cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
Lucy ([personal profile] cereta) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-07-29 09:59 am
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Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are expecting our first child. A friend of hers pulled me aside to ask if I had already gotten my wife a "push gift." I have never heard of this, but apparently it's supposed to be something nice, like jewelry, to celebrate the birth.

We have already been spending a lot of extra money to decorate a nursery. In addition, the delivery will be costly under our high-deductible health plan. Combined with the fact that my wife just retired from her teaching job, the expenses are starting to freak me out.

In light of this, what do you think of the idea of a push gift? Have you heard any good ideas for a low-cost but appropriate alternative? -- EXCITED FATHER-TO-BE

DEAR EXCITED: A push gift can be a piece of jewelry, your first "family vacation," a piece of electronic equipment for your wife or a piece of furniture for the nursery. Some couples prefer something less materialistic, such as help with baby care or money for the child's education.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-07-29 03:24 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a thing I have never before heard of. Is this actually a common thing?
delight: (Default)

[personal profile] delight 2017-07-29 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
This comment alone is why I wish DW had a favorite button for comments.
jona: (Default)

[personal profile] jona 2017-07-30 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
Pretty common where I am. (Germany.) I don't know if 'everybody does it' (these days) because I haven't been around a lot of pregnancies recently, but both my mother and my aunt got a piece of jewellery (small diamond rings, iirc) at the births of my brother and cousins (23~19 years ago) from the dads, and that was 'normal'. It's not a celebrity or rich people thing.

I'd say it's something explicitly for the mom giving birth, though, not a piece of furniture or something.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-07-30 12:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Interesting!

I'm pretty sure that, if it was common around here, my husband's parents would have told him to do it when our daughter was born. They're big on doing things properly.

Of course, I hate wearing jewelry, so I very much doubt I'd have gotten anything of the sort.
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)

[personal profile] zulu 2017-07-29 03:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Never heard of this. Also, I'm with this guy, a nice nursery is the best gift of all. My favourite baby gift was this amazing recliner where I could sit to breastfeed or else sleep with L on my chest when he wouldn't settle any other way, and it was only on loan!
taselby: (Default)

[personal profile] taselby 2017-07-29 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
I have never heard of such a thing. But extra help is a very nice idea!

When C was born, my carrot was comprised of 2 movies that bracketed his due date: I got to see Deep Impact before, and was supposed to see Godzilla (yes, the 1998 Matthew Broderick one) after. But I was too tired and sore after and had to wait for DVD.

That Godzilla is still one of C's favorites.
ambyr: a dark-winged man standing in a doorway over water; his reflection has white wings (watercolor by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law) (Default)

[personal profile] ambyr 2017-07-29 06:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I am baffled at the idea of the child's father giving "money for the child's education" as a gift to his wife. Isn't that called *parenting*?
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)

[personal profile] eleanorjane 2017-07-30 12:05 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that seemed super weird to me. It seemed like Abby jumped tracks there in the last sentence and started talking about what *other* people should give the couple. Which seems.... I dunno, less icky than the notion of a "push gift". ("Well done, subservient wife, you have done well in producing an heir for me, have a reward!")
amireal: (Default)

[personal profile] amireal 2017-07-29 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I try to buy close friends a small gift that is meant JUST for them and not baby related at all (for example: a pretty scarf) because I know some moms can feel a bit like a womb with legs and would like recognition that they are there as well and not just FUTURE MOM. But the idea that this should be expensive or grand is... odd? In general if the other spouse wants to get the pregnant one a gift that's slightly less baby centered, arrange for meals that require no effort on anyone's part.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)

[personal profile] redbird 2017-07-29 07:47 pm (UTC)(link)
That does an impressive job of not answering the questions, namely "What do you think of the idea?" and "low-cost but appropriate alternative."

I can infer that Abby thinks it's a good idea, but she doesn't say, and suggesting furniture for the nursery to someone who is worried about how much they're spending to decorate the nursery is missing the point even more than "a good gift for your wife would be to go on vacation with her."

It seems to me that if someone wanted to do that sort of thing, the gift should be something specifically for the recipient, not "happy mother's day, here's a vacuum cleaner."
madripoor_rose: milkweed beetle on a leaf (Default)

[personal profile] madripoor_rose 2017-07-29 09:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I've heard of it, but only in the last decade or so. I...kind of think it's a good idea?

On the one hand, it kind of smacks of 'the husband as lord and master rewarding his wife for providing him with an heir' pseudo-Victorianism style, and if you are financially strapped, yeah, take care of the assorted bills first.

On the other, pregnancy can be a physically arduous experience for the mother and at best, isn't exactly comfortable, so a special present *just for her* acknowledging that seems right to me. Mother's Day Year Zero.
shirou: (Default)

[personal profile] shirou 2017-07-30 02:48 am (UTC)(link)
I've never heard of a push gift, but it sounds like yet one more expectation to spend money. The LW is right: having a child is expensive enough. (Caveat: My family immigrated to the US from the Netherlands, which is a rather minimalist gift-giving culture by comparison. I am regularly shocked by the number of events for which Americans give gifts and the scale of gifts they give.)

The best alternative is to do the many things your wife will need from you plus more she may not "need" but will appreciate. Bring her meals during her hospital stay so she doesn't have to eat nothing but hospital food. Bring her favorite drink from Starbucks/Peets/wherever. Make sure the hospital staff is listening to her and addressing her needs. (I can't emphasize this one enough; in my experience, the staff is more focused on the baby than the mother.) Clean the house. Rock the baby to sleep. Be a partner. Be thoughtful. Be present.
minoanmiss: (Default)

[personal profile] minoanmiss 2017-08-04 06:15 am (UTC)(link)
(I can't emphasize this one enough; in my experience, the staff is more focused on the baby than the mother.) C

I work in a hospital and I totally agree with your observation here.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2017-07-30 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
I can't believe this is even a thing. What on earth. Also, that's a terrible answer even if you think push gifts (*gag*) are a reasonable concept! It looks like Abby cribbed from the Wikipedia article about it, which is the height of laziness.
ysobel: (Default)

[personal profile] ysobel 2017-07-30 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Dear Abby: You are not Google.

(you are in fact less informative and totally dodging the actual questions)

Also I am still going "wait what" at the concept of a push gift.

But still, I could write a better answer off the top of my head. "Push gifts can be a nice acknowledgement of how hard the birth process is, but there are definitely low-cost alternatives. Give her "rest days" where you do *all* the work by yourself, not just your share of the parenting. If she likes touch, give her backrubs or footrubs." Etc.
xenacryst: Peanuts charactor looking ... (Peanuts: quizzical me)

[personal profile] xenacryst 2017-07-31 04:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I whosie whatsit now? Never heard of that (and just between me an J, I rather got the feeling that seeing the little Fanlet for the first time was gift enough, ten times over). How about you take paternity leave, if your company lets you* and do a bunch of taking care of the kid and the new mom. It might not be something she can wear, but I can guarantee it'll be appreciated (assuming you do, in fact, give from the heart and make it easier for her).

Also, I can't be the only one who's mildly creeped out by the term itself. I mean, I suppose "Uterus Appreciation Day" would be a little tackier, but not much.

* caveat inserted because the US stinks rancid donkey dung in paternity leave.
shreena: (Default)

[personal profile] shreena 2017-08-03 10:38 am (UTC)(link)
I also find the term really odd. Does the mother not get one if it's a C-section?

My husband got me a couple of things that were lovely: a Netflix subscription for the many hours I spent in the early days feeding the baby and expressing milk (baby has cleft palate so couldn't breastfeed); and some really comfy PJs.