Friday, October 4, 2013

"Push Presents"


Sort of related to Ana's previous post about engagement rings, today I would like to talk about "push presents". This is a gift (usually jewelry) that a new father gives the mother of his child for enduring the excruciating pain of labor, not to mention the super fun experience of the previous nine months of pregnancy.

There is just something incredibly insulting to me about this concept. It makes it seem as though the mother isn't worth anything, just her offspring (i.e. the 'heir') is. Why isn't the baby in itself present enough? The push present seems like something shiny given as a reinforcement for positive behavior and there is something so condescending in that.

But most of the "controversy" surrounding push presents has to do with whining about how men spend their hard-earned money on baubles for their lazy wives who have done nothing but sit around all day and get fat, wasting away their husbands' hard-earned money while they stay home. As one woman says:
"To expect my husband to go out and buy me an expensive gift when he works so hard to allow me to stay home is an insult to him."

Huh? While I don't necessarily agree with the reason behind push presents, why can't a the man buy one for the new mother if he wants? Who says the gift has to be expensive? Why is the inference the fact that she hasn't done anything by staying at home (and I call growing and then taking care of a tiny human 24/7 doing plenty!)? Wasn't her staying home to do all this a mutual decision?

Here are some more disturbing quotes on push presents as found in this article by Catherine Donaldson-Evans from Fox News (*gag*)

"My husband does not believe in jewelry, so I saw it as the perfect opportunity to cash in on the whole societal pressure thing," laughed Seattle mom Julie Leitner, 32, who got a white gold and diamond bracelet in the $800-$1,500 price range when her daughter was born."
"I'd been told by so many people that you're supposed to get one that I just assumed it was the norm," said Leitner.

And from a man's perspective:
"I wouldn't necessarily say the gift was from me," said Bruce Owen, 35, of Oakland, Calif. "[My wife] picked it out. She bought it. It was more as if I didn't have a choice."

So if men feel obligated to give, and women feel obligated to get, why are we perpetuating this ridiculous "tradition"? What if parents just put that jewelry money into the kid's college fund instead?

What do you think of push presents?

3 comments:

  1. it's funny, this is the first time im hearing this term "push present." up until now, i hadn't heard of the concept.
    but this is actually why im wary of gift-giving in general-- its not a gift, when its an obligation. But it seems like push presents takes that to another level.

    "I wouldn't necessarily say the gift was from me...She bought it. It was more as if I didn't have a choice."

    what a romantic sentiment...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I actually think the idea of a man (romantically) buying a present for his wife after the birth of their child because he wants to do something for her is sweet. But the sense of obligation that apparently surrounds it - from both sides - makes the concept kind of awful.

      Delete
  2. Originally I'd heard of push rings, which were replacement rings to wear while the mother's fingers were swollen in the final months of pregnancy and first months of the baby until the fingers shrank enough to fit the original wedding ring again.

    I like the idea of still wearing a ring to symbolize the union during pregnancy, but push rings can be cheap replacements and in my opinion, the idea is that you wear it only during the pregnancy "push" time before switching back to your normal rings. It is not a reason to guilt husbands into "rewarding" mommy for having a baby.

    If husbands want to buy women a nice present for the hell of it, that's great... but I don't think either person should feel obligated that this is required since the woman is pregnant.

    ReplyDelete