Happy Mother's Day

Chad Riddersen

Posted on May 09 2013

I cannot believe Mother's Day is here.  In honor of the fabulous day, I am compelled to write about how my mother and mother-in-law have recently reminded me why mothers are so amazing.

A Mother's Day gift from my 5-year-old.

A Mother's Day gift from my 5-year-old.

When I had my first daughter, I was overwhelmed by my mothers.  Though everything was done out of love for this first grandchild [on both sides], my mother and mother-in-law may have single-handedly been the reason I had post-partum depression.  My mother stayed with me for a couple months after I had the baby, and while her homemade meals and extra hand were a Godsend, the suggestions, questions, nagging, etc. were too much for my emotionally unstable self.  Although I needed the help, we fought a lot and got very snappy with one another.  My mother-in-law visited everyday for hours on end and would often wake the baby to "play" with her.  The most invasive moment for me was when she kissed my baby's head while I was breastfeeding.  My first-born was only weeks old, and I was begging my husband to move out of state.

While thinking about that time still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I do think I was much more sensitive as a first-time mom.  I had this perfect vision of motherhood: I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it all and be a great mom, and my mothers were raining on my parade.  They wouldn't leave me or the baby alone and the unsolicited advice drove me insane.  By the time baby #2 came around, I was much more grateful for the help and more mentally prepared for the chaos of having a newborn around.

With the arrival of baby #3, I knew I was going to welcome any help I could get.  Soon after the baby arrived and I fell more and more ill with my skin condition, my mother and mother-in-law literally came to my rescue, and I couldn't be more grateful.  For the first time in my life I have had to let go of control and trust that my moms were going to help me through this difficult time.  This is no easy feat for a control-freak, type A personality like myself.

Being a good mother/parent, I'm realizing, is a perfect balance of selflessness and selfishness.  Watching my mother and mother-in-law step in and do everything and anything possible to help me and my family through this difficult time has been both humbling and touching.  There is no greater love than this.  Their selflessness is unparalleled.  Through this ordeal, I have also learned how important it is to be selfish -  I need to do whatever it takes to take care of my health so that I can care for my own little ones and follow in the footsteps of my mothers by being there for my family through thick and thin.

Cheers to all you moms out there.  Remember to take time for yourselves this mother's day, and may you be spoiled rotten!

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