Serena Williams’ “heroes” are mothers.
The 38-year-old tennis star is mother to two-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia – whom she has with her husband Alexis Ohanian – and has said motherhood has made her realize who the real “heroes” in the world are, as she can’t believe the amount of work that goes into raising a child.
She said: “My heroes have changed after having a child. My heroes are moms because women are superheroes. To have a baby and then have to go to work two or three weeks later or work a 9 to 5 … I’m fortunate to not have to do that.”
The sports star wants women to be “recognized” for their hard work, especially those who work full time whilst also raising young children.
She added: “I’m at a loss for words when I think of women who work day in and day out, providing for their families, when I know how hard it is for me to leave my daughter. I never felt that way until I became a mom. I think women need to be recognized.”
And whilst being a mother is “important” to Serena, she also wants to show her daughter her career achievements, so Olympia can be “inspired” by her.
Speaking to Anna Wintour for TIME, she said: “Being a mom is super important, but also being a leader so my daughter can look at me and say, ‘This is what my mom did.’ I aspire to do that and I want to be better. It’s really important to me to inspire the next generation because that’s what the future is.”
Meanwhile, Serena recently gushed over her daughter’s first word, as she revealed it was “momma”.
She explained: “Everything at this phase is new.
“She is learning to put her own shoes on which is such a big milestone for me because before I had to do it and now I can tell her to do it herself.
“She is starting to talk, and they don’t really speak until they are two.
“So she is starting to talk and is learning new words and phrases.
“She’s understanding phonetics and is repeating what we are saying – her first word was ‘momma!’ “