After withdrawing from the Rogers Cup for personal reasons, Serena Williams has shared a post with her followers addressing some of the emotional challenges she has faced as a new mother. The 36-year-old gave birth to her first daughter, Alexis Olympia, in September. The former world number one returned to competitive action this year, reaching the final of Wimbledon last month.
She suffered a 6-1 6-0 loss to Johanna Konta in the first round of Silicon Valley Classic last week, the heaviest defeat of her career.
The 23-time grand slam singles champion subsequently withdrew from the Rogers Cup, a WTA Premier 5 event staged in Montreal. And Williams has now used social media to offer an insight into her frame of mind, urging other mothers to take a positive attitude to mental health issues and the daily challenge of being a parent
Always best to talk about it, says Serena
"Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom," she wrote. "I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to three years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are 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. 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 tomm [tomorrow]."