Student or Learner
”Yes, I would love to!” I said, while thinking to myself, “maybe she means mother rather than friend, “ as I am almost twice her age. Whatever. Friends can mother and mothers can be friends, so who cares what you call it.
While I was searching for the word "mother", I found that "mother" can be functioned as a verb but it is "often disapproving." What do we learn from "often disapproving" in dictionary, please? By the way, I have checked "disapproving" and replied.
I'm going to take a guess at what puzzles you here.
You have learned that as a verb "mother" can sometimes be used disapprovingly, but when you look it up in the dictionary it seems to have a very positive meaning: "to treat a person with great kindness and love and to try to protect them from anything dangerous or difficult".
However, notice that the example given under the definition you have linked to, does use "mothering" in a disapproving way: "Stop mothering her – she's 40 years old and can take care of herself".
So "to mother" can also mean being excessively protective of someone.
not a teacher