Use the noun maternity to describe the relationship of a mother to her children.

The state of maternity includes everything involved in becoming a mother, from being pregnant to giving birth to chasing a little kid around a playground. Adoptive mothers experience maternity too, since they are someone's mom. The word maternity comes from the Latin root mater, which means "mother," and it's related to the adjective maternal. You can mostly use the words maternity and motherhood interchangeably.

Definitions of maternity
  1. noun
    the kinship relation between an offspring and the mother
    synonyms: motherhood
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    type of:
    family relationship, kinship, relationship
    (anthropology) relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption
  2. noun
    the quality of having or showing the tenderness and warmth and affection of or befitting a mother
    synonyms: maternal quality, maternalism, motherliness
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    type of:
    parental quality
    a quality appropriate to a parent
  3. noun
    the state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth when a woman carries a developing fetus in her uterus
    synonyms: gestation, pregnancy
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    an unwanted pregnancy
    gravidation, gravidity, gravidness
    technical terms for pregnancy
    the number of the pregnancy that a woman is in
    para, parity
    (obstetrics) the number of liveborn children a woman has delivered
    eccyesis, ectopic gestation, ectopic pregnancy, extrauterine gestation, extrauterine pregnancy, metacyesis
    pregnancy resulting from gestation elsewhere than in the uterus
    entopic pregnancy
    pregnancy resulting from normal gestation in the uterus
    placenta previa
    pregnancy in which the placenta is implanted in the lower part of the uterus (instead of the upper part); can cause bleeding late in pregnancy; delivery by cesarean section may be necessary
    abdominal pregnancy
    ectopic pregnancy in the abdominal cavity
    ovarian pregnancy
    ectopic pregnancy in the ovary
    tubal pregnancy
    ectopic pregnancy in a Fallopian tube
    type of:
    physical condition, physiological condition, physiological state
    the condition or state of the body or bodily functions
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