I always love when you meet new friends through friends you have had for ages. Such is the case with this week’s Smarty Mom, Sarah Dumand. I have been introduced to her through my good friend, Casey Fuller. They have been friends since Jr. High and Casey thinks that Sara is someone the Smarty Community should get to know. Here is what Casey has to say:
I am so happy to have the chance to introduce to you one of my oldest, dearest friends and one of the super-smartiest moms that I know, Sara DuMond! I have known Sara since Junior High School and I have to say she was just as amazing then as she is now! Sara is one of those people who truly is beautiful inside and out.
Sara is married to Dave DuMond, has 3 beautiful children, is a marathon runner, a pediatrician and just started her own business – Pediatric Housecalls. She is a rockstar! I am so proud to call her my friend and hope that you all find her just as inspiring as I do!
Let’s get to know Sara!
Sara’s Smarty Mom Quick Facts:
Sara DuMond, M.D., Founder of Pediatric Housecalls
Married to: Dave for 10 years
Mom of 3: Anna (8), Tag (5), and Caroline (3)
Years in Charlotte: 10
Smarty ‘hood: University area
Occupation: Board-certified pediatrician with over 10 years experience
Tell us about Pediatric Housecalls.
Pediatric Housecalls is a mobile urgent care for kids. I provide in-home sick care for children in the Charlotte area. Picture not having to load up your sick child (and your healthy ones sometimes, too) to go sit in a crowded waiting room with other germs. Picture your sick toddler being able to stay in her pajamas, cuddled up on the couch watching Dora, while the doctor examines her right there in the comfort of her own home. Picture not having to worry if your spouse is out of town on business and you have no one to stay home with your other children. The list goes on and on, but the bottom line is, the pediatrician comes to you, not the other way around for once! I carry my proverbial “black bag” equipped with just about everything you would find in your regular doctor’s office, from nebulizer machines to injectable antibiotics and I have the capability to run routine diagnostic tests like rapid strep tests and influenza tests right there in your home. I also provide stitches or Dermabond for laceration repair, camp and sports physicals, and infant sleep and feeding consults. I do not offer well check-ups, immunizations, or care for chronic medical conditions. I keep patient information in electronic medical records, and will e-prescribe any prescriptions that your child may need directly to your pharmacy, to make it as easy as possible on parents! I also communicate all diagnoses and treatment with your child’s regular doctor, so that they may be kept informed of your child’s condition. I do not file insurance, and require payment for the visit at the time of service. I do provide patients with paperwork to submit to their insurance company for reimbursement later, typically in line with out-of-network benefits. Housecalls have been around for decades, but fell out of favor with the arrival of managed care and HMO’s. I like to think that I’m just reviving an old-fashioned form of medicine, only with the added technology of a laptop and a smart phone!
What inspired you to launch this venture?
My family! I was fortunate to have worked with a wonderful pediatric group in the Lake Norman area for the past seven years. I loved the practice and adored my patients, but between the commute and an increasingly busy family life, I decided that something had to give! My husband and I went away for our 10 year wedding anniversary and finally got to have these lovely, uninterrupted conversations for the first time in a long time! We talked about life, what we wanted for our future, and that’s when the idea behind Pediatric Housecalls was born! I also joke that the idea partly grew from years and years of badgering by our neighbors who begged me to open up a pediatric clinic in my garage! This was my compromise!
Do you feel that this helps you better balance work and family?
Absolutely! It’s funny, because I’m actually working more now, so it sounds funny to say that I have better work/family balance, but it’s true! Before, even though I only worked part-time at my practice, those days often felt like rat races, and by the time I got to the end of the day, I had no energy left to give to my family. Now that I’m my own boss, I have much more autonomy with my schedule, I can take as long as I like with patients, and I can build in the flexibility with my schedule as I need to. Yesterday, for example, I saw two patients in the morning, ran to volunteer in my son’s kindergarten class for an hour, saw another patient after that, and still was able to be at the bus stop when the kids got home. That never would have happened before!
What tips do you have for other mompreneurs trying to get started?
Don’t let fear hold you back. If you had told me 10 years ago, coming out of medical school, that I would go on to start up my own medical practice, let alone an unconventional housecalls-based practice, I never would have believed you! Somehow, business owner and full-time mom just didn’t seem to go together in the same sentence. In fact, I’d spent most of the past seven years of my professional life trying to figure out ways to scale BACK my practice, so that I could be there more for my family. Starting something new can be scary, but even if you fail, you’ll learn something, and if your business is built around something that you’re passionate about, chances are, you’ll never regret it.
How do we contact you?
Families interested in requesting a housecall for their sick child can call or text my cell phone – 704.560.4169 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am available for appointments M-F from 8am to 8pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 6pm. Appointments are on a first-request, first-serve basis. If I will be unavailable for an extended period of time, my voicemail will reflect that, so that parents can make a decision about whether they are fine with waiting, or would rather load up and go somewhere!
What is the #1 complaint you receive calls for?
That’s tough, because with pediatrics, it’s very seasonal. Right now, it’s a lot of typical winter cold and flu symptoms. In the summertime, I’m sure I’ll get a lot more calls for laceration repairs!
What is one piece of advice you would give to new moms?
I have two! First, throw all of your expectations about parenthood out the window! Everything I always swore I’d never do when I became a parent (and admittedly used to condemn parents for doing), I DID when my first child was born! Secondly, find the proverbial infant sleep soap box, and stand on it proudly! I take very few firm stances when it comes to raising children (refer to above!) but when it comes to sleep, there are definitely things that we as parents can do to either help or hinder the situation. Get some good advice from day one about sleep habits for your baby because sleep really does make the world go ’round!
How about advice for some of us “old” moms?
Remember that your kids are not a direct reflection of you. That’s a hard concept to grasp for lots of parents, myself included. Example: I often catch myself saying things about my oldest daughter like, “She is JUST like me.” Usually, I’m saying that in a self-depricating way, as in, “She is JUST like me – stubborn, hard-headed, etc.” Not exactly the message that I want her learning about herself! Plus, I think if I grasp the concept that she’s her own person now, it will be a lot easier on both of us down the road when she chooses a college, a career path, a spouse, or any number of other things that I wouldn’t have chosen myself! I think this concept is especially helpful in preventing parents from putting unecessary pressure on their kids to be the smartest, most athletic, or “most” anything else, too!
What is your favorite family time activity?
Right now it’s board games. Our kids think the game “Life” is hysterical – getting married, having babies…little do they know! 🙂 In warmer weather, we’re definitely an anything-outdoors family.
Favorite mommy-time activity?
Running! I just ran my 4th marathon and finally broke the 4-hour barrier!
Favorite lunch spot sans kids?
Panera – I like this spot both with and without kids!
Favorite place to score kids clothes and shoes?
I am a big on-line shopper. I love Zappos.com for shoes and Mini Boden for clothes. Locally, I love Payton’s Closet at Birkdale Village. I’m a loyal Target shopper for great deals, too!
Favorite place to take the whole family to dinner?
Favorite boys/girls after school activity?
It depends on the day of the week what we’ve got going, but after school at our house always involves a snack and a run-down of the “Top 3 List”…each kid’s top 3 favorite parts of their day. Many days of the week, we can be found at Strikers Soccer Center in Huntersville, though!
Best book you’ve read lately?
The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo series – addictive!
Funniest thing your kids have ever said to you?
My son, upon being politely informed that he would not be getting water before bed one night (a popular stall tactic in our house), tearfully sighed and said, “Fine! Then I’m just going to have to drink throat water tonight!”…which, being a pediatrician, I immediately knew to mean “saliva.” Clearly no drama in our DNA!
Best birthday party you’ve attended/hosted?
My husband’s surprise 40th last year – he was genuinely surprised and all of our favorite people were there.
Favorite date-night spot?
The Crepe Cellar.
Minivan or SUV? Minivan
Favorite Smarty phone app?
I’m embarrassed to say that I just got a smart phone fairly recently, and so far, I have only used it for making calls, texting, and emailing!
Favorite CSP article so far?
I loved the spotlight that CSP did on one of my childhood friends, Casey Fuller, who started her own children’s clothing company. The article was a reminder of how inspiring she is! I also have to admit that I laughed my tail off at the “mompetitor” video clip and article on CSP a while back. I laughed out loud!
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
The greenways. They are a great place to run, bike, or stroll with the kids, and the fact that many of them run right through urban parts of Charlotte feels very progressive and cool!
I could not live without my… family, running group, wine, or Fig Newtons!