Naomi Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam tennis champion, has opened up about her struggles with self-doubt and challenging thoughts as a new mother. According to her, she has been battling self-doubt about her ability to be a good mother. She described how numerous doubts plagued her thoughts, likening them to swatting away mosquitoes.
Osaka welcomed her first child, a daughter named Shai, with rapper Cordae in July 2023. To commemorate her 26th birthday, she shared personal insights with her fans on Sunday, shedding light on the complexities of her journey as both a professional athlete and a new mom.
In an extended post on her social media platform, X (formerly Twitter), Osaka reflected on her life journey, questioning whether she had followed the right path. She said she occasionally feels like the kid playing on public courts in Queens, NY, and wondered if she’s on the correct life trajectory. She however admitted that she has now embraced a mindset of moving forward, acknowledging that whatever will be, will be.
The tennis champion noted motherhood has had a profound impact on her worldview. She reflected on how looking into her daughter Shai’s eyes and holding her reinforces her sense of responsibility and the need to improve continuously. She also marveled at how quickly children grow and emphasized the importance of gratitude, urging herself and others to appreciate both the small and significant moments in life.
Osaka’s last competitive match took place at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in September 2022, but she had to withdraw due to abdominal pain. In January 2023, she announced her pregnancy and also revealed her decision not to participate in the Australian Open that same month.
Last month, she reflected on her year away from tennis and how the enduring careers of other female tennis stars have motivated her to continue competing, according to the Independent. She described the experience as simultaneously feeling long and short. She recalled that her last tournament was the Tokyo Olympics and how watching the Australian Open without participating was devastating since she had never missed it before.
While watching Serena and Venus Williams compete, she initially doubted her ability to play at their age. However, she now contemplates the possibility of doing just that, highlighting a newfound motivation to continue her tennis career for an extended period.