I’m About to Say Something Most Toddler Moms Won’t

mom holding handsI knew being pregnant, especially with twins, would forever change my physical form. However, I was under the mistaken assumption that after my boys were born, my body would be my own again. Perhaps a tad saggier than I remembered it, but mine nonetheless. Instead my toddlers seem to be in a never ending contest to see who can climb back into the womb first. And as much as I love my kids, I desperately want them to get.off.me.

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In utero they pressed on my bladder and gave me constant back and hip pain. As 2-year-olds, they do the same with their constant demands to be held, snuggled or to use my body as a human bridge to get from one end of the couch to their train set. Between kissing imaginary boo-boos, soothing their tears after actual injuries, playing hide and seek, having them crawl into my lap to read a story, cleaning them and changing their diapers I spend the majority of my day in physical contact with someone else.

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It’s adorable when my son drags a blanket over to my seat on the couch and asks me to snuggle. It’s also hot and sweaty. When the three of us sit together to watch a cartoon or read a story, their hands seek me out -- patting my hair, playing with my jewelry or picking at my nails. Their elbows dig into the deflated water balloons that were once my perky breasts to get a better view. Their chilly feet seek warm toeholds in the rolls of my stomach. To them this is nothing more than how they express affection or look for comfort. To me it’s a constant reminder of all the things about my body I’m not happy with at the moment.

I was never a hugger. Blame it on my claustrophobia, my anxiety or my frigid New England upbringing, but for whatever reason, I’m just not a touchy feely person, and that’s something I don’t want to pass on to my children. I want them to feel free in expressing physical affection and therefore am trying to be better about letting them smother me cover me with hugs and kisses. But it’s draining for me to be touched all day long.

I’ll admit I’ve snapped sometimes. There have been evenings in that witchy hour after dinner and before bed when I’m tired and desperately want them to play independently so I can have a moment to breathe. And when they still drag toys over to me and seek shelter in my arms, I lose it. I launch myself off the couch and lock myself away in the tower that is the baby-gated kitchen, where I eat chocolate chips directly out of the bag and try to calm down by reminding myself that they aren’t doing anything wrong.

I feel bad for the cat, who waits patiently all day for the kids to go to bed, only to find himself unceremoniously rejected when he tries to crawl in my lap at night for some love. I feel worse for my husband, because although there’s a part of me that want to have the adult-only private time with him, some nights I can’t even bring myself to snuggle together on the couch.

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I know that like all tricky parenting stages this is temporary. One day I’ll be pleading with my boys to give me a hug or a kiss as they run off with their friends, but for now I'd really love them to stop using my stomach as a makeshift bongo so I can finish this cup of coffee without spilling it.

What part of you do you feel like you just can't claim ownership of now that you have kids?

 

About the Author: Megan Zander is a recovering divorce attorney turned SAHM to twin boys conceived through the wonders of modern science. You can find her our for a run or eating a cupcake, depending on how many tantrums she's dealt with that day.


Image via © iStock.com/AleksandarNakic

 

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