I’m not sure if the term “touched out” is a real condition (I’m pretty sure it isn’t); however, after having a very clingy toddler, wading through the depths of separation anxiety glued to my hip for an entire week, this term took on a whole new meaning. When my toddler decided I was the chosen one, and the only suitable option to fetch her food, drinks, toys, change her diapers, and get her down for naps and bedtime, I felt more than exhausted.
By the time I would crawl (yes, literally) into bed for the night, I just wanted to mindlessly scroll through Instagram for a few moments before crashing. During these moments, my loving, well-rested husband decides that since the baby is finally asleep, it is the perfect opportunity to chat about our day and catch up on neglected romantic activities. During these moments, I want to kick him to the couch and get some blessed sleep!
Since I (usually) try not to be a complete monster, this is what I recommend doing when you’re feeling touched out:
1. Be honest with yourself.
Acknowledge the fact that you are tired and touched out, and that it’s normal for you to feel that way. Most people want to be left alone when they are exhausted. However, just because you would rather sleep than cuddle doesn’t mean you should get a divorce. Try to be rational. You may experience difficulties in your marriage simply because neither of you has as much time for each other, or because the baby monopolizes you, or you’re too tired to go on dates or do activities. This is also normal. And even though it’s not easy, being honest and open about it will help identify and correct misunderstandings.
2. Talk about it!
Chat with your significant other about how you are feeling. Simple disputes can often be identified and taken care of easily before they become serious. He may also be feeling left out and even shunned. Take care with your words. Saying that you’ve had a human being hanging from your side all day and would enjoy some alone time will be understood much better than telling him not to touch you ever again (trust me).
3. Don’t become angry.
I know that suggesting sex when you haven’t slept in weeks is a dangerous thing for your significant other to say. However, keep your cool, and he will understand. He really has no other choice. But assure him that it’s not a lack of wanting intimacy with him, and that you still love him, but also that you have your own needs and struggles.
4. Know that it’s not permanent.
Your toddler will fly through this phase the same as she did with teething and transitioning to a sippy cup. Separation anxiety is also normal for your child to experience, so keep that in mind, and before you know it, they will be heading off to kindergarten. You will long for the days when your toddler wanted nothing more than to be held and snuggled.