Celebrating All Nurturers on Mother’s Day

Let’s redefine Motherhood Beyond Traditional Roles
Woman reading to kids.

“You have so much to give… why wouldn’t you become a mom?” As a single 40-year-old woman who does not have children, I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count.

I want to give a sincere shoutout to the women out there who have decided to be mothers and who love motherhood. I have many friends who are mothers, and I am very close with my own mom. I appreciate the love, care, and commitment it takes to be a good mother.

It’s just not the pathway I decided to take for myself. I’m a naturally nurturing person, and with the time and money I haven’t invested in raising children of my own, I’ve dedicated countless hours and resources to community service work over the past 20 years while creating a life that I’m truly proud of.

My headline this Mother’s Day: Women of any family status can and do embrace our nurturing side, and we should celebrate that.

Although we choose not to have traditional nuclear families of our own, many childless mavens still want and work toward building healthy and robust family-friendly communities. In fact, many of us become secondary or even primary caretakers for other adults or children in our lives and appreciate and value those amenities and family-focused programs ourselves.

This Mother’s Day, I encourage you to recognize the many ways mavens can (and do) tap into their nurturing skills and leave a legacy of love and care in their community outside of being a traditional caretaker:

Volunteer for community organizations where you can provide nourishment to those in need.


Food is a wonderful vehicle for connecting with others while providing nourishment and care. Volunteering with a local organization that feeds your community can be a great way to give back and feel fulfilled. You can serve food at a local food pantry, care for a community garden to provide your neighbors with healthy food options, or inquire about meal delivery programs for homebound seniors.

Provide support to local youngsters.

Woman reading to kids.

Just because we don’t have kids of our own doesn’t mean we don’t want to have fun supporting kiddos in our community. Mavens can connect with youth by volunteering to help with youth programs at their church, raising their hand as a coach for a youth sports team, or participating in formal programs, like serving as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Mentor young professionals to help them take the next steps in their careers.

Not everyone has parents who can provide them with good professional advice and career guidance. If you are a professional maven and have experience navigating a professional space, negotiating salary and title, and advocating for yourself and others, share that knowledge! This could be as simple as inquiring about mentorship opportunities with your employer’s HR department or engaging with structured mentorship programs like Pass the Torch for Women.

Support new families in the area through immigrant and refugee support programs.

Refugee child waiting for a train.With the affordable cost of living, ample job market, and the kind hearts of Hoosiers, Indiana hosts a vibrant refugee community, providing a new home for families from all over the globe. Many of these families leave their homes with less than a suitcase of belongings, and Mavens can pitch in their time, talent, and resources to help these new families feel welcome in Indiana. Raise your hand to help Exodus Refugee Immigration move a family into their own residence or volunteer in the Immigrant Welcome Center’s Natural Helper program, providing support and guidance as these newcomers navigate their new home’s resources and social structures.

Pitch in with organizations that support survivors of domestic violence and their families.

Many times, women with children become trapped in domestic violence situations because they don’t have the resources to care for themselves and their children on their own. Organizations like Coburn Place offer women shelter and resources to break the cycle of domestic violence and start over in a safe space. In addition to donating helpful items, Mavens can support these families with activities like helping with grounds maintenance or landscaping, assisting with children’s activities, and even helping adult residents study for their GED.

Embrace the furry family members in our community by engaging with animal programs.

A dog getting love and pets from a human.Pets can play a major role in bringing people together, and Indy has some wonderful programs to support healthy animals in our community. Did you know you can provide a foster home to an animal waiting to be adopted? Depending on your commitment level, IndyHumane offers a variety of ways to donate your time in addition to fostering or adoption, including volunteering at the shelter or showing up for a Pet Adoption Wagon event. Who doesn’t want to spend a lovely Saturday helping our furry friends find new humans and homes?

Celebrate the women around you for their unique accomplishments.

Women celebrating together.Women accomplish so many amazing things! Make it a point to raise a glass to the Mavens in your life as they start their own business, earn a promotion, receive a community service award, host an art show or concert, or any of the other fabulous accomplishments that are important to them. Don’t just celebrate personal milestones related to family status like marriage and children—remember that the women in your life are doing incredible things for themselves and their communities. Take the time to be aware of how your friends and family are investing their time and recognize the success they’re finding and the impact they’re making.

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