The first time I ever heard of a “push present” was when Tamar Braxton was shading hubby Vincent Herbert on “The Real” after he neglected to give her one after birthing baby Logan. He later made up for his oversight by gifting her with a huge diamond ring. Then there’s the rumored $770,000 tiger-striped diamond ring Kanye blew on wife, Kim after delivering North West in addition to sparing no expense on a birthing suite complete with leather sofas, mani/pedis and blow outs at Kim’s command in between breastfeeding and burping (which I am going to assume she did herself).
After I gave birth to my daughter last fall, I barely got an Edible Arrangement let alone a tiger diamond, but the idea of getting a “push present” after having a lavish baby shower and having the world wait on you hand and foot for nine months just screams excessive greed to me. It makes a sad statement on a culture I feel is no longer appreciating moments for that sentimental value and using them as mere opportunities to “turn up and get stuff”.
Don’t get me wrong, milestones in life such as weddings, births, graduations should be celebrated. The problem for me is when people think these times are an excuse to have their hand out, especially when a side-eye is given to any gift that someone didn’t have to invest a whole year’s salary into. People are expecting more and more for less and less energy and effort. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like any woman who can endure pregnancy and birth deserves all the respect and love in the world, but at the end of the day you aren’t doing anything your body wasn’t already designed to do. You didn’t colonize another planet for humans to live on or invent an alternative energy source, you gave birth and women have been doing it for millions of years without a “push present” to look forward to.
I won’t feed you some Hallmark BS about how a beautiful, healthy baby should be all the gift you need after giving birth. After having a c-section I was nursing a mean set of staples and hadn’t bathed for at least two days. Not only was I being harassed by a nurse about if I had passed gas yet, but also by an annoying photographer that wanted to take pics of me and my newborn while I sat in a satin bonnet looking anything but “glowing”. Trust me, a push present may have took my self-esteem up a few notches (but I didn’t actually have to “push” so I guess that’s why my present wasn’t in sight). So I totally understand how a woman wants to feel appreciated and rewarded for getting that mini human into the world safely after a labor that might make you feel like you’re going to meet your maker. But if what Tiffany locket you’re going to get to makes or breaks your priorities as a new mom, I’m going to need you to get it together. And it’s one thing if you’re child’s father is Vincent Herbert who is worth a reported $10 million, but if you are parading a flashy push present and wondering how you are going to afford formula: Get your priorities straight, ASAP. This also applies if you’re hype about a getting a Birkin diaper bag from a guy who also impregnated his side chick at the same time.
The Today Show recently asked viewers how they felt about push presents with 45% saying they weren’t fans, 28% responding that they were great and the remaining 27% who were clueless about the whole process like me thinking, “Does you partner pop up with a Tiffany bracelet before or after cutting the cord?”.
Look, I’m not hard to please. After 8 months of motherhood , I’ll take a good six hours of sleep and a bottle of Yellowtail Big Bold Red as push presents. But in all honesty I must say there are sweet simple moments in motherhood that money just can’t buy. And if your partner wants to get you a little something for harboring another human being over your bladder for almost a whole year, that’s awesome. But it matters not if that same person is pulling a no show during every 3 AM feeding. At the same time if he blanks on the push present, but spends the next year covered in spit up and swaddling mid REM, you’ve probably got a winner even if you don’t have a new piece of jewelry to show for it.
Most importantly, giving birth should your first and most important lesson in motherhood: It’s no longer only about you. If you’re more concerned about flossing your gifts for the ‘Gram and getting a pat on the back, you might need to nip that narcissism in the bud before baby takes his first steps.
How do you feel about “push presents”? Here’s how other women felt about the business of getting gifts for giving life:
“I have no idea what that is. I’ve never heard of it. But in regards to presents, I think that American culture is constantly inventing new reason to receive presents and it’s shallow and unnecessary.”
“I never heard about ‘push presents’ until a friend asked was my child’s father getting me one when I was pregnant earlier this year. I knew he wasn’t, so she ended up getting him one to give it to me. Apparently, I definitely deserved one.”
“It’s cute. Like a ‘thank you for sacrificing your abs to bring my baby into the world.'”
“People hype about a ‘push gift’ and got a trifling behind baby’s dad. Explain how that makes sense?”
“I thought gifts were just for the baby. Damn, the mom gets a gift too? Does dad get anything? I mean he showed up at least once for this whole process.”
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.