When I think of motherhood, I often think of the word nurture. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines nurture as, “to help (something or someone) to grow, develop, or succeed.” I would say that mothers are called to help their offspring grow, develop, and succeed. However, what about the women who also do these things but do not have children? I could not, for the life of me, figure out if there was a name for a woman like this. A childless woman who has the heart of a mother. A woman who nurtures the people in her tribe with the spirit of a mother. Since I am dedicating this post to the women in my life like this, I have decided to deem them Soul-Moms.
Soul-Moms Who Have Nurtured My Kids
One of my earliest Soul-Moms was my older sister. Like many younger sisters, I adored my big sis. Everything she did was cool. I copied her like a shadow. I’m sure it was to an annoying degree, based on the amount of eye rolls I received during our formative years. Even though I was a pain in the butt little sister, I knew that she had my back when it mattered the most. She was always there to help me.
After I had my first child, my Soul-Mom big sis stepped into her new role as auntie beautifully. She immediately had a car seat in her own vehicle to help shuttle around our little guy. My husband and I were very poor college students at the time, and she was always there to provide free child care, bring treats and gifts for our son, and help with any other need we had.
Over the years as our family grew, she remained a close part of the lives of our children. She always went out of her way to know them deeply, even when she lived across the country from us for several years. I would now call her a Soul-Mom to all three of my kids. As I sit and reflect on all the ways she’s blessed our family by caring for us and helping us grow and succeed over the years, I feel so very thankful.
In 2012, my family and I moved to Rochester, a town where we knew no one. Slowly, I began to make friends and connections. My tribe grew, and I am lucky to have found more Soul-Moms in the process. These women make my life richer. They nurture me in many different ways. Although we are not related, I feel like they are family.
Looking back throughout the years, I am so thankful for the Soul-Moms who loved on my children like they were their own. I am thankful that they loved on me like I was their own. I am thankful for the hot meals during hard times, words of encouragement, child care, thoughtful gifts, invitations over for a cup of coffee, mentorship, and so much more. Thank you for being a cheerleader in my life.
To all the Soul-Moms out there, thank you. Thank you for stepping in and nurturing those in your circle of influence. It truly does take a village to raise a child, and mamas like me appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.
Do you have a Soul-Mom in your life? How have they nurtured you?