Dear Serena Williams,
You are a true queen. 👑
You're powerful, strong, bold, fierce, talented, confident, intelligent, beautiful. You've won seven times at Wimbledon, you've won six times at the US Open, you've won four Olympic gold medals, you've shattered countless records, you've graced the cover of Vogue, and you've even been in a Beyonce video.
And you have days where you feel like a lousy mom? Wait—seriously?
Now, the only championship I've ever won is my 6th grade CYO basketball championship. The only cover I've been on is that of my Facebook cover photo. And the closest I've gotten to a Beyonce video is on the dance floor with my girlfriends busting out the moves to "Get Me Bodied." But one thing we definitely do have in common are these rough days of motherhood.
We both know the ones. The ones where our baby seems to cry All. Day. Long. The ones where we make big mistakes or even little mistakes—but we're equally hard on ourselves. The ones where we truly don't know what the "right" answer is—go to work or stay home with our kids. The ones where we feel like we should know what we're doing by now but we couldn't feel farther from that at the moment.
I'm just here to say, thank you for your vulnerability. And for your honesty. And for your poise.
I'm having a hard start to the week. It feels like no one is listening to anything I say. It feels like my to-do list is too monumental to even look at. And it feels like I can't make any decision or do anything right. I feel like I'm failing and it's not even Wednesday. 😰
I'm in between childcare for what feels like the hundredth time, there are about 500 pounds of laundry sitting in the living room waiting to be folded (as well as what looks like a toy tornado on the floor, to boot), the dishes are piling up, my 4-year-old decided that putting headphones on then screaming at the top of her lungs would be a fun game, the only hope of a shower was to include my 10-month-old in it, we've been stuck inside because it's brutally hot out and everyone is bored, antsy and #overit.
My moods are all over the place and I feel extra anxious, tired and impatient.
Maybe I'm getting my period, maybe I am just exhausted or maybe I am a little overworked—but what I am not is a lousy mother.
You aren't either, Serena.
And why do I know that when I don't even know you?
Because if you're worried about not being a "good mom," it's almost an automatic assumption to think that no—you're not a good mom. You're a really great mom.
You're a mom who cares whether she is being present enough or not. You're a mom who gives it her all every single day of your life. You're a mom who works extremely hard. You're a mom who has struggled and triumphed alongside your baby. And you're a mom who always wants to be better, to try again tomorrow.
Your post resonated with me so deeply because even though you're someone we often put on a pedestal, you showed us (as you consistently have) your authenticity, your humanness. You are amazing—in all your faults, in all your fears—just as you are.
And I guess, maybe I am too?
I lost my patience more than a few times so far this week. I've melted down to my husband. I've cried to my sister. I've felt guilt and fear and worry sit on top of my chest like a boulder.
But I've also witnessed my 2-year-old going on the potty by herself and THEN napping right after with big girl underwear on, without having an accident. I've put the work down and picked up where I left off on Orange is the New Black. I've let my 4-year-old put makeup on me then successfully completed a one-hour conference call without a babysitter (and without the video option on…#you'rewelcome). I've let myself accept help from my husband, I've dug out of my email inbox and I've nursed my 10-month-old about a million times.
Even on the hard days, the hard weeks, the hard months, the hard years—we're here. We're here tending to our family, figuring out who we are underneath all this motherhood—chugging along every day like the champs we are.
You may be more like, an actual real-life adult world champion and I may be a grade school kid champion BUT we both get to hold the best championship title of all...mother. 🏆
I'm grateful to you for using your platform to let us in on your motherhood journey and I'm glad to know we're in this together.
Just in case no one has told you yet today—you're doing an amazing job.
Queens struggle, too. But that doesn't mean her kingdom is any less loved.
A big fan and fellow mama