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Introducing the Scientific Tier System for Telling Family, Friends, and Co-Workers

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I can be a little bit Type A. I like to classify, categorize, organize and create systematic, logical ways to do things. Now that you know that about me, it should not surprise you that I stressed out about with whom and when to share the news that we’re expecting. In partnership with my equally nerdy husband, I created the following system.

Tier 1: Immediate family and our closest friends; those we can most rely on in the event the unthinkable happens (these people already know the news).

Tier 2: Need to Know — This group (who also already know) is very small — not even a group. Really just a couple…and includes my group fitness instructors (so they can give me the appropriate modifications) and my manager. I’m simply not a great employee after 2:00 p.m. these days. I get cranky, my brain power is well under one-hundred percent, and the only thing keeping me awake is my trip to the restroom every 30 minutes. We’re also starting to plan for our fall season and it will be easier for my manager if she knows that she has one less resource to rely on.

Tier 3: Extended family, friends, and co-workers: This group will not be informed until about week 12 because I’ve been programed to think “It’s not wise to tell people before that. Just in case.” After listening to Pea in the Podcast “Week 12: Time to Tell?” I know I’m not alone. There’s actually a good historical explanation of why women feel like Week 12 is the ’safety zone.’

You might be thinking, “How can you tell your manager but not your grandparents or aunts and uncles?” Fair question. For me, it comes down to this. I’m a high performer – if I slack at work, there has to be a very good reason. I’m coming in a bit late, leaving a bit earlier. It’s just easier to be up front than to have to spin a web of lies. My extended family, and friends live in other counties or states and do not see me on a daily basis. As far as they are concerned, everything is fine unless they hear otherwise and I wouldn’t want to have to call with the “otherwise” news. It would be too painful. I’d rather just call with the good news in week 12.

Based on the very scientific Tier System, I’m going to have to do a bit of lying as soon as this weekend. Saturday is Girl’s Weekend. I accepted the invite about 2 weeks before I knew I was pregnant and I was super excited because it’s my first invite to this quarterly event by this particular group of ladies, all of who have known each other since forever. To be invited to Girl’s Weekend with this group is kind of a big deal. It’s like being initiated into a sorority.

You’re right if you guessed the event will involve girls behaving badly and copious amounts of alcohol. So that leaves me fibbing and hoping that the gals (Members of Tier 3) buy it.

This is my cover story as it plays out at a bar: Bartender: “And what can I get you to drink pretty lady?” Me: “How about a cranberry and soda water?” Friends: “You mean cranberry and vodka, right?” Me: “I’m training for a half-marathon; my long run is tomorrow and I don’t want to be hung-over.” Of course this story will work for the first few rounds of drinks . Then the lightweight of the group will feel so good she’ll order shots for everyone and here’s where it will get tricky. In real life, one shot isn’t going to create a hangover. Everyone knows that. I’ll refuse to take the shot and at that point, someone will jokingly antagonize…”Are you pregnant???” I’ll turn bright red and deny, deny, deny to maintain the integrity of the Tier System.

Maybe I should just volunteer to be the designated driver.

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