Was it just last week that I posted about surviving bed rest? Two weeks ago? I can't tell. The time is all flowing together. Either way, I recently gave some tips on making it through bed rest at home.
Instead of focusing on my own survival, I realized that my toddler needs to survive bed rest, too. He isn't quite two, but he knows what is going on. Kids are quick to notice change and it can easily throw them off.
Of course, I knew that bed rest would be hard on Kid. He's at that age where his parents are his everything. And to have one parent suddenly become bedridden has definitely taken its toll. The second week of bed rest was more difficult for Kid than the first. He got so frustrated with me one morning that he bit me. And not just a small nip. Oh no. A sink-your-teeth-in, I'm-royally-pissed-off-at-you chomp. I still have a bruise as evidence.
That's when I realized there was more to be done in terms of helping Kid survive this bed rest.
1. Snuggle as much as possible. Hubs gets Kid up each morning and plops him in bed with me as he gets ready and loads the car. Kid nestles right in and we get some quality one on one time. I think it is the physical contact that Kid misses most. Hugs just aren't the same when I can't lift him up. Bed time isn't the same when someone else puts him in his crib. So we have carved out lots of extra time for snuggles. We also warned his caregivers about this and they have been generous with their snuggles, too.
2. Don't lower any expectations. The rules you had in place before bed rest should remain. Kid goes to bed at the same time. He still has to ask to be excused from the dinner table. hitting is still an automatic time out (and biting!). Our expectations have not changed, which keeps life a little more "normal" for him. You always hear the experts talk about a child's need for predictability, and it is oh-so true.
3. Structure and routine will make life a million times easier. The fact that kids need (and thrive upon) structure and routine is well known. When life throws unexpected things at kids, they often react...you guessed it...unexpectedly. Now, obviously, it might be difficult to keep up all routines on while on bed rest. But, try. Try, try, try. Even simple things - like our typical Saturday morning pancakes. We still have pancakes, but the Daddy makes them know. If you usually meet some friends and their kids at the library on Tuesdays, see if one is willing to bring your child too. And don't worry about asking. People truly want to help!
4. Have a movie night (or 3) each week. We started this after I received a comment on my last Tips & Tricks post. A fellow bed rest mama left a comment with that idea, and it has been so fun! Granted, Kid doesn't have the attention span for a full-length movie, but it has been so fun! We all get cozy with a few snacks and everyone's beverage of choice. And Netflix pulls through with the Sesame Street win every time. It has been the perfect way to wind down after a long day - truly something we all look forward to.
How did you help your older kids survive bed rest?