Serena Williams is opening up about the challenges of finding a work-life balance as a new mom, and facing some of her more difficult postpartum emotions head-on.
The tennis pro took to Instagram on Monday to reflect on her return to tennis after giving birth to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia, last September.
"Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk," wrote Williams, who suffered the worst defeat of her professional career to Johanna Konta at the 2018 Silicon Valley Classic a week ago, and recently pulled out of this year's Rogers Cup tournament in Canada, citing "personal reasons."
"Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom," she continued in the caption, alongside a powerful snapshot of herself standing on a rock overlooking the ocean, silhouetted by the setting sun. "I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 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," Williams added. "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."
The celebrated athlete ended her emotionally charged and introspective post on a note of support and solidarity, sharing, "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 has been very open about struggling with "mom guilt" since her return to the sport she loves after taking an extended leave to give birth to her and husband Alexis Ohanian's first child.
Last month, Williams revealed that, while training for Wimbledon, she missed a major milestone in her daughter's life. "She took her first steps... I was training and missed it," she tweeted. "I cried."
Speaking with ET last year, Williams opened up about the difficulties of being a working mom while also making sure to spend as much time as she could with her little girl.
"Working motherhood is real. It's so real. But I have my priorities and Olympia is that," she shared. "I'm never a day without Olympia. She's my priority, and every day I need to be home with her. I don't wanna miss any moments with her."
For more from the tennis star on the challenges she's faced on her own motherhood journey -- and her plans for possibly expanding her family in the future -- check out the video below.
Serena Williams Has Not Spent One Day Apart From Her Daughter Since Her Birth
Serena Williams on Her Decision to Stop Breastfeeding
Serena Williams Covers Vogue With Baby Daughter, Opens Up About Post-Birth Health Complications