Whether she's going to a concert with her kids or speaking to a group of women on how they can avoid burnout, Modern Mommy Doc Whitney Casares inspires women to create a balance that fosters joy in their lives.
Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician, author, speaker, and full-time working mom. She’s a boots-on-the-ground advocate for the success of women in the workplace and at home. Dr. Casares is a Stanford University-trained private practice pediatrician whose expertise spans the public health, direct patient care, and media worlds. She holds a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from The University of California, Berkeley, and a Journalism degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is a Mama Mindset Thought Leader.
Her newest book with the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Working Mom Blueprint: Winning at Parenting without Losing Yourself, gives practical, expert-rooted advice and support for modern working moms who are ready to level up their motherhood experiences and find success in the workplace and at home. Her work focuses on moving modern moms from feeling conflicted to centered. Dr. Casares practices pediatrics in Portland, Oregon, where she and her husband Scott raise their two young daughters.
Which three words best describe your style?
My fashion style is modern romantic with coastal vibes. My interior decorating mirrors what I wear, and my food choices do, too. Give me a lobster dinner with some love songs and twinkly lights, and I’m one happy mama.
What are your favorite places to shop?
If I ever win the lottery, you’ll find me at Anthropologie shopping it up, but I also love J.Crew for the classics, and Athleta is my go-to for all athletic (and athleisure) wear.
What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos?
My friends and I thought we looked incredibly cute in our jean on jean ensembles. Now I wouldn’t be caught dead in jean pants and a matching jean jacket.
What’s your best style secret?
I buy tea-length dresses all the time in a size XL or XXL in the kid’s section at Target and layer them with sweaters or leather jackets. They’re cheaper than the adult options, so I can buy a bunch and rotate them with the rest of my spring and summer looks.
Stilettos or flats?
There might have been a rogue pair of stilettos in my closet at some point, but I can’t remember when. I have enough to balance without worrying about falling due to footwear. Flats all the way.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
We’re huge music junkies, and we all like to dance. In the summertime, we go to kid-friendly concerts, and my husband and I spent both babymoons at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. The car is our favorite place to rock out. My daughters take turns picking the tunes on the way to and from school.
What’s been your best family vacation?
One time we took the whole family to Kauai and drove all the way out to Pole Hale, an expansive beach where I swear we could see every star in the night sky. My girls still talk about cuddling in the sand and naming all the constellations.
Best parenting advice:
You can’t control everything that happens to you or your kids. You can’t control the struggles you face. But, you can control how you respond to them and how you support your kids through them.
Parenting true confession:
I perform covert toy sweeps through my entire house every three months to clear out the clutter and make my house easier to clean. I’m pretty sure my youngest has only blown my cover once.
Who’s your favorite culinary icon?
Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest has the best recipes, but to be honest, I’ll spend hours in the kitchen preparing her full menus for special events and holidays. Still, most weeknights, you’ll find me serving up pre-marinated chicken, a roasted veggie, and a big loaf of bread.
What food trend should NEVER make a comeback?
It makes me cringe when I think of all the Lunchables I used to eat growing up. My dad literally packed them in my backpack every day for the entirety of the 3rd grade. Never again.
What’s your favorite cookbook?
Tartine, a cookbook celebrating French baking based on the restaurant by the same name in San Francisco, has been on my bookshelf for years, but it’s not because I use it for baking very often. Instead, it reminds me of times I've traveled to other countries and explored with my friends and loved ones over the years.
What's an underrated food/meal idea that people should try?
I’m convinced that if you don’t love brussels sprouts, it’s because you’ve never prepared them the right way. My husband and I love to saute them in good olive oil, topped with balsamic vinegar glaze and flake salt. Yummmm.
If you could eat a meal with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be?
It would be heaven to have any meal (heck, I’ll take an amuse-bouche) with Michelle Obama. She is such a force. I’m inspired by her commitment to children, college students, and women alike.
What’s your go-to family dinner? I pretty much ate burritos every day for both pregnancies, so it’s no surprise we’re all big fans of all varieties of Mexican food. The girls go for pork tacos, and my husband and I can chow down on tamales with mole sauce.
What are your best tips for dealing with picky eaters? Don’t freak out. The more you bribe or shame your kids into eating healthy foods, the less success you’ll have. Instead, offer a variety of foods at each meal, and don’t shy away from providing a very tiny portion of the regulars they’re craving along with the more adventurous options you want them to try.
What’s your favorite family restaurant?The restaurant scene in Portland is one of the city’s main draws, so we’re always exploring new hot spots. If I had to narrow it to one, though, it’s Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty. The pizza is delicious, the salads and soups are to-die-for, and, even though I never leave room for dessert, I can’t resist it once the menu comes around.
What’s your best cooking advice? Keep it simple. If you’re a working mom like I am, you’ve already got a full-time job. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef, too (unless you want to be). So give yourself grace if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen or if you only like to play Betty Crocker every once in a while.
What's your most essential cooking appliance or utensil? I could not live without my immersion blender. When my girls were babies, I used it to prepare homemade baby food purees, and now it’s perfect for mixing soups in the winter and making whipped cream for summer strawberry shortcakes.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?
Workin’ Moms, obvi.
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be?
I’d pick Reese Witherspoon. She’s such an advocate for moms in real life, and she’s funny, relatable, and sincere on screen.
What song would you dance to when nobody’s watching?
My secret theme song is definitely “Sorry, Not Sorry” by Demi Levato. One time my husband walked in on me dancing around to it with my earbuds in while I was doing laundry, and he was like, “Ok, hot stuff.” It’s one of those songs that makes you feel fierce.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
I want to visit Bali and the Maldives. I have this image in my head of an overwater hut with a glass floor stuck in my head as the ultimate vacation. If I ever could afford that kind of luxury, though, I’d probably be too freaked out by the lurking sea life below me to get any rest!
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?
My husband makes fun of me for loving that time of day when there are long shadows just before the sun sets, but I can’t help it. There’s a kind of stillness that happens at that time of day, especially in the Pacific Northwest where I live. You get layered clouds with a pink and orange sherbet sky most nights in the spring and fall. So I love to sit on my back porch with a good book and a glass of wine, just taking it all in and being still for a minute.
We love how Whitney not only understands how difficult it is for modern moms to balance their family's needs with their own but that she has a plan to help modern moms thrive. Be sure to check out Whitney's book The Working Mom Blueprint: Winning at Parenting without Losing Yourself to learn more about how Whitney finds balance for herself as a pediatrician and Mother of two. Follow Whitney on her Modern Mommy Doc Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
For more interesting and stylish moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp's Mom on the Street!