We Love Serena Williams, But Being a “Working Mom” Doesn’t Make her Special

We love Serena Williams just like everybody else, but can we chill out with all the praise for Serena being a “working mom”?

No offense, but seriously, most women today are working moms, and many of them have two or more children.

Not only that, but Serena’s ancestors and the ancestors of many black women were, as reported in the PBS series, Slavery & the Making of America, “expected to put the needs of the master and his family before her own children. The slave mother on a large plantation returned to the fields soon after giving birth.”

If the phenomenon of Serena the Supermom has somehow escaped you, take a look at these recent headlines:

  • USA TODAY: “On Labor Day weekend, Serena Williams embraced by working mothers at US Open”
  • NEWSDAY: “Game. Set. Motherhood. Serena Williams mastering the role of working mom.”
  • E! NEWS: “Inside Serena Williams’ Gratifying, Terrifying and Completely Life-Changing First Year as a Mom”
  • MOTHERLY: “5 times Serena Williams mom-ed like a boss”
  • DAILY MAIL: “Serena Williams admits ‘it’s not easy being a working mom'”

While Serena deserves praise for her accomplishments on the tennis court, she isn’t doing anything special by being a mother and maintaining her “day job” as a professional athlete. Millions of women do that every day. And some would argue that, with her fame and finances, Serena has it easier than a lot of other women. Unlike many single mothers, if Serena wanted to retire and be a stay-at-home mom, she could afford to do so — even if her husband wasn’t Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian.

We love Serena and we thank God for her. But becoming a mother doesn’t elevate her above any other woman. She’s only taken her place as one among a great host of women who work and raise children simultaneously.

Enough already.

–Ella Breedlove