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.
Lissa MoonWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:25
You are a riot!!
renegademamaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:49
eringirlWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:36
renegademamaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:50
Bonnie HarrisonWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:38
I’m going to assume that the women getting the push presents are the ones who: are stressed out that they are now a size 2 and not a zero anymore, have very fancy red paint on the bottoms of their CFM heels, have 24 hour nannies to love, cuddle, feed & play with their newborns (and husbands), hand their screaming baby to a nanny & simultaneously commiserate to a friend, “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done” (a la’ Betheny Stupid Frankel/Skinny Girl Margarita creator), oh yeah, & have a “staff”.
I just want what you want. Keith will gaze at the gorgeousness in the blankie. He will know when to vacuum. He will support the family. He will love me no matter what. (the pee when I laugh me, the super bitchy right before my period or just because I’m super bitchy me, the sub-par dinner making me, the not so perky boob me, the parenting is more important than the gym me, the I fell asleep before sex again me.)
I mean, diamond rings are definitely a bonus. But not the “I guilted you into a diamond” ring. And I would rather have family time, camping, trips, movie nights, beach days anyway.
So the question remains, what do you get the woman who has a C-section? A “doctor just made a slice through my belly & pulled a baby through my guts present”? Sure doesn’t have the same ring as a “push present”.
renegademamaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:49
BONNIE!!! You are so awesome! And I fully agree. If your husband buys you a ring after you had a baby – word. More power to him. The thing that makes me ill is just what you said – that GUILT is the motivator of the gesture, that a man should “show” his appreciation by BUYING SOMETHING. I mean how dumb do they think we women are? Basically, if the woman doesn’t ask for it, it’s cool. If it just comes from the man’s heart…that’s different. Right?
But the way the media has conveyed this concept – more idiotic consumerism – ewwwww.
And you’re right. I didn’t approach the c-section present. So much bullshit, so little time!
But your last paragraph absolutely destroyed me. Hysterical.
Bonnie HarrisonWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 16:06
When does “husband” give the present to you? While the nurse is mopping up the room? While you are basking in the glow of the best thing that ever happened? While the doc is stitching you up? While you are screaming obscenities as you “push” to get the present? Hmmm, I just don’t see the opportune time.
BrandonWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 16:10
You have to have illiteration on the c-section present. Might I suggest a Scar Soother?
StephanieThursday, 12 July, 2012 at 8:00
I agree. Bethenny Frankel is definitely an incarnation of Satan. I love how they give a woman with an obvious eating disorder and a tiny brain so much media real estate. But I won’t rant. I just agree. 🙂
AllenThursday, 6 March, 2014 at 13:24
how about slice surprise, labor favor, or birth bounty…?
Jennifer @ Hybrid Rasta MamaSaturday, 14 July, 2012 at 21:11
OMG! This post was brilliantly hysterically perfect and this comment was equally as brilliantly hysterically perfect. Shared on my FB page!
renegademamaTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 22:28
Thank you, Jennifer!
RachaelSunday, 15 July, 2012 at 8:17
You could call the c-section prezzy the “slice-of-life present.”
Seriously, I am so profoundly delighted that someone else has expressed such disdain for the push present. In my mind, there is no present big enough to replace a healthy, happily and successfully latching baby in my arms. Nor is there a gift so invaluable as to make my two “slice-of-life” scars worth more than the lives they bore.
renegademamaTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 22:28
I’m laughing out loud at the “slice of life”. PERFECTION.
JuliaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:42
renegademamaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:52
Thanks, Julie, though I’m waiting for the enraged commenter…you know he/she is out there SOMEWHERE….lurking…should be fun!
shaunaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:48
BEST ONE YET!!! I love you so much.
renegademamaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 15:51
Thanks, Shauna, I love you too. I do! The fact that you dig this makes me love you right outta the gate. 🙂 xoxo
BrandonWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 16:08
I’d also like to thank People, US Weekly and all the other gossip and advice rags that exist. Because I’m sure this trend started with Chris Martin and Gwenyth Paltrow or one of the other celebrity couples buying some fucking trinkets to commemorate the day that their spawn was released for the world to adore. Now go back to naming your child Cucumber or some shit like that.
And how self-centered do you have to be as a mother to demand, sorry, drop hints of the gift you’ve “earned” by carrying a baby? Last I checked parenthood is the gift (not the tv show). I get that you are probably jealous of the attention that your child will now take away from you, but that doesn’t mean you should be mollified with a gift. Get out of your own ass. It ain’t your birthday.
If a man did the same, every women in the world would be up in arms about how selfish we are and how utterly ridiculous the idea is.
renegademamaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 16:15
Brandon you WIN. The cucumber thing made me almost wet myself and I am still chuckling to myself. FUCKING DYING HERE.
If we don’t all go out to dinner soon I’m going to cry. Big, baby bauble tears.
Don’t make me do that.
MarieWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 19:31
Nailed it. Thank you.
ChristinaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 20:05
So I love all the things you say the dad should do, and I agree these things should happen. (or better fucking happen is more like it)
BUT I love my car. I did not ask for it or even know what a “push present” was but this is what my husband wanted to give me so we would be safe and comfortable. Who am I to argue with that logic.
CandyWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 20:16
I have two big issues with the “baby bauble”,(sorry, couldn’t resist doing that to ya, hehe). One, what if you don’t exactly “rock labor and delivery”? If you are a whiny, complaining, blob of hormones who lays on the couch all day, asks for the epidural when you are dilated to 1, and cries when they won’t give it to you, does that mean you are not entitled to a present? Not that I know anyone who acted like that, just saying. Two, who in the world thinks that a piece of jewelry or a BIG SCREEN TV can compare to the amazing, incredibleness of a NEW PERSON IN THE WORLD. And, what dumbass man thinks that picking out a gift can compare to the 10 month effort that it takes to grow a human.
Merry Welker-TollaWednesday, 11 July, 2012 at 20:18
Dean and I had a conversation about a week ago after an episode of “Downton Abbey” (which of course he hates and I love). The main issue in the episode was the need for a male heir. The conversation goes like this:
Me: Dean, I would have highly valued in this time period. I mean I gave you TWO sons. And heir, AND a back-up. And a daughter to take care of us when we’re old.
Me: Hey, don’t you owe me like a couple of diamond rings or something? You know… a reward for this productivity…?
Dean: wow. That’s kinda fucked up.
Me: I know right? But seriously some men do this. They give their wife a huge expensive present every time she gives birth to a son. One of my piano students’ mom had one, it was a platinum ring with her son’s birthstone in it. He gave it to her after she had their son. And after the 2 daughters – nothing.
Dean: What the FUCK?!
Me: Oh yes, people are weird. Very weird indeed.
StephanieThursday, 12 July, 2012 at 8:02
My playdate calling cards would say, “Don’t come to our house. We’re dirty, we smell, and we’ll feed your kids Twinkies.” Print ’em up.
JenniferThursday, 12 July, 2012 at 9:27
I believe it was Rachael Zoe (the celebrity stylist) who made the term “push present” popular. It was all over the news when her husband bought her this GIGANTIC diamond ring after pushing out her baby.
In other news I am going to email you a picture from a baby shower I just went to. You will think it’s funny.
DeeThursday, 12 July, 2012 at 10:05
I think we could be new best friends. You will say funny things, I will laugh, cause its all so true and hilarious, and then I run away and chase my escaping kid, and when I get back and we try to continue our hilarious conversation, you can chase after your escaped kids. And I won’t judge. Unless you ask for a push present or a baby piddle, or whatever the second-baby-shower was.
renegademamaTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 22:30
Let’s do it!
Your scenario sounds wonderful, in only that kids-are-so-annoying way.
And I laughed out loud with the baby piddle thing. So perfect.
MariahThursday, 12 July, 2012 at 19:51
Push present? Baby Sprinkle? I’m pretty sure you are making all of these terms up. I know you’re not, but it could be wildly entertaining to read some that you might come up with.
saraSaturday, 14 July, 2012 at 10:06
more bumper stickers!!!! baby bauble bumper stickers!! baby bauble bumper stickers to put on your baby bauble beemer!!!! alliteration!
renegademamaTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 22:29
we should just quit the charade and get married.
that is all.
renegademamaTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 22:30
Oh wow. You’re getting my mind going now…Hmmmmmm….
saraSaturday, 14 July, 2012 at 10:14
Push presents bother me as well, but for a different, or at least additional reason. giving birth, bringing new life into the world, is an inherently selfless act. or at least it should be. the day you give birth is a momentous day for you, but its the start for them. they may look like you, inherit your hair or love of fried dough, but they are still their own beings, and this is the start of their lives. therefore, and say it with me, “THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU YOU SELFISH TWAT” baby baubles is just one more thing to draw the attention back onto yourself when it should be on the new person in the world. assmunch. that is what bothers me about a baby bauble (which i will forever call it now, and everytime Janelle will vomit a little in her mouth). the rampant selfishness.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
renegademamaTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 21:24
Sara, will you marry me?
And that is gorgeous. Where did you get it? I could Google a line or two to find out, but I’m too fucking lazy.
Oh, and uncool about the baby bauble. UNCOOL. Bitch.
But still, we should get married.
RenitaFriday, 21 March, 2014 at 11:36
So this was ages ago, so you may have already googled, but I just found your site, and was also curious.
The poem is On Children, and from a book of poetry, The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran.
AnneMonday, 16 July, 2012 at 14:16
If you can read everything that I wrote below, and still think the ENTIRE concept of a gift in this situation is awful, then I’ll let you go.
The term: push present. This term is pretty much loathed by a lot of women, and I can definitely understand why. First of all, it’s a very raunchy way of describing a present. I mean, really, who came up with this? Secondly, it changes the meaning of it possibly being something surprising and innocent into something that is demanded and necessary. All of this being said, I am also a little put off by the term and I think I could have come up with 20,000 different names for it that would have been much more suitable.
In my head, this is where a “push present” is appropriate:
1. When your husband/partner/mother/father/sister/bff/whoever gives you something without you asking for it, just because they wanted to. Ladies, you can’t tell me that NONE of you have ever had someone bring flowers or wine to your house when visiting your new baby for the first time. Needless to say, you never asked anyone to bring flowers, they brought them because they wanted to congratulate you. That’s not outrageous, it’s actually a nice gesture.
2. When the gift that is being given, is more about the mother AND child than just the mother. Let’s just say, hypothetically, that there was a symbol out there that meant safeguarding and love for a new mother and baby. Then let’s also hypothetically say that this symbol was used in a picture, on a card, engraved into metal, whatever. Wouldn’t that given as a gift be meaningful and emotional? More of a commemoration for BOTH the mother and child?
3. When the gift is affordable and sensible, yet emotional and beautiful. I do not think that spending $100,000 on a gift when you can’t afford it is okay, especially when there’s a new baby in the picture. I do, however, think that you can get away with spending a conservative amount of money on something that will mean as much to the child when he/she gets older as it does immediately to the mother. If you’re going to give a gift to a woman who has just had a baby (which, by the way, LOTS of people do), it should be something that is not meant to replace or make up for the baby, but rather congratulate and commemorate the new little one. I think this is a major point of confusion in the “push present” idea. Many women are under the impression that this present is supposed to make up for the trauma that they just went through while being pregnant for nine months, and that is SO FAR from what this present should be. It should be a symbol of appreciation, love, and joy for the gift of life that has been given. It should be just as much about the baby as it is about the mother. Emotional, beautiful, grateful for the gift of life.
renegademamaTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 21:31
Don’t tell anybody, but the truth is I really don’t care who gets a gift for what…for nothing or everything or whatever. I just have fun talking shit on my blog. And of course there is nothing wrong with anything you described. I always bring my homegirls a gift (flowers or vodka or something for the baby) when I come see them…
It’s the MARKETING of it, really, that kills me. It’s the bullshit notion that a woman should get a gift for having a baby and that that woman should give her husband “hints” about what she wants. I mean shit, that’s lame, right?
If a husband/mother/partner/neighbor/whatever wants to buy a mother a gift after having a baby, obviously that’s like a “who gives a shit” situation, but the idea that there’s this THING called a “push present” that a partner is obligated to purchase – and the woman should “hint at” – is ludicrous, in my opinion.
But I hold that in my personal experience, there isn’t SHIT I want other than the baby in my arms. I don’t need a “bauble.” But then again, I pretty much hate stuff in general (my house is unacceptably cluttered no matter what I do) — so I may not be the best judge.
AnneTuesday, 31 July, 2012 at 8:06
Yeah, I get that. I can sympathize with the fact that some of the products on the market for this gift are pretty gaudy and are not even about the moment at all, and there will always be a materialistic side to everything. I’ve seen SO much controversy on the internet about this one particular gift, women all across America are losing their minds over it. And I’m just like, what’s the big deal? No one’s turning down Valentine’s Day gifts, and that’s not even a personal accomplishment, it doesn’t actually ever have anything to do with any of us personally. But all of the sudden now that there’s a gift on the market for an actual REAL experience and a serious moment in a woman’s life, everybody’s pissed? The bottom line is that a ‘push present’ or ‘birthing gift’ is meant to be something to make a woman feel special and loved. And just as a woman never “needs” flowers, a woman doesn’t need this either, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t feel special when she receives it.
LucyFriday, 20 July, 2012 at 6:40
Trying not to puke I’m laughing so much.
MomtothreeSaturday, 21 July, 2012 at 14:38
While I found this funny, there was a distinct sense of déjà vu. Or should I say déjà écrit. I re-read the comments on the baby sprinkle post, and there it was. Hey, credit where credit’s due, huh?
The quote from Khalil Gibran was beautiful. Respect for putting that up.
And to those who commented and suggested that maybe a piece of bling is an unsavoury trade-off for what should be a joyful and selfless act. Truth.
AnneTuesday, 24 July, 2012 at 7:12
Check this out: http://www.jlucina.com
This is EXACTLY what I was talking about. perfect.
JackMonday, 30 July, 2012 at 7:44
See, I thought I loved you when I started reading, and then there were GRAPHS, and my heart sang a joyous chorus of adulation. They (the graphs, not my heart-songs) almost make up for you introducing my brain to shit like “mommy cards” and, whatever the hell they are, “baby sprinkles.” I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough, cuz I can’t stop reading your posts despite this feeling of sprinkle-induced dread.
PamMonday, 6 August, 2012 at 18:21
Basically, I love you and I can’t believe I only just discovered your hilarious, awesome blog!!!!
carlisleMonday, 3 September, 2012 at 16:42
A beer after delivery. Ultimate push present.
I read about this shit a little bit ago. I hate the idea of an expensive gift. I mean, technically, the baby is the gift, a really expensive gift we’ll be making payments on for the rest of our lives.
But it gave me the brilliant idea to buy myself a birthstone ring for the baby for my first mother’s day. Just because I like pretty things.
CMonday, 11 February, 2013 at 8:45
OMG, I couldn’t have said it better. I truly could not have. THANK YOU!
AnnaWednesday, 13 February, 2013 at 15:53
I have fallen hard and fast for you woman! I have two daughters, one of which is a newborn. And for shame I must admit that I was lured into the trap of guilting my husband into a “push present” at first. I am one of those chicks that can be convinced that we need these things in order to feel appreciated or loved. That was until My Husband and I decided to take our two year old to Chucky Cheese. Watching him slide down the slide on his stomach to make her laugh and running around with her with not a care in the world made me realize that I already had a gift. I choose a good husband and good father for my children. I love your blog! Thank you for your honesty.
AngieWednesday, 6 March, 2013 at 20:12
love your blog! just stumbled upon it when a friend posted your Mother Earth entry.
i agree with you on so many levels, especially this push present business. i would want the same things: a husband who provides and is present as a father, lover and companion. everything else is unnecessary bs. and i also hate the word bauble. what the shit is that?????
keep up the writing 🙂
A Pleasant HouseFriday, 11 October, 2013 at 11:37
A Push Present? Holy Crap Balls. Actually Holy Crap Balls might make a fine gift if I could have smashed them.
KariTuesday, 29 July, 2014 at 11:15
Oh thank you. Now if I had the nerve to send this to all my expecting friends.
Diana I.Friday, 21 August, 2015 at 16:28
I just found you and I love it already, you are super funny and I relate to you on a mom level. It might be just us When my daughter was born last December my husband and I exchanged gifts, just little things to both celebrate this amazing new part of our lives and to do something nice for each other. He got me a tattoo and I got him a silly book called show dad how. I love my daughter but at that particular moment it was all about the baby (like it should be) but it was nice to have something just for me.
BrandonSaturday, 12 December, 2015 at 6:46
Holy crap I’m laughing my ass off.. I saw an advertisement for a push present and I thought to myself “what the fuck is a push present”
so then I googled what the fuck is a push present and I saw a few links and then came to you..
Holy crap, I’ll punch my husband in the nuts lmfao..
I’ve been a single dad to my daughter since she was 10 months old, she’s 13 now, and I am just realizing how much I am behind the time since I don’t date, I’ve never heard of such a ridiculous thing.
If I started dating someone and we had a baby and she said to me where is my push present, I would push her ass out of bed and say there you go ha ha.. ????
BrandonSaturday, 12 December, 2015 at 6:48
Sorry up above, I just meant to say
“if I had a baby with someone” my grammar really is better than that ????