For some reason, we've demonized the idea of getting a congratulatory gift for new moms after delivery. Screw it. Get your wife a freaking push present, dads.
What's a push present? It's a small but thoughtful gift you get the woman who just went through labor to give birth to your son or daughter.
The baby is not to be confused with a gift. You'll hear that. "Why does she need a gift? Isn't the baby gift enough?" The baby is a miraculous addition to the family. A show of appreciation does not poop on you. Your wife doesn't need a gift.
But you know what? You don't need Christmas gifts, either. It's just fun to get. And Christmas is as commercialized as it gets.
Things that are over-commercialized:
- Christmas: Although I do enjoy seeing "Keep the Christ in Christmas" stickers on cars parked at the mall on Black Friday.
- Easter: Not that anyone minds when they are eating a bucket of chocolate bunnies.
- Valentine's Day: You want to talk about commercializing a display of love? Jewelry store commercials for Valentine's Day make it seem like your wife will divorce you for anything short of a 10 karat necklace. Side note: It took me about a decade to realize "Every Kiss Begins With Kay" works on two levels.
- Presidents' Day: Whose sole purpose is to give you half-off mattress sales, when we all should be pausing to reflect on the great legacy of William Henry Harrison.
Things that people say are over-commercialized but actually are fine:
- Giving birth: Yes, some people think that the media/businesses promoting the idea of a push present for something as natural as giving birth is over-commercialized. Push presents have become a thing in the last decade or so, and it's causing much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. Moms shouldn't expect a present. Dads shouldn't be asked to give one. That's the argument.
You know what? New moms have earned a push present much more than I have "earned" a Christmas or birthday gift, and no one bats an eye at giving out those.
The case for push presents
If your wife wants a small material gift for doing all the hard work in labor, buy her a freaking gift.
If your partner thinks it might be nice if she got a little something for not seeing her ankles anymore and then passing a placenta out of her vagina like a slab of tableside prime rib at Texas Roadhouse, get her a necklace.
If the woman you love mentions a thing that would make her really happy to get and you're watching her sweat through hours of labor only to have to get a C-section and an eternal scar, maybe you should get on Amazon and spring for the 2-day shipping.
This is not the spirit of Christmas, a-holes. It's OK to be selfish, moms, and say that you think it'd be nice if your guy got you a little something. Nobody is going to think you're being greedy for wanting something nice that puts a smile on your face when you've performed a miracle. A MIRACLE.
Straight talk for new moms who want a push present
It's perfectly fine if you think it'd be nice to get a push present. Note there's a subtle difference in phrasing here that matters. You "think it'd be nice" is much different than "expect."
You're expecting a baby. You think it'd be nice to see a gift sometime in your future.
When you start expecting a gift from your husband, you're setting yourself up for disappointment and also it's not going to sound so nice on Facebook. Don't be that person. Don't be the one who posts about how she better be seeing a diamond after delivering the baby except no one can tell if you're kidding and you're really not and then it's awkward and people do a lot of "haha ... yeah... you go girl" because they are embarrassed for you.
You deserve appreciation after childbirth. You're blessed with a baby. You are fortunate if someone in your life thinks to show that appreciation with a gift.
"But the baby is the gift. I don't need a gift," your pregnant friend says, making you feel bad for wanting one.
She is not you. She also is probably a little full of it, the same way she said she was able to breastfeed no problem and her milk supply was great from the start.
You are a full-grown adult and fully realize a pair of earrings is not the same as a human baby. That doesn't mean you can't kinda be happy that someone thinks you should get a pair of earrings for being so incredible.
Advice from a guy: If you want a push present, make it clear to your husband that you'd be happy to get one. If you know what you want and he's expressed interest in getting you something, just tell him what you'd like. This isn't the time to be coy. Let's not add disappointment to your post-birth experience. Likewise, it's not OK to demand anything or keep saying things like "I better get _____ for pushing this kid out." It's not his fault he can't give birth!
Why new dads should get a Congratulatory gift for new moms:
It's OK that your wife wants a push present. We can't ever do what they are doing, whether it's a vaginal birth or a C-section. We just can't. A token of appreciation that they are doing the kind of physical/mental/emotional exertion we can't comprehend seems the least we can do beyond taking care of the day-to-day stuff.
This doesn't mean you should break the bank. Good God, man, you're having a baby. The bank is broken. It's a George Clooney and Brad Pitt appearance away from being Ocean'ed.
It means that if you've got a little something you've been wanting to get her but Christmas or her birthday or even an anniversary didn't seem the right time for it, this is a great time as a congratulatory baby gift.
A side point: This isn't like a Christmas or birthday gift. You don't necessarily need to keep it a surprise. If you don't know what to get her and you think she does want some kind of gift, it's OK to casually ask if she has any ideas, as long as she knows you are just going for ideas and may not get exactly that.
Still stuck for push present ideas for your wife?
Here's a list of push presents (also called post-delivery gifts) that could be great:
- Sentimental jewelry: While diamond aren't ever going to be turned down, there's no reason you need to go over the top. (Plus, dude, you're screwing yourself for upcoming gifts.) Try something that connects to the new addition to the family/has a baby theme.
- New mom artwork: If there's a quote she loves about motherhood or she has a maternity photo that's her favorite, make it into framed artwork!
- Upscale baby swag: This one worked for me for my son. My wife got a Kate Spade diaper bag. It seemed a little silly for us to spend a lot on a diaper bag if it was just a random baby purchase, but I could spend more on it and get her a really nice diaper bag if it was for a gift. The nice thing was the design of the bag meant she could use it as a purse after we were done with it. See if your wife would be up for having her push present be a baby-related item she has been keeping an eye on and knows she'd use all the time, but thinks is a little costly (an amazing glider, a video baby monitor, a live-in nanny who raises your child to know what's right and wrong but sometimes uses the gift of song to teach them lessons about taking medicine and who may secretly be a bad nanny ... OK scratch that one and just go hire Julie Andrews).
- A fun, frivolous, non-baby related gift: From now on, every holiday will feature a big focus on gifts for your kid, and you and your wife will fade into the background. You'll love getting stuff for your son/daughter, so that's fine. But this might be one of the last times for awhile you get to buy something for your wife that's just for her. Maybe a spa day. Maybe a jacket. Maybe tickets to a concert down the road with the understanding you'll take the baby that night. Even though she's a mom now, she's still her own person, and you can take the opportunity to celebrate her.
- Digital camera: Rather than relying on her smartphone to take the million photos to come (you won't believe how many photos, trust me), get her something that's a step up in quality. Some cameras now have WiFi capability so you can share to Facebook right from the camera, a nice touch to eliminate a step when she already has her hands full.
- Cash: Just kidding. Please don't pay your wife for delivering your baby. There is probably a law against this.
Need more ideas? I've got just the thing for you! It's my free bonus list of Push Present Ideas! They've all been vetted by my wife and I am positive you will do great with any of them - plus there's a few gifts listed you should NOT get her.
Do you think a push present is a good idea? I'd love to get your feedback.