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My son just had a superhero-themed birthday party. Capes and masks for all, presents, cupcakes, a bounce house. It was a big deal, ya'll.
And then the thank you notes. Life brings incredible people who love you and your family well, and you want to cry for the sea of thank-you's that need to be written. This feeling is magnified a few thousand times during postpartum, and it's enough to drive any new momma over the edge. You're not being ungrateful. You're being REAL. This is a wicked hard season, having to write many handwritten words when thinking straight isn't exactly coming naturally adds an unfortunate amount of stress to the mix.
No more, friends. Before we get into it, please keep this one mas importante rule in mind:
There's no timeframe. You know how you have the first year of marriage to send newlyweds a gift without being awkward? Well, I don't know if it's official or just something I'm deciding, but the same applies to new moms and thank you notes. If you want to write a thank-you note next year instead of now, do it. No shame. A thanks is a thanks, whenever it arrives.
Here are 10 ways that postpartum thank-you's can be handled quickly and easily.
The time when your neighbor watched the baby for ten minutes while you ran a quick errand probably doesn't need an actual handwritten thank you card. Consider paring your list of thank you's owed down to the majors, and texting or verbally thanking everyone else (more on this below).
TWO BIRDS + 1 STONE
When you order birth announcement cards, create and order a separate 'Thank you for your gift' birth announcement, including the same pictures and stats about the baby. Then, write a one-sentence note on the back detailing the actual gift and sign it, and off it goes!
Create a basic thank you note template, and write and sign a whole bunch of cards. That way, all you have to do is add the name, maybe a sentence detailing the gift, and off it goes! Create as many templates as you might need: Meal Thank you, Gift Thank you, Help Thank you, Family Thanks, etc. If you can get a head start and write out a few of these before baby comes, you'll be free to focus on everything NOT thank-you cards during postpartum.
GET OUT THE CAMERA
Create a quick home video on your phone featuring you, the baby, maybe even the whole family expressing your thanks for the gift, and text or email it off.
Some fun options here:
- For larger groups or really special gifts, put some effort into mentioning or showcasing gifts.
- No need at all to make the video fancy or lenghty; you in your postpartum glory and seeing that sweet baby for a minute or two will be all the thanks and explanation true loved ones need.
- This could be also really special (maybe even preferred) for those who are far away.
Rather than a video, you can do a lot with texting and social media- however you can reach your people quickest and easiest.
Here are a few meaningful ideas:
- Make a sign or two saying "Thank you!" "We love you" "I can't wait to meet you" and take photos of you or the baby with the sign. (Bonus-the same picture can be used for lots of people on whatever platform you want).
- Add some text to your favorite photo of the baby expressing your thanks (Canva.com is great for adding text to photos), and send it on any platform.
- Easiest: Write a text and send photos along. If possible, showcase use of the gift, for example. the baby wearing an outfit she received at the shower, or a photo of your family sitting down to dinner with the homemade casserole your coworker brought over.
Even if you're not the family newsletter type, this might be the time to write up a quick thanks updating your people on baby details and expressing heartfelt thanks. Throw in a few pictures of your precious little one and send it to the whole list.
SWEETEN THE DEAL
Have a sweet treat and either hand-written or typed thank you’s to each person attending your shower- for them to grab on the way out. If the language of the card is generous, there’s no need to list the specific item. (i.e. We are beyond grateful for your presence in our lives and your love and generosity during this special season. Thank you so much for being a part of this special day! We are excited for you to meet our precious bundle.) You can also do this with a postpartum table-have a basket of notes/treats expressing your thanks.
There are online companies that will actually write and send cards for you. Services like postable.com or sendoutcards.com lets you choose the card and message and they handle to rest. They even have selections of baby thank-you cards!
If all else fails/this straw is breaking the camels back, type out a nonspecific thanks, place them in stamped envelopes, and have someone else address and send them. If you can put the gift-givers name at the top and sign your name at the bottom, awesome. If not, seriously don’t worry about it. Thanks was given and received, and people who love you (and anyone at all who has had kids) will be understanding.
Above all else-know this: you don't have to write thank you notes. While this is a nice- maybe even an expected gesture- your loved ones would rather you be healthy and rested sans note than stressed or depressed with one. You come first, momma. If momma ain't healthy...well, everything's bad. The thank you's can always wait. And honestly? Nobody cares. The gift was given because your people love you and wish the best for you, so if the gift inadvertantly causes stress- welllll....that's the exact opposite of the whole point. Don't let it happen. Skip the notes, and be free.