Happy Belated Mother’s Day!, for any girl out there that has mothered another. You don’t have to give birth to rightfully consider yourself a mother. Far from it.
I’m on my 17th year as a mother. That’s hard to believe. Particularly when I don’t feel much older than 17 on a daily basis. This year I received a few gifts — super exciting! Who doesn’t love gifts? ikr?
This year I received, in order to tell me how special I am as the primary maternal role in this family, were:
The newest Macklemore CD
A couple of handmade books from my 1st grader
And a Victoria’s Secret gift card
At first glace I thought it strange. I’m not going to lie. Hip Hop? Underwear? I mean, the books telling me how great I am make sense. The others, not so much. My maternal side busting out Thrift Shop (radio edit, of course)? Grabbing a new pushup next time I’m at the mall? Is this what today’s mom looks like?
Don’t answer that.
I looked at the gifts and said, “Wow!” I looked around for the potted plants, or bouquet of flowers, or just a nice brunch like a normal Mother’s Day token of appreciation. I took a moment to try and read between the lines. Then I remembered… my family is doling out love to me in the way they know how. In the way they each want to be loved. The first grade daughter wants me to spend time with her (she spent time hand making the gift), and she wants me to tell her how important she is to me and the world (as she told me in her books). I’m thinking the middle school boy loves gifts (since he bought me one) and wants me to listen as he figures out his take on the world (hence the Macklemore CD – great thoughts in there). The husband bought me the VS card, which is no surprise to any of us and speaks for itself.
See, each of us prefers to be loved in a certain way. And we tend to love others in that same way, in our way. The problem is, sometimes the way we love others is not the way they long to be loved. Sound confusing?
Look up The Five Love Languages. It’s good stuff, stays with you and is useful forever. I promise.
People love in their dominant love language. They don’t necessarily know what ours is, or how to love us that way. By observing how the members of our family attempt to show love to us, we can learn a lot about how to deal with them and how best to show we care. It’s a true selfless act, like the act of love always boils down to. Annoying, I know. But that’s the way it is.
Our challenge this week: Find the love language of your kids. Educate yourself a bit on the practice. Check out the links above. It’s a quick study. Then watch your kids. Ask questions. Listen to them and notice how they love you. More than likely, it’s exactly the way they want to be loved themselves.