Monday, December 1, 2008

The Push Present

It's no secret that I say things that annoy most women- why would this post be any different?

I learned of the Push Present two years ago, and thought it strange. A man gives a woman some sort of bauble because she gave birth to his child. The baby isn't gift enough, the woman needs some tangible piece of appreciation from the man. I thought maybe it was the man's way of saying "Sorry you suffered so much for this child, because I can't suffer I'm going to go out and buy you something" which doesn't make much sense either- because any good pregnant woman makes her husband suffer just as much as she has- for the full nine months. (Ask Brent how much sleep he's gotten recently)

The push present is a pat on the head, "Good job woman, you gave birth to my child, here is your reward" and since being pregnant myself I've decided it's demeaning and trivial. That little blue box from Tiffany's immediately devalues the precious new life put in your arms. A baby isn't enough, the woman now expects the man to reward her for her efforts with jewelry.

Talk about a giant step backwards for feminism! A feminist doesn't have a child because she will be rewarded by the man, she doesn't expect gifts for doing things she wants to do. She is in a partnership with her husband, and when she suffers through birth she expects and knows that her husband has or will equally suffer for the family in other ways- and no trudging into the local mall and having something gift wrapped isn't suffering- it's something I very well can do myself.

Way to go women! Tell men that there is a financial equivalent to carrying and giving birth to a child. Men you're in luck- take an hour to do something that is no sacrifice, takes no genuine thought, doesn't alter your life in the slightest to thank a woman who spent months in misery. Ladies, best of all you can brag about it to your friends!

Which brings the surface another social ill- the competition between women in all things trivial and worthless. Like the comparing the size of wedding rings isn't enough (My husband makes WAY more money than yours, see my ring is bigger!) Now women get to compare push presents. Another avenue where they get to tell other women that they are only as valuable as the gifts their husbands give them. Awesome.

A true push present is to honor the woman that gave birth, to wake up in the middle of the night with the baby, to change diapers, clean the house, do the laundry, take the baby in for shots- and tell the woman she's beautiful each day after birth that she's carrying that pregnancy weight. The true push present is a husband who is loving, supportive, and protective of his wife and child. Not some worthless trinket.

Now, if a husband sees his wife in pain, tired, and frazzled and would like to do something spontaneous to make her happy- it's a different story. It's the "I give you present for being good woman and bearing my seed in your loins" which is offensive. Call it a push present and you might as well be a concubine trying to produce an heir for the king so you can be rewarded.

The world is becoming more and more superficial- despite harsh economic times- and women desiring push presents when a sweet baby is given to them is pathetic. Like so many things that undermine respect for women and motherhood- it's not men but women that have chosen to minimalize themselves.


Robin said...

So, did you put the The Tiffany necklace on hold for him so he knows what you want? They will wrap it up real cute like.

Everyone will be jealous!

Emily said...

Kory, I totally agree with your assesment of a Push Present. A WHAT?

However, having said that, if Joe ever wanted to give me a special something, jewlry or whatever, to commemorate our love and our growing family, I would love that. Probably because Joe does get up and change diapers in the middle of the night, lets me sleep in, etc. What a man!

But to your post, I say AMEN!

Emily said...

P.S. I should add that anyone who would call said hypothetical gift from a Joe a "Push Present" would get smacked. Yucky name/term whatever you'd call that. Would you like some jewlry for having a BM? That's what it makes me think of. BM. Gross.

Britt said...

Dang! I have never heard of this "Push Present". Do you get something better and bigger the longer you are in labor? Man with six kids I REALLY could of scored. lol.
Who thought of this idea? It really is offensive.... Like having that wonderful baby in your arms is not a present? Sharing in that joy with your spouse is not a gift? It minimizes the sacred and most wonderful gift that you can give each other in a marriage. The gift of Life.

Tim&Kirst said...

Well said! I agree whole heartedly. However, I expect my "push gift" to be a bunch of support in the delivery room and not a peep out of my hubby if I choose to get an epidural. :)

Allie said...

I don't wear jewelry much. I would not appreciate a large chunk of money wasted on something I wouldn't wear.

My Mister folds laundry, because I don't like doing it, he wakes up with kids in the middle of the night fairly regularly, he rubs my back whenever he talks on the phone to his family, and when I'm pregnant, he rubs my feet nearly nightly.

Maybe I ought to get him a gift- because he does more house cleaning than I do fairly regularly. :)

The whole idea of a push present is really demeaning. Labor and delivery might not be the most pleasant way to spend an evening, but really, it's always been as much my choice as his to be there- maybe more my choice, he might like another baby, but the final say is always mine.

crazy4danes said...

I've never even heard of a "Push Present"...sounds stupid to me! My "push present" was my hubby staying with me in the hospital...I was there for 7 days! He took off work and never left my side, even sleeping in uncomfortable recliner every night! And when I was too weak or tired...he took care of B with the help of the nurses...the BEST push present ever!!! :)

Rachel H said...

I have never heard it called that, and in the way you decribed it I totally agree that is sounds demeaning and totally disgusting actually.

BUT, I have gotten what equates to that with all three ...and we don't see it that way. What would you do if your husband gave you some sort of gift (that was something specific to you that he KNEW you would love- whether it be something material or not..) Just to say "I love you" at the time of the birth? Is that wrong? I don't see it that way.

So while I do get totally ticked and irritated by the same crap you talk about, on the other hand I think when you are equal partners with your spouse, you can also genuinely accept a gift given in love from your best friend.

Crystal said...

Forgive me, but I've got to make a correction. Shouldn't it be:
"My husband is in way more debt than yours, see my ring is bigger!"?


Wouldn't you agree that the push for the "gimmes" is loudly manifest in the fact that our nation seems to run straight from Halloween ("gimme candy") to the "Happy Holidays" ("gimme presents") virtually skipping over our national day of Thanks (which is rapidly becoming more of a commercial gimme drain in other ways).

Steve said...

Crystal - That isn't true! Some of us paid CASH for our big rings! And it shouldn't be bought if it can't be purchased that way; rings, tvs, etc. :)

Salty - I have NEVER heard of such a gift and K will certainly not be getting one! Hell, the baby stuff is expensive enough. Although, we did just buy a video camera this weekend that is sort of a gift to her since she really wanted one, so maybe that was it, haha. Besides, any gift should be exclusive of an already sacred day!

Salt H2O said...

Robin- Brilliant idea, that way he doesn't have to put any thought into what to get me!

Emily- I once got a present for having a BM- I was 2 and being potty trained. I think it was a sticker.

Britt- Tell Brock he's got some backpeddling to do.

Kirsten- are you considering NOT getting an epidural? You're nuts.

Allie- I absolutely agree.

Rachel- I agree with you as well. Should the man want to buy something because he loves his wife- and wants to make her happy, I'm all for it. I have a friend who gets a charm for each child for a bracelette she has- but it's not a 'you gave me a child I'm buying you a charm' bracelette.

Crystal- You're hilarious- and dead on. I would like to re-write my post and put that in it's place.

Steve- What should happen and what does happen are completely things. This economic crisis is a direct result of 'my husband is in more debt than your husband- see my house is bigger!' I'm glad to hear the Push Present hasn't penitrated DC...yet.

Salt H2O said...

Crazy- Your story reminded me of the Emerson quote (thanks Cameron

"The only gift is a portion of thyself."

davers said...

Hehehe ... a push present. Yeah, that does seem a little trite. I don't think there's a present that could somehow come close to compensating for pregnancy let alone birth. Except for that little thing that you end up with. What do you call it?

Oh yeah. A baby. A real live human being that looks like you and him, and is all for you to mold and watch as it grows from nothing into something unbelievably priceless.

Yeah, a "push present" makes a mockery of what it's all about.

I think it's really for the guy's sake so he doesn't feel like a completely helpless 3rd wheel. Seems like a much better gift would be following through on a promise to be a good dad and husband.

And now for something completely different: Taties. My word verification for this comment is "taties". Just thought I'd mention that. Taties. Hehehe.

Allie said...

Kory- I understand not wanting an epidural. Have you seen those needles?

I've had a great epidural, a bad epidural that didn't work anyway, and no epidural. Still not sure what I'd choose if I did it again (well, I for sure wouldn't pick the bad epidural that didn't work- yikes).

(Wasn't that nice of me to say?)

Ben and Kimberly McEvoy said...

I never heard of this term until my 3rd pregnancy. I am not a jewelry girl. I would rather eat good food then wear something.

I think it is like has been said an easy way for a husband to "love" his wife. It seems to be more the trend with society today. Baby I love you I want to give you the world, a big wedding, new car, new this, but like the quote they can't give their wives themselves.

I am glad to read that so many husbands of your friends are great.
Ben is also. He would get up 2 or 3 times in a night to get me cereal or toast or some insane thing so I wouldn't start throwing up.
He gets up with the babies more then i do, but then I nurse them.

I think the key is: no one cares when you get a gift, just don't call it a "push present", pay cash for it, and also give of yourself to your wife and new baby.

and off the blog subject Kory I have to say from growing up and personal exp. think twice about getting an epid. They are similar to manna from heaven, but like Allie said a bad one is very terrible. I can not lay on my back some nights because the insertion site is so tender. I have delivered 1 child with an epidural and that epidural was not worth it.
That said I do believe they are wonderful most of the time.

Salt H2O said...

Ah hell- like I'm not scared enough of labor as it is. Dangit

Steve said...

Salty - K is totally getting the epidermal. In fact, I think she would have one NOW that lasts the next two months if she could, haha. BTW, why no preggo pics? You need to give us fans at least one! :)

Sally said...

I have always agreed with this. Push presents are ridiculous and demeaning. Gross. Yuck. I loved this post. I love stong, opinionated women that are pissed off. So fun to read!

Melissa said...

Never got a push present. But then, you figured that out from my darlings comment above.

I agree with you, I'd rather have a healthy baby (or even a baby that can be brought around to good health-- done that.) Than Jewelery and a husband who thinks he's off the hook ;)

alsorma. That's my word verification. Kind of funny All Sore Mama. Appropriate?

WILLIAM said...

I just posted about this over at my blog.

I do not think that my wife expects anything. I did not know that it was called a push present or what have you.

I thought that this was some kind of nice tradition.

"A true push present is to honor the woman that gave birth, to wake up in the middle of the night with the baby, to change diapers, clean the house, do the laundry, take the baby in for shots- and tell the woman she's beautiful each day after birth that she's carrying that pregnancy weight. The true push present is a husband who is loving, supportive, and protective of his wife and child."

I do all of those things you listed. Except taking my kid out for shots. 1-I have had a hard time finding fake ID's for my sons and really tequila and kids do not mix.