I heard something today that I just had to comment on. I was at the doctor’s office this morning getting an MRI done on my knee and they gave me headphones to listen to the radio station. The station was set to very popular morning talk show personality here in Chicago.
I was laying there relaxing when I heard the term “Push Present” for the first time in my life. The personality was asking another person (female) on the program their thoughts on “push presents”. She responded with “they are a great idea and something that men/husbands should certainly do.” Still trying to figure out what the term meant I turned up the volume. They now had my undivided attention.
I continued to listen for a little while longer and then realized a “push present” was something that a husband should give to their wife for delivering a newborn baby. Some of the gifts discussed were expensive pursues, rings, earrings, necklace, car., etc. Although I should have been shocked to hear that our society has now found a way to “expect” something materialistic in return for bringing a healthy baby into this world, but I wasn’t surprised. However, I was disgusted by the thought.
I laid there thinking about all of the people that I have met through the Grieving Dads Project and through my book. People that are heartbroken because they can’t conceive a child, continue to have miscarriage after miscarriage or have delivered a still born baby at full term. People that would consider a live, heathy baby a true miracle and the ultimate gift.
Am I off base on this or do others find this to be a disgusting trend for people who obviously have no idea that a child IS the gift?
Here is what I found on Wikipedia regarding the topic:
A push present (also known as a push gift, baby mama gift or baby bauble) is a present a father gives to the mother to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room. The giving of push presents has supposedly grown in the United States in recent years. A push gift is any type of present loved ones give to a woman who has recently given birth to a child. It is considered a nouveau riche practice in Britain.
There is no conclusive evidence that the present was invented by the jewelry industry to sell more goods, and until recently it was passed on largely by word of mouth or peer pressure among both mothers and fathers. According to Linda Murray, the executive editor of BabyCenter, “It’s 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 difficulty of pregnancy and labor.
A 2007 survey of over 30,000 respondents by BabyCenter found that 38% of new mothers received a push present, and 55% of pregnant mothers wanted one, though fewer thought it was actually expected. About 40% of both groups said the baby itself was already a present and did not wish an additional reward.
The popularity of push presents has been attributed in part to media coverage of celebrities receiving them. Examples include a 10 carat diamond ring given to celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe by her husband Rodger after the 2011 birth of their son, a Bentley given to reality TV star Peggy Tanous of The Real Housewives of Orange County by her husband Micah after the 2007 birth of their daughter, and a diamond and sapphire necklace given to singer Mariah Carey by her husband Nick Cannon after the 2011 birth of their twins.
The trend has generated a backlash, as some couples dislike the implicit materialism of push presents, and would prefer increased help in chores or baby care, or save the money for the child’s education.
According to etiquette expert Pamela Holland, there are no set guidelines for push presents. “The standard is that there is no standard,” she said. “It does make sense to have etiquette around wedding or baby shower gifts because you’re inviting other people into it. But this is far too intimate to have a rule.” In general it is the woman who lets her man know about push presents, not the other way around, although there can be peer pressure from friends to buy one on either the man or the woman.
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