this growing trend, I conducted an informal push present poll on my Facebook
page, and the responses broke down fairly equally into three categories:
1. I birthed a bowling ball. I deserve something shiny.
2. It’s not necessary. My baby is all the present I need.
3. What the hell is a push present?
I don’t love the implication that a mama is owed something for providing her spouse with a child.
I fall into the
second category. Something about push presents makes me uneasy. On the one hand, no woman on earth is going to
reject a thoughtful gift from her partner after giving birth. On the
other hand, I don’t love the implication that a mama is owed something for
providing her spouse with a child. After
years of trying to conceive, I’m so grateful to be pregnant, it’s probably me
that should be giving my husband a trinket as thanks for his DNA. A “sperm splurge,” we could call it.
present timing is terrible. A new baby
puts financial pressure on a family. Not
only is there literally one more mouth to feed, but we’re eventually going to
need a larger home with an extra bedroom. It hardly seems like the right time to go jewelry shopping. A token gift (flowers, doughnuts) would be nice,
but I’d feel guilty about anything spendy.
Yet it bugs
me that push presents have become yet another point of mom-petition. You know what I’m thinking when a mom friend
flashes the new bauble she “earned” for making a baby? I shoved a cantaloupe out of my coochie, too—what am I, chopped liver? Marketing idea: “I pushed for 90 minutes and
all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
I even take
issue with the name. “Push present”
implies that only vaginal births should win you some bling. Certainly, C-section mamas, adoptive
mamas—really any and all mamas—deserve the same consideration, if any of us
about the biggest logistical problem with push presents? To receive one, your partner has to know that
they exist! I guarantee you that my
husband has never heard of a push present. So if I really wanted one, I’d have to first explain the concept—without
seeming like a self-serving asshole—and then somehow make it seem like it’s
his idea. That’s a tall order. The only way I could pull that off would be
by writing a blog post about push presents (cough, cough).
Can a push
present be sweet and lovely and uncontroversial? Sure. During
my Facebook research, I found out that my cousin-in-law had received a special
piece of jewelry to commemorate each birth. Since she had two daughters, she plans on gifting these same items to
her girls on their wedding days. This
struck me as a beautiful family tradition, and one that I could totally get
behind: a push present that actually pulls us closer to our kids.