Help me send my embarrassingly late birth announcements & thank yous
September 24, 2013 9:47 PM   Subscribe

Okay, so mini me was born over 7 months ago and I spent a fair bit of money printing lovely birth announcements with matching thank you cards. Then, of course, I neglected to ever send them and now have no idea what the polite/appropriate thing to do is.

I'm sure people would still want the announcements as a memento, but the picture on them is clearly from when he was a newborn and everyone has almost certainly seen plenty of current pictures through Facebook or email. Would it be awkward to just send them out as-is at this point? (There is no room to write on them so a funny self-effacing note is probably out, unless I stuff something into the envelope with them. And I don't relish the idea of stuffing 50-some funny self-effacing notes into anything.)

As far as thank you notes, I only sent them to about half the people on my list. How do I go about sending the rest now, as late as they are? Most of the people I have left are the closest family & friends I wanted to write personal notes to, so I feel pretty awful about having waited this long. Is there something I can say in the note or should I just not even mention the time elapsed?

It's also worth mentioning that I don't have snail mail addresses for most of the people I would be sending these to, so there's kind of a double whammy here where I first have to reach out and solicit addresses so I can send the damn things. I don't have a good social approach to dealing with any of this so I'm just angsting and dragging my feet at this point. Help me MeFi!
posted by annekate to Human Relations (17 answers total)
You can send the thank you notes out at any time. Seriously, even years late is better than never.

But just go ahead and start sending everything out. I assume this is your first baby? People are going to cut you a lot of slack. A LOT of slack. Babies are hard. Kids are hard. Folks will understand.

Send them out when you can, the sooner the better, and try not to worry about it so much. It's ok.
posted by phunniemee at 9:52 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]

Just send them, I've been there on both the sending and receiving side.
Everyone knows how tough a newborn is (esp #1) and will cut you tons of slack.

Just sending the most basic thank you will relieve you of so much mental stress, trust me.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:53 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

You're using Facebook and/or email so I would put up a status update that says something like...

OMG I just came across the stack of adorable birth annoncements I had printed for baby annekate. How embarassing! Please inbox me your address so I can get these beautiful mementos out to you asap!

Or similar in an email.

Agree that you're off the hook here, babies are hard work and good time suckers!
posted by Youremyworld at 10:10 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]

I've received plenty of birth announcements months after baby was born. I think they're nice mementos, especially since I rarely have physical photos of anything anymore, just digital. They are a nice sweet surprise in the mail, as are the thank you cards for various baby gifts. Like everyone else above has said, most people know that babies are like tiny tornadoes that turn your life upside down, and any reasonable friend or family member will cut you tons of slack for this sort of thing!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:42 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Send them. You're certainly not the first person to sent birth announcements considerably after the fact. People like to have them -- I personally proudly display them on my ribbon board and then put them away in a memento box. I don't care if they're late, I just like to have them for babies I care about.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:57 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite] for looking up people's mailing addresses. I find about 90% of the people I'm looking for there, and if they are there it's a lot quicker & easier than contacting them to find their mailing address.
posted by flug at 11:00 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, just send them now, with no apology or embarrassment needed--not even internally to yourself.
posted by flug at 11:01 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Put a new picture in, captioned "Look how much he's grown!" and you're golden. People's happiness for you has a long, long shelf-life.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:02 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Will a second photo fit in the envelopes? If so, you could print out new, updated photos, and send both. I'm sure your loved ones would be delighted to get them.
posted by decathecting at 11:28 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

I don't think anyone's going to be particularly annoyed at the delayed thank you. Babies are hard work (mine is only a month old), and take up a lot of time, and people know that. There might be a couple of chuckles here and there at the delay, but most people should take it with good humour.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:01 AM on September 25, 2013

Two pictures, the newborn and a 6mo or current one.
posted by rhizome at 1:05 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Nice birth announcements like you're describing are mementos to be kept and cherished, not breaking news that needs to be sent in a timely manner. Even more so now with email and facebook etc, communication is often both so instant and so ephemeral. So send them as soon as you have time, even if it takes a few more months to get them all out. Seeing the newborn photo at this later stage is likely to make the receiver feel nostalgic if anything, although you could certainly add in a more recent photo too if it's doable for you.

The same goes for the thank you notes but with even less pressure on time. Since you want to add a handwritten note anyway just thank them for everything, the stuff around the birth and everything/anything relevant since. Thank them for being in your life and caring about your child. None of that has to be done at a set time point, these people are still happy for you. Maybe aim to get it all done by the time your baby turns one just so you have a clean break then, but whatever works.

Everyone knows that new babies suck up all your time and attention for quite a while and only a very weird person would have a problem with that. I found cards congratulating my parents on the births of my sisters and I when I was a teenager and it was totally cool and I have no idea (nor care!) how quickly they arrived after the fact. So get it all done as and when you can without being too hung up on things being perfect or correct, it will all be fine.
posted by shelleycat at 2:55 AM on September 25, 2013

Oh, I should say, also, if you're ready to send them now, but getting updated photos will cause delay and you may not have time to do it, and you'll put it off further, and feel more guilty, and end up not sending them because you feel silly, then don't worry about it. Send them now. Life with a newborn is often pretty much just triage, and in the grand scheme of things, updated photos aren't super-important, especially when compared to your feelings of happiness and pride and relief at crossing this task off of your to-do list. So, do what you can, and feel good about the fact that you're able to do this happy thing for your loved ones at all.

The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.
posted by decathecting at 5:01 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hand baby a birth announcement. Wait until it inevitably goes into mouth. Snap photo. Include photo in envelope. Hand write on back, "Sorry this is late, my baby ate my birth announcements!"
posted by fontophilic at 5:55 AM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]

My gut reaction was to wait and send the notes out with your kid wearing high school graduation robes, but that might be just a tad late.

Anyone with a child under the age of 5 years old gets a free pass on being late on almost everything (except paying taxes). Your friends and relatives will either like the late note or they will already be self righteous about being better than you and you will just give them a thrilling reminder of how much better they a win for everyone!
Most likely, the people you send notes to will go..."Hm, that's where they have been lately. I had forgotten and was starting to worry".
posted by BearClaw6 at 6:58 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just send them! I'd want them no matter how late.

Another option might be, if you do December holidays, just go ahead and wait until then and send a holiday-themed announcement with the big news of the year, your baby.
posted by Miko at 7:10 AM on September 25, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all, the idea to include a current picture is really good and will make me feel less awkward about sending them.
posted by annekate at 9:57 AM on September 29, 2013

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