Serena Williams has never been shy about the pressures of being a working mother.
In 2017, Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, welcomed their daughter, Alexis Olympia, into the world. Almost immediately Williams became the poster woman for the trials and tribulations working mothers face after she was dropped in the rankings from No. 1 to No. 453. All simply because she had a baby.
However, Williams quickly found herself on top again. In January of this year, she even won the ASB Classic in New Zealand, marking her first tennis title since becoming a mother.
But, on Friday, she took to Instagram to share a snapshot of her and her daughter and to make it very clear that having it all, all the time is an impossible standard to hold yourself to, even for someone like her.
“I am not sure who took this picture but working and being a mom is not easy,” Williams wrote alongside an image of her and daughter in an embrace. “I am often exhausted, stressed, and then I go play a professional tennis match. We keep going. I am so proud and inspired by the women who do it day in and day out. I’m proud to be this baby’s mama.”
Beyond reminding everyone that being a mother, in general, isn’t easy, Williams has also made it known in the past that you don’t have to be perfect as a parent at all times either.
“…no matter what I’ve heard, and no matter how many times people have told me, ‘You don’t have to be perfect,’ and I say, ‘I know that,’ every time [I still feel I] have to be perfect,” Williams shared in an interview with Glamour. “It’s just what us moms do, which makes me respect moms so much. My mom, and all the women out there who have done it before, I’m just like, ‘Wow, you guys are amazing.'”
Just a few weeks ago, she told Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, in an interview, “After having a child, my heroes are moms because women are superheroes. To have a baby and then have to go to work two or three weeks later or work a nine to five … I’m fortunate to not have to do that.”
Williams added, “I’m at a loss for words when I think of women who work day in and day out, providing for their families, when I know how hard it is for me to leave my daughter. I never felt that way until I became a mom. I think women need to be recognized.”
Amen. Now, go call your own mother ASAP.