To many, Serena Williams is the picture of perfection. She's an incredible athlete, she's beautiful, she's (very) highly paid, and now, she's a mom, too. Serena is #goals, but she's also a new mom who's coming back to work after a traumatic birth and she's learning a lesson so many mothers do: We don't have to be perfect to be great parents.
In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, Williams opened up about what her fourth trimester has been like, and despite the fact that her life as a celebrity athlete is far from the norm, her postpartum experiences are pretty common.
Like so many new moms, Williams has been dealing with postpartum depression. "Honestly, sometimes I still think I have to deal with it," she told the magazine.
"I think people need to talk about it more because it's almost like the fourth trimester, it's part of the pregnancy. I remember one day, I couldn't find Olympia's bottle and I got so upset I started crying... because I wanted to be perfect for her."
Williams says now she's not striving for perfection, but to be the best mom she can be, and part of that means that although she is still very passionate about her career (she's launching a new fashion line), motherhood is her number one priority now.
"It's definitely family before tennis for me," she says, although, like the majority of today's moms (78%, according to Motherly's State of Motherhood survey), she believes she can have both—though trade-offs will be required on the road to Wimbledon.
"If I'm in the locker-room pumping before my match, that's crazy," she said, noting that she would be done with breastfeeding before playing at Wimbledon this summer.
In the last episode of her HBO show, Being Serena, viewers saw Williams struggle with the decision to stop breastfeeding in order to balance motherhood and career. In a scene where she's talking about training with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, he tells Serena, "There is no miracle. You stop breastfeeding," because in her personal circumstances, it wouldn't be possible for her to train the way she needs to while nursing.
Despite the trade-offs, Williams says she's determined to be the world champ again, so that he daughter knows her not just as a mother, but as a woman with her own goals as well. One of those goals is to expand her family further. "Olympia needs a little sister, and then we can have a boy," shares Williams.