For Peta Murgatroyd, Monday’s Dancing with the Stars premiere marked a very special occasion beyond her return to the ballroom.
The professional dancer, 33, revealed in a sweet Instagram post on Thursday that the first episode of season 28 was also the first time that her son Shai, whom she shares with husband and DWTS alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy, had ever seen her dance.
“Last Monday was extra special for me because my baby boy got to watch me dance for the first time,” she wrote beside a photo of herself all dolled up for the show with Shai, 2, in her arms.
“He is at an age now where he can really understand what I am doing, and it made me so happy to have him with me at the #DWTS premiere,” Murgatroyd continued. “He says, ‘Mumma dance work’ and it warms my heart.”
“This child is so special to me and it’s amazing that I get to share my passions with him at a young age ✨,” she sweetly added.
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Murgatroyd also added several photos of the night to her Instagram Stories, including ones of her getting ready in her trailer with Shai, dancing with her celebrity partner Lamar Odom and her husband and little boy watching her dance from the audience.
“Love you Shai!” she captioned one post, while another read, “Gettin’ ready with mumma.”
Alongside a photo of Chmerkovskiy, 39, holding Shai in the audience that was taken from behind as Murgatryod performed, the mother of one wrote, “1st time watching me dance” and added a heart-eyed face and a crying face emoji.
The final post saw a black-and-white snap of Chmerkovskiy kissing their son on the cheek while Shai gazed off into the distance. Murgatroyd then added a GIF of hearts next to the image of her two boys.
The New Zealand native kickstarted her DWTS career in 2012 on season 13. From there, she went on to star in 11 seasons; her most recent was in 2017 for season 25, in which she danced with celebrity partner Nick Lachey.
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Her participation in that season also came just months after she welcomed Shai in January with Chmerkovskiy.
“Being a mom to Shai has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me — it’s what makes me happiest,” she previously told PEOPLE. “I would spend every second of the day with him if I could. But I also think it’s good for me to get back to work.”
When Murgatroyd finally did return to the dancing competition series, she admitted that she received some flak from fans, who slammed her for missing out on time with her son and allegedly losing weight.
“I read [the comments], but it doesn’t really affect me anymore because I know that I’m a very hands-on mom,” she told PEOPLE Now in Sept. 2018. “I know that I’m always there for him and it was five hours out of my day that I didn’t see him.”
“I did have some guilty moments when I missed him, but I also knew that if I didn’t get out of the house I probably would’ve gone a little crazy — [parenting]’s 24/7,” she shared. “Mommy shaming is huge today. The other day, on Instagram, [commenters] were saying I looked too skinny, but I’ve actually put on 8 lbs. You’re too skinny or you’re too fat. You can’t win.”
Following a two-year hiatus, Murgatroyd made her return to the ballroom on Monday. She later penned a guest story for PEOPLE about her dance with Odom, 39, and why she felt it “couldn’t have gone any better” despite finishing the night at the bottom of the leaderboard.
“I am beyond proud of him. Lamar was extremely nervous the whole day, but kept it together and finished the dance with a smile on his face,” she wrote. “The scores last night were harsh and I know they affected Lamar because he has that win or lose mentality.”
“He told me that he felt like he lost and it broke my heart. I told him that there was no losing and only growing on Dancing with the Stars,” Murgatroyd added. “This show is about the celebrity’s journey of growth and how they can overcome their fears and insecurities. Lamar has an incredible story and I can’t wait for America to get to know him like I have.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.
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