Dancer Mom to Critics: ‘Don’t Question My Work Ethic—Or Any Mother’s’

A woman on Instagram is clapping back at the assumption new moms don’t have willpower simply because they have babies.

As a dancer, Allie DeBona has a physically demanding job. According to her Facebook page, she’s a first soloist with Ballet West, and is the owner and artistic director of artEmotion, which offers intensives for ballet students. She’s also a new mom; her son Ajax, is 13-and-a-half months.

Currently she is on tour with her ballet company while keeping up with a pumping schedule.

Allie has a lot on her plate, but as she revealed in a post yesterday, the comments from others aren’t helping. “This past week I was told that from a perspective I looked weak and looked like I lacked determination. I was asked if I’m eating enough by multiple people. It was hard to hear,” she wrote. She also mentioned that someone asked her why she was still breastfeeding given the nature of her job, to which she replied, “Well, Ajax first.”

Allie knows she’s not alone. Recently she spoke with a colleague who is also struggling as a new mom at work. “She says, ‘You know, I’m doing my absolute best but, it’s still only 80 percent.’ It resonated,” she wrote.

With all this in mind, Allie reminded people, “It is not normal to be superhuman. For now, people can think I’m not keeping up, MAYBE. But, I’m trying. Which is more hard work and determination than anyone deciding that selfishness means more, has ever done or had.” She continued, “Questioning my work is OK. It’s part of my job, of anyone’s job. But, don’t question my work ethic. Or any mother’s work ethic.”

Her post is accompanied by an epic clip of her in dance costume while holding her breast pump.

In the comments section, many working moms showed their support for Allie’s message. “I’m a doctor and have a 9-month-old who is sick with RSV. I had to call my male boss and tell him I need someone to cover my hospital shift until my husband gets home from work. We are all sacrificing one thing or another but never question our work ethic for either family or our job. Thank you!” wrote one user. “Your realness is the best and this is a challenge moms in many careers experience (even in boring office jobs vs being a pro dancer!) It’s a LOT to breastfeed and work. You have to stop when you and your baby are READY and for that reason only. You’re awesome! 👏”

Allie said she wrote her post “so anyone out there who feels like me can feel confident enough to be honest,” and based on the replies, it looks like she’s succeeded.