Sydney Leroux Dwyer is a different kind of soccer mom.
An Olympic gold medalist among other prestigious titles, the professional soccer star, 29, has seamlessly transitioned back to her sport after having two children: daughter Roux James, whom she welcomed on June 28, and 3-year-old son Cassius.
Now touted as a "postpartum hero" on the January 2020 cover of Parents, for which she poses cradling her infant, Leroux Dwyer opens up about parenting alongside her fellow soccer player husband Dom Dwyer, and why becoming a mom didn't mean an end to her career goals.
" 'How do you do it?' is the question I get all the time. You just do," Leroux Dwyer tells the magazine. "There are days when I'm like, 'I don't know how much longer I can do this.' And then I think, 'This is absolutely what I was meant to do. I was meant for soccer and motherhood, and I can do both.' "
She and Dwyer, who tied the knot in 2015, serve as a soccer power couple in Orlando, Florida, where the two play on the respective men's and women's teams for the city. Since the two squads share a stadium, it means one of them is always home to look after the kids when the other is on the road for an away game.
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Sydney Leroux Dwyer and son Cassius for Parents magazineAri Michelson @we.are.arilou
Sydney Leroux Dwyer for Parents magazineAri Michelson @we.are.arilou
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For the near future, however, baby Roux sticks with Leroux Dwyer so that the newly minted mom of two can nurse the infant. Luckily, Leroux Dwyer refers to her teammates as "18 babysitters" who lend a helping hand — except when it comes time for bed, of course.
"It would be pretty good birth control if a teammate were in there with us to experience the lack of sleep," she jokes to Parents of sharing a hotel room with a fellow player while on the road. "Everyone wants to hold a baby until nighttime comes!"
Leroux Dwyer says she grew closer to her teammates during some of the darker moments that led up to the arrival of Roux. (The athlete revealed her pregnancy just one month after announcing that she suffered a miscarriage.)
"I had to let my teammates know because I was out for a little while," the athlete says. "They were amazing, and it made us close."
Sydney Leroux Dwyer and daughter Roux cover Parents magazine's January 2020 issue
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When they welcomed their second child over the summer, the proud parents raved about the baby on social media. "Roux James 💕 our sweet girl came into the world kicking and screaming (just like her parents) at 3:42 am. Welcome to the world baby girl," Leroux Dwyer wrote on Twitter at the time.
"This is my chance, to share my world with you … and I know you're gonna like it," Dwyer, 29, tweeted with an adorable image of Cassius meeting his little sister for the first time.
Following the birth, Leroux Dwyer sought the okay from her doctors to return to the soccer field, and soon began training five weeks postpartum. On Sept. 29, she returned, playing her first game back 93 days after welcoming Roux.
"I made a promise to myself that I had to keep," Leroux Dwyer tells Parents. “It was such a beautiful moment. It was special to be back on the field with the people who went through everything with me, including my husband and kids."
She adds, "Women in sports want to be seen as athletes and moms and entrepreneurs and all the amazing things that we can be — that's important."