Touched out is a feeling many moms feel, but it can come with guilt and anxiety. Keep reading to learn what it means to be touched out as a mom and ways to overcome this feeling.
As someone who isn’t a huge fan of physical touch, becoming a mom was a bit, well, complicated for me.
I love cuddling my kids. Let me say that now and say it loud.
But the constant touching, especially when you are breastfeeding a baby and have cuddly kids? It’s touch.
What does it mean to be “Touched Out”?
It can feek different for every person
Generally speaking, it’s a feeling of mom overwhelm (or me, it’s similar to anxiety or claustrophobia) when you’ve been experiencing excessive amount of physical contact and a lack of personal space.
Why do moms experience this?
This constant contact is often unavoidable when you have young kids. Kids crave and need touch and engagement with their parents and caregivers and tend to show affection through touch and contact.
But for a parent doing the majority of the in-person caregiving (typically mothers) from 6 am to 8 pm, it can be overwhelming. In fact, a study in 2018 found that parents on average get 32 minutes of alone time each day.
So the problem starts to morph into a new contrived version of mom guilt. Being touched after an extended time is emotionally exhausting, but you feel guilt because it’s what your kids want and need.
How to solve the problem
Just because we’re mothers does not mean we need to sacrifice mental and emotional health at all times. When we’re feeling touched out it’s generally a symptom of a larger issue of parenting burnout and overwhelm. Here are some ways to overcome.
TALK TALK TALK
Talk to your partner. If you’re a SAHM and your partner is at work most of hte day, let them know you need some alone time to decompress.
This not only benefits you and your children, but also your partner. Chances are if you’re touched out by your children, you don’t crave touch from your partner either.
Talk with your kids
If your children are old enough, talk to thme about boundaries, personal space, and consent.
This doesn’t have to be telling them never to hug you, buddle you, etc. But to be able to tell them that you need some personal space for a bit. Not only will it help you, but it can help to teach kiddos about personal space.
Create safe spaces
This is especially imporant for babies. My oldest had terrible colic and he wanted to be held ALL THE TIME. Some times I just needed to create a safe place for him to hang out alone.
A pack and play wiht toys for them to play with, a bouncer, or a Jumperoo are great options to buy some no touch time.
Take a break
If all else fails and you’re at the end of your rope, put the kids somewhere safe and go in another room for 10 minutes or so. They will be fine.
If you’re touched out and it’s effecting your mental health, it is imperative to solve or ease the problem. It will make your whole parenting life healthier and ease so much stress.
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I can SO relate to this; it’s nice to know I’m not alone!
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
I definitely also need my space. I don’t like unnecessary touching of random people and even family members sometimes. I have found though that for me personally my husband cuddling or touching me doesnt bother me in the same way. I’m hoping that means my kids will also have this effect. I do know that I need to hide and everyone needs to leave me alone sometimes though–I will be on team leave me a alone I’m sure on many days to come haha!
I FEEL you on this one. I’ve got three kids under five and they are all over me all the time. My oldest has special needs and is in a wheelchair, so I am physically his mover and shaker…I can’t tell him I need five minutes when he needs to be moved from couch to chair or can’t reach a toy. And my toddler twins are…toddlers…and insane. So most of the time I’ve got snot and food on me. I thought I was affectionate before kids, but I think it’s retreated from over-use. And the husband thing, yes. He gets it, but it still makes me feel terrible (but not terrible enough to give up my personal space).
I am a touchy person, but even I get overwhelmed by the non-stop kid touching. Especially when you have a nursing baby, it can be so hard to find time where you’re not attached to another person…who wants something from you. Kids are great, but this is definitely one more unique challenge they bring.
Crystal Green says
I completely understand where you’re coming from. Other than my husband, I’m not a huge fan of being touched. I can’t get enough of being touched by my husband, but when other’s want it, I like my distance. I am eager my for my five years old to get out of the wanting to be attached stage. There are still days when I like to cuddle with my kids, but they are rare.
This was a great post to read. I’m glad you decided to share your thoughts with us.