While we don’t often compare ourselves to animal parents, reading through this list of exhausted creatures will make you smile and think, “Yep, I’ve been there!” Not unlike parents of the human world, these animal parents likely dream about a full-time nanny, a bit of occasional privacy, and an 8-hour-long nap! But, that’s unfortunately not how life works in the animal kingdom!
Here You Go
Children are always letting their curiosity get the best of them, but our pets are no better. So, when you have both a cat and a kitten in your home, you can expect that they're going to be up to no good more often than not. While this kitty may have had good intentions, it's more likely that she's just adding to the chaos.
It's like when your kid tries to make you breakfast in bed. Their hearts are always in the right place, but they tend to leave us with quite a mess to clean up. Fortunately for this kitten, her mom was around to help her reach those snacks. It's one way parents can bond with their kids!
These Adorable Lovebirds
Look at these two lovebirds! The way they're looking at their offspring with such admiration and pride resembles every new parent as they look upon their newborn in the hospital. Likely these two lovebirds are proud of the results of their combined DNA.
When 50 Shades of Grey ladybird and Tucan Sam male mated, they produced some truly unique birds. As the perfect combination of the two, this look of admiration won't last forever. After several sleepless nights, they'll probably start looking at their kids with eyes of exhaustive regret.
Mama Rhino Multitasking
One of the most difficult parts of being a new parent is waking up every night to feed the baby. While humans are stuck powering through these first few months, mothers of the animal kingdom have figured out a way to multitask so that they don't even have to move when their offspring get hungry. Take this rhino, for example.
While she's in a deep sleep dreaming about what life was like before she had a kid, her newborn can safely feed itself without disturbing Mom. This gives a whole new perspective to late-night feedings! If only humans could figure out a way to feed their children without having to wake up.
Whose Baby Is This?
Every mother or father has at one time, or another called their child by the wrong name. It's only human nature! However, it's not often that parents forget what their children look like and take home a different kid by accident. But that's totally what this kitty mother just did!
This cat mistook this owl for one of her kittens, and it took her a while to figure out her mistake. Too long. It wasn't until she started bathing the strange feathered kitten that she even took a second look at her baby. This photo was caught after the cat paused, suddenly realizing this wasn't her child. Hilariously enough, the owl seems to be quite surprised too!
Play Time Is Over
Tugging on a child's ear is a form of discipline as old as time. It causes enough discomfort to get a kid to behave without causing any actual pain, and it seems like humans aren't the only ones to use this technique. Parents of the animal kingdom will often carry their offspring by the ear when they aren't behaving.
That's exactly what this mama bear is doing as she carries her child by the ear. While there's no way of being certain if she's bringing her furry child out of their cave for some fresh air or back into the cave where it's safe, this mom has their best interest in mind. It may look harsh, but it doesn't hurt, and it's a common way polar bears carry around their young.
The Child Leash
While child leashes have caused controversy in the past, it's not uncommon for monkeys to use their child's tail to keep tabs on them. Human parents use them to ensure their kids don't wander off in grocery stores or destroy another vitamin display at the pharmacy.
This monkey mom likely had different intentions when she grabbed onto her kid's tail, though. Perhaps he was misbehaving, running off into the jungle without his mom's permission. If people who put their kids on leashes don't change their minds after seeing this, then they never will! They'll just go on living looking as silly as this monkey.
When You Hug the Wrong Mom
Standing at just a few feet tall, it's not uncommon for toddlers to accidentally wrap their arms around the wrong calves when out in public with their parents. From their perspective, most legs look the same, and it's easy to get confused. It appears that this poor kitten has made a similar mistake.
As long as she's getting fed, the kitten doesn't seem to mind where the milk comes from. This new dog mom, however, appears to be quite confused by her pup's new look. Combined with the exhaustion of taking care of her own babies and the kitty intruder, it's possible this dog will think this is all just a bad dream.
If Your Child Never Took Naps
You know that exhausting feeling when your child refuses to sleep despite how hard you work to wear them out throughout the day? So, you end up on the bed beside them and hope that the combination of your presence and complete silence will eventually get them to doze off. Most likely, though, you end up falling asleep before they do.
This hedgehog duo seems to be going through the same thing. The baby appears to be wide awake, doing a big stretch, while mommy is desperate for some shut-eye. Taken right out of the parenting playbook, she might soon pretend to sleep so that the child will follow suit. Like most new parents, though, she's going to need practice.
This Cuddly Cinnamon Bun of Love
Parents are often willing to give their kids the shirts off their backs to keep them safe and happy. In the human world, this means giving our kids food, clothes, and a warm place to sleep. In the animal kingdom, however, parenting is a bit different.
This adorable wolf-mother offers her pup a cozy place to nap, literally giving up her personal space. She selflessly offers her body heat to her child so that they can be nice and toasty during the cold winter months. This demonstrates more than just great parenting, but a truly picture-perfect moment.
I Love You But Go Away
Just like any parent, this weary-looking dog looks like she needs a break. Having children doesn't mean you want them around 24/7. Everyone deserves some time off every once in a while, even from a job as demanding as parenthood. There's no reason why she can't get some shuteye while her pups use her as a pillow, though!
As a parent, you're used to sharing your space with your kids. If they're not crawling into your bed, then they're following you to the bathroom or shouting for attention from across the room. No one said parenting was easy! Regardless, after some rest and perhaps a quick nap, she'll likely feel better about her pups napping on top of her.
Once your child reaches the age where they start talking back, you just might second-guess any plans to have more kids. Parenting truly gets interesting when your toddler discovers their voice, as they quickly learn that they can say no to you. Who knew a kitten so tiny could be so loud?!
It's not just toddlers who learn to have a mind of their own, though. This kitten looks like he has just figured out that his mouth makes noise and is giving his mommy a piece of his mind. Like all new parents, this momma cat is far from thrilled about this new development and likely preferred it when her offspring were quiet and peaceful.
No Corner Is Safe
When we want some privacy, we all have our small, safe places we like to go to. Usually, it's the bathroom with the best lock. We tend to think none of our kids will find us in the unusual corners of our house, but alas, they always do. When they're up against children, locked doors don't stand a chance!
In a bid to get away from her pups, this new mom seems to have just discovered the perks of a private corner. Take a look at that adorably worn-out face desperate for some serenity and perhaps some sleep. Unfortunately, she won't be getting much of that until her pups get older!
How Am I Going to Do This?
Traveling with kids is always a struggle, and the more kids you have, the harder it gets. If you have several children, you can probably relate to this opossum. With six young ones clinging onto her back, she's probably questioning her decision to procreate. While they may not be on their way to Disney World, these baby opossums are certainly in for a wild ride.
Walking along this narrow fence with all of her kids in tow is a skill most parents can't claim, but based on the look in this new mom's eyes, it may not be as easy as it looks. Likely they all got down safely, though, as opossums tend to be more nimble than most humans.
While it has been a while since Disney's "The Lion King" was released, there are several scenes that tend to stick in everyone's mind. One scene, in particular, shows Simba tugging at his father's ear in a bid to wake him up. Just as Mufasa wasn't having it, neither is this bulldog!
His pup seems to have stolen this move directly from the famous scene, as she tugs on her dad's ear while he snoozes. Whether the pup was looking for something to nibble on or just looking for some attention, he decided that going for his dad's ear was his best option. Either way, this pappa bulldog doesn't look happy about it.
All parents recognize the look on this dog's face. It's the look that we get when we're woken up by a crying baby in the middle of the night, knowing that our day has to start in just a few hours. Knowing that we likely won't be able to get back to sleep. While those in the animal kingdom don't have to get up for work, they still have to deal with late-night feedings.
They say, "The eyes are the windows to the soul," and in this case, this dog's soul is clearly exhausted. Staring away from the camera, she just might be wondering why her human has enough time to stand around taking pictures but hasn't come to rescue her yet!
Every parent is familiar with this situation. There's no break time for mommy and daddy when there's a young one running around. Despite how tired they are, they're constantly seeking our attention, and one way or another, they're going to get it!
This rhino was enjoying a siesta when it got abruptly interrupted. Her offspring concluded that he needed some of mom's attention and let her know by sitting on her head. She can try to keep pretending to be asleep, but kids rarely give up easily once they've set their minds on something!
Staying Safe In Momma's Pouch
Many new moms will admit that they were more overprotective with their firstborn than they were with their others. This is likely because new parents are practically clueless and tend to be more nervous. It's not uncommon for newborns to be compared to a joey (baby kangaroo).
Immediately after a kangaroo is born, it climbs into its mother's pouch. Just the size of a jellybean, the pouch is where the joey feels safe and is able to drink its mother's milk. It's in the pouch that they're able to grow until they're large enough to take care of themselves.
We all may be guilty of booping a dog on the nose, but how many of you can say you've done that with a dog who came with its very own boop button? Very few! Some believe this pup was born with a paw-shaped birthmark after he was trampled on by his siblings in the womb, but we think it was put there for his humans to enjoy.
Completely unaware of the appeal his nose has, the pup is peacefully snoozing the day away. Unfortunately, as the pup grew, so did his nose. The separate spots in his unique birthmark eventually merged together, eliminating this one-of-a-kind feature. His dog parents certainly don't love him any less, though!
Blink Twice for Help
Snickerdoodle seems to be over the whole mommy thing and is desperately asking for help with her eyes. It's the same look all new moms have every time they leave the house. If you aren't a parent, then you may confuse her. Look for one that's asking for a treat or a walk, but most likely, she's desperate for a break from her pups.
Unfortunately, there's very little the human behind the camera can do to help her out. Snickerdoodle may have gotten in over her head, but her doggy anxiety will only last as long as her pups are nursing. Unlike humans, dogs start to wean their puppies in just four weeks.
Children make the perfect snuggle buddies. When they fall into our arms, as parents, we tend to feel a sense of calm and comfort. That emotion seems to apply to the animal kingdom as well, as we can see in the photo. This cat momma is hugging her baby tightly, demonstrating her love and maternal instincts.
Parents tend to underestimate the importance of hugging and snuggling their children. Their development heavily depends on this contact as well as the way their caretakers treat them. By simply hugging your children, you can reduce feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Who knew!?
Giving the Kids a Swimming Lesson
One distinct feature of the South American Capybara is the way they teach their offspring essential values. Similar to human parents, they give their kids the skills they need to ensure they can survive in the wild on their own. In this picture, we can see a momma Capybara doing just that.
These youngins are learning the art of swimming with their mother in the lead. This is just another example demonstrating the importance of hands-on parenting, especially in the wild. It's essential to be able to impart life lessons to your child to help them get the best out of life!
This Is My Life Now
Kids don't care where they sleep. Whether they're humans or dogs, children can snooze just about anywhere. This includes on top of their parents. This pup seems to have found a sweet spot right on mom's neck, and by the look in her eyes, they've been in this position for quite a while.
However, as any parent knows, waking up a sleeping child is a big mistake. Despite how uncomfortable this furry mom gets, she won't budge until her pup does. At least one of them will be getting a good snooze in.
Nobody Told Me
New parents in the human world are fortunate enough to have a ton of resources to help get them through those first few months. Between all the books, videos, and blog posts available to us, there are few surprises after bringing home a newborn. However, things are quite different in the animal kingdom.
Cats can't exactly pick up a copy of "What To Expect When You're Expecting," leaving them at quite a disadvantage. By the look on this new mom's face, she clearly didn't know what she was getting herself into. Perhaps she didn't get the memo about having to feed her kittens numerous times a day. Either that or this is how this cat mom looks when she wakes up!
When you roll out of bed as a parent, the passion for parenthood can sometimes get lost, especially if you wake up in a bed covered in stale cereal and sticky toys after getting a whopping two hours of rest. You may start to wonder why you ever thought having a family was such a great idea in the first place. Lack of sleep can do wonders for the brain!
This cat right here undoubtedly knows what it's like to be sleep-deprived. By the look in her eyes, her litter of kittens must have kept her awake most of the night. Lovingly nicknamed "Cathulu" by the internet, and rightfully so, she's the kind of flexible superhero that mothers often become after giving birth.
Sealing a Kiss
Just like humans, animals also show affection to their loved ones with a kiss. Take these seals, for example. This new momma adores her newborn and shows her affection without any reservations. Simply adorable!
Every parent can agree that the first time they laid eyes on their child, they couldn't resist giving them a ton of hugs and kisses. This just happens to be how most animals react toward a loved one. According to Winnie the Pooh, sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in our hearts!
He Did What?!
Despite the species, you never want to get between a mom and her child. Moms across the animal kingdom are known to be aggressive toward anyone who threatens their cubs. They don't call women momma bears for no reason!
This lioness is certainly not messing around. She's on a mission to confront whoever troubled her cub, and she likely won't be taking any prisoners alive. The adorable cub clings to his mother's side in fear, using her mother's body as a shield of protection from whatever seems to have startled him. You definitely don't want to be face-to-face with a lioness protecting her cub!
No More Candy Before Bed
Giving a child sugar close to bedtime is a huge no-no in the parenting world. The unwritten rule helps to avoid overly hyper children and sleepless nights. Despite this, however, youngins will still get bursts of energy from time to time. Since a leopard's diet doesn't include sugary treats, this cub is likely just in the mood to play.
However, this leopard mom certainly doesn't look like she's in the mood for playing. Well aware of the fact that her cub will pester her until she caves, it looks like she won't be getting sleep anytime soon. Ah, the joyous moments of motherhood! It's only a matter of time before this little guy has his own cubs and will finally understand his mom's pain.
A Kiss From Baby
There are only a few things that are more precious than an impromptu kiss from a child. This momma hippo knows all about that as she steals a smooch from her baby. This tiny hippo is just a few weeks old and has a ton of charm despite being a newborn. He has character and charisma that are obvious by the way he affectionately pecks his mother.
This little hippo follows his mother everywhere she goes, as it's how he will ultimately become acquainted with basic survival skills. Whenever he wanders away, however, he does so under close supervision. Momma hippo is never too far away!
What Have I done?
A large part of parenthood is learning new ways to handle the exhaustion. While as humans, we can hire nannies or get a babysitter for a night, our feline friends don't have the same privilege. Since those in the animal kingdom can't just leave their kids with a sitter while they meet up with their friends for a drink, they have to resort to other ways to work through their tiredness.
Perhaps this tired mom of several kittens is focusing on what life was like before motherhood. Back when her life was carefree, and naps were plentiful. Compared to what her life has become, surely she looks back at that time as the glory days. Surely the sight of her beautiful furry babies will remind her of the joys of motherhood, though!
Leave Me Be
Here is yet another member of the animal kingdom that has mastered the art of motherhood! If being a parent could be summed up in a single picture, this would certainly be it. While she snoozes away, her kittens have access to eat with no effort on her part.
While most cats wouldn't dream of napping in this strange position, it's one of the few positions that allow her to multitask. When her kittens wake up hungry, she won't even have to budge for them to have access to her milk. It's genius!
While many first-time parents fear their kids will get their mother's nose or their grandfather's hairline, there's also the joy of seeing a child that comes out with the features we love. They may have your partner's smile and your eyes, adding to the already prominent bond a parent has with their newborn from the moment they arrive. Parents of the animal kingdom may have similar emotions when they give birth.
This mama dog may be exhausted after delivering eight pups, but she's certainly proud of passing on her unique birthmark. Here, momma is posing with one of her newborn puppies showing off their identical heart-shaped markings. We can only hope this one-of-a-kind trait gets passed down again and again!
Parents are often proud of their children, despite their shortcomings. A baby doesn't have to grow up to be successful or even very intelligent to earn the love of their parents. Those in the animal kingdom are no different, as we can see pictured here.
As these cats look over their offspring with pride, we can see their kittens busily slurping up their food without a care in the world; they're admiring their creations.
My Special Place
Every cat has a special spot in the house that they've claimed as their own. For this cat, it's the bathroom sink. Or it was until her kittens caught on to how cozy and quiet her special spot was. It's every parent's worst nightmare!
We all have our private places at home, but all that goes away when our children discover it. Unfortunately, these kittens found their mom's special spot and decided to join her in it. There goes this mamma cat's peaceful mid-afternoon nap!
We've Definitely Made This Face
As a parent, we've all had that moment when we thought, "What was I thinking when I decided to have children?" It runs through our minds when our kids use a screwdriver to draw pictures on our new car, or when they rip off their clothes in public, or when they throw a fit in the supermarket by ripping everything off the shelves in that aisle.
Based on her expression, that's precisely what's going through this opossum's mind. While she may be trapped in the middle of a major breakdown, look at how her babies remain calm. Unfortunately for this new mom, she can't play dead to get out of this one.
The Classic Pin
The classic cuddle and pin move is most commonly used among parents of antsy toddlers who just won't stay in bed. As a last resort, this technique involves holding the child tight enough, so they ultimately wear out and fall asleep.
Looking at this gorilla spooning her offspring, it would appear that humans aren't the only species that get frustrated with their kids around bedtime. This gorilla seems to be using it to calm her rambunctious young. Likely she's desperate to get her child to sleep just so she can get some shut-eye.
Like most toddlers, peacocks are lovely creatures to look at but quickly lose their appeal when they start following you around. This particular peacock is leucistic, which is the condition described earlier that affects the pigment in animal skin, feathers, fur, and shells. That's why we can see the traditional colors on this peacock's feathers in addition to the absence of colors.
Leucistic animals are so rare in the wild as it makes them easier targets for predators. While the absence of color may sound like it would allow animals to disguise themselves more easily, the opposite is actually true. The white patches tend to make them easy prey. Fortunately, these days leucistic animals are being rescued by organizations around the world that work to protect and care for them, allowing the public to get a glimpse of these beautiful creatures more often.
This adorable kitty's name is Sam, and as you can see from his photo, he has quite a unique look. Not only do his eyebrows give him a permanently puzzled expression, but they've earned him internet fame as well. Born in 2012, Sam has more than 237,000 Instagram followers and nearly half a million fans on his Facebook page; Sam Has Eyebrows.
According to his profile, Sam loves tomatoes and hiding from his humans. While he's known for having one of the most innocent faces in the world, he tends to get into a bit of mischief from time to time. But with those eyebrows, how could his humans ever get upset? Imagine he trashes the room, and then he looks at you with those eyes. You probably couldn't help but laugh!
There's nothing more adorable than a child's sun-kissed cheeks. There's something childlike and playful about freckles that most animals can't pull off. This dog, however, certainly looks like a ginger pooch if we've ever seen one! You can't look into his eyes without falling in love.
A combination of a Pitbull and an American Cattle Dog, he gets his reddish spots from the latter of the two. His freckled body downplays his toned physique, making him less intimidating than most Pitbull mixes. How could anyone look into those adorable eyes and not want to give them a scratch?
As parents, the first time our child flashes a smile is one of the most memorable moments of our lives. Who knew something as basic as a tiny grin could melt our hearts and change our lives forever? When this little guy was found on the street, he was taken to a local animal shelter, where he melted the hearts of all who met him.
It's not quite clear if he was born with a beaming smile or a conveniently placed mustache, but there's no doubt that this puppy will have no trouble finding a home. How could anyone resist? Between his wagging tail, brisk stance, and puppy dog eyes, this pup takes adorable to a whole new level. There's no doubt he's charming everyone he meets to this day.
An Underwater Beauty
Parents love their kids unconditionally, despite any differences. In the animal kingdom, differences are celebrated and often cherished. Contrary to how it appears, this turtle is not an albino but leucistic.
Leucism is a condition that animals sometimes experience in which a limited amount of pigmentation is lost. It causes them to have a variety of colors and patterns in their fur, shell, and skin. Unlike those who suffer from albinism, leucism doesn't cause a lack of pigment in the eyes. Coming across an animal in the wild with this condition is rare and often considered good luck.
Cookies and Cream
As parents, we all think our children are just perfect the way they are. While no one is perfect, this pup certainly comes close! This cookies&cream-looking puppy is a "Dapple Doxie," — a nickname dog lovers use to describe spotted Dachshunds. More than just adorable, he's photogenic as well!
This dog's beautifully patterned fur may come from either his mom or dad, as at least one parent must be spotted for the gene to be passed on. Only a cold-hearted individual could ignore this adorable pup's longing expression and fluffy ears. He deserves all of the pets and cuddles in the world!
Face Framing Ears
While you've seen a cat with cat ears, have you ever seen a cat wearing cat ears? Well, now you have. Even though it's unclear why this cat's human recently purchased a black headband adorned with a pair of cat ears from Etsy, the cat may have been born with a deformity or was injured leading to the loss of her ears, or her human could be a big Ariana Grande fan. We don't know for sure.
What we may know, however, is that in addition to having the most beautiful green eyes, this cat just made herself more lovely by wearing this hilariously appropriate headgear. We are most definitely sure that most feline lovers will want this astonishing cat as a pet!
"Look At Me, Mom!"
We already know that puppies like to bite and chew on everything, including their mom. In this picture, it looks like this puppy is trying to tell his mom who’s boss! He’s the only one in the litter that has this color, so maybe he thinks he is superior and can get away with this behavior.
But moms see through everything, and she isn’t intimidated in the slightest. You can just see in this picture how much love she has for this little guy. It’s hard to be mad at your baby.
Puppies are just like little kids. They are always getting into trouble and picking on their siblings. It’s just what they do. In this picture, it appears that these two Golden Retrievers are giving their brother a swirly. It’s not very nice of them, but it’s what kids sometimes do for entertainment.
When it comes time to give an explanation to their mom, they may argue that they were just trying to help him get a drink of water since there was none in his bowl. We wonder if she'll believe them.
This is not something you see every day, but maybe it should be. You know, if you teach your dogs to walk their puppies, they save you the trouble of having to do it yourself! This right here is a fantastic example of parenting done right.
Though we do wonder how this papa dog is planning on picking up after his puppy with no opposable thumbs, maybe they leave that to the more advanced class.
The Puppy Did It
It looks like one of the first things this puppy learned from his dad was how to trash their human's garden. Daddy dog even sat back and supervised his son's impressive talent.
The puppy has also mastered the art of looking way too adorable while facing the human's wrath. It will only be a matter of time until this puppy has puppies of his own to teach those impressive skills.
Mommy Has the Best Bed
Children sleeping in their parents' bed is nothing new. It's human nature. The thing is, when humans do it, the parents are usually in the mix too. In this case, the little puppy just declared ownership of his mom's bed, leaving her to settle for the much, much smaller one meant for her offspring.
But apparently, neither pooch really minds, as it looks like they're both snug enough to snooze the night away no matter what bed they're in.
Don't Mess With Us
If we didn't know any better, we'd swear this is some kind of movie poster for "Revenge of the Kitties." We don't know who snapped this picture or what they did to get stared down like this by this mother cat and her kitty, but we would advise them not to get too close.
This cat has definitely mastered the menacing stare-down look, and it made sure to teach it to its kitty, who would be just as frightening if he weren't so adorably tiny.
A Tail as Old as Time
This little red fox was not finished with playtime. It doesn't matter how tired his mom might be, he's got some more juice left, and he makes it a point to let her know all about it.
Either that or he's just trying to keep up with the pace as his family is going somewhere new. Mom's bushy tail has a multitude of possible uses!
Teaching your child to swim is one of the best bonding experiences a parent can have with their kid. Not only is swimming a great sport but learning how to swim is an essential survival skill. And even more so when you're a bear.
This beautiful grizzly is showing her cub the ropes of the river, and it looks like the little buddy is enjoying himself. Maybe even more than mom! These two certainly know how to look for the bear necessities.
Floating With Father
One of the most adorable things about otters is the way they float on their backs. An even more adorable thing about them is the way they hold hands when they sleep on the water, so they don't drift apart.
But the thing that takes the cake in terms of otter adorableness is this picture of a baby otter using his father as a floating device. It looks like we can all learn some parenting tricks from otters. Try that next time you take your kids to the pool.
All Aboard the Goose Train
Taking public transportation with your children can be a tedious experience. The waiting for the bus, the tickets, the fact that the bus stop is so far away — it all turns into a real hassle when you try to do that with a kid. Let alone six of them, as we see in this picture.
While this beautiful family of geese is definitely in train formation, they have perfected their commute around the lake, so they don't need transportation of any kind. With one parent in the front and another in the back, we know they will safely get to where they need to go.
Or should we say, peek-a-bear? As children in the human world, many of the things we learn are taught to us using games. The animal world is no different. Just look at this adorable bear/cub duo!
Mama bear seems to be teaching her young how to hide from potential dangers or potential prey. The little cub looks like he's acing this new skill! Soon, he'll be doing it not just for fun but as a fully grown brown bear. His mother will be so proud!
And That's the Riverbank
Parents, you probably know that situation well. As you teach your child how to navigate this world, you introduce them to almost anything — including the home you live in. This is exactly what this swan seems to be doing.
Mama swan here is showing her chicks the ways of the river. The orientation tour includes the best parts of the riverbank, what plants are good to eat, and how to stay away from pesky frogs.
Nothing to See Here, Move Along
We will do anything in our power to make sure our kids are safe and sound. Once we get a tiny whiff of someone trying to pick on our children, we immediately stand at attention, ready to unleash hell. Even if that someone is 10 times bigger than us.
This seems to be the case with these swan parents and their swan babies. The second they thought their kids might be bullied by those snobby, entitled cows, they swooped in to lay down the law. Dad was shooing the cattle away, and mom made sure the kids get to safety. Excellent parenting.
What Are You Looking At?
This family of macaque monkeys could star in the primate version of "The Godfather." While we wouldn't go as far as saying they have any mob-like tendencies, we can sense that their family dynamic and the menacing looks are up that Corlenone alley.
The monkeys with the babies clinging to them give the camera the same look we would give anyone who's wronged our child. We wouldn't want to be at the receiving end of such a look, but we would apply it to protect our kids.
These birds are called Least Terns, and it looks like they're doing something right. After showing their chicks the basics of catching little sand eels, one of them got his first catch completely by himself!
This family scene reminds us of that same moment when parents see their child riding a bicycle with no training wheels for the first time. The sheer pride on their faces, the sense of accomplishment in the baby's eye — it's all there.
Good Morning, Baby
Not all parents wake up too early while questioning their life choices. Some mornings (mostly weekend mornings) are pure bliss. You wake up at a later hour, enjoy the sunshine filtering through your windows, and get a good morning kiss from your kids.
It looks like this family of prairie dogs is enjoying just that kind of morning. Waking up in a beautiful, sunny field with your family by your side? The first thing on the agenda would obviously be to smooch your kid!
Can I Have Some of That?
You know that feeling when your baby starts eyeing your food? It happens around the time you start weaning them from the bottle, but they still can't really digest all kinds of solid food. So no matter how much you love them, they can't have whatever it is that's on your plate.
This little joey (that's what you call a baby kangaroo, in case you didn't know) seems to be eyeing his mother's breakfast in the same way. Don't worry, little buddy. Soon you'll be old enough to hop around and graze all you want.
Fine, I'll Come Play
Look at this tired mother. We know her. We love her. We are here. Just when she thought she got her pups tired enough, one decides playtime is far from over. Sounds like every human mother's hopes and dreams of a proper nap.
We are impressed with this furry mom right here. Not only is she putting up with that pup's shenanigans, but she is also taking care of the siblings, as well as herself. You go, mama wolf!
Stop Bullying My Kids
Seagulls have acquired quite a pesky reputation. They've become so accustomed to humans they started becoming cheeky — stealing the sandwich or chips you were just about to have by the beach. This is why we tend to assume that whatever mama goose and papa goose are yelling at — it was the seagulls' fault.
Those powerful parents look just like any two human parents would look if they find out someone has been picking on their child. We wouldn't dream of messing with them.
Want a Baby Brother? Leave Us Alone
One of the main obstacles to trying to have a second baby is that so much of your privacy has disappeared. Finding a quiet place at home where you can do what is biologically necessary to have a baby has become mission impossible.
Have you ever thought of what that might be like for a turtle? They carry their houses on their backs! There are no doors to close, no privacy whatsoever! We just hope the little baby turtle isn't scarred for life from stumbling upon his parents as they're trying to make him a sibling.
But I Want to Go That Way!
Meerkats can't shrug. But we have a feeling that if those two parents could, they would. They would also add an eye-roll. Human kids are curious creatures and as soon they learn how to walk, they wander into places they shouldn't.
This meerkat baby seems to have done the same. Just look at the sad look in his eyes. That's exactly the look a child would have after his parents told him he couldn't stick his finger in the socket. Good thing his parents aren't impressed by this near-tantrum.
Throwing a Tantrum in Public
Even if you don't have kids of your own, you've encountered this problem – a child squalling for no reason whatsoever, or a toddler kicking its feet because Mom won't buy the right kind of sugary cereal.
This tiger cub looks like it's flexing its growing strength to try and force its mom to do something it wants. Still, it's about to learn the same thing that all kids learn as they start to grow – their parents are way, way stronger than they are, and we bet this tiger mom will win a hundred times out of a hundred.
We Desire Worms!
Ask literally anybody why a child might be crying, and we bet that the top answer is going to be “the child is hungry.” It might drop to somewhere in the top three, but this one is so universal that nobody will forget it. This is true of the animal kingdom, too, as we see here with a pair of young swallows.
It looks like they could be singing backup to “What's Going On” by Marvin Gaye, but what they actually want to do is eat, Mom, come on. Cough up some of those good bugs!
Time to Give the Kid Some Chores
Despite the overwhelming number of toys or games they might own, it's common for kids to experience a heavy dose of boredom during the unexciting hours of the day. “Mom, I'm bored” is such a common refrain in some homes that the parents will bristle whenever they hear it – this sea lion mom looks like she's one syllable away from dolling out a heavy list of chores to her little cub.
Yes, if you didn't know, a child sea lion is called a cub. An infant is called a calf, which is rather unlike a land lion.
Everybody loves a cute baby. It makes perfect sense – natural selection wants us to want the species to continue, so we tend to like infant varieties of our own species. This is true for all primates, not just humans, and we think this picture of a pair of proud macaque parents snuggling their newborn daughter is a perfect example.
Mom and Dad seem all agog over their little bundle of joy. Hard to argue – she's a cutie. Skin-to-skin (or in this case fur-to-fur) contact is a big part of growing a relationship between parents and children, and these monkeys are on their way.
Babies are, by their very nature, wonderfully inquisitive. Once they're out in the real world, they have two jobs: learn, and eat. We all know that they have the latter task figured out (just try to stop them from eating everything in sight), but the first task is a little slower.
They have to take in everything around them to learn how to live. This is also a survival tactic – they need to make sure what's going on around them so that they can learn how best to protect themselves. This little kid is finally taking a look around!
Time to Start Weaning
Poor mom. Breastfeeding mothers out there are probably cringing along with the vervet monkey that is suffering through this meal. Breastfeeding is one of the more reliable ways to make sure your kids stay fed, but it without a doubt comes with some...downsides.
For instance, once your kids start growing little chompers, you're going to start looking into different options pretty quickly. It seems like this kid should be moving to a nice, yummy banana instead of torturing his poor mother in such a way. Or maybe this is just how vervet monkeys get it done. It still doesn't seem very nice.
Busy, Busy, Busy
Even if you are a parent, there's a pretty slim chance that you have to take care of seven kids all at the same time. We guess you could be someone who works at a daycare.
This poor parent, however, looks like she's about ready to call it a day. Just look at those droopy puppy dog eyes. All you want to do is tell her she's doing the right thing. She might not understand the words, but maybe she'll understand the emotions anyway. Keep going, Mom. This is pretty darn important.
All Right You Two, Knock It Off
Kids – siblings especially – are going to get into tussles. Sometimes it means they're still learning how best to interact with others, sometimes it's just getting all of that kid energy out of their bodies.
Often, however, it leads to some bad feelings, which is when the parents have to step in. In this picture, this seems to be what dad is doing – hard to miss that big mane – even though it's just as likely that he's jumping in to join the fun while Mom isn't looking. Dads are good for that.
Walking the Walk
You've probably seen ducklings or baby chicks mimicking their parent as they march across a lawn or swim across the local pond. This is called imprinting, and while pretty much all kids do it – it's how they learn how they're supposed to act – it's most often seen in these young birds.
This pic has captured a baby chicken picking up tips from its mother on how best to put on a strut. The little one is watching closely, looking for the little nuances that really take a high step to the next level. You'll get there one day.
Sleeping With the Parents
It's hard for us to come up with a picture that looks more cuddly-cozy and sweet. The parents are relaxing together for a nap in one of their traditional cat places, and their little kitten – still coming into those ears and paws – has squeezed in between them.
Cats love to find the warmest places, and stuffed between a pair of furry friends like this has got to be one of the warmest places around. Surely we've all had days when climbing into bed with our parents seems like the best option, even if it's just for a quick cuddle.
The Whole Family Is Here
As three young kittens look on, Mom and Dad hash out one of their many issues. Maybe it's who gets to sleep in the sun today? Or maybe who has to clean the litter box, or who is the one to meow at the owners until they dish out the kibble?
On the other hand, it doesn't look like the parents are actually having a fight – cats tend to use their back legs in an actual fight. So are these two cats just hanging out a little bit, it's adorable.
When parents are hard at work, kids seem to really enjoy sneaking up on them. Some kids are a little better at it than others, and some may discover that their parents always know exactly where they are and exactly what they are doing at all times.
On the other hand, sometimes the kids can get a drop on Mom or Pop, like how this foal is about to startle a mare. Remember, all kids love to play. All kids, even a creature as stately and proud as the noble horse, have a bit of goofball inside of them.
Mom, Whatcha Doin'?
Sometimes a mother just has to take a seat and enjoy a snack. The giant panda cub isn't willing to give its mother even a single moment without bothering her.
Pandas eat anywhere between twenty-six and eighty-four pounds of bamboo in a day, and that means lots of munching and crunching. For a little panda cub that wants to make sure it grows up big and strong, that doesn't leave a lot of time to play around with its mother – but it looks like it's finding a way to make her make time for it.
You Need to Clean Behind Your Ears
For some reason, parents always harp on the spots behind the ears! Why there? Well, lots of grime can collect back there, grime being the catch-all for all of the possible substances – and there are a lot.
For us humans, it's as simple as grabbing a washcloth and giving it a rub behind your listeners, but lower primates that don't have washcloths have a little bit more of a difficult time. In this picture, a mom is checking to make sure her little guy or gal has been cleaning properly.
Go On, Introduce Yourself
Kids are fine if they're around people they know, but strangers are another matter. If someone they don't know comes up and tries to talk to them, they're more likely to hide behind a parent than get into a conversation.
While this is usually the proper tactic – who knows what that stranger has in mind – it can still be awkward if the person is a friend of the parents. This tiny little elephant looks like it has no idea how to deal with the photographer as it hides next to its much, much larger mom.
That Karen Look
If there's one thing that young kids understand, it's that the parents are where safety is. That's how it should be, anyway. This orangutan mom, Suma, is not only holding tight to her little one (Unnamed as of yet) but she's also sporting a hairstyle that looks pretty close to the standard Karen look.
Just look at that flow. She's bound to make some non-orangutans jealous with that kind of eye-catching 'do. And such a matronly look on her face, too. It seems like this world-weary mom is already aware of what it's like to care for another.
Mom, Can You Carry Me?
A tiny little anteater sits on the back of its mother – or are anteaters a lot bigger than we thought they were? Wow, some species are almost two meters long from nose to tail, and that's not even counting the famous tongue. Okay, back to the picture. Kids will often get tired if they're out and about.
Sometimes that's because they are tiny and weak and don't actually have all that much energy, sometimes it's just because they're bored. A lot of members of the animal kingdom go this route because it means they know for sure where the little brats are.
We've All Been There
There are few things more important to moms than making sure their kids' faces are clean. If you're like us, you can still remember the rough washcloth material after a day of playing outside.
You can taste the tap water, and feel your mom's hand on the other side of the cloth. It's like this throughout the entire animal kingdom, and this picture shows us a good example of both sides of the equation. For the mom, it's just another day on the job, but for the kid, it looks like the end of the world.
He's Not Used to It
Four kids are a lot for anybody to handle. When Dad has a day off from mice-catching to watch the kids while Mom heads on a trip for a little while, that's what it looks like.
We aren't even certain that the big cat on the left is the dad, but it sure looks like it. There's a certain lionlike appearance to it, with a big mane and a large snout. It also looks like he's about ready to call it quits on the whole parenting thing. To his credit, all four of the children look like they're getting on all right.
I'm Not Done Playing Yet
Children sometimes seem to have boundless energy. They'll go to bed late, get up early, and be bouncing off the walls the whole time in between. Even if they're allowed to go outside and run around, they might still be leaving their parents winded. It kind of looks like that very thing is happening here, with a young pup trying to get Dad to keep playing, even as dad is sucking down fresh air.
We see a bit of the graying process starting to happen on Dad's face, so the younger dog might have to rely on the humans to play with him.
Just About Had Enough of This
Parents can relate to this one. Mom or Dad is just about ready to close down shop for the day, and while the kitten is wearing an innocent face, we're sure this parent looks angry and tired for a reason.
It's a never-ending job, and we applaud those that take it on. What if there isn't another parent to pick up the slack? Thankfully, this cat has some human owners that will make sure the kitten is safe and sound and all played out.
Maybe I'll Get to Eat One of These Days
While human moms don't really have to go through this exact thing, we think the sentiment is a known quality. This poor pooch mom is getting drained dry, while her bowl of tasty, nutritious food is waiting right there, but the puppies have to finish first.
Long-time parents might get used to not being able to get their own food until the kids are done, but at the beginning, it can be quite the adjustment. Don't worry Mom, your food will be there when the kids are full and you finally have a minute.
Ready to Let Loose
Like father, like son, they say, and that doesn't just apply to humans. It looks like dogs follow the same route, and these two howling hounds are ready to start filling the neighborhood with noise.
Junior might not have all the sharp chompers that Dad has, but there's plenty of time to add those to the mix. The pose is the same, the mouth is open the same way – this is the kind of pic that gets a spot on the mantle. Dad is looking straight at the camera, so we wonder if this is a common trick that the owners have taught.
Please Just Be Quiet for One Moment
In this pic, a stray cat is introducing its kitten to a neighborhood home, and the kitten isn't exactly going about it in a cool way. The mom seems to be on a desperate hunt for daycare and seems perfectly fine with her kitten going inside a stranger's house.
Of course, stray cats often rely on friendly houses for food and shelter when times get tough, so maybe this is a common sight for this house. Still, the mom looks ready for the kitten to take a nap so she can get a little bit of peace and quiet.
Sleeping Just Like Dad
Pictures of kids sleeping with their moms, dads, or grandparents are the kinds of things that a family will treasure forever, even if it isn't a human family. While it looks like this could have been a mom, most ginger cats are male – the orange color is spread to the children through the X chromosome, which makes it much easier for an orange kitty to be male.
One way or another, it's a wonderful image that has three happy cats cuddling up together. There are lots of learned behaviors for animals, and a favorite sleeping pose seems to be one of them.
Learning From the Best
Is this a yawn or a roar? It could be either for the bigger cat, but the youngin' probably doesn't have the pipes required to make much noise. Still, getting the motion right is a good way to start practicing. Likely this little cat is just doing what Mom or Dad is doing to try and fit in.
Both seem pretty happy about the improvement that the kitten is showing. Is the parent proud? It kind of looks like it.
A Bed That Can't Be Beat
Parents have a tough job to do. Their entire lives are made to keep their kids comfortable and give them a good life of their own. While it usually isn't as literal as this picture, it's still a big part of a parent's life.
In this image, a proud mom or dad gives a child the perfect bed to sleep on. Truth be told, we wouldn't mind catching forty winks on such a fluffy bed. Of course, after a little while, the parent is going to stand up, shake the kid off, and get back to work.
Suckling on the Wrong Thing
We were told that mama goat Maybel had four kids in her latest litter so that thousand-yard stare you see isn't just your tired parent brain connecting with an animal – it's real. At the same time, one of Maybel's new little ones, named Scout, is trying to get some milk from the wrong place.
All goats have a good bit of hair on their chinny chin chins, and Scout is a little confused. Still, if you want another reason to feel like you understand this mama goat, just think about the last time a kid grabbed a fistful of your hair and pulled.
Not Ready to Let Go
Some parents out there will have a hard time with an empty house. It's called “Empty Nest” syndrome, and whether it's because they're worried about their kids or they're just so used to having a home that's full of sounds and bodies, it can hit a lot of people pretty hard.
From the looks of this picture, it's not just humans that are affected, too. A couple of meerkats cuddle as they gaze ahead at something that we can't see. The parent doesn't seem to be prepared to let go, and for a little while at least the kid is comfortable staying put.
It isn't every day you get to see a brand new life come into the world, even if we're talking about an infant gorilla at the zoo. If you were to see a brand new child, just after birth, one of the thoughts that go through your head might be “it doesn't look human just yet.”
That's strangely true of this young gorilla – it doesn't seem like it's the same species as the mom, yet it is. Mother Gorilla is giving her new child the once-over to make sure everything is in the proper place, and you can see the love in her eyes.
The Two of Us Together
A young baboon is going for a ride on the back of his mother, hanging on for dear life. Their tails are wound together, and it looks like this is a pretty normal thing for both of them. Just like these baboons, human parents and children will figure out the best way to get through their days.
It, of course, won't have to do with tails tangling around each other for what should be obvious reasons. It might be hanging on the back, though. It depends on the parents. Maybe the kid likes piggyback rides.
Dealing With a Tired Child
Kids will, inevitably, get tired out. Sometimes it can happen at the most random of moments, such as we see in this picture. The little gorilla guy is all tuckered out, and he's just leaning against his mom's leg to stay upright, it looks like. The mom looks like she's in the process of knitting something – look at her hands.
Of course, when Junior comes over and wants some attention, he's going to get some. Dollars to bananas this mom picked the little guy up, curled him into a ball, and rocked him gently to sleep, just like in our favorite documentary. “Tarzan.”
Ready for a Break
These monkeys are red-faced macaques, and we gotta say, it looks like two moms that need to have a little bit of a break. The red faces look like makeup that was applied hastily, the wind-swept hair looks like a 'do that hasn't seen a salon in a couple of months, and the younger monkeys seem like a couple of clingy kids.
The dads are off working, or maybe getting a drink at the local watering hole, and the moms are trying to figure out where it all went wrong in life.
Get Back Here
As a parent, you're taught to keep your kids in your line of sight pretty much at all times. Maybe they're sleeping in the other room and that's fine, or their aunt or uncle is taking care of them for an evening, and that's fine. Other than those and some other random places, the kids are in sight.
This monkey in Indonesia knows this lesson, and she isn't letting that little scamp get away. Even in places that are more monkey-friendly, you can't just let your kid wander around and get into all sorts of trouble.
Just Hanging Around
As a parent, you want to see your child do well. For human parents, that means making sure they can take care of themselves, go to the right college, get a good job, that sort of thing. But what about animal parents? Things are a little bit simpler for them – they don't have to teach their kids about things like health insurance or driver's license.
For some orangutans, it just means teaching them how to find the right foods to eat, and how to swing on a branch the right way. Not as difficult.
Kisses From the Kid
Parents get a lot of grief for all their troubles. They get up early, they go to bed late, they work the entire day, and what's their reward? The kids make messes, they scream and cry, and they don't seem to have any idea how much work their parents do to keep them happy.
But then, every once in a while, one of them lets you know that yes, they do appreciate the hard work. This little kiss might not be the biggest thing for the little kid, but for a parent that works hard, it can mean a lot.
Everybody Will Be Safe
Despite the fact that most places consider them little more than feathered rodents, Canadian geese are at the very least protective parents. Too protective, if you ask some people. But human parents might think that the goose in this picture is doing things all the right way.
Keeping the chicks safely under the wing until they're grown up enough to terrorize a neighborhood park without needing parental assistance. It's every parent's dream. The best part of this picture is there's pretty much a one hundred percent chance that the mama goose is giving a threatening hiss to the cameraman or anyone else that is around.
I Don't Remember Inviting You
Sometimes a mama just needs to have some alone time with her kids, no cameras allowed. Sphynx cats always kinda look grumpy – well, even more than most cats – and this one really seems to be leaning into the whole angry look as it snuggles up with its kittens.
Of course, the kittens couldn't care less, since they're snuggling up with mom. Mom might not want a camera shoved in her face, but at least she has a chance to lie down and take a load off for a few minutes.