Without a doubt, being on bed rest while you’re pregnant can be one of the most frustrating things… ever!
Finding interesting things to do from your own bed can be challenging, but it’s not impossible to find things that will help to pass the time and let you maintain your sanity as well.
Following are some ideas for pregnant women on mandatory bed rest…
#1 – Organize your photos. If you have a bunch of prints, either put them into photo albums or arrange them in some meaningful order in photo boxes. If most of your photos are digital photos stored online or on your computer, then now is a great time to start tagging, labeling, categorizing or otherwise organizing your photos, so you’ll be able to find the ones you want faster from now on. (And then, do your best to keep them organized every time you upload new photos.)
#2 – Learn a new hobby. Take advantage of how-to’s on the Internet, in videos, and in books & magazines. Or, invite a friend over to spend some time together and share some pointers with you on one of her favorite hobbies. Some fun ideas: scrapbooking (in paper albums, or digitally online), rubber stamping & card making, knitting, quilting, writing, sewing, etc.
#3 – Quiz yourself. In addition to printed books filled with puzzles and quizzes (including those found in magazines), there are also a boatload of quizzes, trivia questions, tests, and games to test your skills, knowledge, or abilities online. Or, you may want to tackle a lifelong dream… like solving the Rubik’s Cube!
#4 – Keep a journal. It might be a personal journal to jot down your own thoughts and feelings about life in general. Or, it might be a baby journal where you detail the weeks and days leading up to the birth of your baby. A fun take-off from this is to write letters to your unborn baby that will be kept and cherished for a lifetime. Or make your own baby book.
#5 – Start a blog. It could be a baby blog where you talk about your personal experiences while being pregnant, and then share all of the exciting things about being a new mom with others online. Or, if there’s a topic that you’re passionate about, handy with, or knowledgeable about in general… write about it on your personal blog! Others will appreciate your honesty and experience when they’re trying to do the same things you’ve done and they’re researching the topic online.
#6 – Write reviews. You could do this either on your own personal web site, or on sites like Epinions and Amazon. Your opinion matters! Sharing your own 2-cents will help others make their own decisions before buying something or trying something new.
#7 – Make some money. If you like writing, you could write articles and submit them to websites that pay for content (like About.com or Constant Content). Or if you’re crafty, you can make fun things to sell on sites like Etsy. Another relatively easy way to generate a small amount of regular income is to simply place ads on your own website or blog. Google ads are a popular first choice, but you could also solicit more unique ads from companies that sell products or services that would appeal specifically to your readers. Affiliate ads are a great place to start. Another fun idea is to explore Fiverr.com and think of something that’s quick and easy that you could charge people $5 to do it for them. (One idea: write letters from Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc.)
#8 – Organize your recipes. I use Google Docs, but there are a number of computer programs, and cell phone apps, and 3-ring notebooks that help to simplify this process. Having your recipes grouped into meaningful categories and then streamlining the process of gathering, copying, and organizing them for faster retrieval is something that you and your family will benefit from for years to come.
#9 – Participate in sweepstakes, rebates & online offers. Some people take this so seriously that they’ve managed to score lots of big-ticket items that are both fun and practical. Or, you could do it just for fun and see what you happen to win.
#10 – Sign up for free stuff. Baby magazines and other resources for new parents frequently advertise freebies just for expectant parents. But are lots of fun freebies that are available to everyone. Often, they’re free full-size samples — because the company is banking on the fact that after you try it, you’ll eventually buy it and/or recommend it to others. Other times, they’re free magazines, posters, or services that new parents would appreciate. Whatever you can’t or won’t use, you can pass on to friends, relatives, charities, or Freecycle. (Heck, if you get enough things, you could even make some nice gift baskets!)
#11 – Design your baby’s nursery. This one activity alone will help time pass quickly! Since there are so many decisions to be made — from nursery colors, and styles to furniture and accessories — you’ll have fun exploring nursery ideas online. Then, simply start jotting down your ideas and discussing them with your partner, until you decide on the ultimate baby nursery. Bonus: You’ll be able to order many things online!
#12 – Create birth announcements. Another thing you can design and create online… at home… in bed… is baby announcements! By deciding on everything before the baby is born, this is one less thing you’ll have to hurry and get done after the baby is born. Start by exploring Pinterest until you hone in on the exact style of birth announcement cards you’re looking for. Then get creating! You can make free baby announcement e-cards (powered by eVite) yourself. Or design your own baby announcement cards online, which will then be mailed to your friends & relatives. using Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, or Snapfish. (You can expect to pay just over $1 apiece for printed birth announcement cards.)
#13 – Reconnect with old friends or relatives. In this fast-paced world where everything’s online and people primarily communicate via email or text messages, who doesn’t enjoy reading a handwritten letter these days? If that’s not your style, then try to find old friends on Facebook and have fun re-connecting, looking at everyone’s photos, and chatting about old times.
#14 – Make a bucket list. Just for fun, create a bucket list for you… your family… your new baby… whatever you want. A bucket list is merely a growing list of goals, or a “wish list” of sorts. It provides some personal insight into your thoughts, dreams, and wishes for the future.
#15 – Watch movies. You can find them either online (through sites like Hulu) or as rentals. Netflix can be a lifesaver at a time like this because there are literally thousands of movies available at your fingertips. If you have a blu-ray DVD player, you can stream the Netflix movies right to your TV (without any DVD necessary). Or, you can simply subscribe to their rental service where you’re constantly receiving new movies from Netflix in the mail, and you just send them back when you’re done.
#16 – Catch up on your reading. Either stock up on your favorite books from the library, or ask friends to save their old magazines for you. (Who cares if they’re a few months old?) I found someone on Freecycle who recycles all her magazines after she’s read them by passing them onto me! I then Freecycle them onto someone else when I’m done, or share them with my own friends & relatives.
#17 – Pick the brains of other moms. One of the best resources for a pregnant mom is helpful advice from other moms who’ve been there. Take this time to learn from them. You’ll definitely save yourself some time, money, and headaches in the future! In addition to chatting with your mom friends one-on-one, you’ll also learn a lot by exploring “new parents” topics online — like the stages of pregnancy, or the pros & cons of circumcision, as well as what to expect during labor and after the baby is born.
#18 – Get a manicure or pedicure. Whether you do it yourself or have a friend (or hubby) do it for you, a few minutes of pampering is well deserved! These pedicure shortcuts will come in handy — depending on whether you’ve got enough time for a 3-minute quickie pedicure, a 5-minute soaking pedicure, or a luxurious 35-minute spa-like pedicure.
#19 – Shop online. There’s no better time to stock up on all those little odds & ends you’ll need at home once the baby arrives! Browse the recommendations of other moms, then make sure you’ve got all the important baby necessities covered. Don’t overlook the fact that you can even buy groceries online and other household necessities. These are things you definitely won’t have time to think about once the baby arrives. And, who knows, you might also find a super-cute post pregnancy outfit or two online!
#20 – Play games. Some games (like smartphone game apps & online games) you can play by yourself. Others (like board games) are more fun with a partner, friends, or relatives. With so many choices, you’ll never be bored — despite the fact that you’re stuck at home on bedrest.
Must read: The Ultimate Bed Rest Checklist!