'Push Presents': Tacky or Tolerable?

I love receiving gifts -- spa gift certificates, jewelry, shoes, clothing. Birthdays, holidays, any kind of occasion, I'm all about the materialism, but if my husband gave me a present in return for our baby and called it a "push present," I would probably have pushed him.

Around the time I had my first child, this "push present" craze was just getting started. Friends who had babies came home from the hospital with sore vaginas, crying babies, and baubles of all sizes.

Some had rings with sparkling pink (or blue) stones, others had necklaces. Some had vacation packages. But all called them the same thing: their "push presents."



It's silly at best and offensive, sexist, and archaic at worst.

Do men get an ejaculation tool set? Or "Egg-penetration" cufflinks? If they did, we would say that's ridiculous and wrong and where's the equality? If men and women are supposed to equally participate in the whole childbearing thing, why do we get a parting gift?

It's partially the name that bugs me -- "Push Present" is pretty gross. But it's also what that name implies. The gift isn't a transition gift to mark the birth of a new baby, but rather a gift a woman gets to compensate for the havoc pregnancy and "pushing" wreaks on her body. So, does this mean a C-section doesn't get one?

The implication that a woman's uterus is a commodity that can be traded for a material item just bothers me.

If my husband had shown up with anything more than love, tears, and equal involvement in the moment, I would have felt like the expectation was somehow that he was the breadwinner and I was expected to provide him with the home-life. I like chivalry. By all means hold the doors and open jars for me when I need it. But I don't like cheesy declarations. Paul Anka's "Having My Baby" makes me want to vomit. It's OUR baby, bucko.

And unless we're both getting jewelry, it just doesn't seem that way.

The level of the gift is also appalling. Women expect Cartier watches and huge diamonds, it seems. In a certain section of the population, there is as much excitement about the "push present" as there is about the engagement ring that came before it. Those are the kinds of women I tend to avoid. Appreciating fine things is one thing. Making them your entire life and basing your self-worth around them is another.

Commemorating the birth of a child should be a shared gift -- matching tattoos, a joint vacation. It is not a gift for the woman alone.

Are you expecting a "push present"?

Image via MarcinMoga / Lolek/Flickr

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