This Doctor-Entrepreneur's Message to Busy Moms: Give Yourself Credit

Heal co-founder and chief medical officer Dr. Renee Dua juggles raising kids, seeing patients and running a startup. Here's why she says it's time to ditch the mom-guilt and quit beating yourself up.

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By Kim Lachance Shandrow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Dr. Renee Dua and her tech entrepreneur husband, Nick Desai, created Heal on the heels of an awful, eight-hour night in the emergency room with their young son.

"By the time we actually saw a doctor, my son was already better," Dua tells Entrepreneur. "We thought that, between a doctor and an entrepreneur, there's got to be a way to solve this problem."

Heal is how the enterprising Los Angeles couple aims to do just that. They're parents of two boys -- a two year old and an 11 month old -- but their third baby, so to speak, is an on-demand app that dispatches a licensed physician to wherever you are, on your schedule. That is, if you live in one of the following areas of California: Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and the Peninsula down to San Jose. At least for now.

Related: I Tried Google Goals for a Week. The Result: I Meditated, Hydrated and Hibernated More Than I Ever Have Before.

"Because they're in your home, in your living room and away from the distractions of an office or hospital, our doctors give our patients their full attention," Dua says, "and they're absolutely listening to you, maintaining eye contact and know what your needs are. We're making it personal again."

Practically as personal as when a parent looks a child over for signs of sickness, she says. Providing that invaluable one-on-one attention -- minus the noise and distraction of running a new business and busy medical practice -- isn't just how she cares for her kids. It's also how she cares for herself.

"How I take time for me is by being with my family," she says. "That's when I rewind and recharge."

While the nursing mom finds comfort in focusing on her kids in her downtime, she also finds it challenging, particularly when squeezing quality moments with them into her packed schedule. "Striking a work-life balance is very difficult," she admits. "I'm very good at some things some days and not so great at those things other days. I don't like saying it out loud, but it's the truth."

Related: How Motherhood Prepares You for Entrepreneurship

Difficult days at the office or at home, Dua tries not to beat herself up when it comes to parenting. And in the interest of self-preservation and self-acceptance, she advises fellow harried moms not to either. Whether you're a mom who stays home with your children or clocks in at the office, cut yourself some slack already.

"The best piece of advice I can give a mom who's trying to do it all is, you're probably doing a great job," Dua says. "You just haven't given yourself any credit. To take one minute, step back and look at how much you've already done before 11 in the morning -- I bet it's nuts."

Oh, it sure is. (This swamped mama of three can attest to that.)

For more of Dua's unique take on juggling motherly and professional duties, take one relaxing minute to yourself and check out the video clip above.

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper,, and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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