Friday, April 4, 2008

This "pushes" me right over the edge...

This post falls into the "read about it awhile ago, bookmarked the article, found it again & it still steamed me up so I thought I'd blog about it" category. Although, in Googling the subject for fodder, I found out that there's a recent JLo/Marc Anthony connection that makes it sort of a timely subject again. ; )

I think most of us who have struggled with loss & infertility would agree that there is no greater gift we'd rather receive than a baby.

However, apparently a baby is not enough for some women these days. They are hinting/demanding/expecting that their husbands present them with a gift after the delivery of the child. Usually/preferably an expensive piece of jewelry. It's called -- get this -- a "push present" or "push prize" (ugh ugh ugh) or "baby bauble."

Here are some of the articles I had bookmarked on the subject:

The New York Times: A Bundle of Joy Isn't Enough?

The Globe & Mail: Push, push (and I'll buy you a pendant)

An earlier Globe article on the same subject that I found on a separate website.

What next??

When dh's cousin's wife had their first baby back in 1991, I remember her showing me a beautiful watch that she said her hubby had brought to her in the hospital as a gift. I thought it was a nice gesture, but I had never heard of buying presents for the mother before that. I wondered if maybe it was an Italian cultural thing. Or maybe a Toronto thing. ; )

Apparently, JLo's "push present" from Marc Anthony, following the birth of their twins, was a pair of diamond earrings, worth a cool $2.6 million. Or an 8 carat diamond canary ring worth a mere $300,000, depending on which account you believe. Apparently "Marc wanted to give her something to remember the day by." Like the twins aren't enough to prod her memory??

I mean, I will never turn down diamonds (or any other present that dh wants to give me...!). ; ) But to demand/expect a "gift" as your "right/reward" for "presenting" your husband with a baby? What marketing genius thought this one up?


  1. You are so right. What more could you want other than a live baby? Unfortunately, I was one of those pathetic people that thought I deserved a push present too. I don't like to admit it, but I just never thought I would have an outcome like this. I wish I could go back and change my mentality. Material things are just so irrelevant now.

  2. Gag.

    The over the top nurseries, $800 strollers and now big ticket baubles . . . (I looked at the people spread of the JLo nursery and thought - gee, one crib alone would have covered a cycle of injectibles for me. Throw in the chandalier and I could have covered at least one or two of my d&cs)

    Have we really become that spoiled as a society?

    I don't think I am loved any less - nor my babies any less cherished for not even getting a houseplant out of the deal - just a handmedown bassinet next to our bed. And you know, I was insanely happy anyway.

    Horrors - I even used the free diaper bag the hospital gave us. Nary a diamond or even a cz in sight.

  3. Yeah, I didn't have a baby, so my husband took back the Porsche he gave me. Oh well, I tried. (I'm kidding.)

  4. I just heard about this this week and was completely confused. The baby isn't reward enough for labor? And, whatever happened to the simple sweet gesture of a husband bringing flowers to his wife in the hospital?

  5. Now that I think about it, I think I have heard friends mention their dhs getting them something after they had their babies - nothing on the scale of what's in the article, though. I had no idea this was a trend.

    I know this will make me sound like an old fogey (and I'm sure every generation says the same thing), but things like this and other "yummy mummy" trends make me really wonder about this generation of mothers and how their kids will turn out. I'm speaking in very broad stereotypes here, but it often seems like the focus is on the wrong things.

    I get very bothered by how materialistic the whole culture related to pregnancy and child-rearing has gotten. It seems like it's very hard for parents with even the best of intentions to get away from all that. Unfortunately, articles like this bear out my point.

  6. When we first started TTC, there was a lot of chatter on TTC and PG boards such as the Nest about push presents. I am not a high-maintenance woman, by nature or by culture, but apparently a lot of women do feel that a bit of bling makes motherhood instantly rewarding. (A century ago, surviving childbirth might have been considered reward enough!)

  7. When my niece was born, my SIL got a ring from her husband AND a ring from her mother.

    I like the idea of a ring to commemorate a birth -- my family has been big on adding charms to bracelets, buying birthstone jewelry, etc. But a present as a "reward" for providing the requisite child? Freaks me out and makes my feminist-issue alarm go off.

  8. At the rate I'm going, I should ask for a present just for getting pregnant - never mind actually being able to deliver a live, healthy infant.

    In the end, it's all about people being selfish little trolls who look for any excuse to be given presents. And how do you explain the circumstances behind getting one these presents? "Oh my husband said that if I push one more time (sounds an awful lot like eat one more bite of my vegetables) I'll get a Cadillac!" It's the same bribery used on little kids to get them to do things, except now, it's a big kid and the gifts are super expensive. What's next? A present for every diaper changed?

    I still just stick with birthdays and Christmas for presents. I'm so backward.

  9. Ooops, mr. g didn't get me anything on A's b-day, hope I remember what day it was next year.

    I too, just feel like the focus is on totally the wrong thing. But, I guess if you are one of the "innocents" you wouldn't understand that you should focus on big push present, a living child.

  10. Great post. I hadn't read those articles, but I did see "push presents" threads on FF more than once.

    After reading sharah's blog, I wrote my own list of things to do in 2008. Buying MYSELF a piece of "I didn't get to push, but I survived" bling is on the list. I am not sure that I will actually do it, but that is something I would do for myself to commemorate moving on to life after infertility with conviction, not something I would expect as a reward for having a baby.

    I forced myself to look at that JLo baby room spread too - part of my aggressive desensitization plan, now that two of my colleagues are obviously expecting. I think I threw up a little in my mouth.

    Still remember when I used to bookmark cute crib sets. I soon realized that, for some of us, motherhood would be so much more than just another excuse to shop or receive gifts.

  11. I read that NYT article a while back and nearly puked. The implication for me is that women on some level feel put upon that they have to deliver children, and deserve some flashy reward to wear like a badge of honor for going through what their foremothers went through in far more difficult conditions.

    Push presents are a gross hybrid of the Cult of the Mommy and the shallow designer deluxe ideal that we all are entitled to luxury. Ick.