Ash Barty’s ‘guilty’ parenting confession about son Hayden

Ash Barty has opened up about the challenges of new motherhood, sharing the one thing she’s “guilty of” when it comes to her son, Hayden.

The Aussie tennis champion and three-time Grand Slam winner and her husband, Garry Kissick, welcomed the seven-month-old, their first child, last July.

Appearing on Sunrise, Barty said it’s been “cool to see [Hayden] grow and develop and learn new skills”.

“Sometimes you’re almost thinking this has happened, and you realise it is a milestone. Sometimes they happen really quick and you miss them, [I’m] guilty of that, absolutely,” Barty admitted.

“You try and get as much as you can in photos or in footage, but I much prefer to be there in the present with him, watch him, enjoy it.”

Barty and Hayden were this week announced as the faces of the 2024 BONDS Baby Search – another milestone for the young family, being Hayden’s first photo shoot.

While motherhood has been “challenging, very challenging”, the 27-year-old said it’s also “incredible”.

“It’s everything that I’ve ever wanted to do. I think the challenges that you have each and every day are different but the rewards and the fun so outweigh it. It’s much better than anything else I’ve ever done,” Barty said.

“When [Hayden] wakes up from a sleep or a nap, the smile as soon as he wakes up – and starting to grab and want to be held, that’s incredible. That’s the best thing ever.”

Speaking to Body+Soul on Sunday, Barty said that taking time out for herself has been “imperative” for her mental health as a new mum – despite the “guilt” that comes along with it.

“Absolutely I do [experience ‘mum guilt’],” she told the outlet.

“I think that’s natural. Your life changes so much when you become a mum; your whole existence is focused around caring for your child and making sure they have absolutely everything they need.

“But it’s still important to take that little bit of time for yourself, because, I know for me, I can only continue to be a good person, a good wife and a good mother if I’m able to have some time for myself.

“I do feel guilty, without a doubt. But I know that it’s imperative for me to be able to do that.

“Once Hayden goes to sleep, it’s half an hour for a bike ride or walk on the treadmill or run on the treadmill, whatever.

“It’s not a lot of time, but it makes such a big, positive impact on your mental health and on your physical health, as well.”

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