Mothers and Nurturing, by Allison Kimball

When I was growing up being a mother was not something I aspired to be. I loved my mother, still do. She was an amazing mother, still is, but I wanted something more out of life. I had degrees to earn, a career to pursue, exotic places to visit.  Motherhood, although something I would eventually do, was not in my 10- or 15-year plan after graduating from high school.

Imagine my surprise to meet the man of dreams, more importantly the man of my list (you know that impossible list of qualities that your future spouse must have) just 9 months out of high school.   I was so young, we were both young, but we immediately started our family.  Now 20 years later I find myself a mother of 9, reflecting back on that beautiful path the Lord has taken me on.  I am so thankful I was wrong about motherhood.  The Lord had a greater plan for me.

However, being a mother is hard!

The Proclamation on the Family says, “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children “.  Well the secret is out, I am not naturally a nurturing person.  It’s a struggle for me.  I don’t do it well.

Some days are endless.  I know there is great joy in motherhood, but sometimes I want to scream and pull my hair out at the monotony and chaos that accompany keeping a house, not to mention the children.  I’m  a very selfish person.  I want a little bit of time alone in a day, time when no one is calling my name.  Time when no one is touching me or demanding something of me.  Quite often, unless I find time between the hours of 12am and 5am, I don’t get that time alone.  My life is filled with teenagers, toddlers, and everything in between.  No one’s schedule matches, and everyone needs mom.

The other day as I was slamming the dishes in the sink that were left to soak (without any water) feeling sorry for myself, tears streaming down my face, I said, “Sometimes I don’t really like being a mom.”  Of course, the instant the words came out of my mouth I regretted them, because I love my job as a mother. It is my chosen profession, one that has challenged me in every way imaginable.  It’s a job I still don’t do well.  I’m not a perfect mother, far from it. I make mistakes every single day, multiple times a day, but my love for my children keeps pulling me up to try again.

“We must have the courage to be imperfect while striving for perfection.”  (Patricia T. Holland, “One Thing Needful: Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ, Ensign, Oct 1987)


The beautiful thing about each of our lives is that we are imperfect, and the Lord loves us and continues to bless us despite our imperfections.  He knows how to succor me personally when I am doing the best I can do and when I don’t think I can put one more foot in front of the other.  He knows how to give me snapshots of who my children are, their value and worth after a long day when all the wrong buttons have been pushed.  The Lord in His wisdom has filled my imperfect life with tools to teach me how to nurture and love my children in ways that are beyond my own ability. He allows me to fulfill my role as mother.


So today as I look out the window and watch the children play I am so thankful for this calling from the Lord (see L. Tom Perry, “The Importance of the Family,” Ensign, May 2003, 40).

“Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling—from which they will never be released—is to one another and then to their children. One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents. We come to recognize the truth in Isaiah’s prophecy that “a little child shall lead them.”4 (President Boyd K. Packer, “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them”, Ensign, May 2012)

He has taught me once again, patiently holding my hand through the temper tantrums, the mounds of laundry, and the endless dishes. I have grown in the last 20 years in ways I never thought possible.  I still have a long way to go before nurturing and patience come naturally for me, but I have faith that the Lord will take this weak thing and make it strong to bless the lives of His choice children.

Allison Kimball:
I am your basic run-of-the-mill mother.
I have 9 amazing children.
I am wife to 1 magnificent man who loves and supports me.
I used to have 13 chickens, traded them in for 1 puppy.
I praise God whenever I can.  I would be nothing without Him.
In my free time I quilt, paint, design digital scrapbook kits, and read.


Click here to read a complete version of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The celebration will continue through Sept. 30.

Every time you leave a comment on any of the Proclamation posts or participate in any of the Blog Hops, you are entered in a drawing to win a giveaway prize.

← The giveaway this week is a gift certificate from Family Tree and Me redeemable for any of their Photo Family Proclamations, including the shipping cost. Readers of the Family Proclamation Celebration can receive a 25% discount off the price of the print if you use this code: Family Proclamation Celebration.25 The discount is good until September 30th. All those comment on posts will be eligible for the giveaway. Family Tree and Me delights in creating customized keepsake family photo art and would love the opportunity to make a meaningful art piece for you to display in your home. You provide the pictures and we create the art! We have four categories of art with a variety of options available within each one: Photo Family Trees, Photo Family Proclamations, Missionary Photo Art, and Photo Family Mission Statements.


17 thoughts on “Mothers and Nurturing, by Allison Kimball

  1. Oh Allison. I often feel the same way about being a mother, and love how well you have expressed that here. As always it is beautiful. Thank you ever so much for sharing, as I am sure that I am not alone in this feeling. (at least I hope not!) Being a mother is a blessing, but sometimes I need to be reminded of that. 🙂

  2. You are awesome. I can tell. I just know. You have have a BEAUTIFUL family, and this was a very powerful testimony. Thank you for sharing.

    • I don’t know about awesome, but thank you all the same. My family is beautiful, which I feel like I can say without too much pride as I had nothing to do with the genetic make up of most of my children. 😉 Thank you for your kindness.

    • Emily, thank you. I really enjoyed your blog post. I must be missing the gene completely, but thankfully the Lord is teaching me and helping make up for my weakness. Thanks again.

  3. I really really appreciate your honesty! Its nice to have others out there who sometimes feel the same way I do. I love love being a mom but there are times when the monotony gets to me and I wonder what will happen if I see one more dish.

  4. I LOVE THIS POST! 😀 Allison, thank you for writing and sharing your stories! You do good work! 🙂
    PS. I was planning to go to college and see the world and know a guy well for at least 5 years before marrying… I met a guy 8 years older than me towards the end of my senior year. Fell in love. And married him 4 months after our first date (he told me he was going to marry me on our FIRST date. 😮 Wowsers!) It has been 23 years now. We have had so many ups and down’s, but that roller coaster just keeps going higher! And I am SO THANKFUL to be married to him! He is the man of my dreams! 😀

    PPS. My kids are nearly grown, and I STILL PRAY to be the nurturer I SHOULD be (I’m sure I will still be praying for this even as my kids become grandparents! Parenthood is an eternal role!). What a HUGE task this is. But we must remember that our best IS good enough – no matter how far we may feel we fall short. Hugs. 🙂

    Corine 😀

  5. Thanks for being so open and honest. I struggle with a lot of the same feelings (being patient, nurturing, needing alone time, etc.), but I, too, wouldn’t trade the mother calling I have.

    P.S. I love that quote by Patricia Holland. In fact, that whole article is an amazing one, one every woman should read!

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