Apparently “push presents” are going to be “the big thing” this year – another tradition from America following on the baby showers which now seem to have firmly taken hold. The idea is that it is a present from the father to the mother as a “thank you” for the 9 months of pregnancy and going through labour. Now I am a big fan of presents but this seems a bit much. Surely the greatest gift any mother could receive is a happy, healthy baby?
No doubt when my lovely husband is reading this, no doubt he will remind me of how I went on and on during my first pregnancy about the tradition of eternity rings after your first born. But eternity rings aside, should we really be buying into this new trend?
At no point did I have to be “persuaded” to have a child, and I entered into trying to start a family with a good idea of the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and child birth. Why should I receive a gift from my husband for that?
In fact, my wonderful husband did so much for me. He looked after me so well during my pregnancies – refusing to let me carry shopping bags, foot rubs, back rubs, trips to the supermarket to get me treats on top of all the usual things he did (like cups of teas in bed). He supported me through all the hormonal tears and tantrums. Then during my second pregnancy there was all the extra things he would do with Freyja just to let me have a bit of a rest. And of course, the support I had during the births. I was scared during both – Freyja’s because I didn’t know what to expect and Emily’s because it was happening so fast and I felt out of control. All the time he was there, encouraging me, holding my hand and telling me I was doing a great job, and I can tell you that I was definitely not the best of company during this time. No, I wouldn’t swap all of that support for any “push present” thank you.
Now I know some may argue that for the sacrifices a pregnant woman goes through for 9 months, the pain of childbirth and the post-pregnancy body should warrant at least a token of appreciation, but the more I think about it, the more I see that actually I got the better deal. Firstly, I got a head start on time to bond with my girls – 9 months of it. Then there is the added strengthening of the bond through breastfeeding. My husband only had 2 weeks paternity leave compared to the months of maternity leave I have had, not only spending more precious time with them, but also witnessing more of those “first” moments. As a result I have two mummy’s girls. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to come in from a day at work to see the girls when they aren’t at their best and then to have Freyja throw a tantrum because she wants a story from Mummy and absolutely not Daddy, and to then have to give up trying to settle Emily because all she wants is to be breastfed. I definitely got the better deal from all of this.
So let’s not adopt this idea of “push presents” please. Being a mum with continuing support from the amazing man who is father to my children is all I actually need, and I am sure I don’t just speak for myself when it comes to that.