Self Portrait Series 7/52
As a mom, I wear a lot of different hats, one of which is nurturer. In recent years I have found this role difficult at times. The pandemic kicked off a difficult time for all families. For us, having less time away from our kids, the shift in daily responsibilities, and having Ammon home with us changed everything. That timeframe was also when I shifted into the role as the main income earner for our family.
I've always had a drive to lead, manage and provide for my family. Diving into my career and using my strengths to do just that has been so rewarding! I’ve also felt the weight of that responsibility, though. The more I worked to provide, the less I felt my natural nurturer coming through. I found myself pushing the nurturer aside in order to keep on top of everything else. Sometimes I felt my pendulum swing so far away from what I believe are the most important parts of my role as a mother.
Reconnecting with My Softer Side
I’ve been making a focused effort to lean into the role of nurturer more, and I’m finding so much joy in reconnecting with that part of myself. I love nurturing my children and my husband. It feels like a special assignment that binds me to the people I love most. When my children are sick, emotionally or physically, I’m there for them. It’s not always easy for me to automatically soothe them. Sometimes I want them to “suck it up” and “get over it” fast, but as I’ve been learning that all emotions are helpful and useful, I now love working through their feelings with them. It gives me empathy, expands my soul, and makes me feel more human. I think the saddest thought in the world is that, if I did pass away, this role wouldn’t be filled for my children as they navigate different scenarios throughout their lives.
As the nurturer, I get to create a special place for my kids where they feel safe, secure and free to be themselves. It’s my job, as a mom, to give my children my best. I want to make sure they know I’m here for them in every way, even if I do have to work. I consider this role one of my biggest blessings and I have loved intentionally tapping into it more and more. This is something I want to nourish inside of myself so others can feel it, too - not just my kids.
What Are Your Roles?
What roles do you take on in your life? Are there some you feel more naturally suited for? Which ones are challenging for you? Which do you find most rewarding? I want to hear in the comments. I also wanted to let you guys know that I am not able to respond directly to comments on my new website yet. It’s a total bummer and we’re trying to get it figured out. In the meantime, I just wanted to thank each and every one of you that joins in on the conversation, even if it does feel one-sided. I read every one of your comments and they mean so much to me. I love hearing your thoughts and getting to know you better!
Hey Abi, I too am the main provider for our family. I just received a promotion at work as the head nurse for a long term care facility! My husband is staying at home with the kids. We are thriving.
But I find myself slipping a way from the natural nurturer role. It’s hard to connect with my sweet kiddos when I’m not there as much. I spend more time caring for the elderly than I do at home. I feel spent. But I know time is a thief.
You inspired me to be more present with my kiddos. I’m going to try and spend time with them individually for even just 5 minutes doing something they love.
Thank you Abi for you words. I appreciate you, eh!!
Jill Lawlor —
Ah, I hit enter before I was finished typing! What I was trying to say is that the story shared at conference about thinking about the names of the savior when you take the sacrament and how you can take upon yourself those different names in our different roles, that reminds me of this self portrait series that you’re doing. This one is especially meaningful to me right now, this role of nurturer, because I am a stay-at-home mom for the 1st time in 25 years of marriage. My youngest is a senior in high school. I was forced To medically retire due to my declining health, and I felt like The Lord’s hand was in it somehow, but I couldn’t put together how. And then my daughter started her senior year of high school, and I knew why.. I’m a stay-at-home mom for her. She is strong and bright and powerful and and valiant and opinionated and an advocate, and that needs guidance. Thank you for being so vulnerable online, and showing me someone that I can genuinely connect to. I love you Abi, every version of you.
Jill Lawlor —
This brings to mind the recent story told at General Conference about considering how we take upon ourselves the name of the Savior, as his covenant followers. We covenant to do that at our baptism then weekly when we take the sacrament. Well, what are his names? How do we emulate that name? The same is true of motherhood, womanhood, personhood
Michelle Murphy —
I have been a nurse for 8 years now, the last 2 I have been a school nurse. I would say I am definitely the nurturing one at home…but I’ve got to be honest, when I spend the day nurturing everyone else’s child, I don’t want to do it when I get home. I see it and some days I feel it so I’m working on my attitude and trying to do better.