Why Serena Williams Is Holding Off on Giving Meghan Markle Motherhood Advice—For Now

Illustration for article titled Why Serena Williams Is Holding Off on Giving Meghan Markle Motherhood Advice—For Now
Photo: Jamie McCarthy (Getty Images)

Who wouldn’t want advice from Serena Williams? Not only has the all-time great tennis player (so says fellow GOAT-contender Roger Federer) racked up an impressive set of hardware over her 23-year career, she appears to be holding it down on the work-life balance front. She and husband Alexis Ohanian are “get you a man who...” goals (Flies you to Italy so you can eat pasta! Commissions ugly-cry inducing tribute videos to you! Syncs calendars!), and daughter Olympia is just about the most precious child to ever walk this here wretched planet.

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Still, when it comes to new motherhood—even to close friend, Duchess Meghan Markle—the seven-time Wimbledon champ is laying off the advice.

Asked by the BBC’s Sally Nugent if she had given Markle any parenting advice, Williams said, “I never pass on words of wisdom because I feel like, everyone, when they have a kid, especially when you just have a baby, it’s so difficult to just be.

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“It’s just like, get through the first three months, four months and then we can talk,” she added. (If you’re the nosy type, Markle gave birth to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor back on May 6, meaning that catch-up talk won’t be happening until August at the earliest).

When Williams was told she appeared “to have the parenting thing totally down,” the 37-year-old athlete and entrepreneur demurred.

“I totally do not. I’m a mess,” Williams responded, adding, “I just put on some concealer and I’m here, and I’m pretending everything is fine.”

Relatable! Except when I put on some concealer and pretend everything is fine, it’s usually because I’m working off of four hours of sleep thanks to an ill-advised Spider-Verse/Coco Sunday night cry bonanza. Not because I’m about to advance to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the fifty-leventh time.

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The proud mommy (her Instagram bio reads, simply, “Olympia’s mom”) also hinted that she wants siblings for Olympia—but just like her parenting advice, it will have to wait for now.

Staff writer, The Root.

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DISCUSSION

banacek
Old white guy

Williams said, “I never pass on words of wisdom because I feel like, everyone, when they have a kid, especially when you just have a baby, it’s so difficult to just be.

Why should she offer advice unless she’s been asked? We’re not talking about playing tennis here (which she does better than anyone). Motherhood is completely different for everyone. Babies are different. Mothers are different. Scenarios are different (“Man, I can’t tell you how hard it is to get the baby to stop crying while they’re teething but it’s picture time with the queen!” “Tell me about it. Try practicing your backhand while nursing!”). If meghan asks for it, great. But beyond that, it’s a good way to get on someone’s bad side.

I did hear one friend of mine (who had two children) tell another friend (expecting her first) “I’m only going to offer you one piece of advice. Sleep whenever you can.” Seemed like good advice in general.