Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Help Me" Monday: Touched Out

Photo Credit visualphotos.com

So I feel like a jerk of a mom with what I'm about to confess. My kids are suffocating me lately. I try really hard to be a good mom, and the relationships I have with my kids are so precious to me. But because of how close we are, they're killing me lately.

All three of them want to be physically next to me at all times. All day long I hear, "I want to be by you, Mommy. Come with me, Mommy. I can't go to the bathroom without you Mommy! I sit on your lap? Can I style your hair? Mom, that was my spot! I was sitting by you! I don't want to sit by Daddy, only Mommy! No, Mommy do it!" I have three kids, and two hands. The devastation that occurs EACH and EVERY time we cross a street or a parking lot and there is someone who can't directly hold my hand is earth-shattering. The fighting that rages over who is next to me and who is left out is constant. They want to sit in my LAP during dinner (um, no). They want to hover on both sides of me looking over my shoulders as I check Facebook. They nearly come to blows over who sits next to me at breakfast.

It makes me want to whip around and scream, "COULD YOU ALL JUST STOP TOUCHING ME FOR FIVE MINUTES!?!!?" I find myself delirious with joy when I have to pee, just because it will buy me 90 seconds of personal space.

And then I'm wracked with guilt. My kids want to be by me (touching me, at all times) because they love me. And I adore them. But there is only so much physical contact by body can take. Am I a freak? Do other people feel like this? It's not having them around me - I love hanging out with them. It's the constant touching. Con. Stant. From when they wake up to when they go to bed, crying for me to please lay next to them (all three of them, simultaneously).

They're normally fairly independent, well-rounded kids with lots of interests and friends, so I'm hoping this is a phase. Maybe summer boredom? Nothing to do but lean into Mommy's lap to watch her read e-mail, while digging your bony elbows into my inner thighs?

So I need ideas. My kids are 6, 5, and 2. How do I talk to my them (particularly my older two) about personal space? I try to just say something like, "I need you to get off my lap for a little while and just sit next to me for a little while." That's not even really good enough for me and they still look like I just killed their puppy. I adore my children. They are my favorite thing in life. But my body can only take so much man-handling in any given day. Nothing I say to them has worked, so I need new ideas. Readers, come out of hiding and help me out here. I'd rather you didn't tell me how much I suck for feeling this way, though. Just tell me how to nicely break to to my kids that having a cumulative 115 lbs. of child hanging off my body for 12 hours a day is getting a little old and Mommy's going crazy. Thanks.

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