‘PUSH PRESENTS’: DO WE DESERVE A GIFT FOR GIVING BIRTH?

Attention all mothers: are we missing a trick? Because I have it on good authority that newly minted mums in New York are being showered with pretty shiny things from their partners: and if you haven’t heard, it’s called a ‘push present’.

According to the source of all certified facts, the push present is also known as a “baby mama gift or baby bauble”. Right. Fun fact: the PP may be given before or after the birth – or, delightfully, in the delivery room.

Blame it on celebrities and their highly publicised push presents if you will, (everyone’s favourite ghetto-girl-come-good Jennifer Lopez reportedly received $2.5 million worth of bling after the arrival of her twins) but the PP is now common practice. Women expect a push present. So much so, that instead of the traditional eternity ring, or ring containing the child’s birthstone, it’s de rigueur to provide a gift registry of sorts to your spouse: a friend from NY reports that instead of baby bling, one new mum she knows requested a Chanel handbag. Another, three month’s worth of personal training (my husband would get a slap if he presented me with that).

 

I baulked. But then, it got me all in a huff: where was MY push present? In fact, I’m owed two! When I pointed this out, my ever-inflammatory husband came back with: “I think the man should get the present – after all, we’ve been doing all the work for the last nine months.”

Too late to get the marriage annulled.

I asked this expert panel for their opinion:

Ladyland’s Clementine, who’s braved three children, has found the push present equally elusive. “I can’t deny the attraction of an expensive gift, but personally I think it’s one of those ideas that was pushed onto us mothers by retailers. And having gone without three times now, I don’t feel the need to have my kids’ names hanging all over my neck.” Yes, the push present phenomenon has spawned an entire cottage industry: ‘Mom jewellery’.

Celia says: “Like Clem, I think this is a bit of BS forced on people. Hold on – I’ve just checked the birthstone for my son’s birthday and it’s a diamond. Watch this space!”

Emma fared better in the PP department: “I actually got a push present… sort of. My husband bought me my Eames rocking chair shortly after we found out I was pregnant. Then after my son was born I pestered him for an eternity ring and he claimed the chair was my push present. But it really was more of a conceiving present.”

Yes, I’m a sucker for anything Eames, but this really does seem the most appropriate incarnation of the push present: something that’s special, but actually comes in handy for, you know, all that mothering you’ll be doing. My friend Sonia agrees: “If anything, I’d want those funds to go towards babysitting, which is something we can both enjoy.”

But then, from the fog of my post-baby brain (and with the help of a pointed reminder from my husband), I realised that I actually had received a push present: a chichi little cross-body bag so I wouldn’t have to rummage through the giant nappy bag for my essentials, and could keep both hands free for baby-wrangling. Perhaps the sweetest thing was that it was a complete surprise – I hadn’t expected a present from him for having our baby.

And full disclosure: I’d already bought myself a piece of jewellery as a little pat on the back for becoming a mum.

Do you think mums deserve a gift for giving birth? Or is the push present phenomenon just ludicrous?

Photography: Emma-Scott Child

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