Serena Williams is known for tearing up the tennis court and dominating her opponents. After having her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Sept. 1, 2017, the tennis star has been faced with a new opponent: motherhood.
Since the birth of her daughter, Williams has openly discussed her battles with post-partum emotions as well as balancing a new lifestyle. She has become a positive role model for other moms by sharing her stories of both the struggles and beauty that come along with having a child.
In an Instagram post Williams revealed she battled with the feeling of “not being a good mom,” and felt like she wasn’t doing everything possible for her daughter.
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Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week–it’s ok–I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!
But even with these doubts, Williams said she is enjoying motherhood. In an interview with Vogue, she expressed feeling fulfilled after achieving her goal of starting a family, something that was important to her even before she started tennis. Though the sport took control of her life, she never forgot her desire to have a child.
After returning to the court and losing in the final rounds of Wimbledon in July, Williams dedicated her comeback and match to all of the mothers around the world. “I dedicated that to all the moms out there who’ve been through a lot,” Williams said. “If I can do it, you guys can do it too.”
Williams also turned to Twitter to share the crazy and humbling journey of being a mother. She coined the hashtag #ThisMama to create a compilation of stories from other mothers about their own personal journeys throughout motherhood.
She posted a picture with her daughter in a stroller and wrote: “Kids humble us. The other day on a flight home Olympia insisted on running up and down the aisle and when I finally got her to sit still, she threw up on me. #ThisMama would love to hear your stories of motherhood..even ones like this! Share and tag them with #ThisMama.”
With over 800 responses to the original tweet, mothers are empathizing with the sports star over similar stories in which their kids threw up on their clean clothes, had accidents and decided to rebel.
Megan, known as @m_pedrianes on Twitter, wrote:
She refused to unlock the door, even though she absolutely knows how, & just stood there and stared at me. After panicking for a few seconds, #ThisMama realized I could just go around the front of the house & go in through our garage. Thank God my husband fixed the key pad!
— Megan (@m_pedrianes) August 26, 2018
While some users shared their stories, others praised Williams for empowering other women and mothers to appreciate the journey of raising a child and all of the emotions that come with it.
Evie Blad quoted Williams’ tweet and wrote: “I love how Serena Williams uses her big platform to make other moms feel less alone.”