Moms Who Play
Juggling motherhood and sport is not easy. Finding that balance between being an athlete and a mother is difficult, but these amazing women found a way. These are 10 super moms.
This “Soul Surfer” balances motherhood with her desire to ride the waves.
After Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack at 13 years old, she has proven to be unstoppable. Hamilton taught herself to surf again, and is now balancing motherhood.
Hamilton and her husband, Adam Dirks, have two children together. Their son’s names are Tobias and Wesley.
At first Hamilton said, “I had a lot of fears entering into motherhood, but I didn’t know what life would look after.” Hamilton proved to be unstoppable and embraced motherhood.
When the United States Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup in 2019, McDonald’s son Jeremiah was by her side celebrating with her.
During the World Cup, there were 23 athletes on the U.S. World Cup team, and McDonald was the only mother.
McDonald’s son, Jeremiah, was there for the entire journey. In addition to attending each World Cup game, Jeremiah was even at the celebratory parade in New York.
In addition to being a member of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, McDonald plays for the North Carolina Courage.
When Waterson enters the cage she takes on two roles: a UFC fighter and a Cage Mom.
She has been a MMA fighter for 12 years and became a mother to Arya Sage Gomez in 2011.
Motivated to return and become champion, it was only three months after she became a mom when she began training again. Only two years later, she competed in her first fight.
Now when Waterson, enters the octagon, she rocks her Mom Champ Mentality and is motivated to become the first UFC champion that is a mother.
This two-time Grand Slam champion does it all; she excels on the court, balances motherhood.
In December 2016, Azarenka gave birth to her son Leo. Once Leo was born, Azarenka took some time off and returned to the sport in 2018.
Now that Azarenka is a mother, her perspective has changed. “It used to be all about me before, and now, nothing is about me. In my mind, it’s all about my child.”
In 2019, Azarenka’s second season back, she reached the finals in the 2019 Monterrey. In addition, Azarenka returned to the Top 50.
She is the most decorated track and field Olympian in history and has won nine medals: six gold and three silver.
In November 2018, Felix delivered her daughter, Camryn, via emergency C-section.
About 13 months after Felix had her daughter, she returned to the track and competed in the 2019 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.
September 2019, Felix even broke Usain Bolt’s record, winning her 12th gold medal at the World Championships.
After breaking this record, Felix posted this on Instagram, “This one is for all my baby mamas.”
After retiring from softball and starting a family, this dominant pitcher has returned to the circle and is set to compete in the 2021 Olympics as a member of the Canadian Women’s Softball team.
While Lawrie-Locke was away, she gave birth to two daughters, Madison and Audrey, focusing all her time on being the best mom.
Now she is focused on balancing her roles as a pitcher and a mother. She hopes to set an example for her daughters and inspire other mothers.
With the 2021 Olympic Games in sight, Lawrie-Locke’s goal is to try to win a medal with her family in the stands.
Kerri Walsh Jennings
If you watch the summer Olympics, you obviously know Walsh Jennings is a dominant force on the beach, but she is also a stellar mom.
Walsh Jennings and her husband met in 2001, got married in 2004 and have three children together: Joseph, Sundance and Scout.
While this Olympian notes that balancing volleyball, work and motherhood is challenging, for her it has been worth it.
“I have appreciated my volleyball more, I have appreciated my body more, I have appreciated my life more by adding this component of being a mommy.”
One of the most famous tennis players and sports stars in the world. Williams balances excelling on the court with being the best mother she can be.
In September 2017, Williams’s gave birth to her first child Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. After Alexis was born, Williams experienced a series of complications and recovered.
Eight months after Williams had her daughter, she returned to the court and played in the 2018 French Open.
While Williams’ accomplishments on the court are impressive, she says that having her daughter is the best thing that happened to her.
Parker has played in the WNBA for 12 seasons, is an Olympic gold medalist, a TV analyst and a two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Award winner.
In 2009, Parker gave birth to her daughter Lailaa Williams, who cheers her on at almost all of the Sparks’ home games.
Motherhood has taught Parker one of her biggest life lessons. “I didn’t realize becoming a mother would make me a better teammate, a better friend, a better basketball player, a better daughter.”
This WNBA star plays two roles; a guard on the Phoenix Mercury and a loving mother of Bryson Noah.
In 2017, Hartley gave birth to her son Bryson Noah. Just two months after she had her son, Hartley returned to the court and has been playing ever since.
Before Hartley was traded to the Phoenix Mercury in 2020, she averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
While being a WNBA player and a mother isn’t easy, Hartley is happy. “It’s definitely a blessing. I’m excited to be a mom, just to set a good example and raise him the best way I can.”