As annoying as it probably is to hear (let alone read) I can't say that my partner and I argue on a frequent basis. For the most part, we're both on the same metaphorical page and view things the same way and have the same beliefs, so it's relatively easy for us to come together and raise our son as a team. However, that doesn't mean we're immune to fighting. In fact, the most ridiculous fights I've had with my partner were because I was touched out, and he was trying to do something nice that involved his skin touching my skin.
Looking back, I can say with relative certainty that these "fights" weren't fair in the slightest. Just like I was attempting to adjust to and figure out this whole "mom thing," my partner was trying to figure out fatherhood while simultaneously trying to learn how to best support me, as a new mom. However, I'll say it wasn't really fair that I was the one that had to deal with all the dramatic, physical changes that facilitate parenthood, either. I mean, my body went through a brutal 40 or more weeks, and then a brutal postpartum recovery process. So, parenthood is just tough all the way around, and it takes a while for any woman to feel like she has complete ownership of her body after it's been invaded by a growing fetus, and it takes a while for any partner of that woman to learn how to best support her through that process.
Which is why the following "fights" occurred. Sure, they're hilarious now that time has done the dirty work and smoothed out all the rough edges post-pregnancy life provides, but in the moment I was pissed. Pissed, you guys. Pissed that I didn't like being touched by anyone other than my baby. Pissed that my partner wanted to touch me because, you know, he's my partner. Pissed that sometimes helping me with a task made physical touch necessary. Mostly, though, I was pissed that I didn't feel in control of my own body and couldn't get a handle on my damn hormones. Aww, motherhood. It's just the best, right?
My Partner Tried To Wipe A Booger Off My Nose
Usually, I appreciate the nice "you have a booger on your face, let me save you from inevitable humiliation" gesture, but not when I'm touched out. My poor, trying-to-be-helpful partner had no idea what was coming.
He reached to snag the rogue snot-rocket, only to be scolded for always trying to "fix me." Clearly, my face needed some fungus fixing, but I was too touched out to appreciate the sentiment.
My Partner Tried To Help Me Put My Coat On
I took this as a personal affront to my capabilities as a parent, a woman and a human being. Clearly, I can put my jacket on by myself thank you very much. I don't need someone to help me, and I especially don't need assistance when it means someone else has to physically put their hands on me. Yes, even if that "someone" is the father of my child and someone I intend on staying committed to and whose hands I usually don't mind being on me. Like, at all.
What made this particular argument all the more ridiculous, is that my partner does helps me with my coat all the time. When I'm running out the front door on my way to work, my partner usually grabs my coat and throws it on me while giving me a hurried kiss. It's adorable. It's one of our little "things." It's something I really like. Well, when I'm not touched out, of course.
My Partner Offered To Bottle Feed The Baby Some Pumped Breast Milk
Co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand are easily the two main culprits that contributed to me feeling so touched out. However, I didn't want to stop either and actually loved breastfeeding and co-sleeping. So, when my partner offered to help by bottle feeding our son some breast milk I had pumped, I lost it.
Clearly, he was trying to do something really nice and thoughtful (that would have allowed me to enjoy a few minutes alone and without a mini-human attached to my body) but I took it as my partner not supporting my breastfeeding efforts. Can I blame this one on sleep depravation? OK cool, I'm blaming this one on sleep depravation.
My Partner Tried To Put A Blanket On Me When I Was Cold
I know, I know. How dare he, right? It was the beginning of winter and we had yet to turn on our heat, but it was relatively cold outside which meant it was relatively cold inside our tiny apartment. I was wearing a sweatshirt and sweats and already had a blanket over me, but was complaining about the cold regardless. To help alleviate the situation and make me more comfortable, my partner took another blanket form our bed and threw it on me. I was fine, until his hand grazed my leg and then, well, I just lost it.
I honestly can't tell you why, other than the undeniable fact that when I was touched out, I had this instantaneous reaction to someone touching me when that someone wasn't my baby. I could handle my kid breastfeeding or snuggling next to me or grabbing on to me, but it seemed like that was all I could handle. Anything else would push me over the edge. So something as small as an accidental graze by someone trying to do something nice, drove me crazy.
My partner deserves all the medals.
My Partner Tried To Hug Me After I Had A Particularly Difficult Day
Yeah, hugs and kisses and pats on the back and anything else a non-hormonal, not-touched out, not-postpartum person would consider normal displays of affection, were off-limits.
It's safe to say that we weren't really having any postpartum sex, you guys.
My Partner Tried To Cover My Rogue Boob Up With My Shirt
When you're sleep deprived and breastfeeding and just trying to keep your head above water, it's not uncommon for a boob to go rogue. Honestly, I didn't really notice (and when I did, I didn't care). I was popping my boobs out of my shirt in an effort to either feed or comfort my newborn on a very regular basis, so whether or not I had the mental ability to remember to put my boob back in said shirt was a toss up. Some days I did, other days the UPS delivery guy got a show.
So, when my partner noticed my boob was hanging out of my shirt after a breastfeeding session, and offered to "put it back" for me, I didn't consider his offer to be a kind gesture. Instead, I assumed he thought I wasn't being "chaste" or "discreet," which meant he thought there was something innately bad about a breast or using it to feed another human being. I really fell down the metaphorical rabbit hole with this one.
My Partner Tried To Pick A Piece Of Food Off My Shirt
I can't remember if I was upset because my partner was going to touch me, or because he was going to eat a piece of food that I was clearly saving it for later.
As an exhausted, constantly hungry new mom that needed every ounce of energy her body could produce, I'd have to say this argument had less to do with being touched out, and more to do with someone trying to steal my food.
Basically, My Partner Tried To Touch Me In A Really Helpful, Kind And Caring Manner, And I Wasn't About It
Bodily autonomy is hard to come by when you're pregnant, postpartum, a mother of a toddler or just (and sadly, to say the least) a woman in general. I'm constantly fighting for moments when I feel like my body is mine, and only mine. Being touched out made that fight pretty damn difficult, which wasn't my partner's fault or my baby's fault or my fault. In the end, having another human being touch my skin on a regular basis was one of those adjustments that made motherhood, for me, pretty difficult to get used to.
Thankfully, I had a partner who understood that I really just wanted to feel in complete control of my body again. Thankfully, my partner was there through a difficult pregnancy and a traumatic labor and delivery, so he knew why I didn't want to be touched. Thankfully, he dealt with these ridiculous — but pretty damn understandable, if you ask me — arguments, because feeling touched out doesn't last forever. Thankfully.