A recent conversation on my women’s WhatsApp group left me amazed by the diversity of our experiences. An expectant mum slicing into a cake dyed blue inside to announce the joy of finally having a boy after three girls; a new mom writing about her frustration with a teething baby’s cries and asking for advice; another woman saying that she had just met with some of the teen girls in her youth group for a picnic; a former co-worker posted a photograph of her infant with oxygen tubes in his nose and pleaded, “Please continue to pray, we are still waiting for his hole in heart surgery. Not out of the woods yet.” While at that, a photo of my niece popped up of her wearing her new ballet costume and the myriad of emotions as the stories kept unfolding were endless.

Then my son wandered into my room, cheeks flushed and rubbing his sleepy eyes, and said, “Mummy, can you get me some water please.” As I walked him to the kitchen to get that, I noticed some pictures and paintings on our refrigerator of his special notes to me expressing his appreciation for all I do for him and the family. As I walked him back to his room, my mind wandered to a dear friend of mine, as it often does, and I prayed God would comfort her as she continued to grieve her son’s death a few years ago.

In the shadowy bedroom, I looked over to see my daughter sound asleep, limbs adorably flapped across her bed with pillows and a teddy bear neatly stacked – and I felt my heart might explode. We experience so much joy and excitement in life in one breath – and so much pain and anxiety in another. What finite heart could contain all these things? How do mothers make it? Amid all this complexity, what does it mean for a woman to nurture?

In all our diverse seasons and experiences, the good book contains timeless and applicable truths about the one for whom we were made. In God’s Word, we see God’s good design for manhood and womanhood: the triune God made men and women in His image to display His glory and to nurture. Being made as a woman in God’s image is surely a wonderful thing. Motherhood is by no means an idol that we serve, but rather an intentional gift God has strategically designed and given us so that we might see His glory and make Him shine through the nurturing capabilities we have been given to impact others unto good works.

We miss the point of womanhood when our understanding is restrained by matters of culturally based stereotypes, mere biology, or procreative abilities. Today, the nurturing nature of motherhood cherished in past generations is often defamed because of a hardened push towards empowerment. The qualities of mentoring, educating, affirming, and developing young people in our household, neighbourhood, sphere of influence and those we encounter in diverse ways need reviving. Modern women often face immense pressure, leaving them feeling overwhelmed. Reconnecting with basic needs like rest and self-care can be a powerful form of active support. By prioritizing well-being, we build a foundation for a fulfilling and lasting legacy.

In most societies, women are predominantly seen as nurturers. It is implicitly expected that women will care for the young, the sick, the elderly and the communities they live in. Women help others grow, they bring them back to health, respond to their needs and offer support.  It is not exclusively the gift of child-bearing that we celebrate, but the nurturing of women we embrace. Not all women bear children, but all women have qualities that when nourished are nurturing.

Many women contribute to the need for love and affirmation in the healthy development and care of lives. Not all of us are born with healthy nurturing mothers, or learn nurturing skills, but we all have needs to be loved and developed. To help us all women develop or improve our nurturing skills, here are three things we can consider.

Unconditional Love & Security

Creating an environment where those you encounter feel valued, understood, and supported. This starts with the physical aspect of being there too; we all need a space we can call our own. A space where we can be vulnerable and not judged. Just as children, we want a place where we can put things, and play without worry about breaking something fragile or expensive, and where things are constant and unchanging. Less known is the emotional aspect. A child needs a space where they will feel affirmed, encouraged, and seen. Without both environments, a child can never “relax” or “rest” and so it is for almost everyone.

Boundaries & Discipline

Mothers understand the importance of setting some limits for their children. A child allowed to do whatever they want all day, every day will immediately eat ice cream and candy for breakfast, watch TV all morning, and feel sick and irritable by lunchtime. They are too young to know what’s best for them. Difficult as it may be, as a mother, it’s important to set clear and age-appropriate guidelines to teach your children about respect, responsibility, and following rules. Saying “Please” and “Thank You”, having patience, obeying the first time, and doing age-appropriate chores, are just some of the healthy ways that mothers can create this pillar. And, when your little one inevitably pushes against those boundaries and rules, they need age-appropriate consequences for their actions.

Self-Awareness & Role Models

Self-awareness is a combination of nurture and nature. Self-awareness serves as the foundation for personal growth. It involves understanding our strengths, weaknesses, emotions, and thought patterns. By developing self-awareness, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and become better equipped to support & nurture others. We cannot pour into others what we do not have. Self-love and self-nurture are priorities, so we are always full to give to others. Especially at an early age, children watch you more closely than you know. They record your every move, turn of phrase, and reaction to behaviour, both good and bad. They use that as the template for their development. As a mother, one of your most important responsibilities is to be a good model for your children and make sure that as much as possible, they are exposed only to other good role models.

Women don’t choose to be nurturers any more than men choose to be producers. These gender roles are based on societal values and expectations. A child growing up is mostly cared for by women. In families, mothers tend to be the primary caregivers. Nannies are mostly women. Nursery and elementary school teachers are likely to be women. Nurses are mostly women. The goal of nurturing is for humans to thrive in the most magnificent capacity possible. The call to nurture is the call to lovingly meet the needs of others.

As we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, let’s remember to celebrate not only the role but the qualities of the nurturing women. It is also good to remind ourselves that growing love gets our hands dirty. I would liken it to the title of a gardener. What matters is the basic knowledge and outcome of tending plants and pruning growth. Healthy roots produce beautiful fruit. They are life’s reward. Be grateful for others who have pruned and watered your thirsty garden. Now turn and water those who need a little TLC around you. It will nourish your own soul as well. Perhaps the celebration of Mother’s Day represents a reminder of balance and a return to some innate, softer emotional needs within us to keep nurturing for growth.


The writer is the Head of Executive Banking at Stanbic Bank Ghana

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.