Having a baby changes everything, so it's typical to feel like a completely different person postpartum. It can be hard to see how those changes are affecting you, though, especially when you're preoccupied with caring for a newborn. Don't get me wrong, I loved the snuggles, but when my partner came home I wanted to hand him the baby and hide in our bedroom for the rest of the night. In other words, I was touched out. I just didn't know it. Thankfully, there are signs you're "touched out" that your partner can be on the lookout for. After all, you deserve all the support you can get.
According to Postpartum Progress the feeling of being “touched out” at the end of what is probably a very long day caring for a baby or toddler is normal and relatively common among new parents. But sometimes you have no idea that it's happening. Instead, you just feel "wrong," completely burned out, or not like yourself. As Carolyn Wagner, MA, LPC, a Chicago-area therapist specializing in maternal mental health, explains in Mother.ly, that's because the feeling of being touched out actually has little to do with being touched. Instead, it's more about having a new baby that is dependent on you for everything. For some moms, being touched out is also a warning alarm that they need a break, some self-care, or to be touched in a way that's not related to keeping another human being alive. For others, it can manifest itself into a deep desire to not want to be touched by anyone, including a romantic partner. Unfortunately, it can be hard to understand what's happening, especially when you feel like you are supposed to enjoy every moment of being a mom.
If your partner is showing signs of being "touched out," it might be time for a gentle conversation about it. They might not realize it, but the mom in your life could need your help.