A question of style

Dr. Helen considers the propriety of the post-partum present:

If male, should husbands be giving gifts to their wives as payment for having kids or, if female, do you feel entitled to a “push present” from your husband, and if so, why?

This might surprise those who are convinced that I am one of the Internet’s leading woman-haters, but my feeling is that considering the burden of nine months of labor, the sleep-deprived Hell that is all too often the first three months of post-partum life, and the combination of self-loathing and despair that afflicts many women when contemplating the challenge of getting their bodies back into attractive shape again, it’s a nice gesture for a husband to recognize the sacrifice his wife has made and express his joy at becoming a father by giving her something shiny that will please her. On the other hand, it is obnoxious of a woman to expect such a gift, let alone demand one.

A baby gift doesn’t need to be anything massive; something shiny that relates to the child’s birthstone is a good place to start. And certainly, it’s not something that is owed to her, as a gift that is required is not a gift, but rather a demand. That being said, “push present” is a disgusting term and I’m pleased that “baby gift” is the only description I’ve ever heard used in my social circles.

As far as I’m concerned, giving the mother of your child a present to commemorate the event is rather like holding a door open for a woman. You don’t have to do it, but if you’ve got any class or style at all, then you’ll do it without even thinking about it.