Touched-Out in a Zombie Apocalypse

Jack is 15 months now. He no longer nurses for hours at a time. I no longer get stuck underneath him when he dozes off into a boobie nap—husband at work, water and food just out of reach, full bladder and a determination not to wake up the baby. He is mobile and able to express his wants and needs better than ever. He even walks up to me and tugs on my shirt when he wants to nurse. There is still a ton of guessing in this game since I can’t always figure out what is wrong when he is crying, but we have definitely gotten into a routine.

So why am I so touched-out sometimes!? Jack is able to do so many more things than when he was a baby, but now he can follow me around, tug on my pants, whine endlessly, stand right behind me so I am sure to knock him over, stand right in front of me reaching up while screaming, pull, twist, scratch my nipples, demand that both boobs are out while nursing and bounce back and forth from one to the other like a game of tennis. Most of the time we have a ton of fun, but there are some days when it seems that everything on the above list is occurring at the same time and going on all day.

My husband tries to intervene. Sometimes this helps and Jack will play with him. Other times Jack screams bloody murder as soon as I turn slightly away from him to sit down. I end up taking him back and the scenario repeats itself. I love being close to Jack, but like all mothers I am overcome with the desire to have no one touch me for a few minutes. Just a few minutes of no one talking to me, needing something, just be quiet! I usually have to take this out on my husband because I can’t push Jack away. I don’t want to push Jack away. I want to swallow my feelings and let them out in another way so that Jack feels only love, warmth and acceptance from me. My husband takes it like a champ because he can see my frustration. He always tries to make it better.

I have fantasies where I lock Jack in his room and go to the bathroom by myself or where I shove Jack away from me. I hate myself when I think of these things. I feel guilty. I don’t actually want to do these things, but I can feel the rage growing in the pit of my stomach and I just want to lash out. I resort to loving talk, not to Jack or my husband, but to myself. You are a good mother, you are doing your best, it’s OK to have these feelings, this is normal, you can get through it, and so forth. I always do get through it. That is another important thing to remember: I always get through it.

The other night I fought through all of my fatigue to have sex with my husband. “Ugh,” I said. “Oh, all right.” We are trying to conceive again, I was pretty sure I was ovulating and we took advantage of Jack having gone to bed early. When we were done I lay on the couch to encourage the little guys to swim to the egg. Not 3 minutes later: Jack is awake. I run into nurse him in hopes that he will go back to sleep. I am holding tissue between my legs to keep from dripping my husband’s fluids all over the floor. Jack nurses for a bit and then pops his head up and crawls off the bed. Ok, so you’re awake! Then Jack’s sliding off the mattress onto the floor, but in a goofy haphazard manner. I am trying to keep him from bumping his head and trying catch the tissue now falling to ground from my hoo ha. “Can I get some fucking help in here!?” I yell to my husband. He comes in and grabs Jack. I was so irritated. I had a few minutes to myself, but instead I decided to spend it with my husband and the next thing I know Jack is up again likely until the wee hours of the morning.

Sometimes I feel like everyone is getting something but me. These things I am giving are emotional, but they are also physical. I am constantly sharing my body with someone. My breasts, my vagina, my arms, my legs, my face, my hair. Everyone wants a piece of me. I feel backed into a corner like in a horror movie with zombies coming at me. “Stay back! Get away from me!!” The zombies stagger toward me, one big and one small, both reaching their arms out to grab on and take control of my body away from me. I scream at the top of my lungs and the grabbing and pinching and sucking and prodding and scratching and twisting and pulling begins.

And again just before I wrote this Jack was whining and following me around. Crying when I move, crying when my husband moves. My husband says, “Why do we have the unhappiest baby on the block?” I don’t fucking know, but I have to go to the bathroom. Jack follows me crying. I pick him up to nurse him on the toilet; I’ll do anything to make him feel better. He doesn’t stop crying. My husband comes in to help. “Are you going to the bathroom?” Ummm, I’m sitting on the toilet with my pants down around my ankles, “I’m trying!!!!”

Abby Theuring, MSW

 

About Abby Theuring

The Badass Breastfeeder is a mother, writer, social worker, attachment parent, proud breastfeeder and advocate. Her career as a social worker has shown her that gentle and connected parenting is vital for life-long emotional health. You can find her blog at www.thebadassbreastfeeder.com and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheBadassBreastfeeder.

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36 comments

  1. Oh Abby this is heart breaking, but know I am right there with you. Mysties 15 minths old, and this is every day routine for us! I seriously thought I was all alone in these feelings.. ireally thought mystie was the only baby that demand she have booth breast at the same time. I thought I was the only one that took all thier anger out on my husband. As he is always there to help, but mystie almost always pefers me. Its so good to know me and mystie aren’t the only ones in this battle lol.

  2. This made me cry. It is my life in a nutshell with my 15 month old.

  3. I thought I was the only mom who felt this way!

  4. I experience all this, plus a spirited and sensitive 3 year old who demands equal attention and cries at least twice a day for me to hold two babies (herself and the baby). I’m a part time uni student and have a husband who can’t really tolerate too much of the kids. We’re working on getting him to try cook and help tidy. I literally collapse into bed every damn evening finding no time to even sit and enjoy my family and marvel at the wonders of the world. I had to laugh as I read thought. My 13 month old has to have both breasts out and pops on and off between the two. Reading that others mothers encounter the same problems, is somehow comforting. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Its so nice to know im not the only one who feels this way.I cant even tell you the last time i peed or showered alone!!! I love my children so much but some days i want to scream. i feel like im being pulled in 100 different directions alll day and some days i cant wait till 8pm!! but even when its been a hard and crazy day and i want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry i see them playing together NICELY for all of these precious 5mins or watch them sleep i just let out a long sigh and know i couldnt or wouldnt have it any other way. Abby thank you for saying the things must moms are afraid to say

  6. THIS is exactly what I needed to read at this exact moment. My 14 month old has canines and molars popping through and is so grumpy so needy I’m exhausted. Thank you for making me laugh (and cry a little)

  7. Story of my LIFE!!!!!!

  8. This is a wonderfully honest and enlightening post, thanks for sharing…. I know what you mean about feeling touched out, sometimes I sit on the steps for a few minutes just to have a moment where I be alone, it’s only a moment though because someone always comes looking for me xxx

  9. Thank you for this. It’s nice to know that someone GETS IT. I have 3 kids 7, 4 and 11 months. It’s never ending and I can’t remember the last time I went to the bathroom alone. Your words make me want to laugh and cry because I feel like this and it seems never ending. I love my family but mommy needs alone time too and even my boyfriend doesn’t seem to understand that. You are blessed to have such an understanding husband.

  10. Preach on, Sister! <3

  11. Thank you! It’s nice to know there’s other people out there that experience this feeling, that sometimes “lose it” a lil bit, and that cuss like a sailor sometimes too!

  12. I loved this, I worry tho that I’m going to mess my kids up always yelling and cussing….my poor kids. I hope they know that I love them more then life itself . I’m just a product of my screwed up, bat shit crazy mom.

    • Yelling moms, you’re not alone. I’m a yeller too. I am still nursing my 30 month old (on demand after work, through out the night and on demand all weekend long ~through the magic of motillium. I REFUSE to nurse in the bathroom. I can’t go with out an audience of 5 year old, 2 yearold and cat.
      Here’s a huge gentle hug to all you mothers doing your best.

  13. Shannon Boatwright

    I love this! I thought we were the only ones who played nursing tennis. My 19 month old makes me leave both boobs out and says other boob and goes back and forth over and over. I also take out my frustrations on my poor fiancee so I won’t take them out on my little Ayden. I do the nursing on the toilet thing too and it’s so annoying sometimes to not be able to go potty in peace. My little guy is getting two huge molars in right now so he has been extra clingy and nursing a lot. You are not alone. Thank you for sharing your journey and letting me know I am not alone! I love being a mommy more than anything in the world but it is so hard at times. I always remind myself he is only little for such a short time and that usually snaps me out of it. I feel so much joy on a daily basis that all the other stuff just doesn’t matter at the end of the day. I love your posts keep sharing!

  14. So….I just wanted to say that I can relate to a lot of what you wrote, my son is 25months old and I now have a 6day old daughter. But I have to say my partner is amazing & that I think I’m really lucky because these moments of utter exasperation don’t seem to last too long in my house. My son recently started playing really well by himself making train tracks & stacking everything which I found gave me room to breathe (well…do the dishes without a screaming child underfoot), we also night weaned when I was pregnant & I eventually stopped demand feeding just before the new arrival so tandem feeding felt abit more controlled. It will be interesting to see if we ever GET to have sex again, finding time with one co-sleeper was hard enough!!
    My final suggestion is to go get a massage or a pedicure or just enjoy some time alone, sometimes it makes you miss them JUST enough ;)
    Peace xx

  15. I am pretty sure you have just summed up my life except even though my husbands gets it and tries to help he tells me I did this! I am 9 weeks pregnant and miserable. This pregnancy so far has been completely ddiffferent and I am super uber grumpy!y 16 month old nursed all night last night and the first 20 minutes of uninterrupted sleep was interrupted by a pee break! Then as my husbands alarm goes off I ease her off and sneak away to make his lunch. Race back to bed on the other side of the bed and husbands keeps common in whispering and getting things. He leaves and boom she’s awake again trying to attack her sister who managed to sleep in the middle last night! I just want to run and hide and sleep all day or a few days!

  16. Oh Abby it sounds Like your Jack and my Anna are right at the same stage… I am here with you Momma a bit touched out at times and thinking the guy who made ear plugs should win the peace prize (not to completely block out my baby girl but to take an edge off her screeching. Thank you for sharing your life with us… I would send you virtual hugs but I am a bit touched out too!

  17. Beautiful post. Love how real it is. My LO is 19 months old and we still co-sleep and nurse all throughout the night. My husband, who often behaves like a teenager, both with regard to hormone levels and maturity, is of little help and has urged me to wean her since she was a year old. But she is not having it!
    So I feel the same – stuck in some kind of no-man’s land where he’s getting a piece if me, she’s getting a piece of me, and if I sneak away while they are playing blocks, I’m stealing my own time. Those precious 5 minutes…
    Thank you for blogging about your daily mama adventures. It’s sure nice to know you other mama’s have been where I have been!!

  18. I’m sorry I have no thoughts or adcvie to share that will help you, but I’m going through the same debates in my head. I want my children close together, but how could I possibly rob my little guy of the time he is getting with me, by bringing another baby into the house. How could I possible love the other child as much? How would I have the time?Plus there’s all the breastfeeding issues too. I’m still feeding and haven’t had my periods back yet. So would I need to stop feeding in order to even get pregnant? And if I did fall pregnant while still feeding, how would I make it work?Decisions, decisions. But I think the resounding answer is always that you’ll cope, that you have more than enough love to go round, and that if it’s meant to be then you work it out. Not that that helps the little control freak hiding out in me who just wants an answer. xLucy at Dear Beautiful Boy recently posted..

  19. I could’ve written this myself! Being a mother of a 1.5 yr old boy and now a newborn 4 week old baby girl, what a relief to read exactly what i too have been feeling. once my son turned 1 in march i started to feel like i was taking care of everyone (my son and my husband) but who was taking care of me?

  20. *hugs*
    Poor mama! You need a long nap, and a better support system!

  21. Sisters in the trenches! I think this post just described my nightmare of motherhood. Yes, I am there with you now (only my LO isn’t walking around after me yet), but I thought things would get better not compound the loss of control and self that having a baby already means. So, I remind myself and everyone else: Super Mom is NOT Martyr Mom. They might look similar at first but Super Mom remembers that to be a great mom she needs to have her needs met too, and not at some future hypothetical point in time but NOW. No one else is responsible for making you happy but you. And we can’t be happy and healthy for our loved ones if we aren’t happy for ourselves. My solution for now: the gym, one that has daycare provided in the mornings (aka my little slice of heaven). Don’t forget you deserve space too, and make it happen because no one else will make it happen for you!

  22. Oh my Freaking Gosh. You have no idea how much good this just did me. I have a daughter who will be 4 in 3 days, a daughter that is 2 years old, and a 4 month old son. Ive been suffering with what I can only think to describe as post partum depression. Im so happy, and so miserable all at once. I’m a stay at home mom, and I know Im blessed to have such wonderful kids and to be able to stay with them during the day. But, at the same time, I feel like I; the me that I always was, the me that caused my husband to fall in love and create this family, is disappearing. I sometimes feel like I’m drowning and everyone around me that is supposed to be my support system either doesn’t care or doesn’t have the time to help me. My husband wants the physical relationship but I have a negative amount of desire. I just want to have 5 minutes to remember who I am. Thank you so much for this post and letting me know I’m not the only one going through this. I dont even know how I just stumbled upon your page, all I can think is that it was divine intervention for me. :)

  23. Lol…my 4 follow me arnd nonstop, asking for things, kissing and hugging, climbing on me, and the newborn wants constant boob access. My husband loves to grope me and smack my butt all the time. I love that Iam the center of their world but sometimes i wanna get in my car and head to a hotel for just one day and night. Silence! I can wash without being hurried…ahhh lol. I just remind myself when they are teens Ill be fighting FOR the kids’ attention, so I sigh and let them lovingly maul me. :)

  24. So so glad I’m not the only person who’s nursed their kid while on the can!

  25. Love your blog! I especially love this one. I could’ve written this (only not as well) I have a 5 year old and a 4 month old and a husband who thinks of himself as a hands-on parent but in reality he isn’t. I do everything. Did I mention that we all live in a small 1 bedroom apartment. I sometimes fantasize about just leaving for a couple of days. Not telling anybody where I’m going. Off course I won’t and the baby has to nurse again soon:)
    Love the badass breastfeeder shirt. Wish I could get my hands on one!
    Sincerely Dee

  26. So wrong. So so wrong. Yet so completely accurate. I really enjoyed and appreciate this article. This article and I are best friends! I am taking it out for coffee!

  27. Omg…this is hilarious… You just describe my day, I hear you!! I do feel the same… I just want some timeee aloneee… But I guess I’ll have to wait a few years!

  28. Thank you! I feel the same way! I have 3 kids and ever since I had the first I feel exactly like that! The thought of spending time with my husband after getting them to bed repulses me and pisses me off. I feel like I am about to jump out of my skin! I just want my body back. You are not alone!

  29. Totally get it, and you’re lucky that your husband understands at all. Mine acts as though I had it all coming by choosing to breastfeed, as if that takes away any right I have to complain. We’re trying to night-wean, but as soon as my son cries my husband insists I “just nurse him” so that HE can get some quiet and get back to sleep. Meanwhile I’m still wide awake until the kid unlatches and I can get comfortable. I would kill for 8 hours in bed without being groped or suckled!

  30. As I read this I giggled a bit. I feel your pain. The part I don’t get is, why in God’s name would you even consider trying for another child at this point? Our kids are 4 years apart and even then I wondered if the break in between was long enough. ;)

  31. I could have written this last year. I can’t promise it will get easier. It will probably stay the same or get harder, but you will just keep getting better at it. I usually take days like this as a cue to get some alone time at all costs. And sometimes I do put my daughter behind the baby gate and hide in the pantry eating chocolate where no one is touching me.

  32. This is the best post ever. I can understand u completely . Its so true and u feel like theres no escape to that. But it’ll pass because everything does. :-)

  33. This is SO me! Thank you!

    Between my one year old, my black lab jealous older sister and my husband, I never just get to sit alone. I love them all, but I want to be alone sometimes!!!

  34. Nothing can quite ruin a “mood” (that you were quite honestly faking in the first place) like nursing a baby, naked, lube running down your leg, while he bites & twists one nipples and grabs & twists your other boob with his razor sharp fingernails. So been where you are!

  35. I have three kids 3 and under and a very horny, but patient husband. You have just described my life, on a daily basis, to a T!!! However, reading your words I laugh…even though when I’m going thru it, it is far from funny. I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

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