If there's anyone from whom everyone should be sourcing their strength, vision, and inspiration for the upcoming year, it's Serena Williams, who is not only a world-class athlete, but a power mom as well. In one of her most recent posts, Williams holding baby Olympia while working out truly sets the mood for the new year, and I am here for it.
Williams, who had her daughter Olympia with husband Alexis Ohanian in late 2017, as CNN reported, posted a tribute not only to how much she's grown as a person this past year, but also to every mother who finds herself having to multitask while parenting. "As I head into next year it’s not about what we can do it’s what we must do as working moms and working dads," she began in the caption of the photo, in which she is stretching while holding her daughter.
Williams continued: "Anything is possible. I am getting ready for the first match of the year and my dear sweet baby @olympiaohanian was tired and sad and simply needed mama’s love. So if it means warming up and stretching while holding my baby that’s what #thismama will do. My fellow moms and dads working — or [staying home] it's equally as intense — you inspire me. Hearing your stories makes me know I can do this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This year is to you! What are some things you had to do while working?"
Fans immediately responded, sharing stories of their own lives, and what they juggle with parenthood.
"My husband and I run fitness camps for adults and teens with diabetes. We have 2 young boys and they come to every camp with us. We bring help, but they eat with us and sleep with us," one commenter shared. "But they are learning strength and perseverance from our campers and philanthropy and the importance of helping others from our staff and from their parents. It’s exhausting and awesome."
Another added: "My mom, a bada*s corporate securities lawyer, had to come to our soccer games in suits so she could run back to the office! And breastfeed in her office bathroom! You’re such an inspiration to all women and men. Thank you!!!"
It's not the first time Williams has opened up about how she balances motherhood, and has learned not to feel guilty for considering her own needs as well as her daughter's. In August, The Guardian reported Williams posted another photo of herself training, and opened up about "postpartum emotions":
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.
She continued: "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."
It's true that it's challenging to navigate postpartum life while still trying to maintain your own interests and goals — this is, of course, not even taking into consideration the struggles of postpartum depression, anxiety, and whatnot — but Williams is a voice of clarity amongst the noise, one that's very welcome in the conversation.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.