“The truth is I miss my body, being able to do other kinds of amazing things. I miss playing tennis. Mostly, I miss winning.”
Serena Williams stated this sentiment on the final episode of her HBO reality show “Being Serena” last week.
Ahhhh. I can so identify with you. This mom thing is HARD.
Three years ago, I was loving life. After years of raising 4 kids, I had to work hard to find myself again. I had finally leaned to balance taking care of them and taking care of me. I was happy and enjoyed pushing myself whether running, lifting weights, hiking, or challenging myself to a fast paced cardio workout.
Then like a record scratch, I changed it all and challenged my close to 40 year old body in a different way. Pregnancy, birth and a newborn are such a game changer. I knew that this time around I was older and it would be harder. I knew that I wanted to find that balance between her needs and my needs. Balance that I had lost in the early years of raising the first four.
But I was also determined to breastfeed.
“Breastfeeding is an incredibly personal thing,” said Williams. “The connection that it gives me to Olympia — it’s been one of the most magical things I’ve ever experienced.”
It’s amazing and magical. It has so many pluses and positives for mothers and babies, but it’s also exhausting. It takes a massive toll on a woman’s mental health and physical body that society doesn’t always discuss. I suffered from nursing elbow for months which hindered most lifting with that arm. I also struggled just to find energy on a daily basis because being up with a baby all night will do that to you and while I lost most of my baby weight, I just can’t seem to shake those last 8 pounds. No matter how much I eat right and exercise, my body is just hoarding those few extra pounds to help make milk.
The first year after giving birth, women are criticized day in and day out. About losing weight, about when they nurse, how long, how often, what they feed their baby, about not finding time to shower, let alone go to a gym, working, not working, etc etc etc.
Y’all act like we make decisions about our children’s health and well being on a whim.
Most mothers antagonize over the decisions we make and it’s no ones business but ours.
I’m hoping the men and women that watch this show can see the struggle. It’s okay to talk about it. It’s okay to discuss it and be real with people about it.
Breastfeeding has always been such a taboo subject but props to you, Serena, for keeping it real.
You do you boo!
You’re living your dream, smashing your personal and motherhood goals.
We feel you, we get you and we support you!