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13 Responses to How to Deal With Feeling Touched Out

  1. jane

    Hmmm, this is very interesting. My little boy is 7 and has autism. He was diagnosed at 2 and I made a decision then to keep him by me as much as I could. I didn’t want him sitting stimming in the corner all day so bought a sling/hip seat thingy and carried him with me. He also sleeps with me and I sometimes feel this “touched out’ feeling. Like being drained by a vampire 🙂 When I feel overwhelmed (when he’s all over me with his sharp little elbows and knees!) I have him sit or lie down and we play a game where I pretend to be a baby and I put my head in his lap – he then peers at me and laughs and touches my face. Another thing we do is lie end to end with just our heads touching. This way I don’t have the overwhelming feeling of being mauled 🙂 But on the whole I LOVE the fact that my supposedly aloof child who ‘shouldn’t’ like being touched is soooo connected with me x

  2. Emily Bartnikowski  

    This is a great article! Also, I have just had it confirmed that shortly after that picture was taken, I escaped into a warm bath for about twenty minutes and emerged refreshed. Luckily, my sick baby slept through the whole thing 🙂

  3. Natalie P.  

    Wow, this is just perfect timing. Just a week ago I was posting about being touched out, and here you are, writing about how to handle the feelings!

  4. Jessie

    Great article. I’ve got a husband, a 4 month old and a sick mother in law who are either demanding my attention, or leaving a war path in my house that demands my attention. My husband is having a VERY difficult time understanding this concept of being ‘touched-out’, needing mom time, and not immediately responding to the new sounds my son has discovered he can make.

  5. Kong Choon Yen

    Thanks for sharing. I do feel overwhelm at time when my sons become so clingy to me. Hope to come back to this blog again. Great info not to be missed.

  6. Crystal

    I have two super-clingy kids. I am SO touched out, especially because our daughter (adopted, and has been with us for 3 years) has an, ahem, *innappropriate attachment style*…and trying to teach her appropriate methods of affection (at already 7!) is draining the life out of me. My husband does NOT get it (but to be fair…she’s only ‘weird’ with me…and I have my own issues with this topic already). I have a therapist, a support group, and anxiety meds…but it’s the day-to-day that makes me feel ill and wasted. DCF did not know this was part of her history. 🙁

    • Amy  

      Crystal, it sounds like you’re surrounding yourself with support and the day-to-day is really getting to you. Feeling touched out and frustrated with the needs of our children can take its toll. I’m curious about any trauma in you or your daughter’s past. Sometimes issues from the past surface in the parent-child relationship and it can be disconcerting. If any of this applies, you might benefit from reading the book Healing Trauma by Peter Levine. It’s short and there are some practical exercises that may help. Take gentle care.

  7. crystal

    Thank you, Amy!

  8. Bradley

    Well maybe husbands can also get advice. We have 3 children. Our daughter is 8, is a talkative very loud uninhibited girl, our 4yr old son is quite opposite in ways. He has a develolmental delay that affects his speech & understanding so as a result he is much more independent in terms of being able to get himself food and a drink or operate the tv or DVD player because he has trouble communicating what he wants. Then we have a 4 month old boy that is breast fed. My wife sent me this article & while i understand it to a degree i find other parts hard to get. I sleep in the same room as baby not her she sleeps alone in the bedroom. I bring baby to her if he wakes up. He pretty much sleeps through the night for the last month or so. She goes to work out at the gym 3-4 days a week as time to herself which she enjoys. I have a nanny/housekeeper come 3 days a week for 3 hours to help her in any way she wants. Yet i feel neglected and she says she loves me but needs her space or is tired & frustrated with having the kids all day. I feel she doesn’t miss me. When i come home i immediately get changed and start helping with homework or baths or holding baby or getting kids tucked in. What she says would be most helpful. Yet come our time, it is either left out or cut down to a minimum to where she gets a massage while we watch part of a show and then she wants to go to bed. Yet she has time to message people on Facebook including another guy that I’ve found flirting with her. I feel like i am just a chore on the list and i guess i don’t get why after being with kids all day why you wouldn’t welcome your hubby with open arms longing for adult company. I compliment her & try to do whatever i can for her but i feel she should want to be around me, especially seeing i pull my weight & even cook supper or sometimes order out when i know she has had a tough day. However nobody says anything about the husband but that they don’t get it. Well we work hard during the day, shop for the home, look after kids too. The good ones dont come home and check out. They come & help get kids supper & to bed, get themselves supper many times and even lately cook for their wives. So when do they get their turn. They are up from 6:30am to get both kids to school while wife only had to feed baby at 7am and got to go back to sleep. We have to go to work. Then at 6-7pm when we get home hungry & tired we help with kids and supper then hold a fussy baby while she is getting her time in the gym to get her frustration out & recharge while we dont have boobs so no way to calm baby but rock him & sing & when that stops working we just have to deal. Then after massaging her and maybe getting 15-30 min if he’s lucky he goes to the couch. Sorry but it works both ways. Any husband that came home after a hard days work & is stressed and yet if he comes in, expects food on the table & then sits on the couch & checks out in front of the tv for the next 2 hours he would be labeled asshole of the year. Sorry i know you will not like me but when does the spouse count.

    • Amy Phoenix

      Hi Bradley, I’m really hearing that you are trying to be understanding, accommodating and helpful in regards to your partner feeling touched out and yet you have needs also that you’d like to discuss. I commend you for coming to read, and for commenting. The willingness to keep the conversation going with your partner may help you both come to more mutual understanding as well as solutions.

      As a response to your question about where husbands fit in, I think the first step is both parties working to be honest and willing to communicate and get support if needed. I don’t know all of what your partner is dealing with, and there aren’t really any “should’s” that fit everyone. It’s more important to connect and find ways to mutually keep the love alive in ways that work for both. If mom’s feeling touched out, possibly working with boundaries and exploring new ways to connect meaningfully as partners can help. Getting to what’s underneath the disconnect is essential though, and therapy or coaching can help when two parties are willing. Sometimes having an objective third party assist when communication is strained can really make a difference.

      The early years of parenting, and marriage alone, can be intense and exhausting, for all involved. Doing whatever we can to maintain or restore the health of the partnership will yield beneficial results and is worthy of attention. Honesty and a willingness to work together towards solutions are the foundation for getting through the challenges, and utilizing them for growth, both personally and in the family.

  9. Lynnzee

    I feel this way a lot. My youngest 11 months co sleeps and nurses on demand. She nurses sometimes 6 times a night. I get angry and I need to find a way to channel it when she wont go to sleep with out nursing. My husband works 7 days a week so he doesn’t help a lot. She has never slept through the night. I’m just exhausted and find myself getting frustrated Easily. I never get any time to myself.

  10. Amy Phoenix

    Hi Lynnzee, it can feel intense when we don’t get time to ourselves and/or we are nursing on demand. Sometimes this is a sign we need to make some gentle changes to bring more health to our lives. Some moms choose to night wean, or bedtime wean, to create a bit of space at bedtime. Others continue to nurse, and establish other healthy practices that help them find more space to themselves. Having a mom’s helper, nursing a bit less often by checking in with what feels right inside and saying no sometimes (but offering appropriate foods to an older baby) and engaging in some activities you love can help. Motherhood can be consuming, yet we can learn to rediscover ourselves along the way.

    Here’s a resource for dealing with frustration in the moment also… http://amyphoenix.com/feel-safely/