I Never Understood Parents Who Kiss On the Lips Until I Had a Baby of My Own

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mom kissing kid on lips
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In my pre-baby life, I passed a lot of judgments. There was a whole list of things I'd "never" do. I'd never lose my cool in a grocery store (LOL), I'd never allow hours of screen time (LOL), and honestly I swore I'd never kiss my kids on the lips

  • I don't have particularly strong memories of kissing my parents on the lips. We hugged, we kissed cheeks, but on the lips just wasn't my normal. 

    I remember it first popped into view when I heard about a celebrity getting backlash for kissing his daughter on the lips. I remember thinking the backlash was utterly ridiculous, but also paused.

    Would I ever kiss my kid on the lips?

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  • Logically and emotionally, I of course didn't think there was anything sexual about it. 

    But it seemed too ... intimate. I kiss my husband on the lips. Isn't that weird to do to a child, even your own? There was something about it that felt off-putting to me, though I honestly felt no need to judge anyone else for doing it.

    I didn't think much more about it than that; just another notch on the belt of things I personally wouldn't be doing.
  • When I finally joined the mom club, I quickly realized that much like Jon Snow, I knew nothing. 

    Kids are the biggest disruptors of scruples. Whatever you thought you knew, you didn't. And just when you land on one conclusion, there goes kids to swoop in and jumble it up once more. The consistency of change is literally the only constant, and that applies to your feelings as a parent as well.
  • After surviving the newborn phase and cruising into the toddler phase, watching my son develop autonomy and skills is my greatest joy. 

    At 21 months, he can say so many words, effectively communicate his needs and wants, and perhaps best of all, show true affection back. From the moment he was born, my husband and I covered him in kisses. In fact, we often joke that when he is 30, we'll be referring to his cheeks as "chubby cheekers" and pecking them with a million kisses. 

  • But as he has grown older, we do try to keep consent in mind, and before kissing him to pieces, we ask him, "Can I have a kiss?"

    At first, we'd ask and he'd sit there, so we'd kiss him and move on. Eventually, he began leaning in, or shaking his head no when he didn't want to be touched. When he did lean in, it was to usually just let us peck his forehead or cheek, and we were totally tickled at the idea that he wanted them. 

  • One day, I was sitting with him on my lap and we were giggling hysterically. Out of nowhere, he leaned in and gave me a big kiss on my lips.

    My heart melted into a puddle right there on the floor. And it has every single time his sweet little lips pucker up for one. I all too happily plant my lips on his, as does my husband, and will continue to do so until he says no more. 

    A kiss on the lips between parent and child isn't "too intimate." It's a child's way of finally being able to finally physically reciprocate love. When my son reaches out to kiss me (even if it is after I ask for one) it serves as my fleeting reminder that I'm more than his caretaker, cook, maid, and playmate. 

    I'm his mom, whom he actually loves. And I'll take the kissy reminders of that for as long as he'll let me.