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Push presents for hard labor

How the push present craze won me over.

By Jennifer Blaise Kramer |

The first time I heard the concept was about five years ago. The story was actually quite endearing. A friend had an emergency C-section and the doctor told her to remove all her jewelry so it wouldn’t need to be cut it off if the swelling got worse. Two days and one healthy baby girl later, her husband returned bearing take out and a sweet surprise. He put on her wedding rings and then slipped on another he’d had made to match the wedding band, with diamonds all around. She was floored. I could see why.

But as the years passed, the story got a little old. And so did all my friends’ similar stories: another baby, another diamond. Once I met a friend-turned-mother for lunch and she came walking up, smiling into the carriage. I oohed and aahed over the newborn. Then my friend flashed her newly acquired third ring, as if expecting just as much enthusiasm.

Suddenly, the idea seemed so contrived. I started feeling bad for the guys. As if I’d be waiting to hear what my friends got – a ring, a watch, earrings for twins – rather than whether they had a boy or a girl. And while a token of appreciation for carrying a child seems sweet, I started feeling bad for the guys. Gone was the simplicity I’d imagined, the bouquet of flowers or the pink or blue balloons on the mailbox. This push present phenomenon puts dads-to-be in a tricky predicament; if they don’t get her anything, they’re insensitive or cheap, and if they do, they’re a clich’, just checking off a box on a to-do list.

I shared my irritation about the matter with my husband. He seemed relieved and agreed it felt a little forced.

When my time rolled around a couple of years later, I reminded my husband not to get caught up in the push present peer pressure, even though hauling around an extra fifty pounds in the tenth month made me wonder if a medal would be out of the question.

Some at the table confessed that they too were waiting for something sparkly after the birth, and had even started dropping hints to their husbands months before. But others thought the whole phenomenon was ridiculous. One woman snapped that a beautiful, healthy baby should be reward enough. The prize is the baby, not the bauble, she reminded the rest of us with scorn. She talked as if the bejeweled were a bunch of bridezillas who obsess over the wedding, and forget about the marriage part.

That’s what I’d thought until that moment, but suddenly she seemed like a spoilsport. I started to think that such gorgeous gifts were not ridiculous, but fitting markers for a new phase in life. Much like the wedding band is a symbol of marriage, the push present is a tangible way to document another major milestone.

When I finally had my baby – after extreme nausea, midnight vomiting, swollen legs, sleepless nights, breath-stopping contractions and a labor that lasted days – I thought more than ever that it was high time for something shiny. I started to think that such gorgeous gifts were not ridiculous, but fitting. When my husband said he wanted us to go shopping together for a pendant of the baby’s birthstone I didn’t fight him. It would be something special that we could give to our daughter on her sixteenth birthday.

He called a jewelry store asking if they had a nice selection of citrine, the November stone, and they said no, adding that he should really consider diamonds. The jewelry industry now has yet another niche, selling birth like a Hallmark holiday, with a side order of guilt. Some retailers even have “new mom” registries, removing the last ounce of romance from of the process.

Instead, my husband hung up and we went together, pushing the baby carriage downtown, in search of citrine. We found a lovely drop pendant with matching stud earrings. I wore them out to a Christmas party, on our first night away from the baby, and I found myself reaching for them, a subtle reminder of our baby back at home. For me, this “push present” is a memento of all the bliss and anxiety of those first days. Such a monumental event is worth making a fuss over, even in a material way. If only it had a less graphic name.

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Jennifer Blaise Kramer

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74 thoughts on “Push presents for hard labor

  1. nogiftforme says:

    69 hours in labor, 55 of which were unmedicated, two failed epidurals and a c-section to end it all, and no I do not think that my husband needed to bring me anything. The present you describe should be described more accurately as a new heirloom and not a “push present” like some women get. If you need presents for having a baby you need to reconsider if you are going to be able to put aside your own needs and care for another human being. Your husbands love for your child should be the best gift of all.My husband and I don’t buy each other gifts… we spend a lot of money together :P but it’s never as a gift. When gifts are exchanged it sends a message that there are conditions on your love, and that’s never a good thing.I know I’ll get back lash for my opinions, but push presents are so pretentious,

  2. Wynter08 says:

    That is just fucked up.

  3. brianismyname says:

    Ridiculous.

  4. dreambeliever200 says:

    I agree that it should be considered an heirloom as opposed to a push present. While I have not had a child yet (and I might end up changing my mind, then lol) I have always thought it a bit silly when a friend of mine would get a purse or some other little thingie for a ‘push present’ Then it does seem a bit like a bridezilla (pushzilla? laborzilla? hmmm will have to think more on that one!) who just wants the gift, to hell with the rest. One of my cousins cried because her husband got her the ‘wrong’ Prada bootsHowever, when it is the child’s birthstone, then I see it like those ‘mother rings’ of the 80s (which my mother and i both love). Even better is when you give it to the child for his/her birthday later on. :) Again, this is my opinion and it may all change in the coming years! ;)

  5. dreambeliever200 says:

    oh and, btw, I don’t think that this qualifies as ‘Bad Parent’. Now, if you were my cousin and started crying and screaming over the ‘wrong’ boots……..

  6. Paris8080 says:

    I agree with nogiftforme – I like the idea of the child’s birthstone or something simple that could be passed down to the child (I never even thought of that!) of the child’s spouse. Push presents typically seem like a “reward” for something that both parties agreed to! Sometimes I think it’s my husband who deserves something for putting up with me! I am 5 months pregnant and this pregnant has been a BEAR – and he’s been an angel!

  7. papapresent says:

    How come no one ever talks about a gift for the husband or partner to commemorate the birth? My husband gave me two beautiful necklaces when my twins were born that I wear every day and will some day be passed down to each of them. I gave him two prints from a favorite artist that hang in our house and will also eventually be passed to the kids. Both gifts are daily reminders of a huge milestone in our life and will also be a symbol to the kids of how special it was when they joined our family.

  8. LousMom says:

    I had never heard of “push presents” until my husband gave me one after our son was born. It turns out his brother and friends had warned him not to show up empty-handed after the delivery! I thought it seemed weirdly anti-climactic after the enormity of childbirth…I’m not a jewelry kind of girl, so he got me an iPod! BUT…on the back, he had written, “Thanks, Mom! Love, Lou.” Lou was what we called our child before he was born, because we didn’t know his gender and weren’t ready to call him the “real” names we had picked. It’s funny, now, to see it and to remember life before we knew our son.

  9. Teresa35 says:

    Gross. For those of us struggling to pay our bills, keep a roof over our kids’ heads, pay for daycare and other costs, this just seems unbearably frivolous. Way to fall prey to yet another consumerist marketing scheme.

  10. PamalaLauren says:

    I never even heard of this practice and it was the last thing on my mind leading up to birth. These types of gifts are more appropriate for Mother’s Day or Birthday’s and that’s when I received my first gift involving my daughters birth stone and even that was a 20 dollar Hallmark gift. I think we had enough to pay for with the birth of my daughter, I couldn’t imagine adding a new ring to the whole thing.

  11. LauraLaura says:

    Tokens of appreciation between partners upon the kid’s birth (I like Papapresent’s comment above) are sweet. But why spend so much money? If you’ve got extra cash, put it in the kid’s college savings account, where it will eventually do something meaningful.”Push presents” are just another BS marketing scheme, like “Diamonds are forever.” Remember, engagement rings themselves were practically invented by De Beers in the early 20th century as a way to pressure people to spend ridiculous amounts of money on shiny little rocks.

  12. catmom says:

    The big present of birth is that you and your baby are alive after it. How about a present for all the medical personnel who made sure you stayed that way? But seriously – it’s a lot like baby monitors. Who cares what other people do in this arena? Just don’t pressure other people to keep up with another swag scheme.

  13. Motherof3 says:

    Has absolutely nothing to do with parenting, but I suppose it’s a good indication that you’ll buy into any marketing-driven fad that says you need to BUY BUY BUY or the occasion — even the occasion of your child’s birth — just won’t be complete.

  14. unregistereduser says:

    tacky, tacky, tacky

  15. Treespeed says:

    Because there is no other way for a husband to show his love except for him to buy you something. How sad and pathetic.

  16. bunny 2 says:

    I’d never even heard of this fad until I read this article. I don’t spend time around people who think or behave this way, and it scares the hell out of me that someone can take one of the most meaningful experiences of their life (bringing a new baby into the world) for granted and think that it’s just not complete without something expensive to show off. I feel like I need to wash my brain.The stories about birthstones being passed on to daughters is less crass… but it’s still just another ludicrous consumer trend, and incredibly tacky in these economic times. Save the money for college – the kids will need it.

  17. Minou Mama says:

    Here’s a “a tangible way to document another major milestone” YOUR CHILD!!! Whenever I look at MY CHILD I am reminded of MY CHILD’S birth! Jesus H. Christ, what tackiness.

  18. Roper says:

    Ugh. Is there any significant life event or holiday in this country that hasn’t been made into a reason to spend money? It reminds me of a comic I read once, satirically predicting the births of the future as being corporate-sponsored events. “Now it’s time for the Nike pushing. We’ll give your baby their Microsoft Apgar test… and here comes the AT&T afterbirth….”

  19. xyznyc says:

    vampant. sad.

  20. Joey Cavella says:

    Gross.

  21. MyFunnyFunnyFamily says:

    Just seems like good manners to me for the husband to offer a little something after what the wife just went through. After all, we give gifts to mark a college graduation or a wedding, and giving birth is certainly just as momentous. The only tacky thing about it in my mind is the expectation that it be something specific, like diamonds.My husband is not the type to come up with surprises — he needs to be told things. So I let him know that if the baby — due Jan. 29 — arrived in January, I’d love a little something with a garnet stone. If she came in February, I told him, forget the birthstone because I didn’t care for amethyst. She came late, so he instead got me a little silver locket with her initials on it, bearing photos of each of our girls. Not terribly expensive, and I will pass it on to our daughter someday since it has her initials on it.He got off easy, though, since I neither of us had ever thought of this with our first child — her birthstone is, in fact, diamond.

  22. nogiftplease says:

    I have never heard of this before now. I was happy to receive some flowers from my partner after a rather long and scary birth experience. I personally find the whole idea disgusting and just another way life’s beautiful moments have been degraded by consumerism. But this is coming from a lady who thinks engagement rings are kind of tacky (when its the “oh look at my ring…see how much my man loves me”). People are sick and empty. I feel sorry for their children.

  23. StacieDale says:

    I think the baby IS the gift. I’d rather my hubby put the money toward our child’s college fund. My wedding ring is enough for me to know hubby loves me. Shouldn’t people just be happy that they brought a child in to the world without having to get a reward? Seems like something materialistic women have created to get something they want. Why don’t they just buy a diamond for themselves if they have to have one? Why does it need to be a gift at childbirth? Weird.

  24. HPez says:

    All I wanted was a tuna sandwich and a bottle of red. I got them both. Woo-hoo!I, too, find the idea of a “push present” pretty vulgar. But the idea of a mother’s pendant or a child’s birthstone is very sweet. Expecting it, however, is not cool.I’m preggo with #2 and hope I get that tuna and red again.

  25. dcmommma says:

    Tacky!

  26. sal in san fran says:

    did it for all 3 of my kids – wife loved it you people are so judgmental! Its not gross, its a gift. Some people have $. where do you get off telling em how to spend it?

  27. gpgirl says:

    I knew I was going to quit my job to stay at home with my son, so if my husband bought me an expensive gift, I probably would have freaked out. This is where I don’t understand when women want their husbands to buy them expensive gifts. Don’t they realize it is their money too that is being spent? I guess if you have money to burn, why not. But in these times I can’t imagine there are that many people like this.

  28. spekindatruf says:

    most of these women who got the jewels were probably medicated during their “labors” anyway and will give up their babies to childcare and not nurse very long, if at all, so I guess they can take some comfort in their rock jewels since they are missing all the beauty of their baby jewels…though they likely don’t even realize what they are missing….

  29. k_1 says:

    gifts are great when they are genuine and spontaneous. but when you tack on a gross label like “push prize” and start expecting gifts it becomes crass and vulgar.leave it to some vapid housewives in the OC to come up with yet another disgusting excuse to shop.shopping is our religion and the malls our churches. we’re doomed. ;)

  30. momto2 says:

    my present is a spouse who saved up all his leave time so that he could stay home full time for two weeks after the birth and part time and work partially fomr home for another six weeks. But then our baby came almost three months early, so that leave time is being used up taking care of our toddler and going to the NICU both with and without me while i recover from the emergency c section.and he is not letting me lift a finger at home. i much prefer that sort of show of love to some jewelry or posh gift.

  31. No waw says:

    Sal – nobody’s telling you how to spend your money. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. And I’m entitled to mine – I think it’s completely tacky and gross, and I’m inclined to think a lot less of anyone who expects a present for having a baby. Blech.

  32. chimama says:

    gross. And adding one more reason to support DeBeers and the horrendous diamond industry through the birth of a child is vile.

  33. CynDiego says:

    What bothers me most about the phenomenon is that it seems so old-fashioned — the woman is rewarded for all the pregnancy suffering, and presumably most of the future baby care as well. Whereas I have been lucky enough to have a husband who sees the whole thing as a joint enterprise. He read the books I gave to him, helped out a lot while I was pregnant, went to childbirth prep class with me, and took his role as a birth partner very seriously. In fact, I made a point of telling him ahead of time not to even think about giving me a present (he wouldn’t be getting off that easy!) — His gift to me would be playing his important role in getting through our (drug-free) birth, and then doing half the baby care afterwards, and a lot of the household chores while I breastfed and recovered. Be smart, ladies — those things are worth more than the biggest diamond in the world!!!

  34. Bgmom says:

    This is so disgusting and frivolous. I don’t care how rich and selfish you are. Invest this money in your child. Absurd. This makes me sad for womankind.

  35. momolly says:

    Wasn’t there a similar article up last week?If you really feel you need a push present, how about a tshirt that says “I tore my taint and all I got was this lousy baby!” You could have it bedazzled!

  36. Treespeed says:

    I’m going to have to ask my wife if she’s disappointed I didn’t get her a diamond. I kind of think she preferred the gift I got her instead, taking all of the late night diaper changes, baby rocking duties, and waiting on her hand and foot while she recovered. Someone who needs a gift for the shared troubles and joys of a relationship should just put a Visa machine on the nightstand.

  37. Bunny 2 says:

    I feel quite content telling people how to spend their money. Evidently quite a few could use the advice, what with all the people up to their ears in debt.

  38. Katernine says:

    This is the most insipid thing I’ve ever read on a parenting site, and that’s saying a lot. Writer, you must be utterly and completely tone-deaf, not to mention completely isolated from what is going on in the world around you. I’ve got an idea for you: put the $$$$ you would have spent on your BLING in an emergency account. You, like the rest of us, might be needing it someday soon.Idiot.

  39. katydidmama says:

    I agree with the majority of the posters here–the idea of a “push present” is one more example of the crass consumerism of American “culture”. I’d rather have a mate like mine: he took a voluntary layoff from work to stay home and help me–he cleaned the entire house top to bottom in the week before our baby arrived (a week early no less) and got everything ready for Christmas at our house (we had it at our place in order to stay close to the hospital in case I went into labor on Christmas day). He busted his behind to make sure everything would be perfect, and that was a better present than any shiny bauble I’d probably end up losing anyway.

  40. mama09876 says:

    While many people get a push present so they can show it off to their friends, (selfish) and typical of moms today, what I thought was cool was that the author put a sentimetal spin on it. To commorate the birth of a child is not gross, sad or an example of todays problem with America. I have a small sterling silver cup with my daughter name and birthdate on it, I think it will be nice and fun for her to have when she’s gets older. I mean really, I got gifts for my 8th grade graduation… now that’s lame, The birth of my duaghter was much more important, and deserving of a commeration. BTW, having a dad save up time to take off while the baby is a newborn, isn’t some kind of present it’s part of his responsibility, what else would he do? Go on vacation while you’re at home with the baby?

  41. Mombo5 says:

    This sickens me. I know dozens of these women. They talk over playdates about what they got for each baby and what they’ve practically demanded for future pregnancies. They compare each others’ baubles over pricey coffee and homemade scones. Then they, of course, usually segue right into the engagement/wedding ring discussion and inevitably shoot not-so-subtle dirty looks in the direction of my ring finger. I looooooooove my little 1/4 carat ring and slim wedding band. It reminds me of exactly who we were when we got engaged (a financially struggling young couple) and just how much my husband had to lovingly save and scrimp to buy me the ring – any ring. I would never, ever trade up for some whopper of a rock that looks like it’s weighing down my hand and begging people to praise it. I’m amazed at the total pretentiousness of so many moms today. They have to have the best bag, diaper bag, stroller, shoes, phone, gym membership, hairdresser, pedicures, manicures, gourmet organic dinners. It’s as if they’re all on display, trying to outshine and outadvertise each other — walking billboards for how happy and well-off they want everyone to think they are. When did it become like the ’50s again, when moms were mostly miserable on the inside but looked fantastic on the outside? Please. We should be far, far better than this by now!

  42. Zina Z says:

    Mama09876, I with you. Having a gift to commemorate your child’s birth, is a beautiful thing.I didn’t get a so called “push present”, but I did get a stunning diamond ring to celebrate the birth of my first born, my 1st wedding anniversary, 1st mother’s day, birthday, & 1st family christmas. I received it 8 months after my son was born. It wasn’t waiting for me outside the delivery room. That’s right, my husband and I decided to ignore all of the holidays per year that usually require a gift, & instead to each pick something valuable(not neccasarily financially) to us,only once a year. So instead of “wasting” money all year on unwanted or wanted small gifts, we just invest in heirloom pieces that will be passed down to our son & future children.I think it’s a wonderful idea & an amazing family tradition that we plan to keep.To all the judgemental people on here…my goodness, you sound so bitter & bitterness usually stems from jealousy. To insinuate that all these women who receive push presents do not absolutely adore their new baby & that they would prefer a diamond over the child, is awful. I’m in love with my kid & I am a great mother. I happen to love diamonds too..Also, I would much rather be around a happy, over the moon woman with her bling, then around a bunch of miserable, sarcastic & jealous bunch of HATERS, like many on here are.Whatever happened to being happy for other’s?? Who makes you guys in charge of what should happen in other people’s lives..I’m just saying, that if a couple wants to buy a ring OR invest money into a nest egg for their child, IT IS THEIR OWN BUSINESS.I believe in each to their own.Anyway, I’m off to go polish my ring, while my husband goes & changes the baby’s diaper, bathes & feeds him..;) Peace.

  43. Knitty says:

    Oh boy… clearly, someone needs to bring Ms. Blaise Kramer a newpaper, point her in the direction of a news program, or perhaps just open her front window. How could the world-wide recession and coming Depression have escaped her attention? Surely she must be entirely ignorant of current world events to have written something like this NOW, of all times, but then again, I suppose I really have nothing in common with the sort of women who don’t think having a baby is special enough and need pricey presents to make it worth their while.Zina, I sinserely doubt most of the posters here are “jealous.” Most of us could easily afford to buy some bling of our own, but have instead decided to do silly things like set up emergency funds and college accounts for our little ones. You know, the sort of things Americans used to focus on before the entire country became driven by greed, entitlement, and consumerism.

  44. elenchos says:

    This sounds like one of those things that DeBeers makes up out of whole cloth and pretends it is traditional, like “two months’ salary” for an engagement ring.It’s odd, to me, that this article is the first time I’ve ever heard of this.Because we did eight months of Centering Parenting meetings with 4 to 6 other couples, plus the expectant parents we met in infant CPR and infant care classes. Plus the four midwives that we met with numerous times before our birth. None of these people ever once mentioned this thing, and our discussions, sometimes over drinks, covered a lot of ground.A couple expectant moms were thrilled at the idea of a recovery room mobile spa visit, doing foot massages and and whatnot. Others thought that sounded horrible under the circumstances.Anyway, the baby is the gift. No doubt about it.

  45. keamdesign says:

    Invest the money in your kid’s education fund instead!Wow. I must be totally out of the loop. I’ve never heard of this. I find this kind of “tradition” silly, self-indulgent and rather crass. Getting jewellery for giving birth? Just another example of our ridiculous consumer culture!

  46. CynDiego says:

    Okay, I change my mind — now I wish I’d gotten the bedazzled “taint” shirt! LOL

  47. surfingmama says:

    the t-shirt idea is brilliant. and no fear of being mugged for it!A friend of mine is this type- she is very materialistic and needs lots of jewelry and designer clothes to make her feel good. She readily admits this, so she recognizes the shallowness. She also doesn’t work, has a part time nanny (she has one child) and a cleaning lady. And has two BMWs. They can afford this lifestyle so buying another pair of diamond earrings doesn’t impact them as hard as most people. Some people have a lot of disposable income. If they need an excuse like pushing out a baby to buy another worthless diamond (they’re a scam btw, do your research) then fine – these ladies would get these things anyway, right? I highly doubt that families struggling on a fixed income are throwing money down the toilet on things like this. And if women are hinting for these kinds of gifts and they don’t have a ton of disposable income… well that’s pretty careless. You shouldn’t jeopardize your family’s well being for something shiny.

  48. chattydaddy says:

    As a father and husband I find myself torn on this one. On the one hand I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice and hardship that my wife (and mother, for that matter) endured to bring us all into existence. If one is asked to measure the size of that sacrifice against two weeks salary, or something, one would have to say that the sacrifice is larger and of course they have “earned it.”On the other hand, I think the whole idea that people should get gifts every time they make a sacrifice is, frankly, a bit childish. It cheapens the sacrifice on some level. As a child the sacrifice = gift equation is quite common; as an adult it is much less so. A lot of people have made enormous sacrifices for their families for thousands of years, because it is what we humans do.This will get me in trouble, but from my (admittedly male) perspective, there are some subsets of American society that infantalize women by suggesting that they should receive expensive gifts every few months (for wedding anniversary, birthday, christmas, valentines day, mothers day, push present) in return for their fidelity to husband and family. I don’t think the gifts are unwarranted, but I think the dynamic is weird and patronizing towards women — it seems an awful lot like an extension of the parent-child relationship. You do good, you stick with us, and you get gifts.I understand why women would want this — we all want childhood to be extended, on some level — but it’s not clear to me that it contributes to a healthy, mature relationship between husband and wife. Ok, have at me :)

  49. irritated says:

    This article just seems to be horribly out of step with our current national situation. If this had been posted 6 months ago, I’d have read it in earnest and with sympathy. But with a SERIOUS economic crisis, war in Gaza, our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – is this really what we’re going to focus on? It seems trite at best, at worst, totally clueless (seems like stuff like this is what got us into this credit crisis in the first place).

  50. Frenchymama says:

    I agree with chatty daddy and I’m a mother who just gave birth two month ago. I like jewelry as much as the next woman, but the thought that I should have been rewarded with a bauble, that my husband would be expected to express his “gratitude” with some kind of bling, no matter how tasteful, seems like the very last thing on both our minds! I find it tacky and smacking of the “trophy-wife” mentality…”Ok, I gave you a child like I’m supposed to, so now where is my little present?”. Since when did it become ok to expect someting “tangible” for doing what you are supposed to want to do in a happy relationship? What’s next, the “giving-a-kiss-present”, the “moral support-present”, the “intercourse present”? I can already see the article in Babble…”Oh, I used to disapprove of the kind of women who expect to be given money every time they have sex, until a month ago, when I wondered why, after all, I couldn’t get a little something in exchange. Of course, asking money would be tacky, I would look like, I don’t know, some kind of, well, anyway, so I hinted discretly, and then less discretly, and I finally got this lovely French antique chair I’d been admiring for a while! I need to start thinking about next month’s little something!”.

  51. Motherof3 says:

    LOL Frenchy, it whouldn’t shock me, it really wouldn’t. If Babble would publish something as tone-deaf and insipid as this “push present” crap, then really, why not?

  52. gpgirl says:

    chattydaddy, I totally agree, and I am a mom. Also, as I said earlier, it kind of makes it like it is the husband’s money, which he doles out with gifts as he sees fit. In fact, all of a couple’s money belongs to both the husband and the wife. I am always shocked when a friend tells me she has permission from her husband to buy something. (It is often these women who get the push presents, in my experience.) This kind of attitude is definitely condescending to women. In our family, I take care of the finances since this is more along my alley, but I share all of the information with my husband and we are equally responsible for how it is spent. I can’t imagine having to give my husband “permission” to do something. We both know how much money we have and can make decisions based on this knowledge.Women who are not aware of their family’s financial situation are in a world of hurt. Ladies, if you understand your finances and still think a push present is affordable, then by all means go for it! But don’t blindly ask for one without knowing what you will have to give up in the future for this.

  53. MissSS says:

    This isn’t what got this country in the state it is now. People making stupid decisions about their money is what has lead to this. If a diamond was the reason your economy tanked, then yes it was very stupid, but then it would also have been stupid to put that money in your child’s savings account. It seems to me that you have no idea what you are talking about, if you think spending tanks an economy. In actual fact it is the opposite. Lets look at this in detail, spending money in a store generates profit in that store, which in turn generates a salary or bonus for an employee – who is then able to spend their money. NO sale = NO Money = NO JOB for said employee.. GET IT?? Saving= NO JOBS! What do you all care if someone can afford to spend their money on something nice for their loved one?I agree with the notion of the expected, but if someone genuinely wants to give their partner a gift, whether it be for a baby, a birthday or just for being… Then tell me, what exactly is the problem with this??

  54. MissSS says:

    Correction – Should probably say: Stupid decisions about their lack of money..

  55. Not Greedy says:

    On the one hand…. giving your mate a gift after birthing seems like a quaint tribal custom (like a dowry) or else something nice to honor the occasion. A couple of months before I gave birth, I had to get my wedding ring cut off, and I was sad. So my husband took me to the jewelry store and we picked out a very pretty white gold & garnet ring (just cuz I like garnets). In fact, I wear it now instead of my wedding band & engagement ring (bought with a winning lottery ticket!! How awesome is THAT!!?! and under $1000 too… sapphire. Take THAT, DeBeers.) because it reminds me of my daughter’s birth, AND I just really like it.I never EXPECTED anything like that, but it was a nice memento that I can pass down to her, like the pretty opal-garnet ring my dad surprised my mom with when I was born. Actually, my husband’s first Father’s Day was a week after our daughter was born, and I’d put a nice watch in layaway for several months, and presented him with it as his “first” present from his daughter. ; )Really, it’s TOTALLY the thought that counts!!! The diamond industry has brainwashed soooo many people as to what is “appropriate.” I sure didn’t want a $10,000 gaudy thing, but I was very pleased by my modest but pretty gift. As was he.Our daughter, now 3, is hardly modest… but she’s pretty!!!! ; )

  56. Voice Of Reason says:

    This is such an interesting topic.There seem to be several different sources of angst surrounding this newly-invented tradition of ‘push presents’ (I mean, really could they come up with a more vulgar name?). The diamond industry’s capitalizing on what is a deeply personal moment in a couple’s life is crass, but, nothing new. Frankly, what’s equally crass is is acting as though you are not engaged unless you have a ring. We can blame rampant consumerism or we can take a little personal responsibility. As far as the wasting money issue is concerned, that’s down to the couple and their budget to decide whether a gift is appropriate or not. To each his or her own. No one moans very much about wedding or birthday presents so I fail to see that this is very different.My personal source of angst is as follows: unless I missed it, no one posted about EXCHANGING gifts to celebrate a child’s birth. How sad is that? That’s what we did, the first time we had a child, and when our second child was born we had less spare cash and sensibly decided we didn’t need/want to do it again. We KNOW that the baby is the gift.I’m with chattydaddy on the idea that women earning special treats is degrading to them.And guess what else? My partner did everything he could do, short of giving birth himself or breastfeeding, to pitch in – before, during and after the births of our children – because we are a team. That’s what we do. Isn’t that what partnership is all about?

  57. Not Greedy says:

    VOR, We DID sort of exchange gifts:A ring for me, a watch for my husband. It was really nothing expected – just durable tokens commemorating a meaningful event.Isn’t that what it’s all about?And I agree, what with the current economic and international crises – which directly affect children in various and horrific ways – can Babble please address issues more relevant to REAL parents, and not these extremely affluent people??

  58. trytostaycalm says:

    Hm, I’m going to have to stick up for the author here. If you actually read the story instead of getting uppity about the title, you’ll see that she sees the jewelry they bought together as a nice physical reminder of her daughter and the birth. It was a) not a reward and b) something she and her husband chose together, as equals.Personally, I can completely understand the desire for a physical reminder of something special. My husband and I decided to get married just by talking about it, no bling or one-knee involved. I was on cloud 9, of course, but after about a week, had a nagging feeling that it would be nice to have a reminder of our new future lives together. Yes, the marriage would be the true reward, and would come with a wedding band as a physical reminder of our commitment. But until it happened, I realized that I wanted something tangible to remind myself that we were, in fact, getting married soon. So we went to the local bead shop and picked up some thick nylon string, which we each tied around our ring fingers. Total cost, about $5. But you know what? Those engagement strings made me feel so excited and special and lucky every time I saw them. Sure, I felt that way before the string. But the physical reminder just brought those feelings into my head so much more often.Who knows how I’ll feel about “push presents” when I finally pop out the first kid. But I can see the pleasure in having a physical reminder of your child and their birth, something extra that reminds you to feel happy and proud and loving and all those feelings that you feel anyway, but could always be reminded to feel more.

  59. greatgoogleymoogley says:

    Wow! All of the vitriol! Firstly, I think there’s a big difference between a handbag “push present” and something that will become a family heirloom. Secondly, it’s not really anyone’s business how people spend money on their spouses in “these time” as some of us are doing fine. Thirdly, as someone who began collecting a certain type of porcelain 20 years ago to mark my life’s major events, I never viewed the two figurines I got to commemorate my children’s births as “push presents” but another symbol. One for my 21st, one for my college graduation, one for my marriage, one for each child. My children already know that the pieces will be theirs eventually. Let Jennifer hand down her jewelry to her children in a similar manner. We demonize this, but not mothers who masturbate while breastfeeding…

  60. catmom says:

    what? what was that last thing?

  61. spartic says:

    I got my husband a PS3 for his push present, he’d been such a dear helping me through all those hard months and it was a great pleasure to see his surprise and happiness. Additionally I fail to see how this is any different from the gift a groom gives a bride before wedding. Tradition expects a man to present a gift to his soon-to-be wife right before the wedding, and I’ve never heard of anyone questioning it or slamming it as “tacky”

  62. Snappering says:

    I wish I had a filter that automatically weeded out any idiot who starts a post with “Wow!” Because without fail, idiocy follows.If someone wants to masterbate in the privacy of her own home, it’s her own damn business. If someone wants to take out a second mortgage for some piece of sparkly crap that she “deserves” because the occasion of her child’s birth just isn’t special enough without TEH PRESENTS and then later declares bankruptcy or walks away from her house because she now owes more on it than it’s worth?THAT’S OUR BUSINESS. Because guess who gets to bail out these morons just to keep our economy fuctioning? That’s right, US.But let’s say, for the sake of arguement, that she can afford it without draining her home equity or maxing out a credit card. If someone writes a piece bragging out buying sparkling junk during a world-wide recession when others can barely afford to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table? Hearing people’s reactions to it is the consequence. Don’t like it? Then keep your spending habits to yourself.

  63. mom202020 says:

    I think commemorating special events with items that you cherish is lovely. I don’t understand why other people care so much how other people commemorate events. Oh yeah, and when I had a miscarrage, my husband bought me a butterfly pin. He actually bought for my birthday, because I miscarried on my birthday and that’s all they had in the hospital gift shop. But it helped me let go of that baby. So objects commemorate events to some people. Why do others care so much?

  64. AnonymousPepper says:

    My husband did give me a beautiful necklace with a blue topaz, which is a stone symbolic of healing and good luck. My baby was very sick after the birth due to an in-utero infection and I remember holding the stone and praying to every god in the universe that he would be okay. Holding on as we met with doctor after doctor to figure out what was wrong and how to help him, holding on as we went day after day to the NICU to hold our little baby. And when our son was finally well and was so healthy that he grabbed the necklace and broke the stone right off from the setting, laughing as he did so, we got it fixed, and I still wear it as a remembrance that what is broken can heal, and what seems hopeless really can come right in the end. So no, I see nothing wrong with a remembrance and a symbol of love that happens to come in the form of a necklace.

  65. babyowl says:

    What a disgusting tradition. Wonder if the children know they are only worth a stone instead of their parents love?

  66. babaemama says:

    a well-written article. i think it is tacky if the woman expects a gift and/or thinks she deserves it. after the birth of our first child, a harrowing 42 hour experience ending in a c section, my husband surprised me with a lovely ring. i was truly stunned. i felt a little guilty, too, at the extravagance (it wasn’t a diamond ring but was still a much more expensive gift than we are used to exchanging) but felt it was a wonderful present to commemorate the astounding emotional event of the start of our family. before the birth of our daughter i suspected he might be feeling like he had to buy something else. at that point, the idea seemed forced and mechanical. i mentioned to him that he didn’t need to make an obligatory trip to the jewelry store. and so he didn’t and i was glad.the writer mentions her pregnant friend wondering what her husband was going to get her for the birth of her second child. that seems icky and materialistic to me. and the gift of an expensive handbag just seems so funny! i can just picture the dad plunking one of those oversized balenciaga monsters on the hospital bed. ha!

  67. notamomma says:

    Yay chattydaddy! Single non-mom recent grad from a liberal, PC college, here to say that you’re dead-on.

  68. ChiLaura says:

    I think it’s the expectation and entitlement that are so grating and annoying. If people have the money to buy jewelry on such an occasion, good for them. I wouldn’t mind having the “problem” of deciding what to buy to commemorate my children’s births. But when a woman feels that she deserves it, when a man is getting stressed about buying the “right” thing, when the gift becomes a status marker and competition between one’s friends — THAT is gross. I hope someday to have enough money to buy some sort of “mother’s ring” or pendant with my kids’ birthstones in them, but I’m not upset that my husband didn’t have a diamond (July is diamond, right?) ready for me after our firstborn. None of my friends have ever gotten a “push present” either (that I know of), and I wouldn’t be surprised if most don’t know what it is. If we are the company that we keep, I’m glad that my company is humble, modest and kind, money-less as many of us are.

  69. surfingmama says:

    Anonymous Pepper – that’s a really sweet story. So glad your little one is okay. :)

  70. grimesy says:

    After I gave birth to our daughter, my husband made a special trip out to get me the one thing I wanted most.A pizza from the “good” pizza place that was like 20 minutes from the hospital. Ahhhhh, extra cheese.

  71. Pullquote TK says:

    I think that the “push present” sounds as strange and out-of-touch as the idea that a typical wedding should cost $30K or that shoes can reasonably cost $300. It’s the kind of thing that sounded at least marginally acceptable until our economy suddenly ate its own ass.
    That said, I think push presents are totally reasonable and that I deserved and should have gotten one. Had I heard about them before now, I would have let it be known that one was expected. Sure, the “present” is the baby, but both partners get the baby, and only one has to grow it. And sure, pregnancy is a wonderful experience, but only one of us spent the first three months of it barfing and the last three months pissing ourselves. And sure, birth is amazing and miraculous, but only one of us had to endure screaming, unbearable pain for hours and ours and tear open our vagina (not to mention what happened to our ass) to get the baby, and only one of us has a saggy, red relief map where there was once a smooth, hard-earned abdominal grid. My husband is supportive and present in the way I’m sure few men are — he took a month off from work after the birth — but he didn’t spend that month bleeding and applying salve to hemorrhoids and lanolin to sore nipples. So until science catches up with Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and men can share the physical burdens of birth and not just the emotional ones, then yeah, pony up the gifts.

  72. Uproar says:

    We’re not into too many material things – we give each other a nice birthdya present, which is often just dinner at a nice restaurant. I have 2 pieces of jewelry – my wedding ring set, and a 10-year anniversary set. I’d be happy if huby got me a nice bouquet of flowers as a present – that puts a big smile on my face. But after giving birth, I imagine Hubby is going to be pretty busy too, and there won’t be much time for him to be shopping around for gifts for me!

  73. underappreciated says:

    I won’t lie, the idea of getting a ring, necklace, earrings – something to symbolize the pregnancy and child would be ever-so-nice. My husband and I waited about seven years to be blessed with our newborn daughter. I love my husband, but it hurts me because I nice bouquet of flowers would have suited me just fine. A single rose would have made me feel loved, but no type of push present was given. Not even him taking a nice photo of me holding my first child. I didn’t expect anything, and I wonder why a month after her arrival I am saddened! All I wanted was a ‘good-job’ or a ‘thank-you’, but I feel like I am left on the back burner. I waited so long for my precious child, told by several doctors I’d never have one of my own, so obviously she is gift enough. It’s just it would have been nice to be rewarded for doing something so remarkable, something man himself can’t do. It’s not like I require much. I don’t care about valentine’s day, a nice dinner for my birthday is all I care about, and usually our anniversary is spent alone together – wherever and since we’ve been affected by this economy, gift-giving doesn’t happen. Therefore, I feel selfish for feeling sad. But what women do during those hours is miraculous! And a tiny gift, nothing expensive, just something that signifies a husband’s love for his wife isn’t tacky.

  74. FoxInFlats says:

    I received two stunning pieces of diamond jewellery after the birth of each of my sons, and I didn’t even push – I had two caesareans (and no, I was not “too posh to push”. Big heads, small pelvis, you do the math).
    It wasn’t a tradition amongst our friends to do so, so this purchase didnt come from external pressure.
    We jointly decided to buy these, and went shopping for them together. My sons and I often look at them and I tell them when and why I got them – as special mementos of when they were born.
    I look forward to passing these onto them to give to their partners when they have their children. FoxInFlats.com

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