Push Presents Gross Me Out

By on May 16, 2011

push presentLast week, People magazine ran a story under the headline, Rachel Zoe ‘Thrilled’ With 10 Carat Push Present.

There is so much to say about that statement that I’m not even sure where to begin.

Rachel Zoe? 10 Carat? Push Present?

After I rubbed my eyes, gave my head a shake and downed a shot of vodka, I was ready to process. First of all, I had no clue who Rachel Zoe was, but after getting a farking 10-carat diamond ring just for having a kid, it was easy to deduce that Rachel Zoe was either a) Queen of the Vaginas or b) the first woman ever to give birth. I’m pretty sure that I – and many of us – gave birth prior to 7 weeks ago, so I’m going with Rachel Zoe, Queen of the Vaginas.

I suppose that as Queen of the Vaginas, one is entitled to the most extravagant, ridiculous gifts in the universe, but let’s say – let’s just say – that Rachel Zoe is actually a mere mortal like the rest of us, or maybe even just Duchess of the Vaginas, and therefore does not, for that reason alone, qualify for a 10-carat ring just for pushing a kid out her nethers.

I’m just not sure about these push presents. They kind of gross me out.

Yes (and Twitter will vehemently agree with me on this one), it’s nice for a husband to show his appreciation for his wife after all the hard work she did to carry and birth his progeny. Yes (and Facebook will back me up here), it’s nice for a husband to commemorate the birth of his progeny and the expansion of his family with a thoughtful trinket.

A gigantic doorknob of a ring is probably going to be seen as excess in all corners of the internet, but I just don’t really get the whole concept. When I brought up the subject of push presents on a recent car trip with my husband and 21-year old nephew, it turned the trip into a laugh riot:

From my nephew: Does it have to be sparkly, or could it be, you know, a sweater or something?

From my husband: A present?! Isn’t the baby the present? Do I get a present for putting it in there?

From my nephew: So, like, do all girls expect this now? Is there a special bank account I have to start saving in, like an RRSP?

From my husband: Aren’t bigger boobs the ultimate present?

From my husband: Is this just something men get their wives because they have no intention of actually doing the hard work of parenting, and want to make sure their wives don’t complain about it? Hey! The kids 6 months old and my husband’s never changed a diaper! But look how shiny!

So our conversation got me no closer to understanding the motivation behind the push present, and also kind of made me thankful that we were done having kids.

I also think there is something condescending and inherently unfeminist about the whole thing. It feels less like a show of appreciation and more like a pat on the head for doing a good, womanly job. I can’t shake the image of a woman sitting up in a hospital bed in full makeup, smiling like a fool while a man swoops in with a little blue box and rewards his wifey for quietly putting her feet in the stirrups and doing what’s she told. This is probably not the reality of the situation for the recipients of the venerable blue box, but it’s what I think of.

I didn’t get anything sparkly when I had my kids, and the only little boxes I got were full of take-out Chinese food. But I did get a committed  father for my children and a dedicated partner, albeit with a questionable sense of humour. Oh, and  beautiful, healthy babies.

What more could I have pushed for?


  1. Jessica says:

    I have to admit that I like presents… but isn’t that what mother’s day, every year for the rest of your life about? I think the best push present would be an ice pack and the father taking a week off work to hang out with his new family. Also? “Push present” just sounds disgusting for some reason.
    Jessica´s last [type] ..The F Bomb Who Cares

    • karengreeners says:

      LOL re the icepack. My husband also wanted to know if you get a ring for pushing, do you get something better or more crappy for a c-section?
      karengreeners´s last [type] ..Protection

      • Jessica says:

        Hard to say. I mean in the one case, your crotch explodes. Which is… well startling, to say the least. On the other hand, having your abdominal muscles cut open is pretty rough too. I’m sticking with the paternal time off to help. Probably for longer if there’s a C-section, yeah?
        Jessica´s last [type] ..Before I Was a Mother- I Never

  2. Kathy says:

    The year we had our first child was also our 5th anniversary so I did receive diamond earrings for both events. Right after delivering our third child, as we were waiting at the elevator to leave the L&D floor, my husband bought me a bag of chips from the vending machine and told me I had earned them. Does that qualify as a push present?

    • karengreeners says:

      Giving birth on your anniversary = present for sure. Chips? Why not.
      karengreeners´s last [type] ..Protection

  3. Jen says:

    After being in the hospital for 3 days and then having an emergency C-section my husband told me I’d earned a McDonald’s breakfast. Then the nurses said, “Oh you can’t eat until you … you know, pass gas.” I live on a much less shiny planet than most, methinks.

    • karengreeners says:

      lol – after having a very unplanned c-section with my second, the nurses practically cheered when told of my bowel, uh, progress. I had no idea…
      karengreeners´s last [type] ..Protection

  4. Janine @ Alternative Housewife says:

    Rachel Zoe disgusts me in every way. And I’m someone who loves fashion!

    I like the idea of a push present if it’s something small and baby-related. I think “mommy necklaces” would be nice. I guess the whole thing can be romantic if done right, but yeah, a non-baby related shiny gift totally feels like “Now here, don’t forget your place and be sure to keep looking pretty.” My husband brought me Taco Bell and said he was proud of me and I was plenty happy with that.

  5. Kalli says:

    As a proud recipeint of a door knob push present, I have to say I was elated when given this amazing gift from my husband. My birthday fell 7 days after I gave birth to my daughter and I was gifted a goreous ring. To me this ring signified, in a way, another “marriage”, a “wedding” ring for our new life together as parents. There, was no dress, or flowers, or cake.. (oh,,, wait, yes, there was cake), but to me, when I was handed that little blue box in my kitchen while holding my beautiful baby girl, I hadn’t felt closer to my hubbie than than I did when we exchanged rings the frist time.

    Perhaps the idea isn’t about a push present, or a reward for the hard work of delivering a baby, or a motherly duty, but more a celebration of creating a family, or expanding one.

    • kittenpie says:

      I’d agree with this take – a celebration rather than a reward, though I am a girl who likes to hear thank you, and I do think that’s a nice sentiment. (As long as it doesn’t come with the expectation of not taking part because I am even more a girl who requires full participation!)

      I got rings with my kids’ birthstones a while after my second was born, and they are beautiful, meaningful, and lasting. I never take them off and will pass them on to my kids one day.

      I don’t think it’s the size of the gift, though – I think it’s more that it is something that will last and mean something.

      Also, I do think the term “push present” is gross and not how I think of it at all!
      kittenpie´s last [type] ..Wanted- One Copywriter

  6. Kathy says:

    Yes, a sweet gift on “birth” day is a nice idea– but I don’t like that term “push present” — I’ve never heard of it.

  7. Annie says:

    Push present. Though the name is a bit silly, I do agree with the idea. Here’s the reason:
    People are getting the wrong idea about the tradition. The tradition is designed to give the mother something that she will have for the rest of her life that commemorates her experience of bringing a new life into the world. The actual gift itself should be symbolic of an endless love and desire for protection of the mother and child throughout their lives. It’s deep, emotional, and beautiful. That being said, new shoes would not fall into the category of a “perfect push present”, and it is not a selfish act but rather a self-LESS act of kindness and joy. Juno Lucina just launched a whole line of beautiful push gifts for new mothers (www.jlucina.com). That is what the perfect push gift looks like.

  8. Teklit says:

    I think a push gift is a good idea. As a mother of 3, all dilveered naturally I would have appreciated a gift acknowledging what I had done. Nicole and the guys cannot know what it’s like to carry and deliver a baby unless they have gone through it themselves. While a 10 karat diamond isn’t in my husbands budget apparently it is in Rachel Zoe’s husband’s. So instead of saying this is ridiculous, see it as a gesture of love and appreciation. I think ridiculous was the huge diamond Kobe Bryant gave his wife after cheating on her now that is insane.