“Nothing could have dragged me away from my wife and daughter [Olympia] in those hours, days and weeks — and I’m grateful that I was never forced to choose between my family and my job,” the 36-year-old said in a personal essay for The New York Times. The Reddit founder also revealed that his wife’s “near-fatal complications led him to realize how key his time spent with his family was.
“Serena spent days in recovery fighting for her life against pulmonary embolisms,” Alexis recalled. “When we came home with our baby girl, Serena had a hole in her abdomen that needed bandage changes daily. She was on medication. She couldn’t walk.”
Alexis once again advocated for paternity leave, saying, “Taking leave also set me off on the right foot for sharing parental responsibilities. Two years later, there is no stigma in our house about me changing diapers, feeding Olympia, doing her hair or anything else I might need to do in a pinch.”
Alexis had one final word of advice for new fathers, saying, “I get that not every father has the flexibility to take leave without the fear that doing so could negatively impact his career. But my message to these guys is simple: Taking leave pays off, and it’s continued to pay dividends for me two years later.” Incredible!
The tennis superstar’s love does admit that time spent away from work and at home was vital to making him more secure as a father. “Spending a big chunk of time with Olympia when she was a newborn gave me confidence that I could figure this whole parenting thing out,” he explained. “As an only child with no cousins, I didn’t grow up around babies; in fact, I had never held one until my daughter was born. At first, holding her terrified me. I am a giant and she’s so tiny … What if I break her? I didn’t — which was encouraging — and then I learned how to calm her crying, rock her to sleep and handle her toddler years with grace.”
No word yet if the famous pair will have another kid, but we know that Alexis will be taking some time off again if they do!