Throughout her pregnancy and after giving birth, tennis great and new mom Serena Williams has had several moments that had fellow parents saying to themselves, “I’ve totally been there.”
To celebrate Williams’ 36th birthday, we’ve rounded up her best parenting moments, from the time she went all out for her baby shower to the time she got real about the pains of pregnancy.
Here are 10 of Williams’ most relatable parenting moments:
When she couldn’t believe she was actually a mom:
Williams and her fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed a baby girl, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on September 1. A couple weeks later, the tennis star posted a cute tweet admitting that the shock of becoming a parent for the first time hadn’t yet worn off.
When she got real about how rough pregnancy can be:
Williams shared how she felt throughout her pregnancy on Twitter, discussing her swollen ankles as well as what she called “pregnancy back.”
“I’ve dubbed this to mean ― intense back pain while preggers,” she tweeted in July. “But it’s all gonna be so worth it!!!”
When she talked more about the toll pregnancy was taking on her the day she (casually) posed for Vogue:
While pregnant, Williams posted a stunning photo of herself posing for Vogue and shared that the experience was extremely draining for her.
“I was so energetic that day but then I remember being totally exhausted and needed to take a break for an hour,” she wrote. “I was still trying to understand this whole pregnancy process. Nowadays I have no ankles or toes and my fingers resemble sausages but it’s moments like this that are captured by [photographer] @mariotestino that makes everything worthwhile.”
When she crowdsourced advice from fellow parents on Twitter:
When the tennis star was having difficulty turning over at night, she asked her Twitter fans. She received about 1,200 responses from parents offering their best tips. Body pillow, anyone?
When she made sure her baby shower was a blast:
In August, Williams had a ’50s-themed baby shower. The attendees included actress Eva Longoria, singer Ciara and singer Kelly Rowland all in their sock hop best.
When she also made sure her daughter had the perfect onesie:
No explanation needed.
When she joked about rarely getting some ZZZs:
Williams and Ohanian started an Instagram account for their daughter. In a funny post, the parents joked about Williams rarely getting any sleep.
When she documented her pregnancy with a cute video:
Like many eager parents-to-be, Williams and Ohanian documented the months leading up to their daughter’s birth with updates on Williams’ growing belly and sweet messages for their baby.
When she thanked her mom in a touching letter after becoming a mother herself:
Williams wrote a letter on Reddit and Instagram addressed to her mother. In it, the tennis icon thanked her mom for empowering her to look past the critics who talked about her physical appearance and proudly shared that she would pass on this persistence to her daughter.
“Thank you for being the role model I needed to endure all the hardships that I now regard as a challenges [sic] ― ones that I enjoy,” she wrote. “I hope to teach my baby Alexis Olympia the same, and have the same fortitude you have had.”
When she also wrote the sweetest letter to her daughter:
In April while still pregnant, Williams wrote a letter to her daughter to show how excited she was to celebrate her tennis achievements with her first child.
“My Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn’t know I had,” she wrote. “You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can’t wait to meet you.”
Williams signed the short letter, “From the world’s oldest number one to the world’s youngest number one. -Your Mommy.”