Working moms everywhere knew exactly what Serena Williams was feeling on Saturday, July 7.
“She took her first steps . . .” tweeted the mom of 10-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia. “I was in training and missed it. I cried.”
The tennis legend, 36, was immediately flooded with words of support from fans and friends including Chrissy Teigen who replied, “she is practicing so you can see the real ones.”
Williams’ post resonated with ESPN sports journalist Alison Bender. “Ah Serena. I’m with you there. I’m in Russia at a World Cup,” she wrote. “I watched mine take her first steps on a video.”
The 23-time Grand Slam champion is refreshingly honest about how her career has affected some of her parenting choices — including her decision to stop breast-feeding after six months. “I literally sat Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it,” Williams told reporters at a London news conference on July 1, ahead of her Wimbledon match. “I told her, ‘Look, I’m going to stop. Mommy has to do this.’ I cried a little bit, not as much as I thought I was. She was fine.”
In her HBO documentary, Being Serena, Williams explained that breast-feeding was taking a toll on her performance. Though the athlete was exercising for her return to the court, she weighed 205 pounds because her body was storing fat to produce milk. (She lost 10 pounds within a week of weaning Olympia.)
“The truth is I miss my body, being able to do other kinds of amazing things. I miss playing tennis,” Williams explained. “Mostly, I miss winning. Winning’s always been the way I define myself, and I want it to stay that way for a long time.” In the film, she noted that “breast-feeding is an incredibly personal thing” and one of the most “magical things” she has ever experienced.
Williams shares Olympia with her husband, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian.
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