When you’re a working parent, you may not be around for all your baby’s firsts. Tennis star Serena Williams knows this disappointment all too well. The 36-year-old with 23 Grand Slam wins is currently in the midst of her professional comeback since her pregnancy.
On Saturday, she revealed on Twitter that as she was training for Wimbledon, she missed the first steps of her 10-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Missing this milestone in her child’s development made her cry, she said.
She took her first steps… I was training and missed it. I cried.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 7, 2018
Parents sympathize with the work-family struggle of missing baby milestones
Working moms recognized this heartache and responded with sympathy and advice on how to deal with the disappointment. Model and TV personality Christine Teigen advised reframing the idea of a “first” from first ever to first that matters.
she is practicing so you can see the real ones. ❤️
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) July 8, 2018
Caretakers also said that when they saw baby firsts, they would not tell parents, so they could have that “first” experience.
I babysat children. I saw most of their "firsts"… I never told their parents… They told me on the Monday morning drop off that they had their "first" steps, word, etc… 😊
— Donna Wolfe (@DonnaRwolfe) July 7, 2018
Others sympathized with the guilt of missing firsts while working.
Ah Serena. I’m with you there. I’m in Russia at a World Cup. I watched mine take her first steps on a video 😓 she’ll be proud of you when she goes up (I have to keep telling myself)
— Alison Bender (@alibendertv) July 7, 2018
I took my 1st child all the way to Israel on a trade mission. During a meeting I heard cheering out in the waiting area …. Yup, staff and husband and assorted strangers saw her 1st steps. It all turns out okay. #workingmomsrock
— jane swift (@janemswift) July 7, 2018
While others noted that even if you miss one milestone, you’re still part of their journey since you who helped them get to the point where they could walk in the first place.
You didn't miss it, mommy. You facilitated it. Your child still lives right there. Make those happy tears & I mean it.
— Moriah Marshall (@gnarlymo) July 7, 2018
All moms have felt that way. You join legions of us who have been at work when something big happened. It doesn’t take away from the fact that you helped her get there!
— Heidi Reinhart (@MrsReinhartDASH) July 7, 2018