Parenting is hard. (Like, hella hard.) Sure, it can be an amazing adventure full of joy and laughter, but it’s also often frustrating and exhausting. Most things do not go as planned — and sometimes they even end in tears. The latter is something even supermom Serena Williams can attest to; the tennis champion recently took to Instagram to share a very real — and very relatable — parenting story.
“Kids humble us,” Williams’ wrote. “The other day on a flight home, Olympia had so much energy and insisted on running up and down the aisle. When I finally got her to calm down and sit still, she threw up all over me and in the aisle.”
Because why not.
Williams went on to say that “#ThisMama wants to remind all mothers the importance of supporting one another through the highs, lows, laughs and tears.” She then encouraged other parents to share their own struggles and stories using the #ThisMama hashtag — and boy, did they.
In fact, in the last 18 hours, #ThisMama has been tweeted and ‘grammed thousands of times.
On my 32nd birthday, my 2.5 mos old son and I went to my mom’s house for the day. I nursed him then put him on my shoulder to burp. Turned my head to check the burp cloth to see if he had spit up, and he turned his head and spit up into my mouth. Happy birthday to me. #ThisMama
— Marilyn Martha (@ColaCooper) August 26, 2018
My daughter and I planted some seeds together, hoping to grow flowers. I went outside to water them and told her to watch. She locked the sliding glass door on me. #ThisMama got locked out of the house by her two year old
— Megan (@m_pedrianes) August 26, 2018
@ThisMama The deal was: I breastfed one night, Dad gave the bottle of breastmilk the next. One night, when I checked on them, Dad had fallen asleep while feeding her and the baby had fallen from his arms and rolled under the bed where #ThisMama found her sleeping soundly
— Monique Clesca (@moniclesca) August 26, 2018
Of course, this isn’t the first time Williams’ has gotten real about motherhood. In January 2018, Williams discussed her difficult delivery (and recovery) with Vogue, and on Aug. 6, Williams’ shared her struggles with postpartum emotions on Instagram: “Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom.”
But if we all keep talking about parenting — the real, unglamorous and (yes) stressful parts of it — maybe we will all feel a little better. Maybe we will all feel a little lighter, and maybe, just maybe, we will all feel a little less alone.
As for Williams? She seems to be taking it all in stride — and she’ll begin her journey for a seventh U.S. Open trophy tonight when she takes on Magda Linette of Poland.