My top love language is quality time. 100% quality time. I love spending time with my husband enjoying a movie or playing a game. I feel so loved when we are doing the same thing in the same room and bonding over some experience. Fills me right up! My bottom love language? Physical touch. I will cuddle with my husband sometimes or put my arm around his, but it’s not a constant thing. I don’t like to cuddle up on the couch with friends or give anyone hugs… really ever. Confession: I’m the person at church who smiles politely and then sits down quickly when the pastor says, “Turn and give your neighbor a high five!” I dodge greeters at the door so I can avoid giving handshakes. To put it simply, I do not like to be touched.
Unless it’s my little baby man.
When I was pregnant, a friend at work told me multiple times that I would go nuts with how much my kid wanted to be touching me. She told me that my introverted self would just need to get away and hide from all the touching. To be honest, I was a little bit worried about this. I know love languages are legit things and I was a little concerned about how my lack of interest in physical touch would inhibit me as a parent. But then I had my son and all of those fears went away.
In the morning, I am usually the one who gets W out of his crib. I creep up the stairs, turn the doorknob slowly, and peek in to see a little face smiling at me through the crib slats. He jumps up quickly, his little curly hair bouncing around as he hops to look over the top of the crib. As I pull him into my arms, he puts his arms around my neck and squishes his cheek against mine. I feel him run his little fingers through my hair and feel his little arms hug my neck tighter. I just stand there, my cheek against his, wishing I could freeze that moment forever. Every morning.
Sometimes when he’s playing I’ll say his name from across the room and he’ll look up at me excitedly. He’ll crawl full speed towards me, letting out little silly grunts and noises. When he reaches me, he climbs up into my lap and pulls himself up until we are cheek to cheek and his arms are around my neck. I close my eyes and freeze time for just a second. I soak it in.
He’s gotten to a point where I can put him in his crib at night while he’s still awake and he puts himself to sleep after a few minutes. But on the off nights where he’s really tired or he just needs some more cuddle time, he pulls himself up on me to cuddle for just a few minutes. He lays his head on my shoulder and I feel his little fingers playing with my hair. Before I know it, 15 minutes have gone by and we’re just rocking together in his room.
I was worried before having W that I would be so tired of his little touch by the end of the day when I realize now that I could hold him in my arms forever. I cherish his neck hugs and when he reaches up for me to hold him in my arms. I know that these moments are fleeting and I never know which neck hug or moments with our cheeks pressed together will be our last.
Is motherhood exhausting? Yes. Is being needed pretty much all the time tiring as heck? Yes. Would I give it up for a whole day alone with no end of naptime hugs? No freaking way.
So maybe physical touch isn’t dead last for me anymore… at least not when it comes to baby cuddles.