The great push present debate

October 24, 2015

When my mum gave birth to me (after nine reportedly awful months of pregnancy then 24 hours of hell) my dad gave her a Phil Collins cassette. I don’t think this went down terribly well. The concept of a push present 30-odd years ago was unheard of, however, so I think he did okay.

Fast forward a few decades, and the push present is now a ‘thing’, especially in the UAE where we are quick to adopt anything a) American and b) potentially shiny. Friends in the UK are a bit baffled by whole idea, while for many women here it’s a given – even if that’s news to their husbands.

Traditionally, an eternity ring is the go-to gift for its symbolism (and the multiple diamonds don’t hurt), but really anything goes – as my dad demonstrated. Art, jewellery, a newborn photoshoot, flowers every week for a year… Basically, chaps, if your wife has been dropping hints, this might be the time to pick them up. If you agree with push presents, that is.

In the name of fairness, I’m weighing up the pros and cons of the push present…


The name

It’s a little graphic, no? I can’t help but picture whatever piece of jewellery, handbag or (ouch) car being birthed by the lucky recipient.

The logistics

Is it something you choose together? When is it given – in the hospital or at a later date? When is it too late? Do you get a gift of lesser value if you have a relatively easy birth? Can you still buy cassette tapes? So many questions. No wonder many men are a bit baffled by it all.

The comparisons

Ah, keeping up with the Joneses. You might have been perfectly happy with Phil’s latest musical offering until you saw what’s-her-face’s Tiffany eternity band. But don’t forget that her husband might be a total berk who throws money at every problem, while your fella may have chosen your gift with lots of love and good intentions.

The purpose

An oft-heard argument is ‘I think of my baby whenever I see my watch/ring/Phil Collins cassette’. You shouldn’t need a trinket to think of your kid, you clown.

The expense

Buy what you can afford. Babies ain’t cheap, and those diamond earrings may have to be flogged for school fees in a few years. Something sentimental (men – chicks dig engraved stuff) will often do the job more than nicely.


The treats

I was lucky enough to have a pretty easy birth (*ducks to avoid things being thrown at me*) and my husband joked – I think he was joking – about “downgrading the push present because it wasn’t that bad”, and I wouldn’t have blamed him. As it happens, he treated me to a lovely watch and I plan to pass it onto Phoebe. At some point. Maybe. I’m thinking of it as my very first Mother’s Day gift.

The sentiment

It’s nice to have nine months of gaining weight, covering your wine glass with your hand in that insufferable way and gaining more weight before going through the indignity of birth, maternity pads and breast-feeding recognised. Of course, the baby should be ‘enough’ but don’t turn down a present, it’s just rude. Don’t, however, EXPECT a present. That’s the difference.

The conclusion

The rest of the world seems to think it’s ridiculous, buying something spenny when you’ve just taken delivery of a tiny money vacuum is ridiculous, the name is ridiculous and women who witter on about what they receive can be ridiculous. Does this mean that push presents are ridiculous? Well, would I have to give my watch back if I said yes…? I just think it’s always nice to get a present that someone wants to give you, and if he can sing You Can’t Hurry Love then that’s pretty cool too.

What do you think about push presents? And can we come up with a better name please?

4 responses to “The great push present debate”

  1. I got 2 "push" presents despite not actually pushing in either case?? Sunroof exit both times. I digress.

    First time I got a necklace that had 3 diamonds in to represent becoming a family of three. Second time a diamond eternity ring as our family is complete and everlasting like the band. So I did well. And I like them.

    BUT my husband also got a present from me for the birth of both his sons. To represent the change in HIS life. First a watch to remind him time is precious. Second a pair of cufflinks with the country where each child was born on them. Small yet symbolic.

    And I’m not sure of the whole point of my ramble other than who doesn’t like shiny things? Men or women?

    No idea on the name…..

  2. Vanessa says:

    I got something shiny for each of my two as well even though both were c-section with no pushing and very easy. I love the sentiment and helped choose in each case it took a few months to get gift post birth. When my son was born a yellow sapphire and diamond ring and when my daughter was born a pink sapphire and diamond ring of equivalent value to my son’s. It was important to me to get the value equivalent because I believe these pieces of jewellery should belong to the children. I love that I think about them whenever I see the rings and that my kids both know what they symbolise and I love that I will pass them down to them later. I read somewhere that the tradition dictates that the gift should be a ring with a coloured stone which is the birth stone of the child. I did not go quite that far. My son’s birthstone is sapphire but my daughters was some semi-precious stone that is not all that special. So went with the coloured stone idea and just chose something nice. Don’t mind the "push present" name. Most people know what that means and post partum present is no better. Maybe "birthing bling"?

    • Helen Farmer says:

      Birthing bling! Love it! And love that you’re going to pass down the jewellery – that’s my plan too. It’s a great opportunity to create a tradition and acquire an heirloom piece.

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