Serena Williams can do it all. From being one of the greatest tennis players of all time, to being a devoted and dedicated mom, to being an advocate for women and their issues, Williams has shown that anyone can have it all if they work hard and have a strong support system behind them. And Serena Williams' new essay, in honor of International Women's Day last week, highlights the importance of moms supporting moms.
Every mom needs support in some way or another — whether it be from their partner, their family, or their community. Williams knows this to be true, especially after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September 2017. But sometimes, the best way for moms to find this is to find it in each other, first.
In a new essay, penned for Fortune for 2019 International Women's Day, Williams wrote all about how women can make a change in their lives in some way. And one of the best ways to do it is by lifting each other up.
"While I think all women are superheroes, we are not superhuman and we need each other's support," Williams wrote. "We need to give each other grace where we fall short — and when society sets unrealistic expectations or our workplaces have unrealistic rules, we must band together and fight for whats fair."
She's got that right.
After taking maternity leave from tennis to take care of her newborn daughter, Williams experienced hardship in her own workplace. As a star athlete, Williams faced immense pressure to bounce back to her former glory. But, almost eight months after giving birth, Williams had to withdraw from the French Open due to injury. This was something that Williams wasn't used to doing before having a baby, and her eight month absence only highlighted how much had changed after giving birth. In spite of having a huge support behind her from her fans, Williams still felt the pressure to bounce back to work.
In the new essay, Williams highlights that she shouldn't have been faulted for this or faced this much scrutiny. And women can persevere in their own workplaces after having children, just like she did, and lead by example for them. Williams wrote:
My dreams are just beginning and being a mom is a part of that now. I want Olympia to see and remember her mom winning a Grand Slam title. I want her to know that my work fulfills me, that I'm proud and passionate of what I do even if I'm not perfect at it, and that she should never give up on her dreams. I want her to see a world of possibilities at her feet, and to believe in those first steps she took as I was training, every time she takes a leap towards her goals — no matter how big the risk.
Everyone can learn from this. Children lead by example, and women should be proud of working hard for their children and their futures. This can show them that they can have it all when they get older, even if they have to ask for help, first.
While 63 percent of moms believe the perfect balance between work, family, and having a life is achievable, according to Parents, there are many moms who believe they can't have it all, especially since they're trying to do it all at once.
Achieving that becomes a bit easier when there is someone helping balance things out — whether it's a partner to help with the chores at home, a co-worker to help alleviate some stress at work, or a friend who provides emotional support. Moms know how hard raising kids can be from time to time, so why not be there for others when they need it? This way women can finally achieve their perfect balance — just like Williams.