She took her first steps… I was training and missed it. I cried.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 7, 2018
Williams tweeted, “She took her first steps. . . I was in training and missed it. I cried.”
Williams’ tweet was so relatable, thousands of friends and fans sent loving words to the tennis icon to reassure her that missing moments is just a normal part of parenthood. Chrissy Teigen responded to Williams’ lament, saying, “[Alexis Olympia] is practicing so you can see the real ones.”
she is practicing so you can see the real ones. ❤️
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) July 8, 2018
One day care provider touched hearts with her sweet observation about the big “firsts.”
I babysat children. I saw most of their "firsts"… I never told their parents… They told me on the Monday morning drop off that they had their "first" steps, word, etc… 😊
— Donna Wolfe (@DonnaRwolfe) July 7, 2018
In fact, in a world of rampant social media mommy-shaming, the outpouring of support for Williams was downright wonderful:
You didn't miss it, mommy. You facilitated it. Your child still lives right there. Make those happy tears & I mean it.
— Moriah Marshall (@gnarlymo) July 7, 2018
I was deployed during Deserts Shield/Storm when my mother witnessed my only child’s first steps and words. It was heartbreaking, but I learned quickly that there are so many “firsts” for moms. Savor those you witness and cheer those you don’t. 😊💕
— Donna #AntiHATE (@AradiseDP) July 8, 2018
Working moms understand your sorrow. She will be better for the fact that you are a strong and phenomenal force in the world, but I know that won't take away the sting in your heart today…
— Dr. NiCole T. Buchanan (@_DrNiCole) July 8, 2018
Williams — who shares her daughter with Reddit cofounder and husband Alexis Ohanian — has been candid about the challenges of balancing her tennis career with motherhood. Her decision to wean Olympia (she calls the baby by her middle name) at six months was a painful one according to Williams. “I literally sat Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it,” Williams said at a July 1 London news conference just 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 said, “Breastfeeding is an incredibly personal thing.” She also called it “magical.” Still, she revealed that her breastfeeding kept her at 205 pounds, not her fighting weight. She lost 10 pounds within a week of weaning Olympia, and her training improved. “The truth is I miss my body, being able to do other kinds of amazing things. I miss playing tennis. 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,” Williams said.
We’re thinking Olympia will learn to take it all in stride. Hey, there will definitely be perks to having a working mom who is the best tennis player on the planet — free tennis lessons for one — and it’s clear these two already have an incredible mama-daughter bond.