Mom Not Writing Thank-You Notes After Difficult Birth Brings Up Question Of Etiquette

Etiquette is something that is always a hot topic, despite it being part of a centuries-old tradition!

No matter who you are, you have to have some thoughts about proper manners — it's only human nature! Now, a new mom is wondering if she's in the wrong for not taking the time to write thank-you notes following the difficult birth of her first child.

While a wedding thank you card is most common, and most expected, there are several other occasions that people expect to receive a thank you card after.

Unsplash | Manuel Cosentino

Now, a new mom is wondering if she is in the wrong for not sending thank you cards following her birth last year.

The anonymous story was originally shared through Slate’s "Care & Feeding" advice column.

The mom begins by explaining she gave birth at the height of the pandemic, but her friends and family still made her feel so special.

Unsplash | Ajeet Singh

"We welcomed our first baby during COVID, and our family and friends have been amazing. When they couldn’t be here in person, they showered us with tons and tons of baby gifts. What they couldn’t do in person, they made up 1 million–fold in sending things. We were getting care packages, meals, etc., all the time, an impulse I absolutely understand, and the support was both heartwarming and overwhelming."

Unfortunately, the woman's birthing experience was anything but pleasant.

Unsplash | Luma Pimentel

"I had a very difficult pregnancy, a nightmarish breastfeeding experience, and a lot of C-section complications," she explained. "I had PPD pretty badly for a while and was in a pretty dark place."

A totally understandable reality many new moms face.

"I had only four weeks of maternity leave, and a baby with colic who literally just started sleeping now," she explained.

Unsplash | Zach Lucero

"I have been waking up at 4 am just to get a little time to myself to exercise, eat, and shower before the day starts, and then I’m off to the races working, caring, cooking, cleaning, etc. I am on my feet until I close my eyes at night to go to sleep."

With this being said, the new mom revealed she hasn't had the time or energy to write thank-you cards to everyone.

"I know it has been noticed and commented on very unfavorably," the woman shared, adding that she feels "terrible about it."

Unsplash | Jon Tyson

"With the sheer volume of stuff we received, and from so many different sources, I did not keep track of any of it while we were in the thick of things," she added. "At this point, I have no idea what we got from who, and I also am sure that I missed a bunch of things and never even acknowledged receiving them."

She added that she lives in a part of the US where failing to pen a thank-you note is considered super déclassé.

Her partner is willing to help, but she stated that "this is an expectation that really falls on women here, and so I don’t think that is even the type of acknowledgment they want."


The reactions in the comments section were mixed, to say the least.

Unsplash | Courtney Hedger

"I doubt anyone who gave you a gift is sitting at home right now wondering why they didn't get a thank you note. When I give baby gifts, I never expect a formal thank you note. Just a thank you in the moment is perfectly fine! Or heck...I don't even need that if I gave the gift remotely!" wrote one person.

"The universe has a funny way of taking care of people who follow their hearts, so start writing notes ASAP and the universe will get you through that, caring for a tiny mewling baby, breast feeding, etc," echoed another.

"It doesn't matter if you do the Thanks-Yous or your partner does them, but one of you certainly ought to," wrote one reader.

"Is the thank you note thing mostly about "etiquette" for folks who care, or is it about missing out on seeing a gift bring someone joy?" asked one reader. "The comments seem kind of mixed. If the latter, it makes a little more sense, and I think the distinction people have brought up about gifts given in-person vs. not in-person makes sense. I still think these people should let it go, but I guess I understand the reaction in an emotional sense. But if it's just about feeling like you "should" get a note, because that's what people are "supposed to" do...yeah, man, I don't know."

It's clear the internet is divided and now, I want to know where you land!

h/t: Slate