All Touched Out
I’m all touched out.
You see… Xaryah is a little over a year and has started this “I only want mommy” phase. Yup! THAT phase. This can be a blessing or a curse depending on the timing and who you ask (don’t ask her dad) but for me, I feel like my personal space is not mine anymore and it's definitely more draining that anything else.
This feeling is a normal part of motherhood but it's not something that is discussed alot. I mean... Come on! How dare you complain about your child trusting and loving you completely every single minute of every single day. That's the beauty of motherhood right?? How dare you crave body autonomy?! Lol! Sighhhh...
So what is being touched out? Being touched out is basically a form of sensory overload; you feel completely saturated with physical touch to the point where one more attempt at physicality feels like it might push you over the edge (it doesn't matter who that physical touch comes from; it can even be from your spouse/partner). It's overwhelming, exhausting and can cause extreme anxiety and stress. If you're breastfeeding, being touched out can be a daily experience and for me, that added to the phase I explained above, made me feel like running for the hills a couple times.
Oh! and this feeling has absolutely nothing to do with not having your village's support. Actually, there were a couple times when I carried Xary by my parents to give both myself and Leroy a break, but she cried and complained so much, my mom guilt kicked in and I ended up just bringing her back with me, feeling completely defeated.
So, how do I cope with being touched out?
Honestly, it's kind of been a touch and go (get it? *giggles*) with my coping mechanisms.
On one hand, I may want a hug or a massage (sounds counterproductive for someone who is fed up of being touched ent? Lol!) Sometimes, I may just put Xary in her crib to play or read while I sit on her bed and exist. Other times, I may just want to be completely left alone. Literally touch and/or go! Lol! Other than that, what has been working consistently for me though is the time I take to go for a walk on evenings and practice yoga. It gives me time away from Xary which I'm grateful for (no offense kid) and I get to breathe, clear my thoughts and get my blood flowing.
Sidenote: I must say though, because I know it affects many other mothers too; I really need to work on communicating when I'm feeling touched out. The mom guilt really settles in when I feel this way and I only complain when I've reached my absolute limit... and it really shouldn't be that way. Communicating efficiently from the onset of this feeling will show my baby girl (who is constantly looking on, learning and sometimes mimicking me) how to effectively manage boundaries as it relates to my body - something all females should learn from young.
Moms, it's ok to feel tapped out of providing love, affection and physical comfort to others. It's ok to ask for a little space. We love our babies! We love our physical contact with them and gain so much from it... but sometimes, we also crave our body autonomy... and we shouldn't feel guilty because of it!