Rich celebrities are accustomed to being gifted with expensive jewelry, and the trend extends to the day they give birth. Case in point: Pierce Brosnan gave wife Keely three gold and diamond bracelets when their son Paris was born. Ben Affleck presented wife Jennifer Garner with pricey purple jewelry after she delivered daughter Violet (which the unfussy and practical Mrs. Affleck reportedly made him return). Sarah Jessica Parker got a gorgeous charm bracelet from hubby Matthew Broderick when son James made his debut. Other celeb dads celebrate the arrival of their new babies by buying their wives and girlfriends expensive bling such as diamond rings, diamond earrings, pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, and jewelry made with their baby’s birthstone.
Up until a few years ago, these “push presents,”–so named because they’re tokens of appreciation for labor–were news to me. All I got when I delivered my son was…my son. Not to say that I’m not immensely grateful; he’s my pride and joy. But a nice pair of diamond studs or a pearl cocktail ring, say, to show me that my husband appreciated my months of hard pregnancy and hours of even harder labor would have been “ice” on the cake.
What made the lack of gift worse was that many of my girlfriends got stunning jewelry from their thoughtful and grateful husbands. My favorites were a pearl bracelet, sapphire and diamond earrings, a diamond and yellow gold band, and a princess cut yellow diamond ring.
Poor dear, my husband didn’t know it was done.
Apparently, he’s not alone. In researching this article, I sent a query to all the guys on my e-mail list (whose wives can thank me later). In addition to wanting to know if they knew what a push present was, I also wanted know if they thought the idea was touching or silly. Did it put pressure on them? Was it just another damn thing they’d have to spend money on?
Naturally, the feedback I got was as varied as the guys on my e-mail list, which includes my boss, my trainer at the gym, my brother, my best friend’s brother, my neighbors, my co-workers, and my dentist, to name a few.
First, for the sweet:
From Dave: “Yes, I gave my wife a gift. I didn’t feel pressured. She deserved it and more.”
From John: “I did buy my wife a charm bracelet after our daughter Lindsay was born. It had charms on it for both of our daughters.”
From Taylor: “Yes, I bought my wife gifts both times in addition to flowers. The first time was a cultured pearl necklace (like she needs more jewelry). The last was a Kate Spade diaper bag.”
From Wayne, father of four: “Maybe for one or two, certainly not all four.” [I certainly remember: Wayne’s wife, my friend Sandy, was the recipient of the highly coveted and aforementioned sapphire and diamond earrings.]
From Howie: “Considering my wife had a C-section with both girls, is there a cut present?” [Actually, there is, and it’s called a ‘cut your guts out’ present. My friend’s daughter Nicole got a sterling silver bracelet from her husband for her efforts].
“I gave my wife a birthstone for each girl, but forget the ‘push present’ idea. Those nine months are the easy part. It’s for the 18 years afterwards that you have to give your wife the gifts! Honestly, those two girls can scream!”
Dennis: “Funny, before my wife was pregnant I never head of a push present. My buddy and his wife had a baby four months before us and his wife was sure to tell my wife about this gift thing. It’s not that I wouldn’t have gotten my wife and mother of my son a great gift, but it was put into the realm of ‘did your husband get you a diamond bracelet?’ type thing. It goes to show that keeping up with the Joneses makes some folks do things they might not otherwise do.” [OK, maybe this answer doesn’t technically fall under the sweet category as it’s got some ambivalence tossed in.]
“Not sure spending thousands on a gift is the best thing for the new family. Was this gift idea created by the diamond companies? So, yes, I did get my wife a gift. Before I’d even heard of a push present, I had my son’s birthstone set in a ring and necklace.”
From Paul: “I gave her a day at the spa.”
From Derek, “I gave her a Tiffany ring because it was a nice thing to do, I’d heard, and because she deserves it.”
Now, for the incensed:
From Ben: “No, I didn’t get my wife a push gift. The only thing on my mind was making sure all the important stuff was taken care of. To add something so stupid on top of this earth-shattering event is ridiculous. The special gift is the gift of life and the creation of a human being. Now when I look back at those times I wouldn’t’ even recall the insignificant gift. Sounds like some baloney cooked up by a jewelers’ association.”
From Steve: “I agreed to fund the kids for 22 years each. That was my gift.”
Peter L: “Not a big fan of the push present. A woman gives birth to a child and now she expects a gift??? While I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to be pregnant, I don’t know of any woman who has regretted it. The whole expensive jewelry thing doesn’t sit well with me. That’s what birthdays and anniversaries are for.” [Thank God I didn’t marry Peter, not that he asked.]
From Dave H: When Meryl was born I gave my wife a new bike chain for her road bike ($60 value) and installed it for her (free of charge.) It was the least I could do, since I had taken the chains off of all of her bikes around the end of month seven when she refused to give up riding. She promptly began riding two weeks after popping out our kid and since she was lighter than what she was used to, she could climb hills faster than I could. The good news is that she’s now four months pregnant and she’s slowing down more and more by the day, which enables me to seem faster.”
And last but not least, the clueless:
Peter C: “Can’t remember but I’m sure I gave something.”
Matt: “Oops, was I supposed to give something? Why doesn’t anybody let us know these things?
Jim: “Color me thoughtless. It never occurred to me.”
John S: “I must be a bad husband. Three kids in four years and I didn’t get Kim a gift for any of them!”
What’s a guy to do?
Whether you agree with the sweethearts, the cads, or whether you’re one of the clueless, consider yourself duly informed, and remember that nine months of pregnancy topped off by excruciatingly painful labor (not to mention sore nipples) is no picnic. It’s always nice to be appreciated, especially when you’re a new mom, and your hormones are screaming what the heck have I done??? I used to be a sexy, carefree vixen, for Pete’s sake!!!
What’s more, the jewelry you give your child’s mother can be passed down to that child when he or she marries or turns 21, say. Best of all, you don’t have to spend thousands. Many quality jewelry pieces are just as affordable as they are sentimental.
To help you get started, here are my favorite push presents:
o Pearl studs: Timeless and elegant, pearl studs go perfectly with bathrobes and spit-up. Plus, high quality freshwater cultured pearl studs cost as little as $30 or $40 a pair.
o Diamond studs: A little pricier than pearl earrings, sure, but diamond studs are a jewelry staple. That means your efforts won’t be in vain; these sparklers will get a ton of use. And you can have a nice pair for well under $500.
o Birthstone ring: Lots of options and price ranges here depending on the stone and the setting. (Leave out diamond accents and you probably won’t break the bank.) Remember, an elegant ring can be handed down to your little one; so make sure you get something of good quality that won’t tarnish.
o Nantucket Basket: A gorgeous gold basket pendant necklace that holds the birthstones of your children, the Nantucket Basket necklace is meant to be added to with subsequent births. You might find the necklace pricey, but once you buy the pendant all you have to do is add the birthstones for each subsequent child. (Push present out of the way forever.)
o Mother and child pendant: The sterling silver version of this sweet circle pendant can be had for less than $50.
o Charm bracelet: The sky’s the limit here, but the initial investment shouldn’t be too bad. Like the Nantucket basket, this piece can be added to on special occasions. Charms are priced all over the place; it’s up to you what to spend. Baby birthstone booties are a favorite charm of new moms, though.
o Pearl strand: Traditional and classic, a pearl necklace is a gorgeous choice. If you have a baby girl, she can wear it in the future on her wedding day as her something borrowed and as a reminder of how much her mother means to you. If price is an issue, akoyas and freshwater cultured pearl strands are the way to go. Save the Tahitians and South Sea pearls for when your stock splits or your patent gets approved. You get the point.
Okay, future fathers, now that you know about push presents, there is no excuse not to get your children’s mother a little (or big) token of your appreciation. And, no, you don’t have to be rich and famous like Matt Damon or Michael Douglas, or blow future college savings. There are lots of affordable gift options that don’t cost a bundle. Do a little research on the Internet and you can find unique and meaningful jewelry that fits your budget. (Just make sure to have it gift wrapped. We hate when you forget that.) And don’t worry too much that we won’t like it. It truly is the thought that counts. Not so sure? I’ll let you in on a little secret: If you really want a foolproof way to be a hero in your wife’s eyes, change a diaper once in a while!
See pearl jewelry push present ideas here.