As I write this many moms are considering how they’re going to have breakfast in bed tomorrow, or what restaurant they’ll go to for dinner. Meanwhile, I’ve had a wonderful Mother’s Day today, even before Mother’s Day. How can that be? Because my husband came home and asked if I wanted to go out for the afternoon. I was able to spend time with my parents, and then have time with my husband and son. It was so much fun to relax and be both a mother and a daughter.
So, how do you say thanks to the person who has devoted so much of her life to you? Really it’s easy. It helps though if you know what love language speaks. Language? Yep, there are five of them:
- Acts of Service
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
If you don’t know which is yours, or your mom’s you can take the test. Usually a person has one or two that are dominant. However, it’s possible to have all of them as well. The language can change over the years. I used to crave physical touch–a hug, a handshake, a pat on the back–but now acts of service go a long way.
How can you show love for each of these languages? Let’s explore each one separately.
1. Acts of Service
Since this is my predominant love language, I can speak to it easily. If your mom’s language is acts of service, then she’s looking for you to fold laundry, wash dishes, sweep the floor, or clean the bathroom. Yep, it’s that simple. Do something for her that she would normally have to do, and you’ll make her day.
The folding laundry has always been our downfall. Around eighteen years ago, we had just purchased our first home and were trying to make it ours. My husband put together a little corner couch to read on. However, our four-year-old daughter looked quizzically at the contraption. “Why do we need two couches?” Before anyone could reply, she answered her own question. “Oh, one to sit on and one for laundry!” Yep, please come fold laundry for me.
2. Words of Affirmation
Growing up, my dad worked the swing shift and then went off to school for 7:00 am classes. I didn’t get to see him often, but before going to bed each night, I’d pull out a spiral-bound notebook and sit at his desk and write to him about my day. For years, he kept those journals, because to him, written words mean a lot.
If your mom speaks this love language, then a card is the perfect gift for her. Now, make sure you have your own words added to it. Better yet, make it from scratch and give it to her. She’ll cherish it for years to come. I still have a card my daughter made me for Mother’s Day six years ago.
3. Physical Touch
You would think this would be an easy language to speak, but in reality it can be very difficult for some people. There are some cultures that do not express love in this way. I’m not talking about sexual touch. This is the gentle pat on the back, hug, or holding of a hand to say “I’m here for you, and I love you.”
Hugs are also good for you physcially. According to mindbodygreen.com:
There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
4. Quality Time
Early on, I knew my oldest son’s love language. From the time he was just a few weeks old, he’d cry if he wasn’t in the same room as me. He was fine as long as I was in the room, but the moment I tried to leave, he’d fuss. As he grew, he wanted us to do things with him, watch a movie, play a game, spend time.
If your mom speaks quality time, then you’ll want to take her some place and do something with her. Maybe a picnic in the park, a walk along the shore, a horseback ride, a bike ride, or a trip to the mall. All of these are ideas of quality time.
This afternoon I was able to sit and chat with my mom and dad. My husband sat on the swing with Mom and we discussed our future. It’s a moment in time I’ll cherish.
5. Receiving Gifts
This is the love language most people think of for Mother’s Day–get Mom a gift. However, for those whose love language is gift giving, this is valid. My youngest son speaks gifts. I didn’t realize that his asking, “Did you get something for me?” Was really saying, “Did you think of me while you were gone?” It dawned on me that this was so, after he returned from Washington, D. C. with a handpicked, thoughtful gift for each and everyone of the family.
What kind of gift does Mom want? Hm, that depends on your mom. For me, it’d be something with essential oils, a book, or art supplies. Another great gift would be an updated Microsoft Word. Now, that’s just me. You’ll need to know your mom to make the gift meaningful.
So what are you sending to your mom? Is your mom no longer around? Find a lady who has spoken into your life and honor her. There’s always someone who you can find to shower with love. Don’t let your sorrow ruin the day. Use it to fill someone else’s day with love, and you’ll be surprised how much better the day will go for you as well.