Hugs

What does a person like me do when they have an affectionate child? A person like me who is uncomfortable with lots of touching.
Uncomfortable is really the best word. During most hugs, I’m thinking “When will this end? Am I doing it right? Does this person know how uncomfortable I am? Why did we have to hug? Ugh. When will it end?”
So, I don’t really do hugs. Hubby is the only one I’m comfortable with and even that’s not all the time…sometimes I tell him “too much.” When I moved from South Jersey, I announced I was giving “free hugs” to anyone, which floored some of my co-workers.
Doodle was a typical infant and wanted held a lot, which wore on me, like water on rock. But I knew as soon as he was mobile, he’d want to be mobile. And it was only really bad when I was out on maternity leave, aka “no escape.” More than once, as soon as Hubby came home, I’d hand Doodle off to him, me in tears, and escape for a few minutes to shower and cry. (I honestly don’t know how SAHMs or WAHMs do it. I needed to go back to work for everyone’s sake…and not just financial sake.)
Now, we’re entering a phase where he wants to give hugs and gives them all the time and sometimes to strangers. And this time around, he’s aware if I’m uncomfortable and I’m aware that he’s aware.
So I’m trying. And it’s better with Doodle. And I think I’m on track to getting comfortable with him as I am Hubby. But unlike Hubby, Doodle won’t understand why Momma doesn’t hug as much as Daddy (or most people). Hell, I don’t completely understand it myself, nor does Hubby but he’s accepted it and sometimes “requests a hug.”
The other shoe to drop in this mess of uncomfortable hugs is nature vs nurture and passing this onto Doodle. In my family, there are several people with an Austic spectrum disorder. And what if I don’t hug him enough…will it bring out something or at the very least, pass this feeling on? I wouldn’t want him to feel this way, especially since I don’t like it and Hubby’s family are “huggers.” (Yes, seeing my in-laws are a special secret torture for me, because we have to hug upon coming into the house, even if it’s in the world’s tiniest kitchen and all of us are in there, and we have to hug goodbye too…even if we saw each other yesterday and will see each other tomorrow.) Thankfully, because Hubby is a hugger, Doodle has a 50-50 chance.
– Playing the Odds

Update: A few hours later, Doodle had a major freakout of unknown cause and only calmed down in my arms and eventually fell asleep on me. Forty-five minutes later, I gently slid him over to a nearby couch cushion. But in a crisis, I rise for my kid.

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