We are a very affectionate household. Besides the hugs and kisses we give each other, Mike and I are always kissing, hugging, and snuggling with Annabel and James. I honestly kiss those kids a thousand times a day, and spend tons of time hugging and snuggling with them. My favorite thing in the world is when one of them will ask me for a hug or kiss. James will come up to me and say, “Mama, want cuddles?” and I almost die from the heart explosion. I am my happiest when I have them in my arms, close enough to kiss.

There was a ridiculous amount of hubbub over a picture Victoria Beckham posted on her daughter’s birthday. In it, she is kissing her daughter on the lips. When I saw the picture, I thought, “Aw, that’s so sweet,” and “damn, look at that infinity pool.” I did NOT think, “Ew, they’re kissing on the lips,” which is apparently the reaction of a bunch of her fans had when they saw the picture. That makes me sad.

I kiss my kids on the lips (and on their cheeks, their noses, their hands, their knees, their finger tips….) whenever they want. I think it’s important for my kids to be familiar with giving and receiving affection from the people they love. We never force kisses (and I never force them to kiss ANYONE), but my kids love giving and receiving kisses from us.

kissin' my baby

My kids are, in turn, very affectionate. James will run up and put his hands on my cheeks to make sure he gets the best angle to kiss me right on the lips. Annie will tell me that I “haven’t given [her] enough kisses yet,” when it’s bedtime, so I’ll kiss her all over her face until she says she’s “full of smooches.”

But the thing that makes me happiest is seeing how my kids are affectionate with each other. They love to snuggle up together, give each other hugs all the time (James will sometimes cling to Annie just because she’s close), and of course, kiss each other. This is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken of the two of them:

kisses

For kids, there is nothing more important than knowing they are loved. Touch affection is so important, but we also tell our kids we love them a million times a day. I tell them we love their imaginations and their senses of humor, their little noses and their freckles and beauty marks. They know I love them when I hug them and when I hold their hands, and yes, when I kiss them on the lips. I parent with love so that one day, they will, too.

If you don’t want to kiss your kids on the lips (or get kissed on the lips by them), don’t. Everyone has their own comfort levels and their own ways of expressing love. But it’s not wrong or “gross” to show affection this way. The time in a child’s life where they show love without worrying who’s watching is so short. I’m going to enjoy every second of it.