We all know that Mother’s Day is a wonderful day to honor all the moms around the globe. Most moms get showered with gifts, cards and maybe even breakfast in bed made by the kiddos. All of these are amazing ways to express our love and gratitude to the special women in our lives that have raised us and for us who are raising children.
Honoring the coParenting relationship and the mom on this day is just as important. What I have found is just as equally important with celebrating the moms in the co-parenting relationship is discovering what their love language is, too.
About a year ago, I read a beautiful book by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell called, “The 5 Love Languages of Children” that inspired me to go even deeper with discovering what my son’s primary love language is. It intrigued me to also learn what mine is, as well. Interestingly enough, both of our primary love language is the same: Physical touch.
The authors also have several books out for couples, singles, teens and more. The concept behind the 5 Love Languages is to help all of us understand how one another prefers receiving affection from others. Why is it important to know one’s love language? In each relationship, we express admiration in various ways. Each of us carries within us our own language that fuels us. Sometimes within that relationship, the language can get lost in translation. We may not understand when someone is trying to express their love to us and vice versa. When we begin to understand each other’s love language, we can then share how each of us appreciates receiving love.
The following is a list of these 5 Love Languages:
Physical Touch: Someone whose primary language is physical touch really appreciates when they can receive tender moments of cuddling, holding hands, or for instance, what my son likes with piggy backs (while I’m holding a million things at once) or when he caresses my belly and says out loud, “I just love your blubbery belly mama!” Sigh. But on a serious note, for coParents whose love language is touch, it could even be as simple as a pat on the back or a friendly touch on the shoulder that shows them that you care.
Words of Affirmation: Recently, I had taken a quiz online (the Love Language Profile for Singles) just to see if my love language was still physical touch and sure enough it still is. I had also felt that one of my other top love languages is words of affirmation which showed up as my 2nd highest score. Words of affirmation is where verbally complimenting someone and more importantly the reason behind why they are complimenting can truly fill up one’s love cup. To me, receiving little snippets of love notes around the house or a love letter that shares the depths of one’s love is what warms my heart and what can warm others who have this love language, too.
Acts of Service: Then there is this wonderful gift that expresses one’s affection through helping the other person. This could be in the form of washing dishes, cleaning the house, fixing the plumbing issues, helping with homework, etc. The imperative part of this particular love language is when it is done out of love and not out of obligation, the amount of acknowledgment in this form can be tremendous.
Quality Time: When we learn that someone’s primary language is spending special time together, you are able to connect at a deeper level. By giving your undivided attention and shutting off the digital devices, unplugging from work or cleaning, and getting rid of any distractions – you are showing this person just how much they truly mean to you.
Receiving Gifts: Gifts have always been a symbol, a token of one’s love. When someone has this love language, it is beyond just the gift itself though that matters. It is the time taken to research that special gift, whether the person went out of their way to thoughtfully arrange getting this gift to you can all be key in this language.
I’m going to use myself as an example here to give a clearer picture about this wonderful concept. I found it fascinating when I took the quiz, that receiving gifts was last on my list. Don’t get me wrong, I do love receiving gifts and especially surprises. Surprises, for me, as mentioned above is taking the time to orchestrate the actual surprise. For me with receiving gifts, it has always been the simple things in life. For instance, I would rather have flowers picked for me than to receive a dozen red roses that cost an arm and a leg only to just wilt after a few days. Or if someone took me on a surprise picnic, that would make my heart flutter more than a fancy dinner somewhere.
In the coParenting relationship, however, being able to receive words of affirmation that are encouraging is important to me. It may not necessarily be about a compliment, so to speak, but being able to communicate compassionately, the tone of voice and feeling heard and understood for both of us is what I value most when discussing important things with my son’s dad. Intriguing that this particular love language rated 2nd highest on the quiz, as well.
So can you see where knowing one’s love language can be essential – especially when building a healthy and mindful coParenting relationship. This not only models to your children how attentive you are to the co-parent’s feelings but it also shows them how you can be aware of how to get your children’s needs met, as well. Each of us enjoys all of the above but there is always one or two that resonates more than the rest.
So this year for Mother’s Day, perhaps the best gift you can give your coParent is the gift of distinguishing which of the 5 love languages really makes their heart smile and helps build a friendship and partnership in consciously coParenting.