For many, the New Year is a time to think about self-improvement and setting new goals. As we flip the calendar personal growth seems to dominate the cultural conversation, and Serena Williams is reminding parents that even if we have a growing baby in our arms there is room for us to grow, too.

“As I head into next year it’s not about what we can do it’s what we MUST do as working moms and working dads. Anything is possible,” she wrote on Instagram Monday.

In the caption of two photos of herself warming up for training while holding daughter Olympia, Williams reminded the world that parents often work (both in paid and unpaid roles) like this, something that needs to be talked about more.

We need to talk about growing personally while holding growing babies because it reminds society that parents need support.

We need to talk about the load working parents carry in a work culture that often fails to consider families and needs to change.

And we need to talk about how we are doing all this (and how it is sometimes really hard) because we can inspire others. We’re already inspiring Serena.

“I am getting ready for the first match of the year and my dear sweet baby @olympiaohanian was tired and sad and simply needed mama’s love. So if it means warming up and stretching while holding my baby that’s what #thismama will do,” Williams wrote.

“My fellow moms and dads working- or stay home it’s equally as intense- but you inspire me. Hearing your stories makes me know I can do this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This year is to you! What are some things you had to do while working? #thismama #thisdaddy

Serena may be inspired by the stories of fellow parents, but her story has inspired so many others. The comments section on her Instagram post is full of stories about mamas working with babies on their laps, or doing all the unpaid labor of taking care of a household while wearing the weight of an extra human being.

This is hard, but we are doing it.


Thanks for the reminder, Serena.

Here’s to 2019: It’s your year, mama.

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