Serena Williams opens up about postpartum depression.

Serena Williams/Instagram Remix by Samantha Grasso

Serena Williams talks about the mom guilt that is postpartum ‘funk’

'It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby.'


Samantha Grasso


Posted on Aug 7, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 9:17 am CDT

Work-life balance, for all it’s all talked up to be, seems rarely achievable. Throw in a newborn, and you’re sure to struggle between, say, being the greatest tennis player of all time and making sure your daughter is getting everything she needs from you. Across the internet, fans of Serena Williams are praising her for addressing this postpartum “funk,” thanking her for making it a more accessible conversation.

On Twitter and Instagram, Williams published a statement addressing the last week of her career, including an opening match loss in the Silicon Valley Classic and her withdrawal from the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Aside from accepting some “tough personal stuff,”  Williams wrote that she overall just felt in a funk, like she “was not a good mom.”

She went on to write that reading about postpartum “emotions,” she learned that they can last up to three years if not addressed. So, she’s doing that through communication, but talking through the emotions with her mom, sisters, and friends. And, they’ve let her know what she’s feeling is “totally normal.”

“It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be,” Williams wrote. “Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week—it’s ok—I am, too!!! There’s always [tomorrow]!”

Williams previously opened up about life as a mother for her Vogue cover story earlier this year, in which she spoke about her pregnancy complications, and revealed in a CNN article she wrote that she almost died while giving birth. Williams opening up again about life almost a year after giving birth gives more relief to other women going through these emotions in silence, not having the platform like Williams, or perhaps the courage, to share that they sometimes suffer too.

On Instagram, readers of her post shared that they too still experience these moments of “funk” and guilt regarding motherhood and being enough for their children.

“I still ha[v]e some rough days and my boys are grown. It is like they are still little every now and then. But also remember dear, you can be lonely but guaranteed you are far and never alone,” one commenter wrote. “We are here with you always. We have been where you are now. And you are the best mom that little girl can ever have.”

“Thank you for saying this. I feel very similar every day, going to work and leaving my sweet (almost) 3-year-old and 6-month-old at home,” another chimed in. “I just remind myself that my mom worked hard and was an incredible example to me, and I hope to be the same for my kids. Us moms need to stick together and support one another.”

Twitter, too, chimed in with support, with moms sharing their thanks for Williams normalizing her postpartum experience.

With Williams taking a break, perhaps other mothers will see that they too can lean back from being the “greatest of all time” and take care of themselves.

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*First Published: Aug 7, 2018, 9:45 am CDT