What the hell happened up there with all that alliteration? How cute.
Anyway, let’s talk about “push presents.”
Unclear on the concept? Doubting the little voice in your head whispering the likely definition? Can’t quite grasp the implications? Well, just for funsies, let’s borrow Wikipedia’s definition (this is a BLOG, after all, not some academic research paper)… “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.”
Setting aside all criticism of the heteronormativity being displayed in the aforementioned definition, let me just say that if I hear the words “baby bauble” ever again I’m going to vomit on my keyboard without restraint.
Anyway, before I looked it up – you know, delved deep into investigative journalism for the sake of this profound post – I suspected I would hate the idea of a “push present.” Just call it a gut feeling. However, after reading the following drivel from “Linda Murray,” this gut feeling materialized into a concrete disdain for the entire concept of “push present,” and the distinct awareness that I would punch my husband in the nuts if he attempted to give me one.
I mean seriously, if THIS is what it is, I don’t want anything to do with it:
“According to Linda Murray, the executive editor of BabyCenter.com, ‘It’s more and more an expectation of moms these days that they deserve something for bearing the burden for nine months, getting sick, ruining their body. The guilt really gets piled on.’ Other sources trace the development of the present to the increased assertiveness of women, allowing them to ask for a present more directly, or the increased involvement of the men in pregnancy, making them more informed of the pain and difficulties of pregnancy and labor.”
OH HOLY MOTHER OF GOD do you really think some GIFT is going to make up for the fact that I now pee on myself when I sneeze, my tits kick it near my belly, and my stomach bulges like an overflowing cupcake? (Also, Linda Bite Me Murray, “ruining their body?” REALLY? Screw you.)
Oh, honey, yes, I just endured morning sickness, a pin-sized bladder, waddling and back pain for nine months, culminating in the most excruciating few hours of my life, during which time I rallied the strength of 10,000 women to push a gigantic baby out of a barely-participating vagina – I shit on a table, got hemorrhoids and rips in inhumane places, and I now face cracked nipples, dripping breastmilk, emotional turmoil, no sleep and a lifetime of guilt and responsibility [having just become somebody's MOTHER]… but that white gold ring you got me? Oh, yes. That makes up for it. I now see how appreciated I am. I see that you totally “get it,” sweet cheeks. Thank GOODNESS I’m appreciated.
What do they think we’re fucking stupid?
On what planet does the purchasing of a trinket or furniture or jewelry indicate a man’s “involvement in pregnancy” or make them “more informed of the pain and difficulties of pregnancy and labor?”
You want to show me you care? You want to give me a “push present?” Here. How about one of these:
Love me. Go to work. Don’t cheat. Wash the fucking dishes. Take the newborn OUT OF THE HOUSE so I can actually sleep (cause the living room ain’t cuttin’ it sunshine). Understand that I need my mother more than I need you right now. Realize I won’t have sex with you for at least 2 months and possible 6 more after that. Let my friends come over. Don’t ask me what I “did all day.” Hold your baby. Wear your baby. Learn to put him to sleep. Stand by my side.
Love your child. Be a father. Sit with me for a moment and gaze at this perfect creation.
Spend the rest of your life as my partner and friend and lover, raising this little being we just created.
How’s that for a damn push present?
Parents.com suggests some “amazing” gifts for women who “rocked Labor & Delivery,” [and they suggest we should "start dropping hints" to our "hubs" - What is wrong with these people?!] such as rings with the kid’s birthstone, necklaces, a fancy rocking arm chair, a family vacation, a big screen TV, and, my personal favorite: PLAYDATE CALLING CARDS.
I can’t even inch near the topic of “playdate calling cards.” Not enough time.
As often happens, I believe I can best summarize my feelings about receiving one of these items as a “push present” with a graph, or two.
First of all, it appears that a push present is intended to show the mother what a badass she is, to congratulate her on a job well done. Well, here’s my thought on that:
And really, here’s the bottom line: there’s nothing wrong with buying somebody a gift. I get that. HOWEVER, the reality of the situation, for me, is as follows: I don’t care what my husband were to buy me, it would not mean shit next to the newborn baby I am holding in my arms.
I made a pie chart to demonstrate.
You feel me here? I almost find it demeaning…as if some item, some material good, some PURCHASE could “thank me” for carrying and birthing a human being, for becoming a mother, for the courage and strength and power contained in a woman giving birth, could recognize the sacrifice I have made and will make for the rest of my life…and, perhaps most offensively, that this item would do so more powerfully than the child herself.
So yeah. For now, I’ll just stick with the baby, as the greatest fucking “baby bauble” in the world.