For many moms, one of the hardest parts of motherhood—especially in the baby/toddler years when there’s always one sucking on your boob and another crawling in your lap or asking you to wipe their butt—is the feeling of being touched out. The complete absence of personal space and body autonomy can wreak havoc on your psyche. And then, once you finally get all the tiny people asleep in their tiny beds, your partner wants to paw at you and expects affection from you too.
It. Never. Ends.
Does this sound familiar? Are you fantasizing about driving to the middle of a field where no one can find you just so you can actually be alone? Do you dream of someday being alone in a tiny house with just your books, your comfy slippers, and your thoughts? No? Just me? Cool.
Because TBH, the “touched out” part of motherhood—particularly in the beginning when I had three babies in five years—was beyond taxing. We need to talk about this more. We already address breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding and vaginal births vs. c-sections and stay-at-home moms vs. moms who work outside of the home. We talk about all the things, but does anyone warn us that we won’t have any personal space—like EVER—for years? That all the jokes about locking ourselves in the pantry (hahahahaha, *cries*) actually reflect our real lives because we are so fucking desperate to not have another human clinging to our body? That being touched out is really hard on a relationship?
It’s real—this feeling. It’s common and normal, but we need to talk about it. We need to talk about how to carve out alone time for ourselves so that next time the baby needs to eat and the toddler needs a snuggle and your partner needs some physical contact, you’ve filled your cup a little so you can give your family what they need. Because when you’re touched out, there’s nothing left to give.
This pandemic is exhausting me , I am hitting lower points and they're more then I could ever have imagined. I dont want to keep going , I don't want to look after anyone else. I am touched out and need a break from everything.
I cringe when my husband and children touch me. I cannot stand being touched after a year of being everyone’s rock.
I want to be affectionate and emotionally available to my kids, but between a year of being home with them (virtual learning), WFH, and DH hardly being home (and him not pitching in when he is), I'm touched out. I can't pour from an empty cup.
On top of all the normal challenges of mothering babies and toddlers and desperately needing personal space and alone time, a pandemic hit. And we couldn’t leave the house or meet friends for coffee or bring the kids to Grandma’s house for over a year. Because of Covid, we are touched out more than ever before, and at (or beyond) our breaking point.
I am a mom, I hate being touched, I do not like to cuddle and I miss my alone time. I didn’t know this about myself before having kids
One day I will miss that she wants to climb into my lap all the time, but right now I’m touched out and want to eat dinner with my husband without being screamed at by a toddler.
My children and my boyfriend want my attention but I’m so tired, stressed, and touched out that I just want to scream at them to leave me alone. As the breadwinner I feel I deserve to sleep more than four hours at a time.
In the 90s I took some online purity test as a young teen and cringed when it asked if I'd ever eaten on the toilet. It seemed SO gross. Now I'm so exhausted and touched out that I'd eat a sandwich in the shower to be alone (and have).
Moms of young children know this feeling all too well. We don’t get to go the bathroom alone. We don’t get to shower alone. We don’t get to sleep alone. There. Is. Always. Someone. There.
I can't stand being touched when I'm trying to sleep & H is a fucking cuddler. So, I lay in bed most nights ragey & awake with a heavy-ass arm draped over me because apparently his comfort matters more than mine does. I hate him.
H feels it’s appropriate to make side comments about lack of bjs &sex casually in front our other couple friends and wonders why I don’t want to be touched or hit on w/comments like a horny fuckin teenager. Grow up, Sayin I wanna do you isn’t a turn on
SO is always pawing at me. It makes me anxious that I can’t just sit or lay peacefully without being touched or felt up. When I express this, he feels rejected. I’m starting to associate his touch with annoyance.
I'm tired of being grabbed & groped all the time. This man acts like a stupid horny teenaged boy who has never touched a tit before, and I'm sick of it. I wish he would grow the fuck up.
And it’s apparently not enough that the kids climb all over us and invade our personal space every second they’re awake. Then we have partners who do it too. Seriously bruh, GTFO. Stop grabbing our asses and grabbing our boobs. We just want to read our books, watch our “Handmaid’s Tale”, and go to sleep. None of that involves you, mkay?
I hate sex. There I said it. I have a 2 & 4 yo. I don't want to be touched. I don't want to be groped. What I want is for you to do the dishes, laundry and vacuuming. I don't want to hold your hand and tell you what needs to be done. Just fucking do it.
Yes, darling, you work hard and are tired when you get home. But you have coworkers, get breaks and *get to leave your work AT WORK*. I don’t - I’m on the job 24/7 with no breaks and no help. I’m touched out. Be more helpful at home so I don’t go insane.
In a bad mood today (dog dying, no sleep, touched out, no hot water) and I have to spend the whole day home with my family. I laid awake in bed last night stressing about it. I don’t want to bite someone’s head off and spend all week making up for it.
I really do love my husband, but he is SO physically and emotionally clingy. Sometimes I just don't want to be touched or talked to and he doesn't get it - yet when he wants HIS space, I have to respect it at all costs. He doesn't see the double standard.
And our families, honestly, don’t get it. They don’t understand because they’re not living it. Until you’ve pushed out babies, nursed babies, stayed up all night with babies, changed diapers all day and night, breastfed a baby while holding up a toddler on the toilet, read 900 stories, did 900 puzzles, and wiped peanut butter and jelly off tiny faces 900 times, you don’t know. Because even then, after you’ve done all the things and try to escape, they find you. They always fucking find you—whether it’s in the bathroom, or the pantry, or as you desperately try to escape for a MNO. They cling to your legs, beg to be held, and cry and make you feel like shit for being away from them for even one minute.
No one knows “touched out” like a mom of littles. So partners, if you’re feeling a little neglected or rejected by the woman in your life living this reality, try to put yourself in her shoes. Then do the dishes, do a load of laundry, and send her away to a hotel for a long weekend. THAT is what she needs—not a boob grab. Trust us.