The day my son was born was busy. Meeting our baby, figuring out breastfeeding, recovering, and resting, were just a few things that I can remember, as it all seems like a big blur.
At some point during that day, an adorable picture was taken of my swaddled sleeping baby in a hat and my husband and I decided that we should share the good news. So, a text message with that picture and baby stats was sent to our close friends and family members. We chose not to post the good news on social media.
However, I still expected myself to photograph a perfect picture of my son once we got settled at home for a birth announcement that I would create online and have printed and mailed to all of our friends and family members.
After getting home from the hospital, creating and sending birth announcements was put on the back burner. I had no idea how tired and how busy I would be taking care of a newborn.
There were a few things that I wish I could have asked my pregnant self, who truly believed that a mailing a birth announcement was an expected formality after having a baby. For example, how come I didn’t create address labels for the people I wanted to send birth announcements to in the mail? Writing addresses by hand on envelopes wasn’t a quick and easy task to do when I had a baby that wanted to nurse or be held for most of the day. Also, why didn’t I get the stamps that I would need before baby arrived? Leaving the house with a newborn took a lot of work.
After about two months, I was able to check birth announcements off of my to do list. By then,most of my close friends and family had either met my son in person or had seen several pictures of him being cute. I know that close family members like my grandmother and my great-aunt, who did not use text messaging or social media, appreciated the printed birth announcements they received. Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have put so much pressure on myself to complete that task as I don’t even know if it was necessary. Either way, I will always cherish the hilarious memory of the photoshoot my husband and I created to get the perfect picture and I love that I have a printed birth announcement to show and give to my son someday.
Creating and mailing formal birth announcements just didn’t happen after my second baby was born. I did, however, hire someone to photograph our new baby girl and our new family when she was two weeks old. She was born in November, so our close family members received a Christmas card that included a picture of our new family. I had two kids under two years old. That was the best I could do.
How parents announce the birth of their new baby is a personal preference. Sharing on social media provides a timely announcement that all your friends and family can view instantly. Printed birth announcements are perfect for family members that do not use social media, and for special keepsakes. Parents who can resist having birth announcements printed and mailed will save themselves a lot of time and money unless they do some of the work before the baby arrives.
Sarah Cole is a freelance writer and mother to a four-year-old and three-year-old in Colorado.