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Even Serena Williams struggles with balancing work and motherhood. The tennis legend has opened up about feeling guilty when she’s not spending all her time with her four-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia.
“Mom guilt is real. I always feel so guilty when I’m doing something on my own,” Williams said in an interview with Insider published on 13 April. “I don’t know if I’m a good mom, and I don’t know if my method works, but I’m very hands-on with my daughter, and it was the same with our parents.”
Williams explained that she’s worked hard at setting boundaries in her work life, but when she’s off the clock she dedicates her time to her daughter. “I’ve set really good boundaries, but then after work, I’m going right to my daughter,” she said. “And that’s amazing and good, but now it’s like, ‘Okay, what happens to Serena?’”
The professional athlete, 40, said she’s “really bad at self-care” and recalled it had been two years since she “sat in a chair” for a pedicure. “Maybe I could do that while I’m multitasking and taking calls,” Williams said.
Williams welcomed daughter Olympia with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in September 2017. The two have been together since 2015, and tied the knot in November 2017 during a New Orleans wedding ceremony.
The tennis star and business woman recently reflected on her pregnancy with her daughter in a personal essay for Elle. In the essay, titled: “How Serena Williams Saved Her Own Life,” Williams detailed the medical emergencies she faced after welcoming her child via caesarean section.
Williams wrote that she was “nervous” about meeting her baby because she hadn’t “felt a connection with her” throughout her pregnancy.
“While I loved being pregnant, I didn’t have that amazing Oh my God, this is my baby moment, ever. It’s something people don’t usually talk about, because we’re supposed to be in love from the first second,” she acknowledged.
Williams explained that she was grateful for the medical decision her doctor made to deliver the baby via emergency C-section. But after the surgery, Williams — who has spoken previously about her life-threatening blood clots — developed an embolism in one of her arteries and a hematoma, a collection of blood outside the blood vessels.
“Being heard and appropriately treated was the difference between life or death for me; I know those statistics would be different if the medical establishment listened to every Black woman’s experience,” Williams wrote.