Hi friends! Today I’m doing a post I haven’t done in some time – a Thinking Out Loud post! This is one of those random bit that I started writing for my own benefit way too late and then decided that I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Sometimes it can be empowering to hear that other people feel the same way you do!
I was never the kind of person who liked being touched – I truly enjoy my personal space. With the exception of my parents and brother, I just never felt the need to be touchy feely. In fact, my dad once had a girlfriend who called herself a ‘hugger’ and I think one of the reasons I never really warmed to her was because she was super touchy feely.
While I’ve grown out of the extreme awkwardness of it, I still value my personal space. I’ve learned ways to work with it, how to prepare myself for family affairs when hugs and kisses are unavoidable, how to express that it’s not personal – I just need space. If I don’t listen to myself, the anxiety linked to it can be overwhelming.
It was all working fine and dandy for me – until I had kids. Because explaining to two children under the age of 3 that mommy just really needs personal space right now and would rather not be touched is kind of impossible.
The reality is, as moms we have little people all over us all day – crawling on us, sitting on us, wiping stuff on us, asking for hugs and kisses, begging to be picked up, nursing – children crave that personal touch to create bonds with the people in their lives. Add in exhaustion, body changes, and stress and it can be even worse. To someone who gets overwhelmed by too much touching and not enough personal space, it can be suffocating once you hit your ‘too much’ point.
I know I can’t be the only mom struggling with this – a deep love for your children, an overwhelming anxiety when you’re “touched out”, and children too young to explain it to. But the reality is that it can feel like such an isolated emotion – head to Instagram or Facebook and you’ll see photos of moms happily cuddling and holding their children, captions proclaiming, “I could cuddle these kids all day!” Meanwhile, I’m sitting here like, oh my goodness, please just leave me alone. The mom guilt kicks in hard. This isn’t to say I don’t love hugging and holding my boys. It’s just that sometimes, the often non-stop nature of it can be overwhelming.
And then, feel free to top that off with some good old ‘wife guilt’, if such a thing exists – my poor husband waits all day for the kids to go to bed so we can spend 5 minutes alone and I’m holed up on the other side of the couch for an hour or two, trying to chill by myself. (That’s if I don’t just pass out because let’s be honest, you put me on a couch past 8 pm and I’m probably falling asleep.) I have to explain to him that I am just all touched out for the moment – it’s nothing personal, I just need some space.
To some, this might sound like a weird rant, but if you’re in the same position as me, I’m here to say: I feel you momma. (but not really – I respect your personal space.) It’s a hard, odd thing to express, and it can sometimes feel selfish or embarrassing. My advice is to just learn your triggers, figure out what to do when you’re at your breaking point, and lock the bathroom door. (No, really – it helps!)
Okay, so tell me – do you ever get ‘touched out’? Are you a touchy feely person, or do you like your space? Let me know in the comments!