Have you read the book "The Five Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman? The book and subsequent books for kids, teens, and others- are excellent. Definitely worth the read, or at least knowing and understanding the concepts of the book.
In the books, the idea is that love languages generally don't change. I'm no PhD, but I would say that's probably true....except during early parenthood. This season of life is entirely different from the rest of adulthood. In this alternate universe filled with diapers and toys and tantrums, very different things fill the love tank.
Quality alone time
Like fully, actually alone. Minus husband and children. Minus hearing husband and children. All by the lonesome self. For most moms, this is a really rare treat. If it includes chocolate, sushi, a good book, a journal, great music—pick your favorite- basically heaven.
Food I don't have to cook
Delivered food. Takeout. Free meals. Gifted groceries. A personal chef. Anything that keeps me from planning what to put in my mouth and the mouths of those I feed- I need this.
We don’t need to go crazy here and actually put on a swipe of makeup. I just mean, you know, shaving legs, time to put on deodarent, perhaps some eyebrow tweezing. The things that make one feel less milking cow and more human. Showers are WAY up there on the list, from what I hear from other mommas. Long hot showers are a win for everyone, everywhere, anytime.
We need friends who get it. We need mothers and mothers in law who know when to come help and when to leave. Friends who don’t mind seeing a bit of boob or overflowing bathroom trash or nether region creams. Friends who come over not to talk, but to take care of you by sending you to bed and cleaning your house and bringing you sushi. If you get it-- like, really get it so we don't have to say I am exhausted and I need you to not make me sit up and talk to you and offer you something to drink....please come to my house and take care of me... this is love.
Words of Encouragement
Anything said that might give the general 'You are awesome' vibe. Actually saying "You are awesome" totally works too. Other examples: You’re a warrior, we love you, we miss seeing you at work, you are doing this, you’re doing great, hang in there...
This is love to a new momma. Really. In a world of lots of judgement- on account of how our children behave, how we look, how our houses look, what we're doing with our lives, how long it takes us to be "back to normal" (HA! What the heck is that?!)... The judgements- and self-judgements- can get pretty overwhelming.
Something to note: combining the above love languages makes you a New Momma Hero. Seriously. Go ahead and love on the new momma in your life by bringing food, giving quality alone time, personal maintenance time, understanding, and words of encouragement. You can guarantee you're speaking her language.
What's your love language in postpartum?