A few days ago I sat down at my computer (after the girls were asleep, the next day’s lunches were packed and the kitchen was cleaned up…but that may be another post) to catch up on personal e-mail and Facebook. As I was scrolling through my friends’ updates, I came across one from a friend who wrote, “Awww, my husband just bought me my push gift! I love you honey!!” I had to re-read the post and then asked myself…a WHAT gift?
I opened up a new window to do an internet search. The first listing that the search engine came up with, by Parenting Magazine, gave it away – “10 Amazing Push Gifts: Presents for New Moms”. The subheading read, “Start dropping hints about these amazing presents for new mommies.”
My first reaction? What rock have I been living under that I have never heard of a push gift? My second reaction? Really? A push gift? I’ve heard so many stories from women who have had trouble getting pregnant, or don’t get to carry their pregnancies to term — getting your newborn child isn’t enough of a gift?
My husband was working on his laptop nearby, so I turned and asked him if he had ever heard of a “push gift”. Without looking up, he says, “a what gift?” I respond, “a push gift”. He then looks up at me and says, “use it in a sentence”. I laugh and don’t feel so bad that I’m not the only one who has never heard of the term. So this “push gift” concept has peaked my interest, and I proceed to open the second listing, which is from Wikipedia.
As it turns out, the practice of giving a gift to celebrate a birth can be traced back to India and England. Wikipedia doesn’t elaborate much more on this, so anyone from India or England reading this post, please do feel free to share about this tradition!
In some ways that I know of, I would say people do this here, in the US. Women are thrown baby showers before delivering and get baby gifts. I didn’t even have a baby shower with my second baby and still received welcome gifts for my baby girl right before and after she was born. I also like to offer to cook something for friends with a new baby — a casserole, ziti or lasagna – you know how crazy that time is after you get home from the hospital with a new baby! I would call those push gifts, but apparently they don’t meet the definition.
So what is a “push gift”? According to Wikipedia, a “push gift” is a present given to a new mother by her partner when she gives birth to their child. “In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room. The giving of push presents has grown in the United States in recent years.”
Well, wanting to know more, I click on two news article links that Wikipedia has posted under their entry. Wow – it turns out that push gifts are usually expensive gifts – and most of the time jewelry! I decide to check my copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette book for any additional information, but guess what? While there are references to baby gifts, “push gift” is not even in the index. When in doubt, Emily Post is my go-to resource for etiquette guidelines, so this makes me smile.
We’ve all got our “push” stories, some were express deliveries, others marathons, and some with complications that completely altered what we expected the process to be like. After both of my deliveries, I have been grateful for the gift of life itself….two beautiful and healthy daughters.
Sure, my body is not the same as it was before I was ever pregnant…and I’ll admit that a pair of diamond earring studs would be nice to have, but I would rather put the money in the kids’ 529 college savings accounts, a house, or a family vacation. Right now I am thankful to be healthy to be able to enjoy the ups and handle the downs that come with the very important title of “Mommy”. No “push present” could ever make me feel that good.
So, what do you think about push gifts? Did you get one? If you didn’t, do you wish you did?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Eva Fannon from Washington, USA. Eva can be found “Push-gift-less in Seattle” and content on Twitter @EvaFannon.
Photo credit of the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where the diamond can be found on display in Washington, D.C., USA. http://mineralsciences.si.edu/hope.htm.