How the heck do you do it? That's the question working moms often ask one another when they feel like they’re falling behind while everyone else they know is keeping up with it all. (Which usually isn't the case!)
Working all day is tough enough, but then to come home to a house that needs cleaning, a hungry family, loads of laundry, and an empty fridge, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
You gotta be kidding me! Yeah, that's a lot. As moms, we have a tendency to martyr ourselves, putting our needs last of all.
I see you, mama, running one kid to Taekwondo, the other to baseball, then rushing home to do laundry before you go pick them up and try to figure out what's for dinner.
Many moms are also operating without the help of a spouse as a single-parent, or married without help because either he's working out of town, or he works two jobs or an insane number of hours each week.
Some of my personal favorite tips, which are also mentioned in today’s episode and in the book mentioned below.
Learning to Thrive as a Working Mom
- Don't set unreasonable expectations for yourself and acknowledge that no one can do it all.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Eliminate, Delegate, and Automate
- Practice Self Care.
Get more tips in the book The Working Mom Blueprint: Winning at Parenting Without Losing Yourself.
Learn how to thrive—not just survive— as a modern mom.
You love your kids. You’re proud of your professional accomplishments. You have hobbies and friends. And you’re tired. So tired. Working moms often feel like they’re failing on many different fronts. But what if there was a guide to reenvisioning, reprioritizing, and restructuring to build a vibrant, intentional life? As a practicing pediatrician and mother of 2 young daughters, Dr. Whitney Casares understands balancing family and career. She shares honest insights about her own challenges combined with her professional expertise about children of working moms—they thrive!—to create a reassuring guide to navigating modern motherhood. In this practical plan, you’ll learn to set priorities, cultivate self-care, establish an equal parenting partnership, delegate whenever appropriate, and more. With help from Dr. Casares’ advice, it’s time to make motherhood joyful again.Blueprint
Meet Whitney Casares
Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, FAAP, is a board-certified, practicing pediatrician and the creator of the popular website modernmommydoc.com. She is the mother of two young daughters and lives in Portland, OR. Media features include Sirius XM Radio, Good Housekeeping, The Bump, Scary Mommy and more.
Keep the Conversation Going
There were so many takeaways for me, even after we stopped recording and I went back to listen. One of the biggest for me was the idea of being intentional when developing a system for the family. Just hoping that it will all get done would never be acceptable for your business. Sharing responsibility and treating the discussion like you would a business was an ah-ha moment for me.
How about you? Did you enjoy this episode? Have tips to share or questions to ask? We'll keep the conversation going in the Healthologist Community, so join us there!
I'd love it if you took the time to rate and review A Healthy Bite podcast. Here's how. You can also watch this episode on my YouTube channel:
Transcripts: Learn to Thrive, Not Just Survive as a Working Mom with Whitney Casares
Transcripts: Learn to Thrive, Not Just Survive as a Working Mom with Whitney Casares
Rebecca: [00:00:00] Hey, it's Rebecca today's episode of a healthy bite. I'm going to be interviewing Dr. Whitney Casares. She is the author of this book, the working mom blueprint, winning at parenting without losing yourself and she's sharing some insight.
[00:00:15]She is a practicing pediatrician and the creator of the popular website, modern mommy, doc.com.
[00:00:22] A website full of great tips, but her book goes into detail about how to better find that work-life balance. We're going to talk about how moms can find that balance.
[00:00:37] We're going to talk a little bit about, whether or not moms can actually have it all and do it all.
[00:00:42] And Dr. Whitney is going to share a lot of her tips that she has learned over the years. Tips that she has, discussed with other doctors in her practice.
[00:00:52] And she's going to be sharing them a lot of that with us today, pretty much there's going to be something in here for everyone, whether you're working.
[00:00:58] Full-time part-time. Work from home work away from home. There's a lot of great tips and advice in this book. So make sure you grab a copy and listen to the end of this episode.
[00:01:11] Announcer: [00:01:11] Welcome to a healthy bite you're one nibble closer to a more satisfying way. A healthier you and bite size bits of healthy motivation.
[00:01:21] Now let's dig in on the dish with Rebecca Huff.
[00:01:30] Rebecca: [00:01:30] And today we are here with Dr. Whitney Casares and this is a really important episode because this topic that we're going to talk about today, is about working moms, getting it all done, fitting it all in, not getting stressed out, not losing ourselves,
[00:01:47] but before we get into the topic, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself..
[00:01:52] Dr. Casares: [00:01:52] Absolutely. It's my pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me and yeah, you know, the reason that I care about this topic is because for a long time, I didn't do this well, myself.
[00:02:06] I am a pediatrician in Portland, Oregon. I was one of those people who was all in when I started something and really committed.
[00:02:14] And I think a lot of other working moms can relate to this, this idea of, I wanted to lean in fully to my work and to be a professional.
[00:02:21] And I love my work and I find it so fulfilling. And when I had kids that just changed for me. I still had this desire to be fulfilled professionally,
[00:02:34] but there was this push and pull that happened in terms of the needs in my personal life.
[00:02:40] But. And the needs in my professional life, my oldest daughter has a severe anxiety disorder. And as a baby, she had a horrible time sleeping.
[00:02:50] She wouldn't go more than 45 minutes at a time. We'd be driving around the whole town. I mean, for the first 13 weeks of her life, you can imagine how effective I was as a pediatrician, during that time.
[00:03:00] And, um, as she got older, we thought, you know, she'll grow out of it. Well, she really did it and she became this kid who had intense struggles with emotional dysregulation.
[00:03:10] She needed the help of psychologists and psychiatrists, and we needed the help of parent coaches. And I found myself in this position where she had this huge well of need.
[00:03:21] My family had this well of need. My younger daughter had her own needs that were there. I had to attend to my relationship with my partner.
[00:03:28] But at the same time over here, my career, they still really expected me to be 100% all in and to almost act like I wasn't a parent at the same time that I was working.
[00:03:41] And so the place that I found myself was really this place of inner conflict of feeling like I was doing everything, but I wasn't anything well.
[00:03:50] Like I was failing and we know that almost 70% of moms described themselves as failing when we polled them, working moms. And so I know I'm not alone in that, in that feeling.
[00:04:03] So I decided over time. Okay. I have to have it way that I approach this. There has to be a better way. I can't be the only one who's living in this. Hell.
[00:04:13] And so I developed this framework that at first was just for me, I mean,selfishly, was was just for me. And then I started really talking.
[00:04:20] And at first I talked to all the moms in my practice who were working moms and said, like, what works for you?
[00:04:26] What's this tip or trick that maybe you do or solution you have for this. And then I started realizing.
[00:04:31] There's kind of this, these categories that you can place things into. And there's maybe a way to have perspective from a more global and a more global way.
[00:04:41] And then to break it down into, like, what are the specific things you can do for childcare or for feeding your kids or for, um, taking care of all the chores you have in your house, the laundry and the dishes and all that type of stuff.
[00:04:53] And for setting boundaries between work and home.
[00:04:57] Rebecca: [00:04:57] Wow. Well, that was a lot. And I'm just trying to even digest all of it, because so much of what you said just now was so relatable.
[00:05:05] And I'm thinking, as you're talking, I have talked to so many women, including my therapist and just so many professional women who have had and expressed that same conflict,
[00:05:17] where you're just trying to do everything and be everything for everyone.
[00:05:22] And the challenge is there for all of us.
[00:05:26] And it's neat to hear you talk about how you found all of these different techniques, strategies, and tips from the village around you basically, and you were able to come up with this blueprint.
[00:05:38] So I'm really excited to get into this and to kind of pick your brain and hopefully share some tips that other moms can use in their lives to maybe make it a little bit easier to try to do it all because really.
[00:05:54] You know, when we try to do it all, it's just, something's not going to be done.
[00:05:58] And this is a recurring theme I've talked about with my therapist is the idea that women can have it all or that we can do it all. How do you feel about that message that women can have it all?
[00:06:12] Dr. Casares: [00:06:12] Yeah, absolutely.
[00:06:13] I think that's a total lie.
[00:06:14] I think it's a lie that's based in this idea of women and especially working women, finding their value and their worth in performance. Right?
[00:06:27] This idea that the more we do, the more valuable we are, the more things we can check off a checklist, the better mom worker, human being that we are. And it's true.
[00:06:41] That, that feels really good in the moment. I love a checklist, just like any other girl out there. I love it.
[00:06:47] But at the end of the day, when all you have is a checklist with little checky boxes, a you can keep on adding more checkboxes to it always, and B, it doesn't mean that you've done anything.
[00:07:00] That's actually meaningful. It doesn't mean you've actually spent your time doing things that, that are effective, that actually affect change or that move you toward your larger goal in your life, or that kind of attend to your priorities in your life.
[00:07:15] So I'm absolutely a like do a few things really well kind of girl, as opposed to do every single thing and not well at all..
[00:07:24] Rebecca: [00:07:24] Very enlightening. And it kind of explains the title of your book, which kind of indicates that working moms can risk sacrificing, their self in this kind of period of time
[00:07:36] where they're trying to have it all and do it all and be it all.
[00:07:41] Can you explain how that risk plays out?
[00:07:44] Like the risk of losing one?
[00:07:46] Dr. Casares: [00:07:46] Yeah. I mean, the thing is when we are in performance mode, what are we doing?
[00:07:51] We're wearing a mask. Right. And usually this like happy mask of, I have it all together. I'm good. I'm fine.
[00:07:58] Like, I don't know if you've seen this Oprah series. That's um, the, the me, you don't.
[00:08:04] But it's all about these people who are amazing performers or public figures who seem like they're totally fine, but on the inside, they're crumbling to have these major mental health problems.
[00:08:13] And I think about that for moms, because I think that's the exact same thing that's happening for a lot of working moms where on the surface, they are, you know, Jedi's at multitasking and getting it all completed.
[00:08:26] It's not that we're not capable. The consequence of being that way all the time is that you're more stressed.
[00:08:34] You have burnout, which we know makes it so that you are less interested in things that you used to find joy in that you really don't care that when your kid wants to cuddle and read a book with you,
[00:08:45] instead of that seeming like a wonderful way to build connection with them, that feels like a total drain on you and I have 100% been there.
[00:08:53] So this is like not a judgment zone, but, but I've been there too, but that means your burnout in one area or another.
[00:08:58] If you can't do those things that, you know, like, why is this such a big deal?
[00:09:01] Why am I not enjoying it? We know that our physical has has major implications for our physical health, that usually we are more apt to have overeating
[00:09:12] and that we might be drinking more than we should, and that we're not going to get the sleep that we need because we're getting up earlier than everybody else
[00:09:19] and staying up later than everybody else and not giving ourselves that those times of rest and, of reflection and, really recuperating that are actually super, super productive for us in the long run.
[00:09:32] Rebecca: [00:09:32] Wow. Yes. As I was reading your book and you were talking about, I think it was just kind of, um, almost like you were reading my mind and some of the thoughts I have whenever I was trying to accomplish it all.
[00:09:47] And going back to what you said about that checklist. I get that same satisfaction from checking things off, but you're right at the end of the day, when you look back at that big, long list and it's like, Hmm, how many of these things are just getting things done, busy stuff.
[00:10:02] And how much of these things really contribute to what my life's purpose is about? And the people around me.
[00:10:09] And you hear a lot about it, this work-life balance. And I think we're all somehow struggling in some way to find that work-life balance.
[00:10:21] And some of us, myself included at times, I'm not even sure.
[00:10:25] What does that mean? How elusive is this balance and what are some of the trade-offs for working moms?.
[00:10:33]Dr. Casares: [00:10:33] Yeah, exactly.
[00:10:33] I mean, I, I'm going to guess that people, when they hear me say this of like, can you just concentrate on the things you care about or like great, except for the fact that camp sign up has to happen, right?
[00:10:42] How am I supposed to fit that in?
[00:10:44] So, I think the trade offs are, they fall into kind of four big categories.
[00:10:48] So I think about if like you and the things that matter most to you were a circle and the rest of life is a box around that circle.
[00:10:57] That you're trying to just push the edges of your circle, like out to that box as much as possible.
[00:11:02] So that those things that have to happen, but that you don't care about, they get done, but they just don't define you.
[00:11:08] So there's for everybody, you don't non-negotiables things only we can do. I know, as a breastfeeding mom, I was the only person who could breastfeed my baby.
[00:11:17] Right. Um, as a doctor that I'm the only one who can write my patient notes.
[00:11:22] I have to write them down and I have to do the documentation on all that.
[00:11:25] But those things that are kind of on our non-negotiable list, that's where efficiency and streamlining come in.
[00:11:32] So if you're a single parent and you're the only one who can cook dinner for your little kids, right. That's where it comes in to
[00:11:38] choose the easy option! Do the pre-marinated chicken kabobs and some broccoli and a loaf of bread and call it good.
[00:11:44] You know, why are you making gourmet meals? Um, if I'm breastfeeding, that meant to me, you know, like think right, I'm going to put on the bra that comes with the portable breastfeeding thing.
[00:11:55] I'm going to take that puppy in the car with me. I'm going to do it at a time that doesn't make it so I have to sit there for 30 minutes and just waste my time!.
[00:12:02] Right. So there's those things that have been non-negotiables. And then I also think about the things that are the swappables.
[00:12:08] So what are the things that somebody else could be doing for you, but that you take on?
[00:12:14] What things are you not letting go to someone who could maybe do it better than you? You know, my partner, for a long time,
[00:12:22] I did this whole maternal gatekeeping thing with him where I would be like, no, no, no, I'll change the diapers.
[00:12:27] I'll do all the laundry, I'll do other things. Well, it turns out he's actually better at folding the clothes than I am.
[00:12:32] You know? Um, he's a better burper than I am at a better soother in some regards.
[00:12:36] And so passing things off to our partner and developing a system that's much more business-like with our partners and or with our kids,
[00:12:45] if they're old enough to help with things like chores or other people in our parenting village, so that we have very, very concrete ways of understanding who is accountable for those tasks in our lives.
[00:12:56] Right. Unfortunately it can't just be this casual conversation. If we want it to be good, it has to be the same way we would do it in a business situation, on a team.
[00:13:04] And then the other part of it is kind of these contaminators all of these things that make it so that we don't have space on our calendars or we have too much physical clutter to actually focus on.
[00:13:17] We want to get on what we want to get done.
[00:13:18] So, um, a messy house, right, will make it so that you have to spend more time cleaning it like a house that's filled with too much stuff. Makes it, so you have to spend more time cleaning it.
[00:13:27] A calendar that's filled with eight meetings that are about PTA and other volunteer things that you don't really care about, but we're just doing out of obligation.
[00:13:36] That fifth work committee that your boss asked to be a part of that you're like, I really don't want to do this, but I'm saying yes, because I just want to be a team player.
[00:13:43] Um, so thinking about what are things that you can kind of take off of your calendar, how can you audit your time to make it so that you have less time spent on kind of the fluff. Hmm.
[00:13:54] And then the last is these like heartstrings things that come up for all of us, um, my dad who has Parkinson's, who really wants to have lunch with me, but it just won't fit at this exact time that they want to do it.
[00:14:08] I need to figure out a time that's actually gonna work in my schedule that won't make me feel resentful or feel like I'm like watching my clock to get out of there.
[00:14:16] Cause I love them and I want to spend time with them. But if it's not at the right moment or I'm kind of squeezing it in, in between. It's not gonna, it's not going to actually be beneficial for us.
[00:14:25] Um, the other thing I think about with this is like, if people are mentors to other people, business people below them, you know, and someone needs their time and wants to pick their brain,
[00:14:34] making it so that you have some boundaries around, okay, this time will work for me. This is the amount of time I have to give to this instead of spreading yourself too thin, in an altruistic way that ends up causing your resentment.
[00:14:46] So those are kind of the categories that I put things in for people to help them.
[00:14:51] Really clearly identify and label, what are the things that are holding them back and what are the trade-offs they need to make so they can focus on what matters most to them.
[00:15:00]Rebecca: [00:15:00] Wow. You hit so many good highlights of your book as you were just going through that list.
[00:15:06] It made so many little things that I read in your book come to my mind. I loved the little.
[00:15:11] That I think you were with a friend and she wrote it on the napkin, can you tell us just a little bit about that list?
[00:15:17] Because I want people to check it out and note that at the end of your book, I think you have a blank form where people can do that themselves?
[00:15:25] Yes. Exactly.
[00:15:26] Dr. Casares: [00:15:26] So it's called a reality list and an list, and it's a way to kind of do an audit to see, are you living according to your priorities or are you living kind of more outside that circle and kind of in the edges of life?
[00:15:40] Right. So what my friend did, she's an HR executive. And so I'm sure she'd done it with other professional clients, as she said is she told me, okay, here are nine.
[00:15:49] Items nine areas of life that we all spend time on, hobbies, appearance, work, partner, relationships, travel, um, all the different things in life,
[00:16:00] household maintenance, household chores, and she listened them out, and she said, okay, what I want you to do is in an ideal world list out one to nine,
[00:16:10] where would you place your time and where would you place your energy?
[00:16:14] And at the top of my list were things like hobbies or like passion projects, like my work that I do at modenernmommydoc, they were travel.
[00:16:22] Um, they were self care things like exercise that I love to do, listening to music, reading books, all those things.
[00:16:29] And then she said, okay, now do a reality list and say, where do you actually
[00:16:34] place your time and effort and work was at the top of my list, my regular day-to-day work seeing patients, which of course, right. I got to make money.
[00:16:41] We all make money. But the second thing on my list was maintaining my home, which I care nothing about.
[00:16:50] I don't want my family to live in squalor, but I also do.
[00:16:55] Not care about folding laundry, which most, most moms like in the end, if they were to think about it, it'd be like,
[00:17:01] oh my gosh, I spend 90% of my day folding laundry or doing the dishes. They'd be like, no, that's horrible.
[00:17:04] So then you compare those lists and see, okay, gosh, am I spending the vast majority of my time on things that actually don't matter to me?
[00:17:13] Where are my priorities now? And where do I want them?
[00:17:18] Rebecca: [00:17:18] And I loved that you gave a lot of tips and kind of like your blueprint of how to make your reality lists line up more with the lists that you, your ideal list, I guess you would say.
[00:17:33] I loved those!.
[00:17:33] Dr. Casares: [00:17:33] Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, I think, you know, number one is.
[00:17:38] Taking care of yourself, like spending time, taking care of yourself so you actually know yourself and you know, the things that you want. Um,
[00:17:48] This can be when you're a young parent, when you have a newborn baby, a toddler and things are really chaotic , five minutes in the shower with no one bothering you with the door locked.
[00:17:59] This could be, you know, sitting on the porch, listening to your AirPods with some like really good hip hop jams that bring you back to being in college or being in high school.
[00:18:09] This could be reading a good book. It could be, taking time to have a coffee with a friend, right. It doesn't have to be super long.
[00:18:17] It could be a really short period of time.
[00:18:18] And so I tell people spend at least five minutes a day where you just have that time where you were just quiet with yourself.
[00:18:25] You're just being.
[00:18:27] And then trying to encourage people to take at least one hour, three times a week, which sometimes people, the other day, one of my business partners, my, uh, doctor partners was telling me, like, I read that you said that in a blog.
[00:18:40] And I was like, you're crazy. Like really in the entire course of a week, I believe that moms are worth one hour.
[00:18:51] Three times a week to do what ever they want to do. The most important thing is just making sure that it's not about performance.
[00:18:58] Like if you love to write, like I do, great, Write!? Like an amazing essay, but don't do it because you're like, I really hope this gets into the New York times instead,
[00:19:09] write it, write it like, oh my gosh, I had this amazing idea and I really wanted to flush it out, you know?
[00:19:14] Or I wanted to, you know, browse the shops at anthropology, or I wanted to get a mani-pedi. I wanted you, you know, talk with a friend on the phone.
[00:19:21] Whatever it is, something that like will not move your life forward, will not be about doing, is just about being is, is really the, is really the tip.
[00:19:30] And then I think the other thing is taking time during your day when you're at lunch to be thinking about and on breaks, that type of thing to be thinking about
[00:19:40] are there moments here that I can stop and pause and either be in connection with other people or be in connection with myself.
[00:19:49] Are there, are there times that I can just make space, give myself white space and give myself room on the edges of all my appointments and all my to-do lists
[00:19:58] and all my things that I have to get done so that I'm not feeling like I'm in this rat race all the time.
[00:20:04] And I have the time to be thinking about; am I in alignment or am I not in alignment because that's really what it comes back to knowing yourself,
[00:20:12] having time enough with yourself to be able to ponder and not be in a like mean coach kind of way, but in a positive cheerleader kind of way.
[00:20:20] Okay. Where am I?
[00:20:21] Where do I need to make maybe some, some little tweaks here to get back on track.
[00:20:25] Rebecca: [00:20:25] I hear what you're saying. Wow. And I think it's harder to do that than we think it is because like you were even saying about the writing.
[00:20:33] I know I would do that to myself for so many years. I would think every moment had to be productive and, and I.
[00:20:41] I stopped reading novels, I stopped reading any kind of like books for fun for a while. And just this past year,
[00:20:48] I actually went to the bookstore going out of business and I went and got some just for fun books.
[00:20:55] And I set aside 30 minutes every single day to go sit in the hammock and just read the book, you know, no phone.
[00:21:01] no,. Nothing else going on, just let myself just lay there in the hammock and read. And it's amazing how much more energized I am when I actually follow through on that.
[00:21:11] So, I get it. And I think those are great tips. I know in your book, you had a ton of suggestions across the board, but you had a specific section.
[00:21:22] I believe, that was set aside for moms who work from home.
[00:21:27] And I think there's more moms working from home than probably ever before. Like, because of maybe the pandemic or whatever.
[00:21:36] Why is it so hard to work from home when our children are present?
[00:21:42] And I know you put, maybe you would want to mention a couple of the tips that you suggested in there because they were so good.
[00:21:49] If you're a mom that works from home, you need to get Whitney's book and read just for that list, because I was like, wow.
[00:21:57] Cause I work from home and all of those zoom calls and when your kids are there,
[00:22:02] Dr. Casares: [00:22:02] Totally. And I want to, let me say first, too, about the other point you were making about that it's harder to do than we like harder to do than to talk about in terms of taking time for ourselves.
[00:22:12] Here's the deal. It's like anything it takes practice, right?
[00:22:16] Absolutely! When you are trying to not be on your phone, twenty four seven, you have to first do like two minutes, not on your phone, set a timer for two minutes, and then you lengthen it out.
[00:22:28] And same thing. I even tell people, I just read an articles, someone asked me to write, write some advice about, um, being on vacation and not working on vacation.
[00:22:36] And I said, you know, if you are someone who is in a fast paced environment, don't beat yourself up if the first couple of days of vacation where you actually need to do is probably plans more structured activities.
[00:22:48] Go on your whale-watching tour, go do something where you're like, you know, going to the loo au and watching something.
[00:22:53] Don't be like, just sit there and read a book right in the beginning.
[00:22:56] Probably you're going to have a hard time doing that, you know, or if you need to work, okay. Maybe in the first day you actually do it. 30 minutes, just getting a few things accomplished so you can kind of wean yourself off.
[00:23:07] So I just want to give people a little bit of, um, encouragement that it is possible, but it is 100% a paradigm shift and takes training.
[00:23:17] Just like you would train your body if you decided you want to do start running or do a marathon or something like that, this takes mental training..
[00:23:24] Rebecca: [00:23:24] Make sense.
[00:23:25] Dr. Casares: [00:23:25] Yeah. So the work from home thing. Yes, you're absolutely right. Way more minds are working from home.
[00:23:32] And in fact, this interesting phenomenon that people are predicting is kind of on the horizon about this great resignation that might be coming too, of a lot of people who might be saying,
[00:23:43] actually, I want to quit my job, where I want to find a job that has more flexibility.
[00:23:47] So you are not alone if you're thinking you want to actually continue this.
[00:23:51] Now most moms that I know who are working from home though during the pandemic and had their kids with them with no distractions, no childcare when they were at home with them or not feeling happy,
[00:24:03] they're happy because now that the pandemic is like fingers crossed, getting better.
[00:24:09] Maybe we have some options for you could work from home, but you could like be in a cafe working, or you could work from home, but your children could be at school while you're working
[00:24:17] and you could go pick them up that type of thing. So I want to just call out the fact that this has been a very difficult time for a lot of moms, myself included.
[00:24:26] I've had some of my hardest days where I've been trying to do zoom calls or webinars and my daughter's literally like banging on the door going, I need Disney karaoke princess, now!.
[00:24:36] And I have to like, act very professional while she's screaming at me. So that's no fun!.
[00:24:41] If you have to work from home with your kids, actually present with no other childcare provider, if you have little kids, um, the most important thing is to set them up with some activities that they can do ahead of time, right?
[00:24:54] Like you're, you're going to spend special time with them
[00:24:57] before you go into your meeting, or before you go into your zoom call.,
[00:25:01] get them out, active, take them to the park, run them around the block, you know, uh, take them on their little bikes.
[00:25:07] So that, that way they get all the energy out versus them being kind of pent up, read your books with them before you get on the zoom call.
[00:25:14] So that way you're already kind of like have had that special time, that special connection before,
[00:25:19] and then snacks are like go to make it so you already have a bunch of little snacks.
[00:25:27] Um, I've done with my kiddos little stations in different rooms where I set out like a snack in one section that's very safe.
[00:25:33] It doesn't have knives around it's pre-cut and then like a little art station and then a little like music station or some toys.
[00:25:40] And I basically tell them this is a game and we're going to be going from snack over to the toys over to the art..
[00:25:47] Does that buy 100 hours and hours of time? No, but it does by me for an important phone call, um, a little bit of time, it keeps them occupied.
[00:25:57] And I think just those clear boundaries to your kids early on, that's quite training for them as they get older, just saying, mommy loves you.
[00:26:05] She's now going to be in a meeting and then she'll be back to you because just like I want moms to parent out loud in the workplace, be both a parent and an employee at their jobs.
[00:26:18] I want them to be a worker and a parent at home. I want their, their kids to know like, yeah, I'm working mom and I love it.
[00:26:27] So that, that way they can encourage their kids.
[00:26:30] Um, when your kids are older, having a list that's maybe on the fridge that has, you know, 10 to 20 boredom activities that have they got bored when they're on, when you're on the phone, that those are the things they're supposed to do.
[00:26:42] if you have room for it in your house, having a separate space that is kind of your office, and that's a space where you work, even if it's a closet where your kids kind of know, this is That means that she's working.
[00:26:52] I've even seen clients put a sign on the door. I'm like a little stop sign or a hand that's red that says like mom's working.
[00:26:59] And that means that's a signal, a visual signal to your kids that at that moment, you're in a work zone and you'll be back to them.
[00:27:06]a timer can also work well for younger kids where, you know, they know, okay, when this timer goes off, mommy will be out here that can help as well..
[00:27:16] Rebecca: [00:27:16] Wow. Those are all really great tips.
[00:27:19] I love the idea of the stations and it kind of reminds me of something I did with my kids when they were little.
[00:27:25] So I have six kids and when the older ones were younger, this was before audible.com and all of the, I mean, we had books on tape and everything like that,
[00:27:34] but it wasn't as easy to access as it is nowadays, I actually would record myself reading a book.
[00:27:43] I would record it on a tape player and give it to my kids so that, that would just occupy them and they could listen to me, read the book of,
[00:27:50] I know that sounds so that looks maybe hands off or whatever, but it was like a keepsake and they could listen to it as many times as they want it. So you do what you gotta do.
[00:28:00] And I think the stations,. I think kids would love that. Ooh, mom set up all of this fun stuff for me to do! Great Tip!
[00:28:09]You had mentioned something that I am totally on board with. And I was like, I love that she included this in her book.
[00:28:15] Automating certain tasks. I'm such a huge fan of automating everything you can possibly if, if you can automate or delegate.
[00:28:25] Do it that's. I just thought that was the perfect tip. It has saved me so much time over the years. I like to automate bill paying,, chores and shopping.
[00:28:34] And I noticed that you did that with the groceries. What are some more ways that moms can get things accomplished by automation?
[00:28:44]Dr. Casares: [00:28:44] So I've even done clothing subscriptions for my kids, where, , you know, like stitch fix kids, they have, you know, they can do every three months or every four months, whatever.
[00:28:53] So they'll send clothes. So then I know, okay. Every four months or so, or every three months, my kids are getting new clothes.
[00:28:59] So that's one way that I've absolutely automated things. That's budget dependent, but you can set a budget on there for how much you want to spend.
[00:29:05] I have automated, like you said, The bill pay, all of my subscriptions,
[00:29:11] I automate it so that I have my calendar reminders so that if I have an activity that's coming up, then my calendar is automated to send me a notification. I have it
[00:29:22] automated as well, so that my calendar syncs up with my email invitation, so that as soon as I say yes to an invitation, it goes right over to my calendar.
[00:29:33] I don't have to put it in and that's linked up to my zoom.
[00:29:36] So if I'm inviting somebody to a zoom meeting that that's all automated as well within my business, we have automated newsletters that go out.
[00:29:44] So we create the newsletters. We have all the content right at the very beginning of the month, and then we set it up.
[00:29:52] So that every single Tuesday, it all comes out.
[00:29:55] So that way that people on my team have more bandwidth to think about other things in their lives.
[00:30:01] I've also different times using meal kits that have been delivered or automated groceries, like from imperfect produce that type of thing where you're getting like a CSA or you're getting fresh fruits and veggies.
[00:30:13] And I've had some people who have responded when I've talked about this in the book where I've put posts up on social media that have said, like, that's only for people who are of a certain means.
[00:30:22] And I, 100% have had times where I've said, you know what? The thing I care about right now is getting the meal kit.
[00:30:29] So that way I can have healthy dinners for my family, because we're just eating like cookies and smores every single day.
[00:30:36] This is like, no good. I gotta reset. You know, but of course, then that means, okay, Buy clothes that month for myself or for my kids, we hold off on a vacation.
[00:30:48] Like everybody has trade offs that they make in their household and things like bill pay, generally speaking are free, to sign up,
[00:30:56] you know, and yes, you still have to pay attention to your finances to make sure you have enough money for that building.
[00:31:02] Paid on the automatic bill pay.
[00:31:04] but it's a whole lot less of a struggle, I think, to, to just focus on what's happening in my bank account than it is to making sure that I'm making individual payments to all of these different, different people that I owe money to.
[00:31:18] Rebecca: [00:31:18] And on the budgeting , topic, I really appreciated that you shared your story about how you paid off your student debt.
[00:31:26] That was a really interesting section of your book where it was like, oh wow. So yeah, because it can be so overwhelming student debt.
[00:31:34] So I appreciated you adding that in there. And it seems like you found a lot of joy in figuring it all out. So I'm wondering if you can share a little bit.
[00:31:45] Advice, I guess, about how other moms can find joy in the process of figuring out all of these things. I know that we have your blueprint.
[00:31:54] So that's a definite huge step forward for a lot of us, but how do we find that joy?
[00:32:01] Dr. Casares: [00:32:01] Yeah. You know, the thing is the paying off the debt came at the same time that my daughter was having a lot of struggles and I was just feeling kind of overwhelmed and pulled in all these different directions.
[00:32:10] And I started thinking about, you know, what are the, what do I actually want my life to look like in five, 10 years?
[00:32:18] Would be ideal. And I don't mean like I have a million bucks and I live in a mansion. I mean, how do I want to feel at the end of the day?
[00:32:25] Like when I'm at my 80th birthday party and I look back, what will I say was the most important?
[00:32:31] How will people remember. And I decided, you know, okay.
[00:32:35] My family connections matter to me. Uh, my travel and contribution matter to me, physical health and wellness matter to me, kind of all those things on that priority list.
[00:32:45] And then I thought, you know, what is holding me back from being able to really dig in to all of those things?
[00:32:53] And I decided and realized, holy cow, it's the money because my husband and I, like you said, we both went, professional to grad school and, he was a physical therapy, uh, graduate doctor, physical therapy.
[00:33:08] I was a medical school, same time. We were young naive when we got married and started graduate school, we figured, you know, we'll make enough money and we didn't..
[00:33:18] So there we were. You know, accumulating all this debt, we accumulated $250,000 in student loan debt alone.
[00:33:28] And then we added on top of that, all the consumer debt, which adds up very, very fast because we just were living on credit cards, for a long time.
[00:33:37] And I realized, you know, we're constantly talking about money.
[00:33:41] We're constantly fighting about money and because. I'm only able to focus on that most of the time it's making it so I can't even make inroads on anything else.
[00:33:53] So we decided to, um, rent our house out. We moved to my parents' house. We lived there for a year and we started just snowballing our debt.
[00:34:02] We paid down debt using the amount of money that we got from the renters and the utilities we weren't paying.
[00:34:08] And we really cut back in terms of our expenses for that year. And then we're able to just add onto it and keep on going and.
[00:34:16] Not every single moment of that was filled with joy. You know, my, um, my husband, didn't love being at my parent's house every single day.
[00:34:24] Uh, we had to make a lot of sacrifices with our childcare situation.
[00:34:28] We'd had an amazing nanny. We had to switch that up. Um, but that sense of peace that came from not worrying constantly
[00:34:39] about how I was going to finagle and move money around to make ends meet every single month was so liberating.
[00:34:48] I had so much freedom and that's where the true joy came. When I started seeing that, I realized like this is worth it.
[00:34:56] So I, 100% encourage moms to figure out what is the linchpin in your life that's holding you back from all the other priorities that you have. Is there one thing that kind of needs to change that holds you back?
[00:35:11] Is it going to see a therapist so that you can adjust your mental health so you can figure out what's kind of keeping you stuck?
[00:35:17] Is it your. Um, physical health that you are feeling tired and sluggish and you know, bloated all day long.
[00:35:24] And that's the thing that's holding you back. Is it your financial wellness?
[00:35:28] What is the kind of one thing that is this linchpin that is making it so that all the other things you want to do, you don't have time for you can't even think about it in a way that's healthy..
[00:35:37] Rebecca: [00:35:37] Hmm. So beautiful. Again, the book, the working mom blueprint, winning at parenting without losing yourself.
[00:35:45] Whitney,, this was a really fun interview. I know that the moms that are listening are going to get so much wisdom from your book and they enjoyed this interview. Thank you so much for joining us today.
[00:35:58] I really appreciate you taking the time out to chat with.
[00:36:02] Dr. Casares: [00:36:02] Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
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