Space Please! How To Manage That Feeling Of Being "Touched Out"

Oh hey there, super mam. When’s the last time you peed alone? Or took a bath that didn’t involve a member of your family absolutely needing to poo while you were in there?

Can’t remember when? No, us neither. Being a mam is very much a contact sport. Being "touched out" involves the little people in your life being either attached to you, sitting on you, talking at you, pulling at you, flinging things in your hair and, in lots of cases, puking on you.

Physical space is rarely possible and while we love the endless buckets of hugs and kisses, high-fives and hand-holding that comes from being a mam, sometimes we really need some space.

It’s not personal. It’s just that we sometimes reach a "touching overload" or, a "peak mauling" if you will. We can be at complete capacity for the feel of another touch to our skin after tolerating an entire afternoon of a toddler repeatedly standing on our feet!

In the States, feeling "touched out" is a hot topic of conversation right now. Lots of mams are talking about the negative impact this feeling is having on their relationships and marriages. After a full-on day of being a very hands-on mam (and how can you possibly not be?!), these mums are saying they literally cannot cope with their other half wanting to touch them too.

Primarily, it relates to mums who are breastfeeding and whose bodies are very much in demand, but also to mams who have demanding kids of any age too. And the result is; partners feel rejected and don’t know what to do.

So what can you do if you are feeling too "touched out" and in need of lots of space? Here are some ideas to help remedy the situation.

More touch

I know this sounds counter-productive, but it’s the right kind of touching that you need. We are talking a massage, a pedicure, maybe even just a very long hug (with no strings attached!) or, my fave, a lie down while someone just strokes my hair. Very calming!

Take some time

When you need alone time but feel like you can’t get it, you have to find a way. Ask someone to help for an hour and take that walk, nap or bath. Stick the earphones in, block out everything else and just take that important downtime for yourself.

Talk it out

Things most definitely change when kids come along and it continues to develop as time goes on. If your feelings have become negative and are having an impact on your general happiness, you need to talk it out. Choose your most trusted source; your partner, friend, family or GP.  The longer it goes on, the harder it is to rectify. So make your happiness your priority as soon as possible.

Sharyn Hayden

Sharyn is the author of comedy smash, 'I Forgot to Take My Pill!' (Amazon) and mammy to two amazing kids, Jacob and Eva. She blogs at and is the creator of Skinny Batch Bakery in North Co. Dublin.

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