The embarrassing result of my health issues is that I still have not written all my thank-you notes for our wedding gifts. I got all the shower gifts - but life and then health caught up with us. I even had a friend offer to help write them, but at that point my health had gotten to the 'too sick to hang out with people' mode and I just didn't have the energy even to coordinate. My only consolation is that everyone knows about my health at this point, so I can reasonably hope that they'll be understanding when the cards actually show up.
But as I was stressing about this the other day, I thought of how many thank you notes I've gotten for baby gifts I've given. It struck me what a feat this also is - to write a bunch of thank you notes, usually AFTER baby has arrived! As much as I do love getting a nice handwritten note, I now find myself rather appalled that a new mother must feel the burden of writing thank yous for all the gifts she's gotten.
Now, I DO appreciate knowing that a gift has arrived, if it is one I have mailed. But, seriously, a text or email is fine (even in a non-baby situation). My goal is to welcome new baby AND to make mama's life a little easier - not add to her load! And in today's Facebook/Instagram world, I would quite honestly rather be tagged in a photo of baby wearing my gift than know that mama had to write a note, pay for postage, and mail it, while managing feedings on a crazy sleep deprived schedule.
I love getting mail. If I get a note/letter/card in my mail box, it makes my day - and I keep every personalized card I've ever gotten. But I will never ever judge a new mama if she doesn't send me a card. She can thank me in person at the shower, or send me a text after receiving a mail gift so I know it wasn't lost, but she doesn't need to feel guilty about sending a card unless she really really wants to.
I appreciate and follow a lot of traditional etiquette rules. Some of them may seem silly today, but having a cultural standard of manners and polite actions is a valuable thing to smooth communication. It frustrates me how many good rules go out the window online - and how this leads to so much hurt. However I do think that some situations should be updated for the present day, and I think a photo of new baby wearing the gift is a nice modern compromise.
(Ahem. This is NOT in ANY way a covert hinthint pregnancy announcement. Just to be clear. I just have a lot of pregnant/new mama friends right now, but I'm NOT one of them.)