Photo of busy waitress with toddler strapped to her back goes viral

Elise Solé
A photo of Kori Dotson, a waitress who worked a busy shift with a toddler strapped to her back, is an inspiration to working mums. (Photo: Kelly Gentry via Facebook)

A photo of a waitress working a busy shift with a toddler strapped to her back is inspiring working mums.

The image of Kori Dotson, a waitress at the Greenback Drug Store & Diner in Tennesee, USA, was posted to Facebook by Kelly Gentry, who was served by the multitasking mama carrying her two and a half year old son on her back.

Shout out to this awesome mom doing what it takes to make ends meet and shout out to her work for allowing her to bring him!” Gentry wrote on Facebook.

That Tuesday, the town of Greenback had experienced a major power outage and the diner was swamped. “I had to work an extra shift, but my babysitter wasn’t home, so I asked my boss if I could bring my son, Rhody, and she said yes,” Dotson, 26, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

“My boss is amazing — she’s a mom herself, so she understands these types of situations.”

So Dotson loaded her 13kg son into his carrier and worked the room, allowing Rhody to assist with wiping down tables, rolling cutlery in napkins, and setting tables. “He also passed out menus, refilled the sugar bowls, and held the dustpan while I swept,” she says.

Gentry, who visited the restaurant to try its famous homemade chicken salad, was impressed. “At first, I didn’t realise Kori had a kid on her back,” Gentry, 39, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “She apologised, but I told her, ‘Don’t be sorry — you’re amazing!’ She was teaching her son the value of work at such a young age.”

As Gentry was leaving, she took a photo of Dotson and posted it on Facebook, hoping to make people smile or drum up tips for the mum. The picture was picked up by Knoxville news station WBIR and, as it received likes and shares, people were awestruck by Kori’s work ethic and her flexible employer. 

Dotson holds a second job as a registered respiratory therapist and says the photo encapsulates the normal routine of working parents. “Every mother can relate to bending over backward to get their work done — I just happened to go viral.”