By Lindsay Pinchuk, Founder + CEO Bump Club and Beyond
Yesterday I was going through my mail and pulled out a handwritten envelope to my daughter. The card inside went something like this:
Dear Lila (my 1-year-old daughter),
Thank you for the amazing Psychobaby sweatshirt. I love it and can’t wait to wear it. I’m so glad that you were able to celebrate my birthday with me and can’t wait to have a play date with you soon!
XO, Sawyer (Lila’s 1-year-old friend from play group.)
Upon reading the note, it went straight into the garbage. (With two kids and two working parents living in our home, we can’t save thank you notes.) While the note was a nice gesture, I can’t help but think “Is it really necessary? These are BABIES. They don’t even know what a birthday celebration is, nor does it register who celebrated with them.”
We go to birthday parties almost every weekend. It’s a part of growing up and being a parent. I don’t remember my mom handwriting thank you notes for me and it wasn’t until my bat mitzvah (at 13) that I was expected to write them myself. Granted, times are different. As a kid we opened up the gifts at birthday parties and today we don’t do that. Back in the day we were able to acknowledge the gift and say thank you sight-seen. But, even so, is a thank you note from another parent pretending to be their child really necessary?
I’ve always maintained to my friends that I do not want a thank you note from them. While some parents think it’s outrageous not to send one, I’m quite the opposite. Whether you work or stay at home, if you have MOM in your name, you are BUSY. I would prefer my friends spend that time with their kids, save the paper and use the money it cost them to get customized notes and stamps for a rainy day or make a donation to a charity. MY family came to the party, we had a morning filled with entertainment and food, plus got to catch up with friends. I should be thanking YOU!
Until my kids understand the meaning of “thank you” and can write the notes themselves, I don’t plan on writing them for them. I’ll acknowledge your gift when I see you, or in an email or text instead.
It’s the perfect note for the perfect age to practice writing and teaching manners. She’s old enough to understand and appreciate the note and the gesture. And then she took the note, walked over to the garbage and threw it out. I guess she dislikes the clutter just as much as her mom.
Lindsay Spolan Pinchuk is a Detroit native living in Chicago for over a decade. For nearly ten years, worked in publishing, advertising, and marketing at Hearst Magazines, MTV Networks, The Tribune Company and Time Inc. She worked for brands including Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Sports Illustrated, The Chicago Tribune, and Nickelodeon. Lindsay is not only the Founder +CEO of Bump Club and Beyond, but also a member. Bump Club and Beyond connects moms and moms-to-be with the best information, resources, experts, and each other both online and through dozens of events per month across the country. She and her husband live with their two daughters and golden retriever in Chicago. Through Bump Club and Beyond, Lindsay has found amazing play groups, a wonderful childcare situation and many new friends for the entire family. hopes you find new friends plus all of the resources and support you need during your pregnancy and afterward with Bump Club and Beyond®.