When I had my first kid, I was working full time outside my home. For the first year, we were fortunate enough that he had one on one care in our home. First with my mama, and then with my husband. Daddy day care is another post for another day… He was seriously the neediest baby, but his love cup was getting filled 24/7 – often by someone not me. While obviously I wouldn’t trade my time with my babies for much of anything, there was a big bonus to 50+ hours a week of NO ONE TOUCHING ME! When I walked in the door, that kid was stuck to me like glue all evening, all night, and pretty much until I walked back out the next day – or next Monday, but when I got to work, with the exception of pumping sessions (hate it) or the occasional hug, MY SKIN WAS MY OWN.
Working mamas in the trenches:I know you’re exhausted. You may not feel like you have found the balance. You may feel like you aren’t actually much good at anything (you are… again, another post). You may feel like your kids get your worst. Being a working mama is HARD. Really hard. But hear this – ENJOY THE TIME WITH YOUR OWN SKIN. Enjoy the piece of the day where no one is touching you. Enjoy your hot lunch, hot coffee, and solo bathroom breaks. Is it worth being separated from your kiddos? I don’t know. That’s up to you. But it’s a perk.
Since I’ve been home with these two, SOMEONE IS ALWAYS TOUCHING ME. Always. As I type this, I’m actively nursing the smallest. The big one is somewhere probably drawing on my wall since that’s his new top interest, but I assure you, he has super senses that will know when this tiny babe decides to take a break. He will be here and HE WILL BE ON ME. My lap is nearly never vacant. If it is, my arm, my foot, or my face is being grabbed.
Baby doesn’t like to sleep without being touched. Maybe that’s my fault and if I parented differently, I would be alone all the time and he would sleep through the night by himself, blah, blah, blah…. well, here we are. It’s normal to need lots of human touch. Both of my kids have been this way, so it might be me. I STILL THINK IT’S PROBABLY THEM.
And you know what? It’s the sweetest thing having someone love you and need you THAT MUCH. It’s also wearing on a lady after days and weeks and months. I am touched out.
I volunteered last week with a birth class. Birth and birthing women are one of my passions. It’s just badass, and awe inspiring, and I love being a part of it, talking about it, helping where I can. I’m a birth nerd. Anyway, I digress. Between the drive time and the class time, NO ONE WAS TOUCHING ME FOR 3 SOLID HOURS.
Aside from the stomach flu vacation I had on Christmas Eve,this was the longest I’ve been without the babes since I resigned from my outside job.
No one touched me. I drank my own water. I went to the bathroom by myself twice. People asked me adult, intelligent questions. It was glorious.
You know what really gets me? My husband pretty much always goes to the bathroom by himself. He’s a very involved, attentive father, but often when we sit on the couch together, the baby nurses while to big kid finds some teeny bit of space to also sit on my lap. Sometimes the dog snuggles in as well. Then I see my husband, across the couch (it’s big) sitting all by himself. No one is touching him. No one is sitting on him. No one’s foot is wedged into his kneecap…. and no one cares. The vacancy doesn’t call to them. They don’t rush to fill it. He’s usually not baby wearing while cleaning the kitchen.
Even better, on the rare moment “alone”, am I grabbing a cup of tea and curling up with my favorite book or trying to be my husband (who was gifted by the science of the male brain) and have absolutely NOTHING go through my head for 5 minutes? Of course not. Those moments are spent catching up on the mountain of laundry that needs to be put away in my kid’s room or prepping meals for everyone else or something else productive. I know it’s got to be done and there’s my big chance to finally “do something for myself” because I like to live in a clean house and cleaning up the mess is closer to my zen life. That’s the same as “me time,” right?
Mamas with littles – I see you. I see us. Standing or sitting or whatever with all the touches. Aching muscles from being awkwardly hunched over a 20lb sack of flour. We’re touched out. We’re in this together. Because we’re never alone
I know my time with littles is so fleeting, this is my number one ministry at the moment, Jesus gives me the grace to continue when I don’t want to, I’m am so blessed to have these babies that I know other people want so bad, and one day I’ll miss this – definitely – but you know my birthday is coming up in 8 months. If you would like to get me something special, get me 60 straight minutes of no one touching me. That’s all. Thanks for reading.