Expert Pediatrician Payal knows it's important to prioritize yourself, learn more in her interview!

Name: Payal Adhikari

Kid(s): Bodhi (3yo) & Ellora (18 months)

Official work title and company: Pediatrician at Child & Adolescent Health Associates & @MommyPMD

Location: Gold Coast, Chicago

Tell us more about your company/the company you work for? (How you got started, where did the idea come from, how it has grown to the success it is today, etc.)

I’ve always wanted to be a pediatrician - it felt more like a destiny than a choice. After having kids, I realized that being a mom was a completely different role. As I shared stories with my mom-friends, they seemed to look to me for advice about things relating to health and parenting - even though I had no idea what I was doing!! I created MommyPMD to share my stories and make people feel better about all the silly things that happen while parenting.

What has been your biggest challenge as a working mom? Your biggest reward?

My biggest challenge is missing things - I work late and on weekends, and also take call from home - Fortunately, my husband is a saint! Not fully being present is tough, but my kids have learned that when mommy gets a call from a patient, it’s time to be quiet - it’s actually quite amazing to see. My biggest reward is knowing that I’m setting a good example for them on how moms and dads can both work and take care of the house equally.

Where do you think working mom guilt comes from and how can women overcome it?

Mommy guilt comes from our innate desire to do it all, and do it all perfectly. Moms can overcome guilt by changing (not lowering!) expectations of themselves, and cutting themselves some slack. And saying yes to help! It’s ok to have visitors bring dinner, fold your laundry, or just hold your baby so you can take a nap, shower, or watch The Real Housewives of Some City.

What have you found to be the motivations and benefits for women that take on the extra stress and time crunch of combining work and family?

Keeping your own identity is important. Being a parent is a full time job and I have the utmost respect for those who do it full time. For me, being a doctor is easier :) I like teaching my kids that I have other priorities - I understand this is controversial, but I deeply believe in it.

What would be your time-saving tip for your fellow working moms?

Outsource what you can. Whether is laundry, cooking, cleaning or getting groceries, strategize and prioritize.

Who or what gives you your daily dose of inspiration?

My husband. He seems to do it all and with such grace.

What was the best advice a momma mentor in your life gave you?

Outsource everything except sex with your husband - Kristin Reilly, Onehailmaryatatime

What advice would you give to other working moms when it comes to balancing a career, family, and self-care?

Prioritize yourself. Your husband and kids want you to be happy!!

What is in your briefcase, purse, luggage, diaper bag, that you use every day, that you live for/need, in your life in order to make it a little less chaotic?

My headphones to listen to the news/podcasts when I can. I have a very short commute, but having even a few mins to catch up helps me transition from one part of the day to the next.

If you go back in time and give one piece of advice to yourself as a young mother, what would it be?

Sleep more. Dishes can wait.

If you could have a theme song for a “day in your life” what would it be?

You Make My Dreams Come True - Hall & Oates

Bonus: Do you have a favorite quote?

“Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale” AND “You can complain because roses have thorns or rejoice because thorns have roses.”