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Dana Stephensen reveals her struggle balancing motherhood with life as a professional ballerina


Purple Wiggle Lachlan Gillespie’s fiancée Dana Stephensen has penned an emotional essay about the daily battle she faces as a working mother of three young children. 

The professional ballerina, 34, made the heartbreaking admission via Instagram on Wednesday, telling fans she’s felt overwhelmed by guilt and sadness ever since she decided to return to the workforce last last year. 

She also uploaded a photo of her locker at The Australian Ballet headquarters, which was covered in photos of her one-year-old twin daughters Lulu and Lottie, who she shares with Lachlan, and six-year-old son Jasper, who she welcomed from a previous relationship.  

'I feel a tidal wave of pressure each day': Purple Wiggle Lachlan Gillespie's fiancée Dana Stephensen, 34, (pictured) has penned an emotional essay about the daily battle she faces as a working mother of three young children

‘I feel a tidal wave of pressure each day’: Purple Wiggle Lachlan Gillespie’s fiancée Dana Stephensen, 34, (pictured) has penned an emotional essay about the daily battle she faces as a working mother of three young children

‘The most I see of my kids right now is on my locker,’ she began her caption. 

‘It’s a sad thought one made only sadder by the outpouring of tears when I race in the door at 7pm just before bedtime. For mums everywhere we worry, we feel the guilt, the weight of this ‘choice’ to work, we try to be stoic, internal monologues repetitive in our minds amongst the work and the mothering.’ 

Dana admitted that she’s been struggling to cope with the pressure of balancing her touring schedule with parenthood, and often feels ‘incapable’ in all aspects of her life. 

Tough: The professional ballerina made the heartbreaking admission via Instagram on Wednesday, telling fans she's felt overwhelmed by guilt and sadness ever since she decided to return to the workforce last last year. Pictured: Lachlan and Dana with their twin daughters Lottie and Lulu

Tough: The professional ballerina made the heartbreaking admission via Instagram on Wednesday, telling fans she’s felt overwhelmed by guilt and sadness ever since she decided to return to the workforce last last year. Pictured: Lachlan and Dana with their twin daughters Lottie and Lulu 

'The most I see of my kids right now is on my locker': She also uploaded a photo of her locker at The Australian Ballet headquarters, which was covered in photos of her one-year-old twin daughters Lulu and Lottie and son Jasper, six

‘The most I see of my kids right now is on my locker’: She also uploaded a photo of her locker at The Australian Ballet headquarters, which was covered in photos of her one-year-old twin daughters Lulu and Lottie and son Jasper, six 

‘The idea of touring means a new complicated version of our family puzzle. It’s already overwhelming,’ Dana wrote.  

‘I feel a tidal wave of pressure each day, I feel incapable both at work and home, my mind is racing with too many thoughts and I’m finding it hard to focus. I know I’m not functioning at the level I need to be. I’m trying to be patient while I sort ‘life’ out,’ she added. 

Despite going to extreme lengths to spend as much time with her kids as possible, the former Wiggles dancer admitted that she and her equally-busy partner Lachlan still feel insecure about their parenting abilities.

'We are mostly late and frazzled': Despite going to extreme lengths to spend as much time with her kids as possible, the former Wiggles dancer admitted that she and her equally-busy partner Lachlan still feel insecure about their parenting abilities

‘We are mostly late and frazzled’: Despite going to extreme lengths to spend as much time with her kids as possible, the former Wiggles dancer admitted that she and her equally-busy partner Lachlan still feel insecure about their parenting abilities

‘We spend breaks picking up from school and racing them to a babysitter, or into the back of a rehearsal with us. We worry what people think. We are mostly late and frazzled,’ she admitted.   

‘We wonder if this is a young person’s game after all. We worry our kids are missing out on regular things like swimming, soccer, play dates after school. The mum who can’t do those things.’ 

Dana made her triumphant return to the stage in December last year as part of the Australian Ballet’s Celebration Gala, almost 12 months after hanging up her ballet shoes.  

Return: Dana made her triumphant return to the stage in December last year as part of the Australian Ballet¿s Celebration Gala, almost 12 months after hanging up her ballet shoes. Pictured in 2020 prior to welcoming her twins

Return: Dana made her triumphant return to the stage in December last year as part of the Australian Ballet’s Celebration Gala, almost 12 months after hanging up her ballet shoes. Pictured in 2020 prior to welcoming her twins 

Of her return to the workforce, Dana told The Sydney Morning Herald at the time: ‘It was a way of getting back to myself, a way of giving me time as well, and space that I haven’t been able to have,’ she told the publication of her return.

‘Lachy and I both feel incredibly lucky to do what we do, that we found our passion so early on and we get to live that out.’ 

Dana and Lachlan surprised fans in September 2020 when they revealed Dana had welcomed twin girls. 

Family: Lachlan and Dana surprised everyone when they announced the arrival of their twins in September

Family: Lachlan and Dana surprised everyone when they announced the arrival of their twins in September

Blended family! Dana has a older son named Jasper (centre) from a previous relationship

Blended family! Dana has a older son named Jasper (centre) from a previous relationship

At the time, Dana shared a photo to Instagram of herself and Lachlan carrying their babies in a field at sunset.

Neither Lachy nor Dana had offered any hint they were expecting, and so people were understandably shocked by the announcement. 

The couple announced their relationship in April 2019 following his split from his wife and Wiggles bandmate Emma Watkins in August 2018, after two years of marriage. 

Married life: The couple announced their engagement last April

Married life: The couple announced their engagement last April

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