Push it

A while back, a certain women's magazine called to ask me if I'd write a small opinion piece about whether new mothers ought to buy their male partners "push presents" for being their rock during labour.

It being a wimminz publication, I had to clean up my language and they changed some of my best lines because apparently women only want to know what men think as long as they agree with it.

Anyway, my argument, was this: "Do you really need me to state the obvious?"

Should women - after nine months of pregnancy, nausea, haemorrhoids, bleeding gums, weight gain, mood swings, stretch marks, then HAVING THEIR VAGINA TORN OPEN DURING BIRTH - then buy their husbands a little pressie to say thanks for holding my hand?

I suggest you run this by a woman suffering her third week of morning sickness or 12th hour of contractions and see what she says: I'll sanitise her response.

"No. No! NO! NO!!"

And, it may surprise you that I wholeheartedly agree.

Blokes do nothing.

We drive to the hospital, look solicitous, hold the video camera, maybe pay for the epidural. Sometimes not even that.

At my local RSL recently, I had a beer with a guy who had to dash off at 6pm.

"Where you going?" I asked.

"Missus is in labour," he replied.

He'd popped up for a quick four schooners, while she huffed and puffed on the couch, which was actually a step up from his first kid.

"When she went into labour last time, I went for surf. I knew she'd be ages. I came back, she was leaning against the doorframe in the bedroom, I said 'Right, off we go.'"

Maybe this bloke's wife should give him some sunscreen?

Or a waxcomb in the shape of a uterus?

I say no, again, because there is also enough useless crap in the world. There are enough meaningless gifts given, then shelved or binned. We do not need to add to this torrent of waste.

Of course, what started this train of thought was the rumour that singer Jay Z had been given a $500K sapphire ring for being so supportive during the pregnancy of his wife Beyonce.

Do we need to point out the obscenity of wearing a two-bedroom apartment on your pinkie?

No. Because we should not be taking our social cues from celebs.

Jay Z and Beyonce, if we believe the tabloid guff, also bought their kid a 24-carat gold rocking horse.

There's a couple with their heads on straight.

Childbirth is the most intimate experience a couple can share. It's profound. It's perfect. It doesn't require commemoration via anything other than awe and respect.

No knick-knack or gift will improve on this.

If a woman really wants to give her husband something to say thank you for being her rock, I suggest a hand job.

It'll be a while before he gets any.

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here. His email address is here.