"If I feel like it's interfering with what's going on with the kids, then I'm not playing". After retiring, she returned to Belgium with her husband Brian, gave Jada two younger brothers, continued her work at her tennis academy, and joined Eurosport as a commentator.
Clijsters was known as "Aussie Kim" after her relationship with Aussie champion Lleyton Hewitt.
"I have girlfriends now who, at times, struggle to find "me" time and find their passion and find the time to live for their passion and still balance being a mum", she said.
A second retirement was announced in 2012, this time owing to family commitments as Clijsters did not wish to continue to tour while her daughter started school.
But the four-time grand slam victor has now announced a surprising return and is training with a view to playing again in 2020.
Speaking to the WTA Insider Podcast, she added: "The love for the sport is obviously still there". But the question is, am I capable of bringing it to a level where I would like it to be before I play at a high level of one of the best women's sports in the world.
The Belgian born Clijsters tweeted a video on Thursday morning to let the world know of her plans.
"I have girlfriends now who fight to get "me time", to dwell for their passion and silent steadiness being a mum", Clijsters mentioned.
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Clijsters will also be benefiting from her past accomplishments.
Meanwhile, Steve Simon, the chairman and CEO of the WTA, said that Clijsters will be eligible for unlimited wild cards. She has not won a Slam since her return.
Following back-to-back titles in NY in 2009 and 2010, she also added the 2011 Australian Open to her list of honours.
Clijsters was back on the circuit two year later. She won the Australian Open in 2011.
And then there was Bjorn Borg, whose return from an early retirement after eight years was not quite as successful.
Clijsters made her WTA debut at 15, and hasn't played a competitive match since she was 29. Clijsters asked herself, looking into the camera. "I'm surprised how, at times when I'm going through a rough practice, how easy it is for me to stick with it and to fight through it and to push through it".
"The last tournament was at Challenger level which was good for me".