I didn’t love you first.
As you grow, my babies, you will see this on social media. This notion that a mother’s love is the strongest love there is because she loved you first.
Part of that is true. There is no one out there I love quite like you six. I know you oh so well. I can decipher the facial expressions, I can tell other adults in the room exactly how you will react before you’re even faced with a situation. I know your likes and dislikes, the shows you love to watch and the foods you’re going to turn away before you do. I would put my life on the line everyday for you, I would give you a kidney if needed. If your blood matched mine, that is.
There comes the second part, the part I have a hard time stomaching when it flashes across my Facebook screens. The lines that make me un-tag myself from mom posts, the ones that make my eyes look off to the side causing me to become a real life emoji.
“Your heart beat next to mine.”
“I carried you in my womb and now I carry you in my heart.”
“I was the first to hold you, the first to love you, the first of…(add in a thousand other firsts here.)”
I didn’t love you first. Our hearts never beat side by side, at least not with four of you. I didn’t count the toes as the doctors handed you to me. I never felt the kicks from inside, never anxiously awaited the announcement of your sex. I wasn’t there for most of your firsts-your first words, first steps, first foods. I didn’t love you first.
But I love you now. I love everything about you guys, even the moments I’m ripping my hair out and ready to go insane. I may not have shared my body with you(and let’s be real here, it’s pretty impossible considering the ages…), but I share my heart. We share this family, not because of blood and guts, but because of something a little more beautiful.
I hope you always remember that, when those posts come up, that biology doesn’t make a family. That my heart may not have beat next to yours, but it does beat for yours. My arms may not have carried you or rocked you to sleep, but my strength is for and comes from you. And I totally didn’t agonize over the ultrasounds…but you put me in enough agony now! (just kidding!)
I didn’t love you first-but I love you now and forever. And that’s enough for me.
And I want to love my kids right…who doesn’t want that for their babies.
After getting that off my chest, I want to share with you all a few ways to show your love to your kids by respecting and listening to their Love Languages. If you’ve been on the internet at all the past few years there is a very good chance you’ve heard of the Love Languages. The website has an amazing resource to find your child’s love language. I am a huge advocate for loving your spouse according to their love language and I’ve come to realize that I need to do the same for my children, because they all accept love differently.
After you find our your child’s love language, how can you show them love in a way that will truly resonate with them? I’m going to share some of the ways we’ve come up with to love your kids according to how they need to be loved!
The site for “love languages” can give you an idea of how to find your child’s love language. I love that! I also think being aware of your child and asking them what makes them feel love from you. If they say hanging out, it could be quality time. If they say cuddling, it’s probably physical touch.
Once you know their language, you can take a gander at this nifty little infograph I put together with five ways to love your child under each language.
And an extra mom tip?! Follow what your child enjoys and likes when showing them love. I don’t either. My Princess is pretty high in quality time and physical touch, so I spent a half hour the other day doing her make-up. It was a way for her to be close and have someone touching her, while getting one-on-one attention from me. My older daughter also tends to be in the physical touch and quality time categories, but she would rather sit with you and watch a movie or play a game. No matter what love language they get, every child will be different, so be flexible!
(The prettiest little Princess there ever was…because she loves to get her make-up done)
Another tip is to remember what your child doesn’t score high in. Doodle isn’t into words of affirmation- she would rather you not, especially in public. It embarrasses her. So, while I’ll praise her for doing the right thing, I refrain from going over board or doing it too often in large groups. (she’s so amazing I do forget though!) If your child isn’t comfortable with physical touch, forcing them to hug you or a relative won’t make them feel love or respected. (I also am 100% against ever making a child hug someone they don’t want to.)