Category Archives: nursing aversion

When You’re a Touched Out Mama

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As soon as I got out of bed, my older son started playfully pummeling me, socking me right in the ribs. And just when I sat down to drink my tea, the two-year-old decided to marathon-nurse for 30 minutes. My tea got cold.

Then, as I was putting away the lunch dishes, my husband tried to pat my ass. I swatted him away like a fly. No!

Now my two-year-old won’t nap unless he’s sleeping directly next to me.

I love these people, and I love to be loved, but sometimes I am just TOUCHED OUT.

Case in point: this morning a miracle occurred. I slept in bed ALONE for two whole hours. The baby woke up early, my husband had no work, and bless his heart, he let me sleep.

I realized, it wasn’t just the lack of children (or husbands) touching me for those hours, or the very big need for sleep I have after weeks of broken sleep. Being tired and touched out is a real thing unto itself. But what I loved most about that (untouched) sleep was that it helped me remember who I am. I dreamt the dreams I wanted to dream (literally). I curled my body in my own position. I drank in the quiet, the autonomy.

When I am feeling touched out, it usually means I am stressed out, and that the role of wife-and-mother is suffocating me. It means I need some time to reconnect with myself—even if it means turning on the TV for the kids at a non-TV time so I can get on the yoga mat; even if it means shuffling out the door for a walk when my husband gets home and I should be feeding everybody dinner. Whatever it takes—just a few minutes of alone time works wonders. I start to remember who I am, and then I can give again to those I love. It’s worth the effort, the sacrifice—for them, and for me.

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I will also say this for you nursing mommies: the “touched-out while nursing” thing is REAL. It often gets worse as your nursling gets older. I have learned this from personal experience and from helping moms deal with this issue. It’s often exacerbated when your hormones levels are a bit out of control—like during ovulation, PMS, and pregnancy. Just knowing that this is part of the reason helps, I think. If it’s just a menstrual cycle thing, it will pass. Here is an article I wrote about dealing with those feelings while pregnant. Either way, breathing through it, acknowledging your feelings, and taking a bit of time to yourself can work wonders.

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To the Mom of a Nursing Toddler

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It’s ok that you’re the only one who can get your child to take a nap.

It’s ok that you’re the only one who can put your child to sleep at night.

It’s ok that you can’t imagine a night away from your child.

It’s ok that you can imagine a night away from your child.

It’s ok that you sometimes resent your child’s very big need for you.

It’s ok that you sometimes feel so full with radiant love when you think of your child’s very big need for you.

It’s ok that your child always, sometimes, “still” nurses in the middle of the night.

It’s ok that you offer to nurse your child when you are tired and you want to sit still on the couch for a few minutes.

It’s ok that you offer to nurse your child to ward off a tantrum.

It’s ok that you “still” offer the breast.

It’s ok that you sometimes really, really don’t want to nurse and you offer something else instead.

It’s ok that you sometimes feel touched out.

It’s ok that your skin sometimes crawls while you nurse.

It’s ok that you spend lots of nursing sessions zoned out on your phone.

It’s ok that you find warm, cozy pleasure in nursing your child.

It’s ok that you can’t imagine not sleeping right beside your child.

It’s ok that your child doesn’t sleep with you so much anymore.

It’s ok that you don’t know when you’ll wean.

It’s ok that you have no idea how your child will ever stop nursing.

It’s ok that you have a plan to gently, slowly wean your child.

It’s ok that you want to speed things along with weaning.

It’s ok that your nursing toddler nurses more than your friend’s nursing toddler.

It’s ok that your nursing toddler nurses less than your friend’s nursing toddler.

It’s ok that nursing glues the two of you together, and you “still” often feel lost when you are separated from your child.

It’s ok to wonder when you will have your life back, your body back, your sleep back.

It’s ok to savor the smell of the two of you melding together.

It’s ok to not want your old life of “freedom” back.

It’s ok to want only this.

It’s ok to resent this.

It’s ok to feel all the feelings all at once.

All of it is normal.

Mammals have nursed their babies into toddlerhood and beyond for millions of years, feeling the complexity of emotions along the way.

Nursing never has and never will look just one way for every mother and child.

Listen to your child, listen to yourself.

Accept what is. Don’t read into things too much. Go with your instincts.

Feel the love.

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