My daily dose of Oxytocin
You might ask what is that? well…
Oxytocin is a hormone released during breastfeeding and it is also referred to as the “love hormone” because levels of oxytocin increase with hugs and kisses.
And while my friends in the health professional can tell us more about this wonderful hormone, I will stop right there with the biology lesson but promise there is a point to all this😊bear with me.
My firstborn is 5 years old and he asks very difficult questions…he is compassionate, sensitive, kind and loving. He teaches me daily to pay extra attention to everything because he does and whether suspecting or not a question can come from anything at any time. He once asked me which way he came out of my tummy…luckily his dad was there so he explained they cut me open to get him out. He was very concerned about the pain I suffered from the cut.
My second born is 3 years old and she is feisty, affectionate, assertive and loving. She teaches me I don’t always have to accept things for what they are because she doesn’t. She is also the intercessor who is praying for a baby sister. Together they are my daily dose of oxytocin 🥰 it doesn’t matter how bad my day was they are my happy place. They are gifts that keep on giving. I have always loved kids but I didn’t realise just how much I would love my own.
So in my attempt to give back to them what they give me daily, I try to understand them better. Recently I have been paying attention to their love languages. Both of them thrive on quality time and I read that all kids do. This makes a lot of sense to me, they are too young to understand the value placed on things but they understand that presence makes them feel secure, wanted, warm and fuzzy on the inside (loved).
Thandolwethu also leans toward affirmation because she is very good at affirming others including me- the other night she told me I make the best mac and cheese. She often asks her brother how she looks because she wants to be affirmed.
Sipho-seNkosi on the other hand prefers that I do it for him even when he can do it himself because he understands acts of service as love. He also knows that grating cheese for me is very helpful but that’s his way of also trying to express love to me.
Another common one is physical touch: cuddles, tickles and kisses mean the world to them. These all seem simple, but they are adding buckets to their love tank and when tickles are not popular anymore their reserves will sustain them. So go on and fill it up. Hold them tight for a few more seconds and tell them they are amazing because there are no do-overs in this parenting journey.
I still remember the first tutu dress my mom made for me when I was 6 years old😊, I remember a letter my dad wrote for me when I turned 13 so your investments have lifelong returns.
They will never be as young as they are today. Enjoy them. When you see them and the levels of oxytocin in your body go up use that as a trigger to give back.
And flood them with hugs and kisses now while you still can.