Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Nurturers May 8, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

I can bitch with the best about how much I loathe the holiday that’s coming up this Sunday. I’ve spent past years avoiding church, restaurants, flower shops, TV ads, and, well, people who brightly wished me “HAPPY (you-know-who’s) DAY!” It was easier to hibernate than face painful reminders of what I am not.

But this year is different. This year I am embracing the second Sunday in May because a wise friend has transformed it for me. This year I am pulling out all the stops and celebrating because I am…drumroll, please…a Nurturer!

Here’s the message my friend sent out last May, and it is my message to you.

To the nurturers in us all: For helping friends in need, for compassion for strangers in pain, for helping children to learn, and for being good stewards of our world…Happy Nurturer’s Day!

If you are an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a coworker, a coach, or a listener. If you’ve comforted another person, if you’ve offered support or encouragement, or if you’ve shared a hug. If you’ve read something on this site and responded with kind words or sent up a prayer for a sister in need. If you’ve been any or all of these things, then it’s time you acknowledge yourself.

You’ve been there for me, in our forums, in your comments, in your presence here with us on this site. For that I say, Thank you! and Happy Nurturer’s Day!

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with her decision to be childfree.


19 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Nurturers”

  1. Lane Says:

    Too bad that’s not the reality, always stings!! No matter how nurturing and care taking I am for everyone else, after all, I have the time, I don’t have kids!! It’s expected I take care of my elderly, sick parents. No busy, kid filled activities on weekends for me, I can give all my free time to whom ever needs it. I just love to hear the complaining about how busy mommies are on the weekends!!!

  2. Kate B Says:

    I’m glad you feel that way about it and can make it a good day for you. I will probably hibernate as usual that day. I can’t think of it the same way you do. To me, that’s kind of like every kid getting a trophy in Little League, win or lose.

  3. Amel Says:

    THANK YOU for this!!! I was a bit bummed the other day when thinking about the approaching Mother’s Day here in Finland, knowing that nobody will probably ever call me mother, but I tried focusing more on what I could/can do to celebrate it with my MIL. But this post has made me smile so much today. THANK YOU!!! Happy Nurturer’s Day!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  4. Maria Says:

    I like your spin — and isn’t that the truth — that anything can be spun to be positive. My mother is still alive, and my 2 sister’s are mothers. I usually take them all out to lunch the Saturday before to avoid the crowds. Then Sunday I spend at home doing what I love so. I recall going out once with my husband to lunch on Mother’s Day because we forgot what day it was. The hostess wished me a happy mother’s day and then looked terrified. My husband said my face looked like I was about to slap her. I don’t feel that way anymore but thought you might get a laugh out of it. I have a niece who looks just like me, acts just like me and we are very close. She’s now in her 20s and my husband said it’s like seeing the younger version of me when he and I first met. A few years ago my niece sent me a mother’s day card and it was so unexpected and sweet it made me cry. I may not have my own daughter, but honestly I couldn’t have picked a better person to be a daughter to me than her — I feel very lucky in that respect.

  5. Jenny Says:

    I have to confess that I haven’t been in church for the past several months since our infertility journey escalated and came to an end. I think it will be a long while before I can go back. Maybe it is just because of where we live: belt buckle of the Bible belt, but churches here are so child centered and there is no place for childfree couples. Mother’s Day is a zoo. Anyhoo. I have three younger siblings, as in *much* younger – my mom had kids into her 40’s – and they are like my kids but I don’t expect a card or a corsage. I plan to hole up that day and try to forget about it. Last year we were heading into IVF, and I was hoping to celebrate pregnant. I was watching tv last night and was overwhelmed at the number of commercials. Just about every other one was sponsored by Hallmark and showed moms from every angle. If they work so hard to cover all the bases, why have we been forgotten? Shouldn’t there be something for a “nurturer” or someone with a mom’s heart, or even something along the lines of “I know today is very difficult for you I am sorry for your loss…”

    • Amel Says:


      • Maria Says:

        Totally agree, that’s why I was so surprised when my niece sent me a mother’s day card. She wrote in it that she thinks of me as her second mom. She was the only person in my family that understood my pain during infertility and reached out to me in a way to make me feel better. Most people just don’t think that way. I’m sorry you are having a hard time. You are right to stay home and do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

  6. Jen Says:

    With my Mom passing away 4 years ago, Mother’s Day just wasn’t the same since and then with my second miscarriage two years ago, I really stopped participating in it at all. The last two were especially hard because I would stay home and just feel miserable. Now, it feels different and I am in the better place of acceptance. This year, we are having my hubby’s sister and family over (no little kids, just one 15 year old) and I am actually looking forward to it (we are going to make pizzas on the grill and drink Skinnygirl cocktails…yummy!). I really like the reference to it as a Nurturer’s Day because I have definitely done my share of nurturing…thanks, Lisa.

  7. Kellie Says:

    Thank you for you post Kathleen….I will try and turn this otherwise dreadful day into something positive…and Happy Nurturer’s Day to you too!

  8. IrisD Says:

    Growing up, for some reason, I never looked at this holiday as mother’s celebrating themselves, but as women and men celebrating or remembering their own mothers. I think this is because my grandmothers, whose mothers had passed away, used to wear a white carnation in remembrance of their mothers and those of us who had mothers wore red carnations. Then, when my grandmothers passed away, it was such a difficult holiday for my mom and aunts as they started wearing the white carnations. I have two childless aunts, and we always got together as a family to celebrate (grandmothers, mother, aunts), and after my brother’s marriage and entry into fatherhood (sister-in-law, sister-in-law’s mother, grandmother, aunts). All the women got a gift, whether they were actual biological mothers, or nurturers (second moms) like my aunts. We would have a restaurant cater and just eat a quiet meal together. Was it less commercialized then? Was there less of a reference to mommy this or mommy that? I’m thinking definitely. (Opening the internet today there was an article on a paralyzed woman competing a marathon with I believe some sort of “bionic suti”, the title is “paralyzed Mom”.) I’m flying to Spain Sunday morning, but hopefully I’ll do a little something earlier to celebrate my mom and my aunt, the women who have really made a difference in my life.

  9. IrisD Says:

    Forgot to say, Happy Nurturer’s Day to everyone!

  10. loribeth Says:

    Thanks for the acknowledgement, Kathleen, & I get the point — but until we start seeing ads for Nurturer’s Day, I think this will remain a difficult time for a lot of us who aren’t mothers and who don’t get acknowledged for the nurturing we do for others.

    Dh’s mother died before I met her, & mine lives a two-hour flight away — so we generally practice avoidance on Mother’s Day — maybe hide out a movie. ; )

  11. Kim Slater Says:

    Ladies… I am so sorry for your situations. I just want to put it out there that you ladies all have one thing in common: courage. I hope you all realize this and if you need something to celebrate this weekend… celebrate that! May peace and blessings be with all of you!

  12. jeopardygirl Says:

    My own mother is not a big fan of Mother’s Day. She’s satisfied if we call her and tell her we’re thinking of her. It’s made dealing with the hoopla so much easier for me, since a big production was never modelled in our home. I can ignore it, and I do.

    Nurturer’s Day also sounds good because it’s gender-neutral–it could apply to men, as well as women. A male friend of mine can’t have children, and he feels just as left out as any non-Mom does when Father’s Day rolls around. Twice a year doesn’t seem like much for the people who care for others, in my opinion.

  13. Lee Cockrum Says:

    I still can’t deal with the day either. We usually stay home, but we will be leaving on vacation on Friday, so we will need to eat out. Will do our best to avoid any place that looks like it will be giving out flowers. I am looking forward to going out to see the new Johnny Depp movie!!

  14. mina Says:

    I don’t suffer so much from mother’s day. My own mom isn’t so elderly yet and i like spending time with her. she is also very active and has her own big cercle of friends, hobbies, partner etc. I believe she deserves thanks for having been a good mother when i was little. So mother’s day is about spending some time with her and that’s nice.
    Still, recently I went to buy my favourite cheese in the shop and i realized that they had the brand name changed in honour of mother’s day! WTF….??

  15. Annoyed mom. Says:

    cant you just celebrate your own mom’s, dh’s mom , etc ? why do you need to take mothers day? you’re not a mother. ok, petition for nurturers day to be something legal in the calendar year but i am so tired of the politically correctness out there and changing or renaming days to suit everyone. not everyone can be pleased. just had to deal with my sister being pissed because she didnt get anything for mothers day. she chooses to be childless. moms are unrecognized 364 days per year so let us enjoy the one we get recognized for.

  16. […] left the house well armed to face Mother’s Day (which I intended to embrace as Nurturer’s Day). Aside from calling the mothers in my own family, I had no need to recognize this Hallmark […]

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