“I am so proud and inspired by the women who do it day in and day out."

By Leah Groth
February 21, 2020

It's truly no secret that Serena Williams is inspiring: The athlete (who many consider to be the greatest tennis player of all time) has won 73 career singles titles, 23 doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles, including 39 Grand Slam titles. And on top of that, she also welcomed her first child in 2017—and returned to work less than four months later.

But, while she might make it all look easy—you know, winning international sports competitions while being a full-time mom to daughter Alexia Olympia—a new Instagram post she reveals it’s actually quite the opposite. 

“I am not sure who took this picture but Working and being a mom is not easy,” she begins the refreshingly honest Instagram post, which includes a photo of her daughter sleeping in her arms in the backseat of a car. “I am often exhausted, stressed, and than [sic] I go play a professional tennis match.”

Despite the difficulty, she explains that she simply does what so many other women do. “We keep going,” she wrote. “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.” 

So many people commented on Serena’s inspiring post, including fellow celebrities and working moms Kerry Washington and Mindy Kaling. “Your truth is so inspiring. We are not alone,” Washington wrote, adding the hashtag #WorkingMom. Kaling chimed in, "This this this 🙌🏾." Even brand-new mom Ashley Graham shared her support: "Thank you ❤️," she wrote.

RELATED: Serena Williams’s Harper’s Bazaar Cover Comes With Important Message About Being Body Shamed

The mom burnout is truly real: In a recent Meredith-partnered Harris poll, moms often feel "stretched between two worlds," with 63% of the 1,036 women polled sharing that "after handling all of my family's needs in the morning, I feel I've worked an entire day before getting to the office." Even more concerning, 62% of the women polled feel that, "the way things are going, I don't know how I'm going to cope with the stress if it continues at this pace."

For Serena, setting an example for her child is one of the main reasons she ventured back into the workforce—er, onto the tennis court. In the August 2019 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Serena revealed that it was her daughter who motivated her to return.

“Ultimately, my daughter is the reason I use my voice, the reason I picked up a racket again,” she wrote in an essay for the magazine, focusing on her experiences being body shamed. “Love breathes life and newfound perspective into people. It’s not about quitting when someone presents a challenge; it’s about getting up when you are down, dusting yourself off and asking, ‘Is that the best you got?’ Because I have God with me, and I can take whatever comes my way.”

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