Push Presents: I’ll Pass, Motherhood is the Ultimate Gift for Me
Whether big or small, celebrating and commemorating special occasions by honoring one with a gift is a time-honored tradition that’s been in existence for centuries. Children honor their love for mom with hand painted flower pots on Mother’s Day. Sweethearts exchange romantic tokens on Valentine’s Day. Even graduates receive a gift of some sort to celebrate the years of dedication and hard work they’ve poured into their education.
And an increasing amount of husbands shower their wives in diamonds, exotic vacations and lavish spa days following the birth of a child.
As the tradition of “push presents” continues to spread like wildfire I can’t help but wonder, when did motherhood stop being enough?
Who knew that childbirth could yield more than just babies? Thanks to push presents, many women are walking out of hospitals with babies and diamonds in tow these days.
Also referred to as baby baubles, push presents are gifts that fathers present to mothers following the birth of a child. These gifts are usually lavish; anything from jewelry to vacations to spa days and designer purses. Though the type of gift presented varies from couple to couple, there is a common theme; commemorating the beautiful occasion with a tangible expression of love and thanksgiving.
But some women take it too far.
History, Commercialism and Expectations
While the practice of presenting a mother with a commemorative gift following the birth of her child has been a long-standing tradition in England and India, push presents have increased in popularity in the U.S. in recent years by way of commercialism and word of mouth.
What was once regarded as a beautiful way to commemorate a glorious event has evolved into a commercialized tradition. In 2005, the geniuses at Mayors Jewelers marketed their diamond earrings with the tag line, “She delivered your firstborn; now give her twins.” And in 2007, push present registries began to pop up in jewelry stores nationwide.
Commercialization of push presents has fueled a sense of entitlement and expectation in some women and has even placed societal pressure on men as well.
Whether or not actual pushing is involved during the birthing process, many men feel pushed into purchasing pricey gifts to appease their wives. In a Fox News article, Seattle mom Julie Leitner laughed, “My husband does not believe in jewelry, so I saw it as the perfect opportunity to cash in on the whole societal pressure thing.” And in a New York Times article, BabyCenter executive editor Linda Murray observed, “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.”
Expectations, a sense of entitlement and the commercialization of yet another blessed event have blinded many women from seeing that the ultimate push present is already there for the taking.
The Ultimate Push Present
Pregnancy can be a difficult time for many women. Having personally experienced complications during two of my four pregnancies – from partial facial paralysis at the hands of Bell’s Palsy, to suffering in excruciating pain and being rendered physically disabled and unable to walk for many months due to complications from Diastasis Symphisis Pubis – I can certainly understand why some women may feel the need to be appreciated for the sacrifices they made during pregnancy, labor and delivery. But what I don’t quite understand is why some feel entitled to receive such lavish and pricey gifts to commemorate the birth of their child.
Why isn’t motherhood enough?
Keep your exotic vacations and designer handbags. Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but when it comes to push presents, this girl could care less about over-priced, sparkly baubles. Motherhood is the ultimate push present for me.
I’ll never forget those first magical moments. My baby’s first breath, followed by that heavenly first cry; a sound so gloriously heartbreaking and beautiful I thought I’d shatter into a million pieces. Bringing her to my breast, nourishing her with life-sustaining milk. Her little heart beating against my chest as I look deeply into her curious, new-to-the-world eyes. Looking at her looking at me; wondering, hoping, dreaming, praying, giving thanks. My eyes brimming with tears as I take it all in. This intimate moment between mother and child. This small and brief little moment in time that I’ll store in my heart forever.
I’ll take motherhood over diamonds and exotic vacations any day. These tiny little moments that make up motherhood? They’ll never tarnish and fade. They’ll never go out of style or depreciate in value. They can’t be stolen or purchased in any department store. And unlike commercialized push presents, I’ll take the ultimate gift of motherhood with me beyond the grave.
So keep your diamond earrings, your exotic vacations and spa days. Motherhood is the ultimate push present for me.
Do you think push presents are a great way to celebrate and commemorate the birth of a child? What would your ultimate push present be? I’d love to hear your thoughts on push presents either here on my blog or in my Blog Frog community.
This article was inspired by two posts I recently read from two very different women; one who feels that she’s entitled to a push present following the birth of her child and another who questions why having a healthy baby isn’t enough.
Image Source: diamond earrings, http://www.diamonds-earring.net