Uh... WTF Is a Push Present?
A friend of mine – ok fine, I’ll be honest – a lady I met once and still follow on Instagram had a baby a while back. She posted lots of adorable infant content that I enjoyed immensely, and then, a few days ago, she posted a picture of her on a GORGEOUS beach with a GORGEOUS resort in the background. It was captioned: “Thanks to my amazing husband for this perfect push present!”
I was confused. And weirded out. Does that… did she… did he… did that mean her husband gifted her a tropical getaway because she pushed their new baby out of her vagina?
Is this a thing?!
According to Oxford Languages, it is: “Push Present, noun. A gift given to a woman shortly after she has given birth, typically by her spouse or partner.”
As much as I rely on good ol’ Oxford, I needed more info. So I asked around. One friend told me that a co-worker received a Tiffany & Co. stackable diamond ring from her husband for each kid. Another friend sheepishly told me that her partner bought her a Rolex after they had their first child. My cousin mentioned she got a massage, and my neighbor joked that her push present was a milkshake from Steak N’ Shake after they left the hospital. I asked a few dudes, too, but my brother-in-law had the best answer. He said, “Men get a huge pass on the baby thing. The least we can do is say ‘thank you’ officially.”
Oh, and the Internet claims that Beyonce got a push present: a massive sapphire ring.
Push presents are an established tradition. But I’m not sure I’m on board. Something about it feels… off. I’m not saying that carrying a baby for nine months and then squeezing it out of a tiny and very precious hole is easy or not deserving of thanks. But it sort of feels like asking for extra credit because you completed your homework on time. For people with uteruses, being the one that carries the offspring is just part of the deal. Should we buy people with penises presents because they deal with a dong dangling down between their legs their entire lives? (I’m assuming that’s super uncomfortable, just because it seems like it would be.)
But no matter how I feel on the subject, push presents seem to be here to stay. Though I can’t control them, I do have a few small asks:
- Can we please, please, please change the name? Every time I hear the phrase, I picture a sweaty, screaming woman pushing a diamond out of her va-jayjay. And I don’t like it. Or, even better, can we not call them anything? Any name at all is tacky.
- If you feel the need to brag on social media about your amazing *gag* push present *shudder*, I’ll be forced to quietly judge you.
- People with uteruses, try not to expect them. And if you do get one, don’t compare it to your friends’. Every partner and every family are different. Just because one hubby got his wife a Bentley and another got his wife queso and chips from Chipotle doesn’t mean one is better or worse than the other.
- Non-child-carrying people, if you want to get one for your partner, sentimental and tasteful jewelry is always a safe bet.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take my birth control.