When 14th century mystic, Julian of Norwich, writes of God as mother, she is not using God as mother, instead of God as Father. And she’s also not trying to write a feminist theology because that wasn’t in her consciousness at that time. Instead she was trying to describe the love of God she experienced, particularly in the act of advent, of God coming as the Christ. And the best description she could think of was the love of a mother. There were other theologians before Julian both male and female that described God as mother. But Julian was one of the first to really describe a full theology of God’s motherhood.
“Now it is time to say a little more about this expanding and saturating action of the Mother, as I understood it. The motherhood of mercy and grace brings us back to our source, where we were created by the motherhood of love. This mother-love never leaves us. God chose to become our Mother in all ways, humbly and tenderly cultivating the ground of his work in the womb of a maiden.”The Showings, Chapter 60, Translation by Mirabai Starr