“I want to make it clear that perfection is an impossible goal and should never be a true pursuit in life,” the tennis superstar wrote in a Fortune essay published on Friday.
Williams opened up about personal struggles she’s faced juggling her duties as a new mother and her commitment to tennis. After giving birth to her daughter Olympia in 2017, Williams wrote, it was really hard leaving her and going back to work.
“She is my absolute priority ― spending as much time as possible with her every day is so important to me,” Williams wrote. “But I’m still training to win Grand Slams and sometimes I have to make hard choices about how I spend my time.”
She added: “I’ve cried over Olympia so many times that I’ve lost count. I cried when I stopped breastfeeding. I sat with Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it, and I told her, ‘Mommy has to do this.’ I cried when I missed Olympia’s first steps because I was in training.”
Williams wrote that she wants other working moms to know they’re not alone. “We have to show ourselves and our female counterparts compassion and reality.”
She added that she hopes for this International Women’s Day that all women can come together to support and lift up one another.
“While I think all women are superheroes, we are not superhuman and we need each other’s support,” Williams wrote. “We need to give each other grace when we fall short ― and when society sets unrealistic expectations or our workplaces have antiquated rules. We must band together and fight for what’s fair.”