Now, saying "thank you" is a simple, yet powerful act but it's especially heartwarming to show your appreciation to someone after they have been there for you throughout a difficult situation in your life. And what could be more difficult than giving birth, right? Well, one mom has sparked a massive debate about etiquette after she failed to write thank you notes to her family and friends after they got her gifts.
Sending this story anonymously to Slate's parenting column, Care and Feeding, a woman explained her situation: "So, this is a seemingly small thing and it's going to make me sound like an absolute jerk, but here we go," she wrote. "We welcomed our first baby during COVID, and our family and friends have been amazing."
She continued: "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."
She then goes on to talk about the difficulties she'd experienced during her pregnancy.
"I had a very difficult pregnancy, a nightmarish breastfeeding experience, and a lot of C-section complications. I had PPD pretty badly for a while and was in a pretty dark place. I wasn't very public about any of it, but it was an awfully hard time.
"I have been waking up at 4 a.m. 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."
The new mother then gets into how she has failed to write up any thank you notes for those who have been there for her. She also found out from close sources that others were also talking about it "unfavorably."
"I do feel terrible about it," she added. "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. 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. I don't want to make excuses, nor do I really want to discuss publicly how absolutely awful the first few months were, because no one really wants to hear that from a new mom. I am trying to give a few thank-you cards at a time when I see people in person and just chip away at it, but honestly, so much of it was just lost to time."
She ended the note with this: "My partner is willing to help, but fairly or unfairly, 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... How do I fix this?"
People were quick to jump into the comments to advise the woman, with some suggesting that it was a "cop-out", others had a more empathetic approach, like the author that wrote back telling her she "wasn't a jerk."
"You don't sound like a jerk—you just sound overwhelmed!"
The best advice that was given was to do a group letter/email and sending that to everyone. Though it's not the greatest option, it is the best for the situation. What do you guys think?