I’m an affectionate mom. My son has grown up with a mother who gives him too many hugs and too many kisses and too many cuddles and too many pinches. I can’t help it.

Have you seen little-boy underwear? I think it might be the cutest thing in the world. So when he’s walking up the steps in front of me with Mater on his tiny hiney, I really have no control over my pinches.Β 

Not to worry. He laughs and giggles and races up the stairs.Β 

And I promise I won’t continue when the little boy underwear turns into boxer briefs. I’m determined to give my child as few complexes as possible.

Anyway, I’m digressing.

This post is about affection.

It’s about how I grew up in a very affectionate home, where hugs and kisses were never lacking. It’s about how much I love to lavish that same affection on my wild-child of a son. And how precious our cuddle times are before bedtime, when he whispers, “I love you, Mommy” into my ear. And how sad I get when I think that someday, he won’t want to cuddle anymore. And how this last thought makes me want to treasure every single cuddle he gives me between now and then.

Let’s Talk:Β Did you grow up in an affectionate home? Are you an affectionate person? If your kids are older, at what point did they stop wanting to cuddle? Β 

26 thoughts on “Affection

  1. No, I did not grow up in an affectionate home. Yes, I am a hugger and tell my adult children I love them. So proud of our youngest, 25, hugging us in front of her employees when we dropped off her key coming to say goodbye before we drove back home.

  2. My kids are still in diapers, but other than the ‘mater underwear and the toshie pinching (quite difficult to manage through a diaper) I might have written this blog in my head.

    I grew up in a very affectionate and loving home–a legacy I am passing on to a bunch of sweet and rowdy boys. Hubby included πŸ˜‰

    Great post, girl! And my heart swelled when I saw those pics of you with your book. God is so good! Glad to see you living the dream!

  3. I grew up in a family of huggers. I hug everyone… if I’ve made any kind of connection with you, I will hug you when we part. My friends (male and female) have come to accept this. I cuddle with my boys… and my almost 6 year old still likes to snuggle. It breaks my heart because I know the clock is ticking.

  4. Yes, affectionate home. Lots of I love yous and hugs. I’ve carried that on into my family now. And my friends. Why not, what the heck. πŸ˜€

    ~ Wendy

  5. I didn’t grow up in an affectionate home. The “I love yous” and hugs didn’t arrive until I was an adult and somehow felt very foreign. Growing up, hugging someone was very awkward. Now that I have two little ones, I shower them in hugs and kisses. My daughter recently turned two and is always lovin’ on her brother, who will be 11 months in a few days. And when she goes up and gives him a big hug out of the blue, I think maybe, just maybe, I could be doing something right.

  6. Ruth Douthitt

    Affectionate?? If I am, it’s because of Jesus..and my husband! I did NOT grow up in an affectionate home. As a matter of fact, my siblings and I see each other maybe twice a year!

    But my husband is affectionate and he helped me change. As a result, I think my son is too. Thank the Lord!

    Great post! A good reminder that we don’t necessarily need to go around hugging everyone…but it is good to be there for someone as a listener, hug provider, or hand holder through hard times. Heck, sometimes even a kind email can help!


  7. Yep, I’m affectionate…definitely a big hugger (to family and girlfriends alike)! My family was affectionate growing up too, with my parents always giving kisses and hugs to us and each other. I was quite blessed.

    My mom and I even had a fun game to say “I love you.”

    One of us would start with “I love you.”

    The next: “I love you more.”

    The first: “I love you mostest.”

    The next: “I love you more mostest.”

    The first: “I love you up, down, around and back again.”

    Those memories are precious to me, since my mom is no longer here. I’m so glad I have no doubt how she felt about me!

    1. Ruth Douthitt

      That’s a great post, Lindsay. πŸ™‚

    2. Katie Ganshert

      What a great memory of your mother.

      When I was little, my mom would always say, “I can’t wait to huuuuuuuuug….” And I’d run into her arms and she’d hug me and I’d say, “Mommy!”

      1. Aw, that’s so sweet!

  8. Katie, I grew up in an affectionate family, too. And guess what…we’re still a Walton-like family! My sister and I built homes just across the meadow from each other. Our parents followed suit a few years later and built one meadow over from my sister. Needless to say, we’re a close-knit bunch.

    We’ve raised our children in an affectionate home, as well. Our college-age son still hugs us and so does our tween-age daughter. Some boundaries have changed as they’ve grown older, but the “I love you’s” are a daily staple. πŸ™‚

    P.S. And yes, the boxer briefs will arrive sooner than you think! πŸ˜‰

    1. Katie Ganshert

      You know what’s funny about this? My aunt literally just got B-man a set of three boxer/briefs. After I wrote this post. They are way too cute!

  9. I did not grow up in an affectionate home (huh, maybe Jeannie should put me on her couch, I bet we’d figure some things out.) Anyway, I didn’t, but you better believe my home is affectionate, now! And I’m terrified of the day my little boy (he’s turning 9 in a couple of weeks) will no longer want to cuddle with me.

    I’m with Beth. We have to know our children’s love language and know when to respect each of our children’s boundaries – as sad as it will make me when my son doesn’t want my kisses in public.

  10. Jessica R. Patch

    I love boy underwear too! That would sound weird if you hadn’t read the post! Were all about the loving here, but at the school drop off line, I’m not allowed to touch my son other than a high five or say I love him in front of the teacher who gets him out of the van. And I can’t call him “baby” which stinks! πŸ™‚ DH and I like to show PG affection in front of our kids. It’s important and healthy for them to see Mom and Dad loving each other. I didn’t see that in my childhood home much at all.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      So funny! Jessica, that second line made me chuckle. Just goes to show we should never take things out of context.

    2. Katie Ganshert

      Oh! And I’m so glad you talk about being affectionate with your hubs in front of your kids! I love that. I didn’t grow up with that either. My mom and dad lavished us with hugs and kisses, but they were never very affectionate with each other. But then, they got divorced when I was in jr high. It’s good for kids to see their parents hug and kiss and hold hands and cuddle on the couch. πŸ™‚

  11. My girls are growing but still cuddly. May they always stay that way! My boy is quite grown. Twenty-one a few weeks ago! (His 4-year-old undies were Barney and Batman! LOL!) I admit, he had a few years where my hugs and kisses earned grimaces and pull-backs. Heart-breaking! He has grown out of it! YEA! And spreads his arms wide to me. There’s nothing like a good hug!

  12. yes, yes! congrats again on the ARCs coming in the mail!! very exciting!

    i’m glad that maddy likes to snuggle at night. she’s always on the go all day long, and it’s only at bedtime when she’s settled down long enough to really get a good hold on her. πŸ™‚ she craves this time so much, and it will break my heart the first time she gently nudges me toward the door instead of asks me to lay down with her. *sigh* they grow up so fast.

  13. Katie didn’t mention it in her post, but she received the Advanced Reader Copies of her debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, on Thursday. If you haven’t already, you can see pics of her with her book on her Facebook page. You don’t want to miss them. They’re awesome! =)

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Thanks Keli! You have to be one of the biggest supporters/encouragers I’ve ever met! You are such a blessing, girl.

      I cannot WAIT when I get to rave about YOUR book….which, people, releases in July from Barbour! A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California! It’s going to be full of awesome.

      1. Oh yay! I need to check those pictures out. πŸ˜€ And YES, Keli is a huge encouragement and support. The literary world doesn’t know what to expect when everyone she has ever encouraged and touched rises up to cheer for her. πŸ™‚

  14. Affectionate, me?
    And our home is an affectionate home — hugs, kisses, “I love yous!” sometimes even a bit of affectionate wrestling, but that was usually between my husband and our son.
    Yes, there came a time when my son withdrew a bit as far as physical affection went. But you know what? That was just for a season–and a very short one. To this day (and he’s married now) he’s affectionate: to me, to his dad, to his sisters …
    I think you have to be sensitive to the “Oh, Mom! Don’t kiss me in public!” seasons … and find other ways to be affectionate. Discover their love language — time, words of affirmation, whatever. Still show them you love them, no matter what.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I love that you talk about love language! I have a post in draft form about love languages! I absolutely loved reading The Five Love Languages. Hubby and I read it together when we were first married.

      1. I was thinking of that book when reading your post. πŸ™‚

      2. The Five Love Languages: a most excellent book!

  15. Our daughter will be 21 on New Year’s Day, but she still loves to give and receive hugs, which warms this mom’s heart. <3


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