'I am not okay today.' Serena Williams shared the parenting moment that rarely makes it to Instagram.

The daily lives of celebrities are particularly curated, but Serena Williams is choosing to lift the lid on what her life is really like.

The sportswoman has been candid about the reality of motherhood since the birth of her eldest daughter, Olympia Williams Ohanian, in 2017.

And following the birth of her second child, Adira River Ohanian, in August 2023, Williams has made it clear that when it comes to motherhood, some days can be a struggle.

Watch this clip of Serena Williams introducing her daughter Olympia to the world. Post continues after video. 

Video via Instagram @serenawilliams.

Earlier this week, the 42-year-old athlete painted an honest picture by sharing a mental health message to followers, writing, "I am not ok today."

"And that's okay not to be okay. No one is okay every single day. If you are not ok today, I'm with you. There's always tomorrow."

The transparency around mental health and her candid storytelling surrounding her birth, pregnancy and motherhood journey has been far removed from the perfect curation of motherhood with which we are regularly presented on social media.


Instead of suffering (and recovering) in private – away from prying eyes and the flashing bulbs of hungry paparazzi –Williams has leaned into it and become a voice parents are looking to for honest advice.

Serena Williams with daughter Olympia. Image: Instagram @serenawilliams.

It began in 2017, following the birth of her eldest child, when she suffered a near-death experience involving pulmonary embolism. The athlete claimed at the time that medical professionals didn't listen to her, despite coughing open her c-section stitches and insisting something was not right.


"In the U.S., Black women are nearly three times more likely to die during or after childbirth than their white counterparts," she wrote in a compelling essay published to ELLE.

"Many of these deaths are considered by experts to be preventable. Being heard and appropriately treated was the difference between life or death for me; I know those statistics would be different if the medical establishment listened to every Black woman’s experience."

She later told TIME that after spending six weeks in bed, she couldn't shake the "sadness". 

"Some days, I cry. I'm really sad. I've had meltdowns," Williams explained in 2018, before telling Harper's Bazaar UK about her postpartum depression. "I think people need to talk about it more because it’s almost like the fourth trimester, it’s part of the pregnancy."

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian with daughters Olympia and Adira. Image: Instagram @serenawilliams.


"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," she added.

"It was more just like, alright, I'm shutting myself down today. Just subconsciously, it was something I've always done," she continued. "And so now that I know that it's so important to just put yourself first, especially mentally. I always have shut down moments. I have serious boundaries and I don't let anyone cross those boundaries."

With the birth of Adira came a new challenge for Williams, who was admittedly "worried" ahead of her daughter's arrival. 

"I was like, 'Okay, I don't know if I can like anyone as much as I love Olympia,'" Williams said. "I was really nervous about that. But I feel like it all worked out."

Feature Image: Instagram @serenawilliams.

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