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Serena Williams' Best Advice for Transitioning From a 1 to 2 Kid Home

The tennis legend and mom of two is working to make sure her 6-year-old daughter Olympia still feels special now that her little brother has arrived.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated April 4, 2024

Tennis star and venture capitalist Serena Williams is using her trademark grace and skill to make the transition from a only child household to a family of four.

Williams, who welcomed her son Adira River Ohanian just six months ago, chatted with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on an episode Today about the best advice she had for parents navigating the transition. “Someone gave me the best advice. ‘Spend more time with the oldest cause they’ll remember,’” Williams said. “Isn’t that the best advice? But I do. Because the little one won’t remember. So whenever Olympia’s home, I’m with her. And then Adira, I’m just like, ‘Okay…’ I pretend like I don’t know her as much.”

Williams says the age gap between her son and 6-year-old Olympia makes this a little easier than it might be with parents who have both kids at home all day. “Two is different, but I haven’t experienced it yet because they’re six years apart. So Olympia is in school most of the day and I get to hang out with the baby most of the day. And then when Olympia is home, I get to hang out with her,” she shared.

“You want to make Olympia feel like she’s not replaced,” Bush Hager offered. “Exactly, exactly. That’s hard,” Williams responded.

This isn’t the first parenting hurdle Williams has had to navigate. She’s also been on a mission to celebrate her postpartum body and help new moms see their own beauty. The mom of two recently opened up about her journey on Instagram. “Loving yourself is essential. I find that I have to remind myself of that self-love through all different stages in my life,” Williams captioned a photo of her sporting a swimsuit and holding her newborn.

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“Right now I love that my body is not picture perfect,” she wrote. “I love that I smell like milk - that milk sustains @adiraohanian. I love getting to know a new version of my body. It is a change, but it’s a change that has been well worth it. So start this week, knowing that you are loved, and that starts with you.”

This isn’t the first time Williams has spoken out about the realities of postpartum motherhood. In a candid moment a few weeks ago, Williams shared her attempt to slip into her pre-pregnancy attire. "I got this cool Valentino skirt when I was pregnant and I was like, ‘I’m gonna be able to fit in this when I don’t have a belly,’” Williams said at the start of the video.

In the clip, she attempts to pull the denim maxi up over her hips and booty, but it just won’t budge. “I can’t fit it,” Williams says. “But this is my goal. Honestly, I should’ve been able to fit it by now, but I ran into some, um… I got distracted for about a month,” she explains with a laugh, slowly giving herself some grace. “Back to the drawer… for now!”

Shortly after posting, fellow moms flooded the comments with gratitude for Williams’ authenticity in highlighting the ubiquitous “nothing fits” struggle of postpartum life. “Well done on sharing the reality of postpartum … not just the glamourized instagram version,” noted a mother. “I love your transparency. Whew, I can relate. The struggle is real,” wrote another.

While there’s nothing wrong with having goals or expectations for your health and wellness after pregnancy it’s always important to remember your rest, relaxation and well-being is most important. “I will Rest. I will Recover. I will Recharge. I will Repeat. I will enjoy some time for myself,” Williams posted the next day. Postpartum love wins!

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Serena Williams Welcomes Baby No. 2

The “GMOAT” or “Greatest Mother of All Time” has welcomed her second baby!

Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, shared the news across social media platforms on August 22. “Welcome, Adira River Ohanian,” the new father wrote in a social post announcing his daughter’s birth. “I’m grateful to report our house is teaming with love: a happy & healthy newborn girl and happy & healthy mama.”

The Reddit co-founder added that he was “Feeling grateful. Serena Williams you’ve now given me another incomparable gift — you’re the GMOAT,” he said, bragging that his wife is The Greatest Mother of All Time.

Ohanian thanked all the “amazing medical staff who took care of my wife and our daughter,” adding that he “would never forget the moment I introduced @olympiaohanian to her baby sister.”

The tech entrepreneur ended his post with a quote in reference to his daughter’s middle name. “Your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea,” he wrote. Adira, typically a girl’s name of Hebrew origin, this increasingly popular name means strong, noble and powerful. Adjectives Williams and Ohanian surely hope their daughter will embody as she grows up!

Serena Williams Shares Her “Pre-Push Party” Spa Day

Williams took to her in early August YouTube channel to share the inside details of what she coined as her “Pre-Push Party” hosted by her friends and her sister. No ordinary baby shower, unbeknownst to Williams, her friends and family had organized a surprise spa day. The venture capitalist shared that she was treated to a manicure, facial and foot massage, all in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her loved ones.

The proud mom to 5-year-old Olympia with another girl on the way, Williams took a moment amid her relaxation to discuss how she was felt about the upcoming arrival of her second child. “Baby No. 2 is on the way after, you know, lots of time waiting,” she said. “So, how am I feeling about it? Excited, anxious, nervous, happy … all of the above.”

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Williams confessed that she was “actually not quite ready today,” — “I don’t have my stuff ready, like the crib and the changing table and a plethora of other things” but the soon-to-be mom of two said she was “mentally ready-ish.” With her friends and family by her side she’s surely ready to tackle anything.

“I feel so loved today,” Williams said in the video. “Everyone’s here. Family’s here. We’re all just relaxed. I feel loved and relaxed.”

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian Reveal the Sex of Baby No. 2

Her pre-push party is only one of many moments Williams has shared with friends and fans along her pregnancy journey. On July 31, the serial entrepreneur shared a closer look at her sex reveal party.

In a behind-the-scenes video, Williams gets ready for the event donning a pink striped skirt and proudly announcing that she’s team pink. “I’m a little nervous because I don’t have any contingency plan if it turns out to be a boy,” she joked. Big sister Olympia joined “team girl,” wearing a pink dress, while Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian, was the sole member of “team boy,” wearing an X-men t-shirt.

Before the big reveal took place, though, Ohanian had a special trick up his sleeve. The dad-to-be convinced Williams, Olympia and the rest of the event attendees that the big reveal would all come down to a cake slice.

“This cake is as basic of a gender reveal idea as I could come up with. Inside, it’s yellow. I am doing this because I want to troll her and Olympia of Jelly Bean. She will cut into this cake and probably be disappointed and hopefully appreciate my troll,” Ohanian joked.

The way baby’s gender was actually revealed was with a spectacular drone display in the night sky. After spelling out “It’s a…” in the sky, the drone spelled out “Girl!” in bright pink. As event attendees clapped and yelled in congratulations, Mom, Dad and daughter celebrated and hugged one another. Williams wouldn’t need her contingency plan after all!

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Serena Williams Tells Olympia She’s Going to Be a Big Sister

Earlier this month, Serena Williams surprised friends and fans when she debuted her baby bump on the Met Gala red carpet. But before revealing her pregnancy to the world, she had to share the news with her biggest fan—her daughter Olympia.

In a new video entitled Olympia’s Surprise, Williams intros her “big sister,” reveal sharing that her daughter doesn’t know she’s pregnant yet but has been stressed out about mommy “getting fat.” Joking that her 5-year-old can’t keep a secret, Williams waited until the last possible moment to spill the beans.

Sitting on a couch with Ohanian and Olympia between them, Williams finally broke the news. “You know how you’ve been praying for a little sister or brother,” Williams said. “Well we went to the doctor, and it turns out I’m not getting fat, but I have a baby in my belly.”

“Are you kidding me,” Olympia excitedly responded, “No you’re going to be a big sister!” chimed in Ohanian. The big-sister-to-be quickly hugged Mom and, after a quick peek at her bump, excitedly ran around the room shouting, running into walls, jumping over the couch and giving her parents quite the laugh.

Serena Williams Announces She’s Pregnant with Baby No. 2

Just a little less than a year after announcing her retirement from tennis to focus on her family, the 41-year-old all-time tennis great announced she was expecting her second child with her husband Alexis Ohanian. Williams shared the news with fans on Instagram on May 1. “Was so excited when Anna Wintour invited the 3 of us to the Met Gala,” Williams captioned the photo featuring her and Ohanian in their Met Gala best.

Adorned in Tiffany & Co. pearls and wearing a custom Gucci gown, Williams proudly cradled her baby bump in other photos throughout the carousel of images. Friends and fans flooded the comments with their well wishes. Singer Ciara, actress Tabitha Brown and Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan were just a few of the celebrities to send their congratulations.

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Williams and Ohanian are already the proud parents of 5-year-old Olympia. The venture capitalist has opened up several times about her traumatic birth experience and difficult postpartum recovery over the past few years. In light of her first pregnancy difficulties, Williams made the decision to “evolve away from tennis” in August 2022. In the Vogue essay outlining her retirement, the professional athlete noted that she “definitely didn’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”

While a difficult decision to leave her career in pursuit of motherhood, Williams noted that it feels like anything but a sacrifice. “The fact is that nothing is a sacrifice for me when it comes to Olympia. It all just makes sense. I want to teach her how to tie her shoes, how to read, where babies come from, and about God. Just like my mom taught me. As she grows, it’s something different every month,” Williams shared, adding, “I think tennis, by comparison, has always felt like a sacrifice—though it’s one I enjoyed making.”

Our congratulations to Williams on her growing family!

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