A Wife Loved Like The Church

Children’s Little Hands – A “Touchy” Subject

Posted on: July 13, 2011

I’ve joked that if given the chance, the girls would permanently attach themselves to me. From the moment they wake up, to the moment they go to bed, they are constantly touching me. A pat on my arm to get my attention. A sweet hug to show their love. Or my personal favorite, sticking their hands up my shorts/skirt while I’m cooking. Actually, that last one drives me a little batty.

While I’ve always said touch is one of my love languages, I think 3.5 years into motherhood might be proving that wrong. {My love language now is extra sleep.} Now before you think I don’t like loving on my girls, please know that I do. Very, very much. I could hug, snuggle, kiss on them all day and be perfectly happy. But {and that’s a very big but}, there are different touches that can make me start to unravel, in a mama’s-losing-it sorta way.

Like clinging to my feet while I’m trying to clean {Hannah literally clings to my feet, forcing me to drag her around with me}.

Or, patting my arm while repeatedly saying “mama, mama, mama, mama, mama”.

Or, in a moment of sibling rivalry, deciding who can sit the closest to me while we’re reading {normally resulting in jumping on me}.

There are several more, but frankly, they are a bit TMI {if you’re a mom, or married, use your imagination… yeah}.

So, from 6 am to 8 pm, there is a whole lotta touching going on. And really, after the fourteenth time of having a little hand go up my shorts, I have to draw a boundary.  Rather than waiting till I’ve hit my touch limit for the day, I schedule out personal “no talk, no touch” times throughout the day. One normally after we’ve had breakfast and sent Jonathan off for the day. Then one during Hannah’s nap and Julia’s quiet time. And then a final one in the late afternoon or early evening. It might sound harsh to some of you, but I need my “no talk, no touch” time.

I set the timer for 10-20 minutes {it’s usually longest in the morning so I can have my quiet time} and the girls know that they can’t talk or touch me until the timer goes off. Once the timer rings, we are all back in the game, with little hands everywhere. And by then, I’ve had enough “no touching” to be ready for the next round. There are times when the touching starts to drive me crazy between the “no talk, no touch” times. But rather than flat out telling them to stop touching me, I ask them nicely to only do it once. Or in the case of who-can-sit-closest-to-mama, I tell them I can read two stories – one story with my arm around one girl, and another story with my arm around the other girl.

Do you have touchy children? How do you handle too much touchiness?

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16 Responses to "Children’s Little Hands – A “Touchy” Subject"

Oh how I feel your pain. Maybe it’s a little girl thing. My girls have sibling rivalry all day, every day – who gets to sit closest to me during reading? Who gets to help me make pancakes? Who gets to have mommy help color their picture with them? Who gets to work on the puzzle with mommy first? and on and on and on…I’m nearly crazy over the constant competition and rivalry. Yesterday Faith saw a commercial on TV for some “teach your baby to read” supplies. She said, “mommy, you can’t get that for Abby cause then she’ll be smarter than me.” Really? She’s 3 years younger….

But the touching is an issue too. Funny that you mentioned their hands going up your shorts or skirt. Faith does that all the time to me. Particularly when we’re out in public and she happens to be standing next to me clinging a bit. Talk about embarrassing when the hand goes where it shouldn’t and makes me jump a bit. The other thing they do is pinch my skin. They grab the tiniest bit of skin between their fingers or nails and start pinching. Usually when they are tired or not feeling well. It hurts!

Ah! The pinching! My girls don’t do it as much as they did when they were really little, but it hurts!

You just gave me some good ideas for the future!! I am in that same boat, but with only one so far- I can handle it, but know the day will soon be here when it’s doubled, so thanks for the inspiration!!

I think this is a great idea for everyone! How neat that the girls see you reading the bible and I think it’s important to learn boundaries. Touching is oh so nice but it’s a lot after 8 hours. When Archer was a newborn I needed no touching no talking when Chris came home from work. It made me sad but I realized if I could touch him when I was ready it was a lot nicer. I have learned to take the late afternoons a little more slowly so I can be ready to chat and hug when he comes home but I still sometimes need the no talk no touch time. Thanks for sharing this, and after seeing you with the girls I can assure everyone you are the most cuddly, gentle, loving momma!

Yeah, I’ve gotten that way with Jonathan before. I just need to decompress before I take on more information.

Thanks for your sweet words. I was really nervous that someone might think I was being really mean by admitting that the constant touching can be way too much for me. But it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t love loving on the girls. I just don’t like their hands up my pants. 😉

We also have “quiet times” throughout the day where the boys pick a spot and stay there playing quietly until I’ve regrouped. I love your stories! The hands up the shorts while you’re cooking…haha!! I think you’re a very smart mama for scheduling those “no talk, no touch” times. Sanity is THE most important part of motherhood. 🙂 I think our boys are old enough now to use the timer method. I think our quiet times are sometimes not as effective because they think I’m going to forget about them. I think I’ll find our timer and try it out today. Thanks!

What we did with Julia {when we started using the timer} is I’d stay in the same room with her, until she realized that she needed to stay quiet and play/read on her own. S-l-o-w-l-y I moved into the other room {started with the kitchen, so the girls could still see me, now I’m in my room, where I can see them, but they can’t see me}. It’s taken a while, but they’ve got it down pretty well. Julia could go at least 30 minutes on her own, but for Hannah’s sake I don’t go over 20.

YES. And I love the way you’re handling it. Much better for everyone than the days I have endured and endured and then exploded with an awful shout, “Don’t touch me!” Not good. I like this intentional strategy much better!

No judgement here, as I’ve totally lost my cool one too many times. I have to really have a fixed point in order to not lose it, otherwise it makes for unhappy mama and kids. Never a good thing.

Loved that post and your idea! I completely understand the struggle. When my big boys were little, they are now 9&11, I felt like I was a jungle gym. They climbed all over me! At 9&11 the touching has significantly decreased. My youngest, who is 5, has started to not be so touchy and I miss it. Often times I ask him to bug me. All that to say, everything is a stage and someday you will miss the touching. Enjoy it while you can and by all means, have boundaries! You do need to be a sane momma 🙂

Ingrid, I totally agree with enjoying it while it lasts! I know these are fleeting moments and to soak them up. I think setting up boundaries is really helping me enjoy hugging on them more, because I can have my “sane time” along with it.

oops…I mean hug not bug me 🙂

I’m filing this idea away for later. I too am a touch love language person, but I can already tell, now that Hudson is getting more grabby/touchy, that I can get overloaded on touch. He loves to reach up and grab my face while nursing now, which wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s not a gentle touch. He tends to scratch and pinch, so I just have to grab his little hand and hold it still.

Oh wow, I can imagine how difficult that would be. I love that you have found such a great way to handle the situation without going crazy. I really think recognizing our limits is part of what makes a good parent. Of course this is coming from someone with no kids, so it’s just what I’ve observed. 🙂

This is so funny babe! When Julia is standing next to me asleep at 3am in the morning and then puts her little hands on me… it’s like waking up to a scary movie! The horror of what she’s going to do next while I’m in my helpless state usually keeps me up much longer than it takes to put her back to bed… Ah, the life of a loving family!

Hahaha! I can’t stop laughing.

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