Aug 10, 2010  •  In Personal, Pregnancy

“Push Presents” — Yay or Nay?

I had never heard of “push presents” before getting pregnant, but it has come to my attention that it is another heated debate among moms (as if we don’t have enough to disagree on already!).

A “push present” (also known as  a “push gift” or “baby bauble”) is a present a new father gives a new mother when she gives birth to their child. Most push presents come in the form of jewelry, whether it be a charm bracelet holding items of significance to the new family (initials, birthstones, etc), or full-on bling adorned with diamonds. However, in most recent years, push presents have started to come in all shapes and sizes, from spa certificates to DSLRs, and even new cars!


A typical push present (source)

So what exactly makes the topic of push presents so debatable?

The issue at hand is not the type of push present a new mother may receive, but whether a push present should be expected at all. Those who disapprove of push presents ask, “Isn’t the baby enough?”

I personally say to each their own. I certainly don’t expect a push present, but a gift would be nice. I wouldn’t be mad if J didn’t get me anything, because he’s been anything but super-supportive (if not spoiling me) this entire pregnancy and I feel like I should be just as thankful to him.

A few weeks ago, J asked me if I wanted a new MacBook Pro as my push present. My current MacBook Pro has been struggling in the past few months and I had been b*tching to him about it regularly (so perhaps a new laptop would serve him well too, because he wouldn’t need to hear me complaining so much). In addition, J knows that I never wear jewelry aside from my wedding set, and is well aware that new gadgets are my favorite types of gifts.

However, I refused.

As much as I would love a new MacBook Pro, I have seen firsthand what babies can do to expensive things, especially electronics. So I would rather continue to complain over my current dinky laptop than cry over a new, ruined laptop.

I asked him to pay for a new steam perm instead. Because as you can see from my weekly pregnancy updates, I am in dire need of a new perm and those suckers are expensive! (And to those who might chime in to say that getting perms while pregnant may be a waste of money because pregnant hair does not always “hold” perms, I have spoken to my stylist about this and he says he has pregnant women come in for steam perms all the time. I’ve gotten a steam perm with my previous pregnancy and it came out just fine.)

What is your stance on push presents? Do you think that a new mother deserves a gift — on top of the baby — for carrying him/her to term and successfully delivering him/her?

13 Responses to ““Push Presents” — Yay or Nay?”

  1. Emily:

    I don’t "need" a present, but I’d like one and will be dropping hints. Who doesn’t like presents? Otherwise, I know I’ll go out and buy something with my own money to commemorate the occasion =]. Heck, I bought myself a new piece of jewelry just for getting a new position at my company, lol. So whether or not I buy it for myself is the question. But, I expect birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, mothers day gifts, etc, and I know my husband expects the same. In fact, for my birthday, i often say "hey i want this". For pushing a baby out my youknowwhat? Yeah, that falls under the category =] It doesn’t have to be expensive (cars? ridiculous to me) but I’d like something MEMORABLE and sweet. Even if it’s an inexpensive charm from Etsy with the baby’s new initials on it to wear with my other jewelry. Or something with baby’s birthstone that I can eventually give him/her. But I wouldn’t say no to a nice pair of diamond earrings or a diamond pendant or a cool gemstone piece if he felt inclined to get me something particularly nice.

    I don’t see babies as "gifts" necessarily, though. I think "gift" is just…not a good term for a baby =]. My dad gave my mom a pair of gold baby boots when I was born for her charm bracelet. Not grossly expensive, but incredibly meaningful. She always told me stories of her charms–dad always got them for her throughout various stages of their 30 years together. THAT’S what I mean by sweet. I don’t see how a gift like that can be selfish or gift grabby at all.

  2. Mina:

    i’m not quite sure what all the debate is about, and the strong disapproval. while i wouldn’t expect one, i wouldn’t turn it down, either. maybe it shouldn’t be called "push present"–the label makes it seem like some sort of mandatory tradition/expectation at which some of the naysayers may be balking, which i can kind of understand. for me, i hear "push present" and: (1) i think it’s kind of a weird name; and (2) i don’t think it’s mandatory. i almost think that new moms have received trinkets/gifts for a while but people are only recently making a big deal out of it, perhaps because the scale of some of the presents has exploded and hits people’s nerves regarding consumerism and outlandish spending.

  3. Teresa:

    I’m indifferent to the idea of the gift – I’m not sure I would have even noticed I was getting jewelry in the midst of cleaning up all those diapers and spit up.

    What I really HATE is the name. I’ve also heard it called a "push prize." Any gift with the word "push" in it makes me cringe and want to run away. Why not just call it a new mother’s gift? Then it sounds like a nice thing and not debatable at all.

  4. Sara:

    I had never heard of a "push present" by that term until recently but I had always known that some men will get their wives something. I already know what I’m getting and it’s sentimental. I know that sounds bad, but our jeweler gave us the idea when we didn’t know what to do with my future husband’s grandmother’s delicate yellow gold wedding band since it wouldn’t work with my engagement ring—put it on a necklace and on the inner rim include a small birthstone for the child born along with our birthstones as the parents. We could then just keep putting a new one in for each child we have—we plan for two so it’s not like we are filling up the inside of the ring! haha But I loved the idea and so did my fiance and that’s what I will receive. I look forward to that day to have that in my jewelry box to wear. But of course, I look forward to our child more but having something like that will be super meaningful to both of us. My fiance never knew his grandmother since she passed away when he was only two years old and her small diamond side stones from her engagement ring were added to my engagement ring and I/we love they are there! :)

  5. Most of the people I find who are anti-push presents received a gift from their husband on their wedding day, and I find this to be extremely hypocritical. What, marrying your husband wasn’t enough, you expected a gift, too? And then it turns into the whole sentimental value… which is exactly what I think "push presents" are in the first place. When they come in the form of a nice piece of jewelry or a new camera to photograph your child, it’s not so much the actual gift, but the sentiment behind WHY you are getting the gift, and a reminder every time you use that gift.

    I certainly wouldn’t turn down a sweet gift from my husband, but I also know when we have children, there is no way he will be getting me anything. He didn’t even get me a card on our wedding day, so I see no reason why having a child would be any different. In his mind, the day itself is more than enough, no present necessary, which is fine with me. :)

  6. I’m just over the whole "hallmark-ing" of gifts and the label of it just sort of pushes the idea of a gift into mandatory status. I think buying a present to commemorate the birth of a child is incredibly special, like the gift of jewelry in honor of the child or a special keepsake. But in all honesty, I keep seeing people get random material gifts, and that, in my mind, is just strange.
    I asked for newborn photos to commemorate Baby M’s birth… and I found that to be the perfect gift.

  7. Really? I’ve never heard of this before. I say to each her own, as well. My first thought was, "REALLY?" But now that I"ve had exactly 30 seconds to think about it, I say, "Why not." I could really use a new, safe car to replace my 10-year old clunker, but I know that would get a big, giant laugh. Maybe a nice sushi dinner (which I’m dying for). Other than that, I don’t know what I’d ask for, and quite frankly G would think it stupid, so I guess I won’t ask for anything but a healthy baby. I agree with Kimberly Michelle, random material gifts seem strange for something that, um, just happens. Some commemoration thing would be nice.

  8. Personally, I think it’s rude to *ever* expect a present. But, to paraphrase Miss Manners, it’s also rude to go around telling other people that they are being rude (unless they ask).

    However, if my husband decided to buy me a gift to commemorate having a baby, I would love that. Especially a piece of jewelry, even though — like you — I almost never wear any. A necklace with a charm for each of our kids would probably become the only thing I wore on a regular basis except for my wedding ring.

    Come to think of it, my husband does get something at my request when we have a baby — a tattoo! (On him, not me.) Maybe not as classy as a diamond pendant, but we like it. ;)

  9. Jessica @ Acting Adult:

    I really like the idea of a husband giving his wife a gift that she can wear forever and always remember her child and that special moment that made them a family. I think it’s nice!

  10. EM:

    I think what bothers some people is the idea that there’s some kind of trade going on. As if the woman is saying, "Since I went through the incredibly painful act of labor for us, you should compensate me with a material good/service." And yeah, it’s pretty distasteful when you think about it like that. And the name, ugh. Nothing sweet or sentimental-sounding about "push present".

    If a husband does something special for his new-mom wife of his own volition, without ever having heard the term "push present", I think it would mean a lot more than if he does it out of a sense of obligation, or because his wife’s been dropping the phrase in conversation…or on a blog.

  11. Anne:

    I did receive a push present from my husband, although I didn’t know it was called that. I was completely surprised since I had never asked for one or expected it. He gave me the Signature Pendant from Juno Lucina, which is GORGEOUS and thankfully affordable. I cherish it, not because it’s just a pretty piece of jewelry, but because it symbolizes me and my son. I wear it every day and will never take it off. If you want to check out Juno Lucina you can find them at http://www.jlucina.com.

  12. Emily:

    Really, Disgruntled Julie? Most of the people? How many would that be? I’m not going to tell other people they shouldn’t want one, but I don’t appreciate being told my values are based on hypocrisy because of other people’s failings. I’ve never heard of a husband giving his wife a present on their wedding day, and it sounds creepy, especially if it’s not reciprocal. My problem with that kind of thing, and with “push presents”, is that it attempts to devalue the whole business. Giving birth isn’t some “challenge” that I want a gold star for–it’s giving birth, a completely different and separate experience from anything else I’ve ever done. I didn’t want one, wouldn’t want one in the future, and would feel uncomfortable if my husband had tried to give me one. The farthest I would go is, maybe, some flowers that we could put in the room for everybody to enjoy, and I think I’d probably be okay with that because it is just the smallest token of acknowledgement. Otherwise, it’s… it’s like drinking soda with cake; you can’t appreciate the sweetness of either one because of the other. How are you supposed to appreciate a beautiful piece of jewelry or a new gadget you’ve been wanting when you’re looking your brand-new baby in the face?

    And yes, I hate the term “push [insert anything here]”. It sounds like exactly that kind of off-key schmaltz you get with corporate holidays. “My wife just gave birth, so I shall give her this tennis bracelet in a way that won’t make her feel like a grasping, trophy wife, and I shall call it… A PUSH PRESENT, because that sounds adorable,” said no man, ever.

  13. My grandfather had a ring made for my grandmother for giving him a son, I now have that ring and cherish it and the memory. I think this type of a ‘push present’ is an amazing heirloom piece. I think push presents are a nice way for a new dad to honor his partner and their new baby.

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