When Mommy Is Sidelined
Staying in bed or on the couch all day can be hard enough for the first-time mom. But if you have another child to care for, bed rest becomes a double burden. It won't be easy, but take off your Superwoman cape for a while. That means doing what you can -- and accepting what you can't.
Indianapolis mom Heather Palmer knows this first-hand. Her son, Max, was 3 during her second pregnancy. Helping him understand that Mommy had to stay in bed -- Palmer could only get up to use the bathroom and get meals -- was initially a challenge. "We told Max that Mommy's having a baby and she has to lie in bed or rest on the couch to keep the baby safe and healthy," Palmer says. "Eventually he understood."
Each morning, Palmer's husband brought her what the two of them would need for the day, including games, videos, and books (a favorite: Mommy Has to Stay in Bed, by Annette Rivlin-Gutman [BookSurge Publishing]). Keeping you company is a good responsibility for him (he may also be able to get snacks for you both).
Palmer regretted having to say no to Max's many requests, but she knew that taking care of the baby-to-be, Max's future sibling, was of primary importance. Having helpful family, friends, and neighbors was a godsend, Palmer says. Max had overnight trips with the grandparents and daily playdates.
Stay focused on your goal -- a healthy baby -- and don't be shy about asking for help. The empathy and patience your child is learning now are teaching him how to be a terrific big brother or sister.
Used with permission from American Baby magazine.
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