September 19, 2019

"A 2004 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...."

That's at "Push Present" (Wikipedia). I had to Google that after reading somebody on Twitter who said, "My wife just brought up a 'push present.' I had to google to find out what hell that is. This is our fourth kid. She can't start this now." The too-late-to-start-now argument is interesting. It made me think of another too-late-to-start-now argument: Every time it's your birthday, it marks the anniversary of what your mother did for you, going through pregnancy and childbirth, so you should be giving her a present.

By the way "push present" assumes the mother goes through labor and vaginal delivery, so it's the wrong term.  Whatever the woman goes through is a big deal, and she deserves to be honored for her contribution to the continuation of humanity, but often it's a Caesarean section, and naming the present after the "push" might feel quite wrong at a sensitive time. Plus, "push" sounds pushy and calls attention to the idea that the new mother might not want to do what she's just put herself in the position of needing to do.

ADDED: Here's a 2015 NYT article, "First Comes Baby, Then Comes Push Present?":
“They’re a very big thing in L.A.,” said Justin Lacob, 35, a new father who lives in Los Angeles. Although his wife didn’t expect a present, he said, “I’ve heard women complain about what they received.”...

Any gift for a new mother should have special meaning. “When she looks at it, it should remind her of the experience, of crossing over into motherhood,” said the New York City childbirth educator Patricia Rangel, who is curating a list of shopping ideas for her business website. (Ms. Rangel suggests an affordable piece of simple jewelry centered on the new baby, such as a birthstone, an engraved name or a charm in the shape of a peanut.)...
A peanut.

40 comments:

Darrell said...

Better than a "drop" present, I suppose.

Shane said...

And these celebs whom have babies through surrogate mothers? That is not being a mom.
That is having a show piece you being out whenever it is good for them.
Then let the nanny deal with the child after that cause there are parties to attend to.

MadisonMan said...

A 2004 survey is 15 years old.

rehajm said...

Men deserve a put present to honor their contribution to their continuation of humanity. (In addition to the present of the act itself...)

Jeff said...

Mothers are already honored every time their children call them "Mom" or someone refers to them as a Mom. The fact that some of them don't know this is a sad reflection on the state of our culture.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mothers are already honored every time their children call them "Mom" or someone refers to them as a Mom."

You must live a sheltered life! You have not heard the many ways in which "Mom" can be said.

J2 said...

Modern Etiquette: the" push present" does not override the obligatory "babymoon"

Leland said...

I'm cool with this, because I'm happy rewarding my wife for all the wonderful things she does, including bearing my children.

But I agree the name is a bad idea. Men may want a push present in return at conception.

JRoberts said...

"Push Present" sounds like something Serena and Fred would give to Offred.

Did I get the pop culture reference correct?

Leland said...

When our children were between 5 and 10; my wife's response to "mommy" was "I'm going to change my name".

Jeff said...

You must live a sheltered life! You have not heard the many ways in which "Mom" can be said.

In Korean culture, mothers are called by the name of their oldest son, or, if their is no son, by the name of their oldest daughter. An "oh ma" is appended to the name. So "Elena oh ma" is, literally, Elena's mother. This is not meant to demean the mother, but to honor her. You might think it's a bit sexist to use a son's name rather just the oldest child's name, but that's the tradition.

My first wife was Korean and she loved being called first "Diana oh ma" and later "Daniel oh ma". And her friends clearly thought they were honoring her by using those names for her. Including her pastor.

In my house we never heard the term "Mom" used disparagingly. I wouldn't stand for it. The kids knew never to be disrespectful towards their Mom in my presence, and she did the same for me. But we also respected them.

I have heard kids, particularly teenagers, saying "Mom" with a sneer. They were walking advertisements of parental failure.

JRoberts said...

If pregnancy counseling centers gave mini vans as push presents, maybe there would be fewer abortions.

DeVere said...

We don't need to encrust childbearing with more expensive baubles. At the margin it discourages couples from having children as it gets priced out of reach. We should be removing some of them instead. How about getting rid of diamond engagement rings? What purpose do they serve after you're married, anyway? Plus they arose only in the early 20th century, a triumph of the diamond industry, not a tradition of long standing at all.

RNB said...

Would you prefer "gash present"? "Slash present"? "Slit present"? "Untimely ripped present"?

Ann Althouse said...

"In my house we never heard the term "Mom" used disparagingly. I wouldn't stand for it."

It's good to develop that sort of intrafamily culture. But clearly you know the tone of voice I am talking about. I agree that children should be taught never to address their mother in a disrespectful tone, and I'm sad that so many women who go through motherhood miss out on the ideal culture of respect for the mother. It's one of the strongest reasons for having the father in the home and carrying out his role well (and one of the biggest problems with having the father there if he is treating his wife with disrespect and showing the children how it's done).

Bob Boyd said...

often it's a Caesarean section, and naming the present after the "push" might feel quite wrong at a sensitive time.

Not if it's a Bentley.

Birches said...

I had five kids starting in 2006 and I have never heard of this until now. Women are weird.

Earnest Prole said...

I gave my wife her push present nine months ahead of time.

Ralph L said...

How about a necklace with a knot in it after the last one?

Nichevo said...

Interesting to have a name for the phenomenon, which my mother has been decrying as barbarous for decades. Needless to say, this wasn't just invented.

GRW3 said...

"Push Present" I assume is just for vaginal birth so what about Cesarean births> "Cut or Crack Present"? All our kids are adults. For the ones in town, we go to dinner on their birthday to a place of their mother's choosing. When asked why she gets to choose, I tell them "It's not just about you, it's also to celebrate what she gave me."

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Somehow this reminds me of David Beckham and his lovely wife Victoria nee Adams. The British tabs have been known to call them "Dave and Posh" (since she was Posh Spice), and I think the great phrase was applied to her:"Too Posh to Push." I think American women go in for Caesarean section out of proportion to what might be medically necessary.

Unknown said...

> Whatever the woman goes through is a big deal, and she deserves to be honored for her contribution to the continuation of humanity,

Detracting from the continuation of humanity pleases AOC and the Malthusians.

Abortion is its own reward.

tim maguire said...

When she looks at it, it should remind her of the experience, of crossing over into motherhood,”

Mothers already have that. It's called children.

This is yet another reason why social media is the work of the devil. I find the whole idea of a push present frivolous, shallow, selfish, petty, and deeply offensive.

Michael K said...

Our daughter got enough baby clothes and baby stuff to last for a couple of years. Her mother had saved all her baby clothes and had them all cleaned and included them, so she has that plus a year's diaper service.

And she pushed her out.

Ann Althouse said...

"'When she looks at it, it should remind her of the experience, of crossing over into motherhood'/ Mothers already have that. It's called children...."

Maybe what it should remind her of is that though she's now clearly a mother, she is also still her husband's lover.

Which is why it shouldn't be a PEANUT!

Patrick said...

My poor wife only received my continuing devotion as a husband and father.

Birches said...

I think the great phrase was applied to her:"Too Posh to Push." I think American women go in for Caesarean section out of proportion to what might be medically necessary.

Women with certain STDs cannot deliver vaginally. I assume most of these stars who get C sections prefer the public to think they're too posh to push or the doctor thinks their frame is too small to vaginally deliver (Britney Spears), but I've long suspected otherwise.

tim maguire said...

Ann Althouse said...Maybe what it should remind her of is that though she's now clearly a mother, she is also still her husband's lover.

That's what the wedding ring is for.

CJinPA said...

Any gift for a new mother should have special meaning.

Isn't the living being in her arms special enough??

It's like people who get engaged in a hot air balloon or married dressed as Star Wars characters to "make it special." The fact that these are the most momentous occasions of your freakin life should satisfy your urge.

reader said...

My first close friend to have a baby (back in 1990) got a push present. She was the first of us to rise above the socioeconomic status we grew up in and I thought that that was just the way people with more money did it. She got a ring for each baby.

I did not get a push present beyond my 7.4 oz bouncing bundle of joy. I didn’t get a chance to push but wouldn’t have gotten one anyway because I don’t wear jewelry and my husband thinks the concept is ridiculous.

Now I have the commercial stuck in my head where this woman’s kids say, holler, and yell, “Mom” all day. At one point she wakes up saying, “What?”.

Mark said...

Isn't this what Mother's Day is for? And for that, you get 50, 60, 70 years worth of presents.

reader said...

My son was not 7.4 oz. Ha! Would have made it easier though.

Yancey Ward said...

You write her a song.

Earnest Prole said...

You write her a song.

Even though we ain't got no money
I'm so in love with you honey

I was just listening to that last night.

Rockport Conservative said...

I see this on the same level of those who have birthday week, or even worse, birthday month. It is really an "all about me" point of view. It takes two to make a baby, sure the woman does all the hard work, but that is the nature of the game.

Bart Hall said...

For a couple of decades I sent my mother flowers on my birthday. Even though she led a good, full life, and lived far into her 90s, the birthday when that little tradition was no longer possible ... was very tough.

Mike Petrik said...

@Bart -- Me too, but since she never cared for flowers -- she was practical and viewed them as a waste of dough since they died -- I called and wished her a happy labor day.

mikee said...

If you want to experience some really fun confusion, have a gift, or even just flowers, delivered unexpectedly to your spouse for no reason at all, without attachment to any event or recent history. The unspoken question, "What did YOU do wrong that requiree sending ME a gift?" can hang for months or years before dropping. Fun.

Begonia said...

What. The. Hell. I literally gave birth to my second child ON MY BIRTHDAY. We share the same birthday. I didn't get a special present for having him and would never, ever expect a present.

I mean, having the child is the start of 22 years of a huge financial investment in another person. Who even has the money to spare for a frivolous gift?

This just sends a terrible message and it's a terrible tradition. Like wedding showers and those pre-wedding trips that all the millenials are taking. Me me me me.