Over the years, we’ve addressed many different forms of guilt on this blog: travel guilt, enjoying-our-work guilt, formula/breastfeeding guilt, pet guilt, extracurricular activity guilt — we could go on and on. Well, I’ve got a new one to add to the list: thank you note guilt.

I am all in favor of good manners. They are what separate us from the apes (and rude people). And once upon a time (pre-kids), I was actually pretty diligent and punctual about sending a thoughtful, handwritten note to people when they gave me gifts, did me favors, etc. Miss Manners would’ve approved.

Now, I am the worst thank you note offender of all time. I suck. I don’t think I’ve sent one since I got pregnant last fall. (If I did, I honestly can’t recall.) Miss Manners would blacklist me for sure (in the most polite way, of course).

I keep meaning to write them. Honestly I do. For the kids’ gifts, for my own, hell, even for my husband’s (I’m ashamed to admit I used to write them for him, too). I know it’s so terribly rude not to gratefully acknowledge all those lovely gestures. But “write thank you notes” just keeps slipping down on my to-do list, as things like “get freelance clients to make money” and “feed the baby” rise to the top.

Ugh. I’m so overwhelmed by the many, many notes I should have written at this point, I don’t even know where to start. So instead, I’m writing about it here. What should I do? Is there a presidential pardon for this kind of transgression? Help!

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