Tennis champion Serena Williams is mum to almost one-year-old Alexis Olympia and she opened up a little bit more about their life together on the weekend.
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Kids humble us. The other day on a flight home Olympia had so much energy and insisted on running up and down the aisle. When I finally got her to calm down and sit still, she threw up all over me and in the aisle. #ThisMama wants to remind all mothers the importance of supporting one another through the highs, lows, laughs and tears. _ Share your own stories of motherhood with hashtag #ThisMama. I’d love to hear them!
“We don’t do that”
Alexis Olympia (who they call Olympia) is the first child for Serena and husband Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Metro UK reports that a journalist at a US Open press conference asked: “Is there a birthday party planned [for Olympia]?”
Serena explained that “Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that.”
Indeed the official Jehovah’s Witnesses’ website goes into a little more detail on this, noting that celebrating birthdays is not forbidden, but not encouraged either.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. Although the Bible does not explicitly forbid celebrating birthdays, it does help us to reason on key features of these events and understand God’s view of them.”
Read more about Serena:
- Serena Williams’ relatable adjustment to parenting: “I was not a good mom”
- “Everything went bad” Serena Williams’ life-threatening birth complications
- “Everybody is different”: Serena Williams cried when she stopped breastfeeding
Children “do not feel deprived”
The site notes that children of their faith are rewarded in other ways instead.
“Like all good parents, Witnesses express love to their children throughout the year, including giving them gifts and having enjoyable gatherings. They try to follow the perfect example of God, who spontaneously gives good things to his children. Children of Witness parents do not feel deprived.”
Serena told Vogue last year, ahead of Olympia’s birth that “being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practised it and have been wanting to get into it. Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.”
After a brush with death following birth complications and the huge transition to becoming a mum, it’s possible that she’s since turned to her faith for comfort and guidance in a more demonstrative way.