health

Push presents; when a gift becomes an expectation.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘push present’ it refers to a gift given to a woman by her partner after the birth of their child. It’s generally thought of as a way of thanking her for everything she went through in bringing a child into the world.

You know, thanks for all the nausea, the fatigue, the swelling, the veins, the pain and oh, thanks for then pushing a tiny human out your lady bits (or having the tiny human surgically removed) Thanks.

It takes a lot to bring a baby into the world. Image: istock

But while the trend for push presents is most definitely on the increase some people, like myself, aren't exactly sold on the idea.

In fact in a recent survey conducted by today.com researchers found that out of almost 8,000 people, 45 per cent said they were not keen on the idea of push presents while 28 per cent said they loved them and 26 per cent admitted that they had absolutely not idea what a push present was.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not actually against the idea of a man wanting to thank his wife for everything she goes through. With four weeks to go before my third baby arrives, I am acutely aware of all the 'joy' that can accompany pregnancy. It's hard work and yeah, a little acknowledgement of that doesn't go astray. What I am against however is how what started as a nice idea has turned in to something of an expectation for many.

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Trawling through the various online mothers pages, it's become apparent that for a lot of women, the presentation of a gift after birth is not so much a surprise but very much an expectation. I'm not talking flowers and a card either, most women seem to be banking on the fact that hubby had time to pop down to Tiffany on his lunch break and pick up some shiny diamonds prior to the birth.

I read about some women who actually purchased their push present themselves to ensure they got exactly what they wanted come baby day. How then is that a token of appreciation for birthing a child?  It seems perhaps more of an excuse to add to the jewellery collection than something to convey a very real sentiment.

He got the memo. Image: istock

Now if a husband wants to purchase diamonds for his wife, then go right ahead. That's his choice. It's a wonderful gesture and is something that she will no doubt treasure for many, many years. What I am saying though is that any gift no matter how big or small, should be because a man wanted to give it to his wife (and the budget allowed for it) and not because he was told of his duty many months prior. And if he doesn't read in between the lines and make it to the shops (or is one of the 26 per cent who have never heard of push presents) it shouldn't matter. You have a new baby and that's gift enough.

I also think of the disappointment that may accompany the giving of a gift which 'wasn't quite what she was expecting'. In fact, I had a friend who was in this exact situation. She'd been dreaming of diamond studs (because all her friends had been given diamonds) and he presented her with something a little more low-key.

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I'll say it now; If you are handed a healthy baby at the end of it all, that day should be tinged in no way with disappointment. If it is, you've forgotten what its's all about.

If you feel disappointed come d-day and still walk away with a healthy baby, you'v got the wrong idea. Image: Istock

Many of us will know the costs associated with having babies- especially if you choose to go down the private health care route which can leave you almost $5000 out of pocket. Add to that the rising cost of housing and all the things that baby needs and you've got a pretty significant bank statement.

For a lot of couples this can be an extremely stressful time especially with new mum off work. I can't imagine the pressure on some men then to miraculously come up with some additional funds (sometimes in the thousands) to buy their wife an appropriate present because you know, that's what he's meant to do, right?

So while I'm not against the actual message behind a push present surely it shouldn't be done out of obligation. To me, if that's the case than it's lost to entire meaning behind it.

What do you think? Did you get a push present?