Don't give up!! That was my motto while pregnant, and still is. While you might feel like living in sweat pants and orthopedic shoes, don't start the slippery slope of personal style sacrifice. Although someday you might rock the minivan out of sheer convenience, you don't have to sport a Disney diaper bag. Figuring out how to adapt to motherhood while keeping a sense of self and style is an art form.
Thank you notes. This practice of sending these have been drilled into me by my mom since day one, and I have inherited the obsessive nature of getting them out to everyone in a timely manner. I know, they aren't always number one on your to do list when you are wearing granny panties with shot elastic because you haven't done laundry in 2 weeks, but they make a world of difference to the gift giver. I can't tell you how many times I have sent a gift to someone and not known if they have received it- I look for a thank you note merely to let me know that the package arrived safely, not necessarily as a thank you. My thought is that if someone is kind enough to think of you, you should be thankful enough to send a simple note. Here are some tips that I have put into practice to make the whole process easier:
In terms of say, a baby shower, make labels from your Excel sheet of invites (and if you don't know how to put everything into Excel, learn it. It is 2011, people). Now, if you don't know how to do a mail merge, that is another story. I only know two people who have the knowledge on this one- my husband and I. Honestly, I haven't run across many other people who know the *MAGIC* of the mail merge, especially since Microsoft F'ed up Office so many times. It is a valuable skill...learn by clicking HERE. Don't be intimidated...well, actually be intimidated, but you will become a tech wizard to all after learning.
Pre-address and stamp envelopes
The minute you receive the gift, copy down the return address onto an envelope and slap a stamp on it. Half the work is now done for you.
LOVE this service and I have used this dozens of times already. Available in the in the iPhone App Store or Android Market, the Postagram App allows you to instantly print and ship actual postcard-style photos via USPS with a personalized message. Someone just sent your little one a pink bunny suit? SNAP! Dress him up, take the photo and send off the thank you note. People LOVE seeing their gifts in action.
Just like I bought cute work out clothing as a means of inspiration to actually work out (didn't work, naturally), get some cute thank you notes that you are excited for people to see. There are the standard Tiny Prints cards which seem to be all the rage with new moms (apparently, I didn't get the memo in time on this one), but less expensive options include Etsy:
Jack & Ella Paper Press, available on Etsy- $12 for a set of 8