Pam D’Amato, MD
Dr. D’Amato is a mom of seven- and four-year-old daughters and an interventional pain management physician with University Spine Center in Wayne, NJ.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Remebering to turn off work mode when I get home to my kids. I have become a master at compartmentalizing my role as a physician in my daily life and the role of mommy at home. My kids want a mommy at home. They want to feel loved and taken care of, so at the end of a long day I still do my best to be there for homework, tennis lessons, family dinners, bath times, bed times, laughing, and even crying. I try to be involved in the daily lives of my children,.I want them to know that despite the fact that I am a working mom with a great deal of responsibility, I am always and will always be there for them.
What surprised you most about parenting? How it changes you. It surprised me that I can’t remember what my my life was like before my children. How my kids are the center of my universe. Every choice I make professionally or personally is ultimately determined on my children’s happness and well being.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? I try to cook healthy and balanced. Since the kids were very little, they have always eaten what my husband and I were eating. I don’t make them special meals. I do spoil them with fun kid basics like mac and cheese and chicken fingers, but it’s not a regular meal for them. By exposing them to a variety of foods, of all ethnicities, it has made my kids not picky and fairly healthy eaters by nature.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? Both my children started playing tennis and skiing at age three. These are activities that we can do as a family. I encourage them to try new sports, through their school and our town as well. I expose them to different activities at young ages and let them decide if it is something they’d like to pursue.
How do you recharge your batteries? At the end of a long day, I am guilty of an hour of mindless television. Once the kids are in bed and I am organized for the next day, I may catch up on a previously DVR’d episodes of a house wife show or a program on HGTV. I might even read a tabloid magazine. Because I am so engaged in everything I do with my family at home, or my patients and other physicians at work, sometimes it’s nice to sit and be entertained. Also, nothing beats a beachy vacation with a spa treatment or two booked, as an ultimate recharge.