But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. (1 Thessalonians 2:7 - ESV)
As Paul continues his attempt to distinguish himself from the traveling speakers of his day, he turns also to his behavior with the Thessalonians. He compares the way he was among them as the way a nursing mother is with her children... her own children. They are not nameless crowds that he is building numbers and gathering a following with: No! They are like his very own children, and he is gentle toward them.