Ash Barty aces motherhood: Navigating challenges, embracing selflessness, and trusting her instincts

Feb 01, 2024
Barty reflected on the stark contrast between her previous life as a professional athlete and her current role as a mother. Source: Getty Images/ Instagram: @ashbarty.

In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar Australia, tennis sensation Ash Barty has opened up about her transformative journey into motherhood and the profound impact it has had on her life.

The world-renowned athlete, who recently welcomed her son Hayden, shed light on the joys and challenges of parenting, highlighting the importance of forging her own path in this new chapter of life.

“Every day is a new challenge as a mum,” she told the publication.

The former World No. 1 acknowledged the learning curve that comes with parenting, describing the journey as a mutual growth between herself and her son

“I am learning on the fly with motherhood and Hayden and I are growing together, but it’s amazing how all of a sudden your whole world is flipped upside down in the best possible way — so far the experience has been incredible for me,” she explained.

Barty attributes some of her parenting philosophy to her own mother, who encouraged her to trust her instincts.

“Mum is the one who told me don’t listen to anyone’s advice when it comes to motherhood — do it your way,” she said.

“The first people I bounce ideas with are mum and my sisters.”

“I have been very lucky to watch my two sisters raise their kids and I love to talk to them and get their honest opinion that is non-judgemental in any way shape or form. They’re also the people I need to tell me, Ash you’re doing a great job.”


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Later in the discussion, Barty reflected on the stark contrast between her previous life as a professional athlete and her current role as a mother.

“Honestly, my tennis career feels like a lifetime ago when I am with him, it’s a totally different world from motherhood,” she explained.

“Tennis makes you a selfish athlete where you structure your days around what you need to do to perform — that is what matters every day.”

She noted that parenthood brings a significant shift in priorities.

“As a mum, what I love the most is that the job is selfless and it’s all about raising that child,” she said.

“It’s about someone else and creating an environment that allows your child to grow, learn and flourish and help them become their own person. I have loved both, but there is nothing better than being a mum.

“When I am with Hayden, I am 100 per cent with him. I don’t want to be sitting there on my phone while he is playing. It’s about connecting with him and staying in that moment.”

In addition to acing motherhood, Barty remains active in philanthropy, particularly with her recently announced endeavour, the Ash Barty Foundation.

“The foundation is not quite fulltime but I want to be involved,” she explained.

“It was the reason I waited until I had finished playing and had retired so that I had more time to commit. It wasn’t something that I wanted to do just when I could fit it in.

“My dad’s a chair, one of my sisters is on the board, which is great, and the other one, we’re in discussions every day.

“I’m very grateful that we’ve got such an amazing team and it’s really nice to do it with people that I love and trust, and people that have the same philosophies and values.”


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Aiming to inspire, educate, and open doors for the upcoming generation, Barty expressed that the realisation of launching her foundation marked the fulfillment of a long-cherished dream.

“To see it come to life is something I’m incredibly proud of,” she said.

“This almost feels like it can be more of an important contribution than hitting a tennis ball.

“I’ve always said that tennis was what I did, it wasn’t who I am.

“This is something that I get to do now and it’s a passion.”

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