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Naomi Osaka Returns to Tennis With Message for Moms Chasing Big Dreams

“Parents, moms in particular, are historically told that babies will be a barrier to personal goals — that they will stop you from achieving your dreams. But I have discovered that Shai is my ultimate motivator; she makes me want to achieve greatness."
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published January 12, 2024

Professional tennis player and four time Grand Slam Champion Naomi Osaka has a message for all parents out there chasing their dreams.

In a new video in partnership with baby nutrition company Bobbie, Osaka gives a glimpse into her life with her newborn Shai and her return to the court. “They’ll say it’s a comeback, a bounce back. They’ll ask what pushes me to stretch, to deal with the crap,” Osaka narrates as clips play of her training on the court and changing dirty diapers. “To trust my instinct. You know what pushes me? You,” she says as the camera pans to her daughter. “Parents, we push harder.”

Shortly after, the screen flashes to black with white text that announces her partnership with Bobbie and reads, “73% of Americans don’t have paid family leave. This month, we’re putting cash into the pockets of parents who need it. Apply for a N.O. (Naomi Osaka) Support Grant.”

In her caption for the video, Osaka talks more about pushing for her dreams as a parent and her support for paid family leave so others can do the same. “Being a parent is hard. As a professional athlete I am no stranger to hard work or early mornings, but the last 6 months as a new mom has given me a whole new appreciation and understanding of what parents do every single day,” she notes.

“Parents, moms in particular, are historically told that babies will be a barrier to personal goals - that they will stop you from achieving your dreams. But I have discovered that Shai is my ultimate motivator; she makes me want to achieve greatness,” she writes.

“I’m proud of myself for continuing to chase my dreams while also being a mom. And I recognize that I’m fortunate to have the support to return to work this month on my own terms, in my own time. So many American parents don’t have that choice. But we ALL deserve it.”

Osaka goes on to explain how she stands with Bobbie on the company’s push for the federal Family and Medical Leave Act that would give 12 weeks paid leave, job protection, and guarantee a minimum monthly benefit of $580.

But that’s not all while the act works its way through Congress, the professional athlete will also be giving $580 to 50 families in the form of N.O. Support Grants to help them bridge the pay gap and maybe take a little time off. You can learn more about the Family and Medical Leave Act and apply for a N.O. Support Grant at hi.bobbie.com.

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