Here's the story behind the viral photo of busy waitress working with toddler strapped to her back

A waitress gave new meaning to the term, bring-your-child-to-work day. Her story came to light when a customer at the diner she works at saw what she did and spread the word.   

Kori Dotson serves tables at the Greenback Drug Store and Diner in Tennessee. On one busy day, she was photographed on duty with her child strapped behind her. The photo was taken by customer Kelly Gentry who was shocked to see Dotson going about her work while her 2 ½-year-old toddler rode her back.  

“Every mother can relate to bending over backward to get their work done — I just happened to go viral.”

At first, Gentry didn’t realize Dotson was carrying a child behind her and when she finally did, the waitressing mom apologized but Gentry stopped her.   

“Don’t be sorry – you’re amazing!” she told her. 

Then Gentry watched as Dotson went about her duties. According to Dotson, who spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle after her story went viral, her son even helped her with wiping and setting tables and rolling cutlery in napkins. 


Dotson also revealed she wasn’t supposed to be on duty that day. But her employer asked her to come in because there was a power outage and the diner was packed. Without a babysitter she could schedule on short notice, she asked her boss if she could bring Rhody to work. Her boss obliged. 


Dotson’s story became an instant hit after Gentry posted her photo and lauded both mother and employer. 

“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!”, she wrote.

She also encouraged others to share Dotson’s story to honor her and inspire more people. Her post received 700 shares in one day. 


The amazing thing about it is Dotson, who also works as a respiratory therapist on the side, remains humble and doesn’t think she’s doing anything other mothers aren’t. In fact, she says, most mothers nowadays aren’t new to multitasking.

“Every mother can relate to bending over backward to get their work done — I just happened to go viral.”


Dotson is right. There are many mothers out there who would go to great lengths to fulfill all their duties. Some of them have also become viral because of it. For instance, one mother traveling with her sick baby was noticeably multitasking between pushing a stroller, carrying a diaper bag, and lugging an oxygen machine for her child. A man who observed her was so kind that he offered to switch seats after they boarded the same plane. He was in first class.  The woman was grateful for the kind gesture, and for even noticing that she wasn’t having an easy time. She shared her story on social media and it went viral. Though her point in telling her story was to honor the kind man, we can’t help but honor the woman too for being a great mother. 

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