Alexis Ohanian, the tech tycoon husband of tennis legend Serena Williams, took questions in an Instagram Live chat that ventured into many topics — like business advice for young entrepreneurs and what the couple watch on Netflix — but most questions revolved around none other than the couple’s baby girl, Alexis Olympia.
While opening up about how fatherhood has changed his life on the social-media platform Tuesday in partnership with Johnnie Walker, Ohanian said that when he found out Williams was pregnant, he started making radical changes in his life — for the better.
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In an essay penned for The New York Times in August 2019, Ohanian wrote: “Nothing could have dragged me away from my wife and daughter in those hours, days and weeks – and I’m grateful that I was never forced to choose between my family and my job.”
“I couldn’t imagine going through that as a husband and having to decide or even think for a second about choosing between your wife and your career. That is an inhumane choice to expect someone to make in a modern society,” he stated.
Interestingly enough, Ohanian said becoming a father helped him to understand some of the characters on Game of Thrones who are known for going to great lengths to protect their children.
“I finally understand Game of Thrones. I think about how I would do anything for my daughter, and also my wife,” he shared. “[Fatherhood] gives me this clarity of thought around every decision I make, not just professionally, but personally, and everything else. It just feels really good. It’s like a higher level of consciousness.”
Ohanian’s chat came just days after Williams withdrew from the French Open due to a chest-muscle injury. While he didn’t give details on how his wife is doing since the news, Williams was well enough to playfully troll her husband during the chat, asking him to “say something exciting” and poking fun at his (lack of) dancing skills.
When the two parents weren’t adorably teasing each other, Ohanian also spoke about how much Olympia has grown since her birth in September — and how he struggled to change her diapers when she was a newborn.
“It was harder to change diapers with [my] ogre hands when she was tiny, because everything just felt so precious and giant hands trying to change diapers was a little intimidating for me,” he said. “I thought I was going to break something, but now it’s not so bad. She squirms a lot more, she moves a lot more, so it’s a different kind of hard.”
With every new thing that he has experienced with his daughter, Ohanian said he feels even more responsibility to raising her the best he can.
“As she’s evolved and leveled up, and changed,” he explained, “all these new little things just make it even more interesting and make me just feel even more responsible for trying to do a good job.
“It’s made my entire outlook different. When I found out I was going to be a dad and I realized I had not taken any care of myself for the first 34 years of my life, and I needed to change that,” Ohanian said. “From the moment I learned there was a little poppy seed inside my wife, I was like, ‘Geez, I have to get my life right.’ ”
That’s when the 35-year-old says he changed his diet, drank tons of water, exercised and quit some of the “vices” he’d had.
“Olympia inspired me because the moment I found out we were going to have her, I just got my life together,” he said later in the talk. “I owe her for helping me out with that.”