Coping with Motherhood: Overcoming the Feeling of Being "Touched Out"
Motherhood is a beautiful journey filled with love, joy, and cherished moments. However, it can also be overwhelming and emotionally draining at times. One of these struggles is the feeling of being "touched out." Have you experienced it? Wondered why it happens? Read on to understand what it means to be "touched out," how it can impact your life and relationships, and most importantly, how to overcome it.
What does it mean to be a "touched out" mum?
Being "touched out" refers to the overwhelming sensation when our senses are overloaded from the constant demands placed on them. It's the feeling of being claustrophobic, agitated, on edge, and frustrated. Sometimes, it can even lead to explosive outbursts of anger or an emotional shutdown.
As mums, we are constantly overloaded by the demands of caring for our babies, toddlers, and young children. It's not just one sense being used, but multiple senses simultaneously. For instance, a child tugging at your clothes while shouting "mum" and trying to show you something can overload your senses.
For breastfeeding mums and new mums, the constant physical contact with their babies can make them feel like their bodies no longer belong to them. This loss of ownership over our bodies, coupled with the lack of personal space and the continuous noise of children crying, shouting, and noisy toys, can create a huge amount of strain. It can lead to resentment, frustration, and feel like a fizzy pop bottle ready to explode.
Signs of feeling like a "touched out" mum
Avoiding physical contact with anyone
Feeling discomfort when people are in your personal space
Being constantly on edge
Snapping quickly at those around you
Experiencing fatigue and brain fog
Difficulty thinking clearly
Feeling "touched out" is your body's way of telling you that it is under stress and needs a break. Ignoring it can have a significant impact on your mental well-being and your relationships with your family.
How does feeling "touched out" impact your relationship with your partner?
Motherhood can profoundly affect our relationships with our partners for various reasons. Feeling "touched out" can make it challenging to desire physical closeness with your partner, and it can be difficult for them to understand. When you are already in constant physical contact with your children, the last thing you may want is another person making demands on your touch. It is important to communicate with your partner, explaining that it is not rejection, but rather, your need for personal space.
How to overcome feeling like a "touched out" mum
Firstly, lets let go of any guilt you may feel. As mothers, we often blame ourselves for not enjoying every moment of motherhood or for not being the "Super Mum" we think we should be. This guilt drives us to put everyone else's needs before our own. However, feeling "touched out" is your body's way of urging you to prioritise your self-care. It's time to give yourself some much needed sensory rest.
Find a quiet space where you can be alone, even if it's just for five minutes. Allow yourself that time to sit in silence, take deep breaths, and enjoy your own company.
If you have a baby, ask someone else to hold them or place them in a pram, moses basket, or crib for a few minutes. For toddlers and older children, consider using screen time as a way to gain a few minutes of space.
Journaling can be a powerful tool to free up headspace and release the emotions building up inside.
Make time for yourself. It could be taking a soothing bath, indulging in some aromatherapy pampering, or going for a walk. Even a brief moment away from everyone can help you refocus and recharge.
Remember, it's okay to feel "touched out" and to prioritise your own well-being. By taking care of yourself, you'll ultimately become a happier mum and partner.