I’m so excited to bring you today’s ‘Diary of a Working Mom’ Q&A. Pragati and I have ‘known’ each for a few years now. We met (surprise, surprise) through our blogs and have stayed in touch ever since.
Not only is she super sweet and a fellow #boymom, but Pragati is also a Naturopathic doctor who shares her knowledge about modern wellness and lifestyle medicine in an easy to understand way. If you don’t already, you need to follow her on Instagram – @happyandwell.
Ok, let me pass it over to her to share her story…
Tell me a little about your family.
I have one son, Matteo, who is 2 years old, and three rescue pups ranging in age from 9 years old to 14 years old.
Tell me more about your line of work.
I’m a naturopathic doctor and a functional medicine consultant. My training prepared me to be a primary care physician and my interest is in functional and lifestyle medicine. I love helping patients feel their best by optimizing nutrition, lifestyle and environment. My practice, Happy + Well, is virtual so that I can work with families all over the country. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m always sharing my integrative and holistic perspective when it comes to healthcare and raising children.
In addition to being an ND, I am also a full time functional medicine consultant for a nutraceutical company. I help medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors and nutritionists who want to shift the way they practice to take a more integrative approach.
At home, I’m a busy mom to a 2 year old boy, a wife, a dog mom, an aspiring photographer/videographer and a lover of cooking, crafting and being in nature.
Walk me through a day in your life.
Our morning starts with an alarm at 6:30am. I usually get Matteo seated with breakfast and then start my routine to get ready for work. Breakfast can be hit or miss – sometimes he will eat, other times I have to sit with him and feed him. Lately, we’ve been making protein smoothies to make it easier for all of us to get something nourishing in our bellies before we are out the door. We aim to leave between 7:45-7:55am.
I drop Matteo off at school by 8:15am and then my work day starts. Since I am a remote employee, work for me can be anywhere in Central or NE Florida. I usually have between 2-5 meetings scheduled each day with additional time in my schedule to visit new accounts/doctors who would be good candidates for functional medicine.
Since I’m in my car a large part of the day, I usually pack my lunch, snacks, water and coffee for the road. I really feel like my passenger seat is my office!
Matteo gets picked up from school around 3:30pm by my husband. Depending on my work day, I occasionally can pick him up.
I tend to get home by 4:00pm daily and spend the last hour of my work day catching up on “office” work like sending emails, returning calls and wrapping up loose ends from my meetings that day. By 5:00pm, I’m in the kitchen preparing dinner, which only takes about 30 minutes because I plan a menu in advance and have things ready to go. After dinner, I spend time with Matteo, we hang out in the backyard and play or take a walk. By 6:15pm its bath time, followed by a small snack, stories and bedtime at 7:30pm.
I spend about an hour putting Matteo to bed each night (if you’re a mom with a child who hates sleep, I feel you!). By 9:00pm my day as mom ends and I get to work on my other job – Happy + Well.
I usually take some time to work on content for Happy + Well and follow up with emails. I always try to be in bed no later than 10:30pm. On a good night, I’ll skip working on my side hustle and get in bed with a good book and a cup of tea (currently reading Bad Blood and it is SO good!).
How do you integrate your passion to help others with a full time career?
When I first graduated, I immediately when into a consulting role and I was comfortable there. I think that I’m truly a “teacher” at heart and in consulting, I was teaching other physicians how to use nutrition therapeutically. It was only in the last two years that I decided to become a true “mompreneur” and start a virtual practice. This big shift happened when I became a mom and realized how much value there was to the knowledge I had; I wanted to find a way to share that with other moms and families. While my local community only allows me to reach so many people, the internet and platforms like Instagram give me the opportunity to connect with so many more people who are interested in what I have to offer.
How do you deal with mom guilt?
Mom guilt is probably the worst thing about being a mom! I’ll give an example of something that happened recently because it fully illustrates how I am terrible at dealing with mom guilt:
On the night before Matteo’s first day of school, we were preparing for bed and Matteo was very rambunctious (he skipped his nap earlier so he was likely overtired). He was jumping on the bed and then he took my cellphone. I asked him to put it down so we could get ready for bed. Instead, he threw it behind the headboard and then laid down on my bed. I’ve been trying really hard to show him that actions have consequences, so I told him he needed to go to his room and wait for me there. This set off the biggest tantrum ever, including lots of tears and screaming. Basically, everything fell apart. I tried to comfort him, and tell him we could read a story but he really didn’t want to talk to me or hear what I was saying. I ended up rocking a crying toddler to sleep and I felt so horrible because I thought it was going to ruin his first day of school. It literally kept me up most of the night because I was worried and I was upset that our evening didn’t go as planned. Guess what? He woke up the next morning and said “good morning mommy, I love you” and off to school we went. Moral of the story: the guilt we feel isn’t always reflective of how they feel.
Whether you’re a working mom, stay at home mom, work from home mom or any other variation of a mom, you’ve likely felt bad for something you did or didn’t do. The thing that keeps me going in knowing that children are forgiving and resilient and all they really need/want is love.
What are your guilty pleasures?
I love alone time! I totally took that for granted before becoming a mom. Now, a few minutes to myself really recharges me. Other guilty pleasures include: champagne, brunch with girlfriends, a good spa day and quiet time to read a book.
What are your favorite hacks, tips, and tricks for how to get the most out of your day?
Be proactive! I find that if I review what I have going on the next day the night before, my day goes so much smoother. It helps me to organize what I need to have ready for myself and Matteo, it gives me a preview of my work schedule, and it allows me to not feel rushed or panicked in the morning.
I also find that packing lunches right after dinner clean up is the biggest time saver for me. That way I’m not rushing around the kitchen in the morning trying to figure out who is eating what for lunch that day.
And finally, having a weekly menu planned for dinner. This streamlines my grocery shopping so that I’m only buying what we are going to eat that week. It also gives my husband a heads up on what’s for dinner and it makes coming home from working and preparing dinner a lot less hectic.
Thanks for sharing your journey, P! And thanks for all the knowledge you drop. I know it’s helped me a ton!
3 thoughts on “Diary of a Working Mom – Q&A with Pragati Gusmano”
I’m disappointed and surprised that you’re featuring an ND given the difference in training btwn an MD and ND, your familiarity with the MD path and the lobby of the ND to blur the line between the two.
Hi Sophia – thanks for your comment. The Diary of a Working Mom series is about featuring mamas from different career paths, cultural backgrounds, etc. Regardless of if you agree with the philosophy or not, the focus is about balancing professional life in the midst of raising a family.
Hi Parita, Realy appreciate you for sharing an amazing Q & A with us, It will really help working mom’s to solve their queries. I will surely share this on the social platform so the other working mom can review it.