PARENTS

Are Push Presents Pushing It A Bit?

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

men with orange gift isolated on white background

Are you expecting? You are! So, what are you expecting?!

No, no, no. I didn't mean are you expecting a boy or a girl. I meant what are you expecting. You know, in terms of the stuff. The bling.

If you think I've gone potty, then you haven't quite caught up with the latest craze to make its way to the UK from over the pond – the concept of the push present.

In short, ladies, we are the ones who push out the babies and, by way of a thank you, we get given stuff of not insignificant monetary value by our partners.

The whole idea is really taking off here. You'll find proof of it on Google. Type in 'push present' and you'll see a list of popular search terms including 'push present ideas UK' and 'push present jewellery'.

Popular gifts, by the way, include diamonds (naturally – Kim Kardashian reportedly received half a million quid's worth from Kayne West on the birth of their daughter North), eternity rings, charm bracelets and tablets. Not tablets you swallow to relieve the pain caused by your stitches; the ones which cost hundreds of pounds and you play games on.

I should feel cheated really. I had my babies in 2008 and 2009, when push presents were barely a glint in the eye of Tiffany & Co and the likes (oh, would I have even got one? Two Caesareans – do they count?!). It's apparently only in the last 18 months that mothers have been asking (ahem, demanding? A survey showed more than a quarter of mothers were expecting one last year) gifts from their other halves.

But hang on a minute! That 'push present' Google search reveals something curious. Something wrong. Something INSANE!

The fourth most popular search term to pop up is 'push present for dad'.

WHAT?!

Er, who did the pushing?

'That doesn't matter' coo lots of websites jumping on what *might* be an ad driven band wagon. 'He attended antenatal classes! He rubbed your back and fed you ice chips! He didn't swear at you when you accidentally dug your nails in his hand during that really excruciating contraction! He held your new baby while you were sewn up! He deserves a treat too! So, why not buy him a new watch?'

Now, this sets alarm bells ringing for me. This is beginning to feel very much another excuse to wring every drop of available cash out of first-time parents. Commercialism at its worst, really.

If a man wants to present the mother of his child with a gift or keepsake (of any value) to celebrate the birth of their child (and her incredible contribution to the world), that's okay with me. It's a beautiful time, do as you will, do what feels right.

But it's the increasing expectation that huge amounts of money should be spent which is worrying.

Now we have baby showers (cash spent on LOADS of gifts, not to mention essential Catherine Kidston tableware and cake stand, cupcakes, flavoured teas and champagne for everyone but the expectant mother); sip and see parties (basically more drinks/nibbles – so everyone can come back for another shindig when the baby arrives); and – excuse me while I vomit – 'dadchelor' parties, which up the coffers of tourist boards, golf clubs, shooting ranges and (especially) pubs, because dads-to-be apparently have to wave goodbye to their freedom before their baby arrives.

Getting back to the push presents though, babies cost quite enough on their own. Does every man who sticks a £1,000 eternity ring on his Mastercard realise that his newly arrived, scrunched up little ball of love will cost his family £222,000 over the next 21 years?!

We're in a constant battle of wills with the commercial machine.

Most of us have sensible heads on our shoulders. Many parents will read articles about all the stuff we are told we Definitely Do Need when actually we really, really don't.

But we are constantly being sold to. Is it all OK by you, or do you think push presents are just, well, pushing it a bit? Doesn't all the bling somehow take the shine off what is really beautiful about embarking on parenthood?

Suggest a correction