Introducing the multi-tasking miracle worker, Dr. Diane Truong. She has three jobs. First she is a mother of 12 year old Nikki and 9 year old Andy. Second, she is a pediatrician who treats the children of the rich and famous but still finds time to volunteer at clinics where she can provide high quality preventive and emergency care to children with limited resources. Last but not least, she is half of MD MOMS , the makers of the Baby Silk skin care line, the first of its kind developed by pediatricians.
How does she do it all? As she so candidly points out, no better or worse than the rest of us. How does she juggle all the balls and still keep some semblance of order in her house? "By delivering a shrill, high-pitched string of commands that can be heard from a two mile radius." As we always say, whatever works. She sure is doing something right.
Baby Silk products make great holiday gifts. Go to www.mdmoms.com  and use the code MTFREE between now and December 18, 2006 and receive standard shipping on your order FREE.
Describe your job.
I have been practicing pediatrics for the last 10 years. I care and treat patients from newborns up to kids 18 years of age. Sometimes, I prescribe quick fixes for acute ailments. Other times, I order shots to be given for illness prevention. Frequently, I just listen and instill confidence and faith in parents who already know the answers but who just want my support. But most of the time, I confess, I have fun and play with my patients and make them squirm with my cold hands.
How many hours a week do you work?
Between twenty and forty hours a week.
Tell us about your other job as CEO of MDMOMS and your overall schedule.
I like to think I have 3 jobs. My dearest and most important "job" is to be a mom, which of course does not have set hours or breaks. My job as a pediatrician is from my office where I spend 3 to 5 days a week. My third job is being a CEO to MDMOMS and takes place after I leave my office, and often times I coordinate projects in the car, on the soccer fields, after dinner, etc. I do MDMOMS work whenever and whereever I happen to be when the phone rings. Needless to say, the con of this schedule is that I sometimes feel dizzy from all the crisis management or controlled chaos that occurs. The pros are that deep inside me, I thrive on the adrenaline rush, and I have learned to let go and to delegate. It has the added benefit of allowing my children to be more independent, take on more responsibility and be more self reliant.
What are the best and worst parts of each of your jobs?
The best part of my job as a pediatrician is when I’m able to diagnose a difficult case. The worst part of my job is not remembering to stand to the side when examining a newborn boy baby with a full bladder. The best part of being a CEO for MDmoms is when we receive accolades for our products, whether from a celebrity, a fellow pediatrician or a parent. The worst part is to try to control my high expectations and to try to be patient with the retail world, as not everything can be ordered “STAT.”
The best part of being a mom is to see my babies grow into self sufficient, independent, mature children. The worst part is to see to see my babies grow into self sufficient, independent, mature children?!
I miss the stages when they still come running with a booboo or when they say things through their minds’ eyes which always made me laugh out loud.
Would you work if you didn't have to?
Without a doubt, YES. I want to apply all the training and knowledge I’ve gained through the years of hard work toward the worthy cause of treating and caring for my patients.
Of your female friends with children, how many work outside the home?
I would say around 75%.
Describe your childcare setup.
Currently, I am able to be at home with my children after they come home from school 3 of the 5 weekdays. My husband and my in-laws take them the other 2 days for a couple of hours until I’m home. I’m blessed to be able to have most of my weekends free for my family.
If you have a spouse or partner and he or she works, what do they do for a living. Does the question of who earns more in your house affect the domestic workload division?
My spouse is a cardiologist. As my income is lower than my husband’s and as I’m home more than he is, I do the majority of the domestic workload. By default, because I’m a neat freak, I tend to clean more anyways.
Who makes the lunches? Who takes the kids to school?
Lunch? Me. Chauffer services? Me. Homework? Me.
How do you have time to regularly help with the homework?
I help with the children’s homework regularly. Indeed, homework is the impetus for me cutting back my hours at the office. I found that I can’t do algebra, or work on an elaborate 3-D model of a mission with too much patience in the little window of time between dinner and bedtime.
What is the one thing you vowed you would never do when you had kids that you find yourself doing?
Delivering a shrill, high pitched string of commands that can be heard from a two mile radius.
Do you have a date night?
Yes, it used to be Mondays when we would take ballroom dancing class for an hour. Now, we’re taking advantage of the 2 hours in the evening during Friday’s piano classes, to go for long walks with our third child—Bud, our dog.
What is your best tip for maintaining balance or at least some semblance of sanity?
Pick your battles and delegate, delegate, delegate.
Do you feel that you have made professional sacrifices to be a better parent or parental sacrifices to be a better professional?
Yes. I cut back my office hours and have declined additional administrative duties to be more available to my children. I don't think I have sacrificed on the parenting front as I've strived to put my children first.
Describe your worst working mom moment.
I have a few: when my kids think baking cookies involves 2 steps: spooning pre-mixed cookie dough on a pan, and sticking it in the oven; when I hear them arrange their own play dates; when Nikki tells me to help her fix a loose hem and hands me the glue gun; when packing lunch often times means stuffing a Luncheable into the backpack.
Describe a typical morning and evening at your house.
The morning consists of my husband getting up and walking our dog. Upon his return, he wakes the kids up. They groom themselves, get dressed and eat the breakfast that my husband prepares for them. If he has an early clinic, then Nikki prepares oatmeal or cereal for both of them. I roll out of bed at the last possible moment, take care of my grooming needs in 5-10 minutes, then call for everyone to get into the car. We drive down the street to pick up two different sets of children for carpooling. I then drive my bus load of children and drop them all off at school. I spend another 30-40 minutes on the road before I get to work. The evening consists of multitasking at its best, with a combination of dinner preparation, homework assistance, post dinner cleanup, piano practice and me squeezing in a few hours to do MDMOMS tasks. The children usually either have me or their dad check their homework, lunches are packed, and they get sent to bed at 9:00PM. Of course, they don’t fall asleep until closer to 10:30PM. They read until then and/or they are “strongly encouraged” in a “never will I shriek like that when I’m a mom voice” to be quiet and go to sleep.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received about balancing work and family?
You can have it all, just not all at the same time.
If you enjoyed our interview with MD Mom and Baby Silk co-creator Dr. Diane Truong, don't miss our chat with Mayron's Good Baby skin care line developer (and actress and director!) Melanie Mayron .