My OB was super skeptical about my ability to rest while supervising 5 small child in my house. Yet, I've got to say that having a lot of kids while on bed rest is the best. There is always someone eager to talk to me. (Boredom is my biggest challenge.) I'm hanging out in bed with them for hours more than I would normally. Alex and I are watching the new series, Gotham, on xfinity replay together. Maria and I are having a good laugh critiquing "Utopia" together. Maria is so scandalized because "Those girls never work!" She says "Swimming is good, but you do it after you work! Yoga is good, but you do it after you work!" She's convinced the chicken died because no one remembered to give it water. Utopia is a show I would have never watched when not on bed rest, but it is so great for ironic moments of laughter. I can't wait to have all these fun TV critiques on the phone with my kid when they are all grown up and out of my house. Art makes for great bonding moments.
I like having 3 kids who are old enough to fetch and carry for me. I never feel like I'm burdening any one of them. I've got an unofficial nursing rotation in my head.
The hardest part is having a 2 year old bounce on me. We got a new mattress last weekend because our old one was a 10 year old futon from IKEA. The new mattress is such an improvement. The only down side is that my toddler thinks it's a trampoline. Her gymnastic antics are doubly awful because I still have morning sickness.
When I can't get my toddler to settle down, I call on my older kids to distract her for a bit. I'm blown away by their creativity with "impromptu pre-school." They've made forts out of old packing boxes. They do elaborate make-up games of Pirates and Princesses. They do half an hour squirt gun fights in the backyard. Usually in our family of five, the kids drift off into two groups by age. The 2 and 4 year old play together. The 11 and 9 year old play together. The 7 year old drifts between the two groups based on her interest. Bed rest has given me the chance to see how well my whole family plays naturally together, even when I'm not there as "Camp Counselor Mom" to come up with a joint activity or a joint field trip.
The hardest part about bed rest is that it's a huge mental challenge. I'm used to activity. I'm used to directing my own day. This should be a great writing time, but instead I feel so exhausted that I don't write. (That's weird right? I lay in bed all day but I feel even more exhausted than normal? I feel like "staying still" is exhausting for me.)
One day at a time!