Whole Parenting Family

learning my kids’ love languages & speaking them

Having three kids under five, staying at home with them, no one being in school, means I have very little alone time with each child individually. When I had two kids, I would stagger their afternoon naps so I could sneak in that extra time with the youngest, just truly playing with her and reading to her and smiling at her.

Like, looking her in the eyes and smiling.

Because for me the long days alone with the kids, especially when they were younger, were hard. Hard to feel like I accomplished anything beyond the basics, and hard to even feel like I was getting quality time with them. Ironically, although I have three kids now, and SuperBoy is much more into exploring the world and not just eat-diaper-nap-read-repeat, my quality time with them has gone way up because I’m more aware of wanting and needing it.

A few years back I gave you a sample day with two kids, and last year I described my day with three, and maybe I talked about my day recently too.

For me, to avoid the days blurring together into one big tantrum scream fest where I’m diving into my iPhone for a little break, I’ve been mindful of one-on-one time with them.



His love languages are verbal affirmation & physical touch. I’m also all verbal affirmation over here. We snuggle in the morning when he comes into our room, thank you, king-size-bed, and when he gets up from his afternoon rest/naptime. He processes his feelings verbally and I’m extra aware of when he needs encouragement and when his little heart has been crushed by what I thought was a perfectly legit comment {pitching a hard baseball inside is not a great idea}.

Our one-on-one time has been working through this book on learning to read periodically (like 5-10 minutes a day–somedays!). I’ll deposit the babe & the big girl in our newly opened for the season playroom and go into the library to delve into it. He loves reading and I love listening to him read.



Her love languages are quality time and gifts. I’m not a quality time person, but YES am a gift person! She longs for someone to be with her in her room while she sorts//arranges//re-arranges all her bags of pilfered goods from around the house. Or to watch her sort//arrange//re-arrange her dollhouse.

During the day, I love putting her down for her nap because it involves picking out 100 items for her to nap with. For her, that’s connecting with me.

I also make a special effort to once a month go up to Grand Avenue just a few blocks away to Bread & Chocolate and get a little croissant to share with just her. We usually hop next door a few doors down to Red Balloon Bookstore and pick up something from their bargain room in the basement. So many steals! Oh, the joy $3 can give my little magpie who deeply desires a special little sticker book or pen cap or anything for her bags of happiness back home.



Well, he’s 11 months old so I’d say his love languages are still nursing and baby wearing. Luckily we do a lot of both. Increasingly as he hurls his body around on his stilted legs, he is engaging and playing more with the older kids. He even will run//joggle away from me if I pretend to chase him and then scoop him up & smoother him with kisses. He laughs a deep open mouth chuckle the whole time, too.

Beyond nursing him, diapering him, cleaning up after he’s smeared food all over the counter, I really do want to make one-on-one quality time with him: truly aware & present time to read & play. So I’m trying to do more of that while the big kids cavort in the other room.

Do your kids had different personalities than you? I read a great book on this and it’s really helped me be me authentically with them while still addressing who they are.

Tagging on here that this nesting homemaker bundle of over 70 e-books including great ones on parenting ends Monday–so if you’re into that kinda love language {reading!! mine! haha} hop over:


  1. Ellen ThatChicMom on April 24, 2015 at 7:58 am

    I love this, my husband and I read the 5 Love Languages before we were married and it was such a gift to our relationship. Thank you for the reminder to love with purpose how our kids need to be loved not just how we need to love them.

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 27, 2015 at 10:35 am

      I love the adult one too!

  2. Ashley on April 24, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Becoming aware of the types and love languages has been mind blowing for me as a person. I started with the temperaments of each kid. Just knowing how they thought processed was super important to creating a better relationship for everyone. I have been able to use MBTI for the older two since they have such defined preferences. (the younger two are only 2 and 7 mon. So NOT Really expressing personality But opinions!). what a difference it makes knowing a basic how they think and some basic motivations.

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 27, 2015 at 10:36 am

      I’m not as familiar with the temperaments but those can be so helpful too!

  3. Tara on April 24, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Oh my goodness – this was life changing for my husband and I. My daughter is only 1 so I don’t think she has a clear love language yet, but I can’t wait to learn it (and then learn to speak it!)

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 27, 2015 at 10:37 am


  4. Laurel on April 24, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Learning the love languages is so helpful in connecting with your children (and others). It is not always easy to go outside your ‘comfort zone’ of loving but it makes such a difference when you are able to know better how to do so.

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

      It really is a stretch for me at times, but that’s what makes us better people, right?

  5. Sascha @ This Family Anderson on April 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you for this– I love it. I’m expecting my second in the next month or so, and have been worried about handling the various levels of connection with each of my children, as I’ve been able to be just tuned into what my daughter needs so far. How can I give both enough love and different kinds of love? Of course, that’s the miracle of love, but it’s lovely to see it spelled out here so tangibly.

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

      I felt the same when pregnant with number two!! Take heart, many of us have been there before and it’s wondrous!

  6. Kelly Meagher on April 24, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    So sweet. Loved that picture of you and Sweet Pea! My daughter’s love language is definitely quality time and touch. I used to be good about taking one part of the day to spend with just her – I need to get back into that habit! Still figuring out the 18 month old – I think his love language might be wrestling on the floor ;).

  7. Melissa on April 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Funny you should mention this because I have recently been trying to pin point my 3 year olds love language. Both my kids seem to be words of affirmation, like me, but my 3 year old seems like every love language works for her. I really think quality time is one for her and that is not me AT ALL. I really need to work on that.

  8. Rachel @ Efficient Momma on April 25, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    It’s so funny to see their love languages blossoming. Noah’s quality time. And Hailey…I’m not sure yet. But I don’t think it’ll be quality time lol