September 22, 2023

‘We are doing everything we can to ensure that this birth goes well’

Alexis Ohanian chats with Olympia about daddy-daughter dates, plans for another baby and passes on his business intelligence.  (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Alexis Ohanian chats with Olympia about daddy-daughter dates, plans for another baby and passes on his business intelligence. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

As challenging as it is going from one to two kids, Alexis Ohanian couldn’t be more excited about expecting a second child with his wife, tennis legend Serena Williams. The entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder says he enjoys watching the couple’s 5-year-old daughter, Olympia, prepare to be a big sister to baby #2, affectionately dubbed “Jelly Bean.”

“There’s something really special about how excited Olympia gets,” he says. “Olympia gives Jelly Bean little pep talks every day. She talks to her mother’s belly. It is awesome. That really set me on fire because I know she’s going to be a great big sister.

Ohanian has been coaching his daughter on how to step it up in the coming months. “One of the things I told her is, ‘You’re going to have to teach this little boy or girl a lot of things and help her or him find out all the things you love: reading and math and all the things you I’m learning now,” he says. He also empowers her by saying, “You’re ready to be that big sister.”

And when Ohanian gives his 5-year-old special feedback on her homework, he explains that he’s modeling something she’ll eventually be able to do to help her younger sibling. “We’ll do math homework together, and if she starts getting a little sloppy with some of the numbers, I want her to know that I give her this feedback on, say, sharpening that 8, because it’s going to be important to her.” and then do the same to help her little sister or brother,” he explains.

Creative pastime is also a must for the dynamic father-daughter duo. Ohanian, who recently teamed up with Sharpie to show how the Sharpie S•Gel Pen supports their personal and professional endeavors, says he and Olympia have taken drawing classes and watched instructional videos on YouTube for kids about drawing. “It was an extension of these custom pancakes I started making for her during COVID,” explains Ohanian. “As that gained momentum, I thought, ‘You know what, we don’t just have to draw with pancakes. I can draw with markers.’”

But the family still gets artistic in the kitchen. “Mama got her baking,” says Ohanian. And they will be “inspired” by the beloved Australian cartoon Blue. “We will decorate the house, with these self-made signs, like a subway station [like in] an episode with trains,” he shares. “We’ll use wheelchairs to be the ‘trains,’ and I’ll push them.”

Preparing for a second child also means Ohanian is doing everything she can to support Williams through her pregnancy, labor and delivery — especially since, the first time, as Williams wrote in an essay for Elle, “being heard and treated appropriately was the difference between life and death” for the four-time Olympic medalist. Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism after giving birth to Olympia via cesarean section and was bedridden for weeks.

“We are doing everything we can to make this delivery go well,” he notes. “Serena knows her body better than anyone on the planet. So we both do everything we can to prepare, just get all our ducks in a row, get the room ready… [We’re] we’re going to be super intentional and super attentive once we get to the hospital, do everything we can do, and then we’re out of control of the rest.

Meanwhile, the founder of the 776 Fund makes sure Williams gets “me time, time to recharge.” “Serena has never been too far away from Olympia for too long, never even more than a few nights,” he notes. “She is an ever present, always available, always loving mother. But [Olympia and I] go on adventures, daddy-daughter dates, I take her to play miniature golf, and Serena gets all the time to do, honestly, whatever she wants. It’s usually still some form of work or maybe a little self-care.

Just as it’s important for Ohanian to keep space for his wife to take time for herself, he’s just as passionate about creating an environment, as an entrepreneur, that he “would like as a parent.”

“It’s one that values ​​autonomy,” he notes. “In 99% of cases, people can create their own schedule – one of the benefits of working remotely for the most part. As long as you get it done, that’s what matters. We’re people capable of doing great things for our family and the work that pays the bills it’s a symbiotic relationship i do believe if i can recharge myself with that time i come to appreciate why i do the work i do and [be] the role model I want to be.”

That philosophy goes hand in hand with modeling a love of corporate property for Olympia and, one day, “Jelly Bean”. “[Olympia] know that daddy’s favorite princess is Tiana,” Ohanian says. “She now knows the reason is that Tiana is the sole entrepreneur. Subtly and not so subtly I tried to strengthen entrepreneurship for her.

At the same time, Ohanian likes to follow his little girl’s example. “Olympia walking around in an Alex Morgan shirt helped me start a women’s football club,” says the co-owner of the Angel City Football Club. “And that’s when she really got into golf—mini-golf first, then love golf golf, and here I am now a team owner in LA for a golf club.

But whether he’s showing her the ropes or drawing with pancake batter, Ohanian wants to be totally present for his daughter. “I want to be the best at everything I do,” he says. “[That means] when I’m on the clock And when I’m in daddy mode. I’m really proud of it because I know Olympia is going to have a super-engaged dad. And hopefully she appreciates that, and hopefully I do it right. We will see.”

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