Melissa Rycroft is getting ready to tear up the dance floor with her samba moves on Dancing with the Stars tonight. But her experience this time around is very different from her first appearance on the show back in 2009.
Now, she’s a mom – daughter Ava is a year and a half – and she’s dealing with a situation very familiar to women who juggle jobs and family.
The schedule, she admits to Parade magazine, is “more difficult than we thought.” Rehearsing for the show and then performing on Monday nights takes her away from spending one-on-one time with her toddler. “[T]his is the first big thing I’ve done since I’ve had Ava, and I’m working through the feelings of feeling selfish for going back to work,” she says.
Melissa does have the advantage of being able to bring Ava to the green room at the studio so she can be near her daughter while she rehearses, but “it’s still new,” she says.
Plus, Ava has a blast backstage! “She is getting quite the collection of sparkly bracelets from my outfits,” says Melissa. “There are so many other kids backstage that are around her age. Joey [Fatone]‘s little one Chloe was there, and Helio [Castronieves]‘s daughter as well, so on show days, the kids can kind of hang out in the green room, watch the show live and just kind of hang out in this Dancing with the Stars baby group.”
Melissa gets a bonus from her job that most mothers don’t get in their workplace – getting into great shape! “This season has tightened me up,” she says. “I don’t want to lose weight throughout this process, but I love that it tones your muscles up.”
Sounds like a pretty good deal all around.
What do you think? Is it too soon for a mom of a child under 2 to return to work?
[Photo: via Twitter]
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