But that's just one of the many, many roles a mother will play in a single day. From sharing times of laughter to creating learning moments out of everyday chaos, the relationship between a mother and her child is a profound and almost mystical one.
Below are stories of nine mothers who have seen the ups and downs of raising a child. Some are happy, and some are sad, but together, they create a collage of the important bond between a mother and her child, no matter the species.
A mother protects.