However, when it comes to her son's career, Phelps is there for Michael only as a supportive listener, not a coach or decision-maker.
"I've been there not to dictate or guide. I'm there to listen to what he wants to do and try to help him problem solve and make a wise decision," Phelps told ABC News.
"Every time Michael gets on the blocks, he has a goal for himself, and he knows what he wants to do. ... I don't set those goals, and I'm a very strong advocate of [the idea that] I'm the parent not the coach or the agent or whatever there is to be."
"And when we're home, we're home as a family."
When it comes to whether her son will break Mark Spitz's gold medal record at the Beijing Olympics, Debbie Phelps stays far away from the speculation.
"I don't get caught up in the four, six, eight. Whatever the number might be, I just know I'm here to support Michael in every swim he takes."