29, 2018, 1:06 pm

          To be clear, I wasn’t relishing in the secret – I was relishing in the news itself. I was, and am, truly excited and happy for my friend of over a decade.
          As for being accused of sharing inappropriately… yeah, I’m not seeing that at all, I’m afraid. I think there’s something to be said about sharing information with people who would otherwise have NO OTHER WAY to discover it for themselves. My husband is not in contact with my friend except through me, nor is he in contact with her family. “Just between you and me” in this situation is clearly translated in our friendship as: “Don’t tell Friend’s Sister” (because her sister is ALSO a dear friend of mine with whom I speak regularly), and “Don’t post anything on Facebook.” I absolutely respected those boundaries, just as I always have, and always will.

        • Jen August 29, 2018, 11:57 pm

          I agree that there was no catastrophic breach, but the story we were given was she was told “Just between you and me” and then she spread the news anyway.
          In my opinion (which is the point of allowing comments), “Just between you and me” means don’t tell anyone and doesn’t require a blood oath for that to be the case. Doesn’t matter if the people you tell aren’t going to be told themselves. It’s not your news to share until it’s public.

          News about the baby was BF (“Just between you and me”), BF’s family, own families. Not fair.

          I don’t think the accusation of ‘tutting’ is far on a site dedicated to etiquette breaches, when a commenter says they ignored explicit instructions and passed news on. The dynamics of the friendship might accept that, fair enough, but don’t quote “just between me and you” in your story and expect no one to question why you passed the news on.

          • Girlie August 31, 2018, 11:36 am

            I’m honestly not trying to be argumentative, but I *did* state in my original post that “I knew they wouldn’t mind” if I shared the news with my own family. Never would it have occurred to me that I should need to share the entire decade of friendship’s worth of details I could about my relationship with this woman in order to solidify my position as being one of good and decent judgment. Perhaps we shouldn’t “tut” at people on etiquette websites if we aren’t willing to take them at face value until proven otherwise.

            There are very few rules in good etiquette that are hard and fast 100% of the time. “Just between you and me” can be broken for a multitude of reasons, and it’s not always a bad thing. In a court of law, for instance. Or when someone is at risk of serious injury or in danger. OR, in a much milder version, when someone has known someone for long enough to correctly interpret something that is said and use that information accordingly – as I stated I did in my original post. Good judgment goes hand-in-hand with good etiquette.

  • ciotogist August 27, 2018, 2:28 pm

    My brother shared the news that I was in labor on Facebook, and I never talk about medical issues there. I asked my father to tell him to take the post down, and then my father shared the subsequent news that we had a baby. We wanted to make our own announcement, but my father tagged us both, so everyone knew already. I’m still a little salty about it.

  • eddie August 27, 2018, 4:04 pm

    In this type of situation, where I know I am clearly not in the wrong, I choose to say, “These are the facts, feel free to get over it or not.” Adding more explanation sounds like you’re defending yourself which there’s no need to do. Begging her to get over it implies that you’ve made a mistake, which you didn’t. Pay little attention to her tantrum and she’ll (probably) get over it.

    As far as the aunt, I would give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she thought SIL knew, and was not trying to be a blab. Really, in the grand scheme of things, the baby’s birth is not a secret and it makes little difference as to who knew in what order and from whom.

    • Tan August 28, 2018, 7:57 am

      Alongside “These are the facts, feel free to get over it or not.” – certainly! I don’t have much time for people who can take a big life event and twist it to make it about them so I’d probably add “We currently have our hands full with a new born baby and don’t have much time for a XX year old baby.”

  • anonforthisone August 27, 2018, 4:38 pm

    Our manager passed away while in service. As you can imagine it was very sad and I remember team members sitting staring into space or quietly crying at their desks when we got the news.
    The office busybody somehow found out before management had a chance to make an official announcement. She posted on Facebook something along the lines of “my dear friend X passed away last night”. It was so inappropriate especially because I knew my manager very well and he never considered her anything more than a colleague. I’ve noticed that in every emotionally charged situation, good or bad, you will have one of those people who must to be the first to share news.

    OP did nothing wrong, the aunt and SIL are at fault here.

    • admin August 27, 2018, 4:52 pm

      The office busybody is an attention whore because the natural consequence of posting such a statement is that people will console her and offer condolences.

  • Portfan August 27, 2018, 5:21 pm

    We have a similar family dynamic and have learned to be extremely careful about the order we call people to tell them big news. The family “megaphones” always get told last.

  • Ann August 27, 2018, 7:52 pm

    Seems like the entire family is deciding that this event is about them. Geez. The only polite thing to say at the news is “Yay! Congrats! Welcome Baby!” etc. Not “I’M displeased with MY place on the list of people who know!”

    OP, you can tell people or not in any order you wish. Anyone who has a problem with the order you call them, right after you’ve GIVEN BIRTH, is so extremely self-centered that they enter into ridiculousness.

  • A Person August 27, 2018, 9:50 pm

    If it were me, I wouldn’t have told Aunt Blabbermouth the news, and if pressed act as if I must have accidentally missed her while going down the line of immediate contacts and then bean dip.

    The best way to keep blabbermouths from spreading information they shouldn’t spread is to not give it to them in the first place. If they take offense, it’s their problem.

    OP’s sister sounds like a real “gem” too. Such entitlement.

  • Rebecca M August 28, 2018, 11:48 pm

    When my daughter was born, we wanted to keep it to ourselves (and our parents) for a few days, as we didn’t want people dropping in to see the baby before we were ready. We mentioned this a few times to our parents in the months leading up to the birth. Well of course my MIL “forgot” and did a big FB announcement immediately. My poor DH then felt he had to hustle to release his own announcements to avoid insulting people who felt they should be among the first to know. He hadn’t slept in 24 hours and wanted to enjoy his beautiful daughter. I told him to screw them and we’d sort it out later. Luckily, nobody invited themselves over like we’d feared.

  • Mary Sgree August 29, 2018, 2:26 pm

    AUNT assumed sister had been told. Aunt called sister to talk baby stuff cause she knew new dad wanted off the phone to make other calls and get back to mama and baby, but was dying to talk to someone about names and decorating themes. Aunt had NO idea sister didnt know.

  • Stinkycheese September 1, 2018, 5:44 pm

    When I brought up to my stepsister that I was hurt that she hadn’t reached out to me to announce her pregnancy (we’d had an argument and she Blocked me on social media – I found out because my mom told me when she was 5-6 months along) her reply was “now you know how I felt when you didn’t call or text me in the hospital when you had your baby”. We had tasked my mother and stepfather with the job, FYI.

    My point is this: there are some people who cherish grudges and perceived slights, as some sort of ammunition. There’s not much you can do, and sometimes it’s best to simply ignore it, as engaging just brings more drama and rewards the bad behavior in the first place.

  • Kitty September 9, 2018, 3:06 pm

    Given her message, it’s clear that she overreacted. Especially if you note that her behaving like this is not an odd occurence.