Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mummy cuddles: where does the line lie?

I'm struggling with something.
Something I shouldn't have to struggle with...
Something I'm not sure I should be voicing out.

But this space is about my struggles. My conflicts. It's about talking about those subjects we can't in our society. At least not comfortably.
So here goes...

I'm struggling with what is appropriate when it comes to affection and physical touch with my kids.

Don't go calling Child Safety just yet. Hear me out.

I know what is NOT right. I will NEVER get sexual with my kids. (Even writing this makes me cringe).

What I don't know, is where that line lies exactly (sounds wrong again - let me explain).

My little boy is 2. At bed time I lie in bed with him to read him a story. We cuddle and I play with his hair. I touch his arms, kiss his tummy, tickle him. Normal mummy affection. I know that. I write this down now, and I know that our affection is in NO WAY inappropriate.And I know what WOULD be inappropriate. But I guess in the moment, I struggle with it.

The issue is partly that the line keeps moving as they grow up too.

Image credit

What was OK a year ago, no longer is. And what is OK now, won't be in a few years. I mean, if I were lying in bed with my 15 year old, reading him a story while playing in his hair, that wouldn't sit right with me.

You know how when they are little they run to you and bury their face in your crotch. And at that age it's OK, but at what point does it stop being OK? That's what I'm struggling with.

Maybe I struggle too because 2 year olds don't know where the line is. I don't think they even know that there is a line!

When I'm breast-feeding bub, my 2 year old will sometimes try to put my breast in his brother's mouth. Is that ok? Is it ok that my 2 year old is touching my breasts in that context? It would be if I were still breast-feeding him. But does the fact that I no longer am breastfeeding him change things? Maybe...

At the moment I will sometimes have a bath with the boys. That's ok with me. But when do they become too old for that?

Those are the questions I'm struggling with. I have no doubt that it is related to my abuse. But what do I do with it now? I am so concerned about doing what's right by my kids. And it is so hard in a society where different rules apply to different ages and genders. In a society where what is right for one person is not for another.

I'd love to hear what you have to say. How do you handle this? Feel free to leave a comment anonymously. And feel free to tell me if you disagree with me. This blog is about a safe place where we can talk about 'unspeakable' issues.