(I wrote this 11/29/12 as a way to chronicle the loving, affection happening in our home and spur other moms on toward loving affection in their homes. I never published it, recently found it, and am sharing it even though it’s now 3 years old.)
This morning, when Moses woke up, he came and crawled up in my lap and we have snuggled and tickled and said silly phrases and kissed and hugged off and on for the last 90 minutes. He has sat next to me, watching Lady & the Tramp with his big sister, occasionally crawling into my lap, for that entire time.
I’ve called him names like “my little darlin, precious one, sweet potato, little bug, my doodle”.
When Maranatha woke up and joined us, we had a 3-way hug and I reinforced verbally how much they love each other... “Oh, Mosey, Mei Mei (our nickname for her) loves you so much; she loves to snuggle with you. She is so sweet and takes good care of you too.”
Yesterday afternoon, Silas (4yo) just crawled up in my lap and we held hands and giggled and talked for probably 5-10 minutes. He clearly needed my affection… he just laid up in my lap and wanted my attention so I lavished it on him.
Last night, before bed, I snuggled for at least 60-90 seconds, sometimes tickling or being silly, sometimes reinforcing good things that happened throughout the day, with each child.
With my little ones, it looks more like
- maybe a silly joke or affectionate name.
With my olders, I reflect back on specific things–
- “you did so well in play practice. I can tell you’ve been working hard to memorize your lines.” or,
- “thank you for helping me make dinner tonight. The potatoes you peeled tasted so good!”
- while hugging, rubbing their backs, or giving zuburts.
Last night, after we’d said goodnight and he’d gone to do his bedtime routine, Ethan (my 10yo) came back to me for another hug and kiss before bedtime. He just wanted another connection point, so we did.
No matter what, bedtime always includes hugs, always kisses or tickles or whatever, mixed with kind loving words and smiles.
Yesterday evening, I went up behind Baxter (my8yo) and started rubbing his shoulders. He acted like it was tickly, but he didn’t move away, and he was smiling big and relaxing… I pulled away after 30 seconds or so and we chatted for a few minutes.
Just 10 minutes ago, I was snuggling with Moses (as I’ve been doing on and off for 90 minutes) and set him down beside me. He crawled back up in my lap and said, “tickle tickle more tickle”. He is the child that, more than any other, REQUESTS tickles. It makes me laugh.
[NOTE ABOUT TICKLING: I always ALWAYS stop when my kids say stop… from the time they are itty bitty, I work hard to read their cues and never keep tickling past their comfort level. If I ever felt like tickling was something they didn’t enjoy, I would not tickle that child. period.]
At random points through each day, I’ll hold Maranatha’s (6yo) hand, or one of my big boys will curl up beside me and we’ll share a long side hug or they’ll tell me something going on with them.
Sometimes I’ll just walk up and rub the shoulders or scratch the back of my big boys.
With my younger two boys (4 & 2), they think it’s silly when I pretend to “eat” their nose or cheeks or fingers or whatever, so that probably happens 3-5 times or more each day… then they’ll pretend to eat mine. We just act silly and laugh and connect in small ways like that.
These are some of the specific & detailed ways that I as the mom show affection to our kiddos. (there’s probably more, but this is what comes to mind that has all happened in the last 24 hours)
PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS: What has motherly affection looked like for YOU in the past 24 hours? How do you show lovingkindness to your children?