Serena Williams opened up about parenthood: ‘Mom’s guilt is real’
Tennis legend Serena Williams recently started talking about the reality of motherhood and the wide range of emotions that come with it. In a new interview with InitiatedWilliams revealed that being a “hands-on” parent, world-class athlete and businesswoman is an ongoing challenge.
“Mom’s guilt is real. I always feel so guilty when I do something on my own,” Williams said recently. Initiated. “I don’t know if I’m a good mother, and I don’t know if my method works, but I’m very involved with my daughter, and it was the same with our parents.”
Williams, whose daughter Olympia is now four, also recently opened up about her traumatic experience of childbirth – a ‘life or death’ period that required four surgeries.
Maternal guilt, or maternal guilt, is frequently described as an almost universal experience. According to one study, it is the feeling of not being able to fulfill a socially defined role of what it means to be a “good mother,” an often nearly impossible feeling that mothers are unable to parent adequately, sometimes due to work demands. There’s a reason why we often talk about the guilt of the mother and not the guilt of the parents. These feelings of shame disproportionately affect women, as historically they spend far more time caring for themselves. In a cross-sectional study of 255 parents in California who examined new parents’ guilt about how they balance work and family, mothers had significantly higher levels of guilt than fathers.
For many mothers, even famous ones, having a well-integrated career and personal life is a constant battle. Williams pointed to the social expectation that mothers should be able to juggle a range of different priorities, and that when a balance is not achieved in a seamless way, it can lead to tension – either within a partnership, a family, a workplace, or, as Williams explained, internally. Finding balance as a working mom has been something the 40-year-old has tackled in the past. In February last yearWilliams spoke of the mental and physical fatigue that comes with covering multiple roles.
“Working and being a mom isn’t easy. I’m often exhausted, stressed out, then I’m going to play a professional tennis match. We keep going. I’m so proud and inspired by the women who do it day in and day out. I’m proud to be the mother of this baby,” she wrote in a instagram Publish.
While Williams has won an incredible 23 Grand Slam titles, her work goes beyond the tennis court. In March of this year, Williams raised $111 million for her early-stage venture capital firm Serena Ventures, which she runs alongside Alison Rapaport Stillman. The firm’s portfolio includes more than 60 angel investments, focused on promoting diversity.
“In an ecosystem where solo female founders receive 2% of venture capital funding and black female founders receive 1.2%, we are breaking the mold. We do not require founders to come from historically underrepresented backgrounds, but 76% of founders in our portfolio do,” a statement from Serena Ventures reads. With such a demanding workload, Williams says it’s been crucial to get her priorities straight as a new mom. “I set some really good boundaries,” she said Initiated. “After work, I go straight to my daughter.”