Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Guest Post: Outrageously Boring Birth Announcements June 7, 2012

By Maybe Lady Liz

Remember when we used to get a real piece mail that wasn’t selling us something? It’s so rare nowadays that the handwritten address peeking out amidst all the junk actually makes my heart flutter a little.  Maybe it’s a letter from an old flame, fifty bucks from Grandma who’s senile and thinks it might be your birthday, or an invitation to a party in your honor for some fabulous thing you don’t even remember doing. But no, it can really be only one of two things: a wedding invitation or a birth announcement.

A wedding invitation is cause for excitement. Once you get over the annoyance of being addressed as Mrs. Husband’s First Name/Husband’s Last Name (my first name is not Mrs. Drew, thank you very much!), you have the opportunity to peruse the various invites, cards, return envelopes and that little wisp of tissue that no one ever knows what to do with. You get to judge them on color choices and menu options, decipher whether or not there will be a full open bar or just beer and wine, get miffed about not being invited to the rehearsal dinner. In short, there’s lots of good stuff in there.

But the birth announcement? Without fail, this is the same boring 4 x 6 Snapfish card. A montage of black and white close-ups and a list of stats: name, date and time of birth, inches, pounds, and ounces. I don’t mean to be rude here, but I’m genuinely curious – why on earth does anyone care how many ounces a baby was, other than the poor woman who had to push it out? It would be so much nicer to actually get an interesting piece of news here, maybe hear something about the parents. How many hours was Mom in labor, did Dad make a fool of himself and faint in the delivery room, etc.? Or at least something more interesting about the baby – how did they pick the name or what does it mean? Since baby names these days are more closely guarded than federal secrets, it’d be nice to finally hear how they chose.

All of this could come in a nice little note on the back and would reignite everyone’s excitement on getting a solid piece of paper news about friends and family. I might even start saving them in a little drawer. But if I keep getting the same old thing, I’ll probably just continue throwing them in the trash and later feeling very bad about having to toss a pile of coffee grounds or banana peel on a baby’s face.

Maybe Lady Liz is blogging her way through the decision of whether to create her own Cheerio-encrusted ankle-biters, or remain Childfree. You can follow her through the ups and downs at Maybe Baby, Maybe Not.

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5 Responses to “Guest Post: Outrageously Boring Birth Announcements”

  1. Maria Says:

    I hate these too. They always made me feel horrible. Fortunately, I haven’t received one in more than a year and I don’t expect to get one soon. One of the benefits of getting older I suppose as my little circle ages.

  2. queenelizabethi Says:

    I always thought that same thing- the number of ounces and inches doesn’t tell you anything about where they were when her water broke, whether they went straight to the hospital or, like my parents, went car shopping and out to dinner first, if the older siblings actually like having a new baby around, the kind of juicy details everyone else wants to hear. Glad I’m not the only one!

  3. Mali Says:

    I agree. I don’t like mass communications/mass mailings – group emails/letters at Christmas for example. I figure if you know the person well enough to give them these details, you know them well enough to be more personal. It’s like receiving a card from someone with just their signature – stamped. To me, that’s more insulting that no card at all.

  4. mina Says:

    The juicy detail will follow the first time I go and visit them but i don’t want to hear it then, neither!!!

  5. Klara Says:

    It is not that I love getting older.
    But there is defintetely one advantage: as years pass by, I get less and less birth announcements.
    With obvious reason: majority of my friends are around 40 (yup, also my friends got older!) and almost all of them already had all the children they had planned to.
    So, for the next decade I expect no more as 2 – 3 birth announcements.
    This I can handle!


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