7 Things To Know About Being Touched Out, Other Than It's Normal

Ad failed to load

Your partner walks in at the end of the day and puts their arm around you, looking for a little physical affection after a day of running around. You instinctively recoil and move away from their touch as quickly as possible. If this sounds familiar, there’s a good chance you’re feeling “touched out.” And although this is a totally normal feeling, there are some things to know about feeling “touched out” that will help you and your partner deal with it.

For starters, what does being “touched out” mean? It means that you’ve spent so much time in physical contact with another human, providing affection and care, that the thought of any more touching makes you retch. It’s something that new parents are especially prone to, as small children are all-consuming and need both your mental and physical attention.

My child , for example, prefers to sit directly on my chest while we’re on the couch watching TV, and she must be in my arms while I cook our entire dinner.Plus, we’re still nursing, so she’s constantly putting her hands in my shirt. By the time my husband gets home and leans in for a kiss and a playful grope, it’s the last thing in the world I want. It’s nothing personal, though it may feel that way to him, but the truth is that I just can’t handle any more touching.

Ad failed to load

Having an understanding of what being touched out is and why it happens can help you cope with it, and can help you avoid having it turn into a fight between you and your partner. Here are just a few things to know about this all-too-common emotion.

Ad failed to load

1It’s Totally Normal

GIPHY

The feeling of wanting to not be touched when you have a child hanging from you 24 hours per day is super common. This can be exacerbated for parents who are nursing, co-sleeping, and staying home with their kids during the day. I think all parents have experienced this at some point.

2It Doesn’t Make You A Bad Mom

Giphy

As parents — and particularly moms — it’s easy to feel guilty about almost everything. Feeling like you just want your kid to get the hell off of you does not mean you are a cold, uncaring parent. It means you’re a human being who needs and deserves personal space. Everyone needs to breathe sometimes, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love or cherish your kid.

3It Doesn’t Make You A Bad Partner

GIPHY

You cannot be everything for everyone, and often, when you’re giving a lot in one area, it takes away from what you can give in another. So when your young child is requiring a lot of your time and affection, your partner may receive less of that affection. That’s OK. Relationships ebb and flow, and you are not a bad partner because you can’t drop everything to meet their physical needs at that moment.

Ad failed to load

4It’s OK To Seek Out Some Alone Time (If You Can)

GIPHY

You’re allowed to take care of yourself. In fact, you should take care of yourself. If there isn’t someone you can hand the kids off to, you don’t have to be above locking yourself in the bathroom for five minutes. Giving yourself the space to breathe and recovery will make you a better, more patient parent when you walk back out the door and into the arms of your waiting child.

5It Doesn’t Mean You’ve Lost Interest In Your Partner

GIPHY

Although it is common for libido to drop in the year following childbirth, a low libido or lack of interest in sex may not be the only reason you’re avoiding getting it on with your partner. The feeling of being touched out can make sex seem like the most unpleasant thought in the world, and it can be easy for your partner to take it personally or think you’ve lost interest in them. But being touched out has nothing to do with how into your partner you are. It’s about the need that all humans have for bodily autonomy. Since you can’t control how and when your child needs or touches you, it’s common to exert control over being touched where you can — and often that’s in the ability to tell your partner not to touch you.

6It’s Important To Seek Out Ways To Create Emotional Space — Not Just Physical Space

GIPHY

Although being physically needed all the time can be exhausting and can make you feel claustrophobic, it can take a toll emotionally, too. If you were someone who experienced repeated physical boundary violations as a child, the experience of being touched out can be extremely triggering or can bring back familiar and unpleasant feelings. Finding the space to not just physically separate, but emotionally decompress and regroup as well, is crucial.

Ad failed to load

7It’s Won’t Last Forever

GIPHY

On the one hand, the feeling of being touched out can feel like it will never, ever go away while you’re in it. On the other hand, those perpetually optimistic parents on the message boards have a point when they say that one day you’ll miss having a kid who actually wants and needs to touch you. The reality is somewhere in between those two places. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and exhausted while you’re raising very small people who need you all the time. But it’s true that it is temporary, and eventually, it will be a phase that you look back on with nostalgia — and maybe a little gratitude for the fact that it’s over.

Images:astrosystem/Fotolia; Giphy (7)

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}