This paper presents a new approach to the conceptualization of motherhood in Russian. There are two underlying principles – birth and nurturance – which are of importance in this discussion. Because it is not necessary that both are present for someone to be called мать, it is difficult to find an explication that describes all meanings of мать sufficiently. Therefore a different approach must be taken. I distinguish between the different meanings of мать while uniting them within one concept. It is necessary to go beyond mere explications of meanings and take into consideration the various connotations associated with these meanings. Using the theory presented by Iordanskaja/Mel'čuk (1980) where connotations need to be proven linguistically, this paper draws on the different connotations and separates them from the explication in order to compile a more appropriate semantic description of the concepts of motherhood. In such an approach, мать becomes semantically more transparent, since it will be divided into distinctive meanings.