Happy Monday, beauties!
I’m excited to share a new Real Women, Real Balance interview with you today.
Talking about life, self-care and asking for help: A Q&A with Dr. Cassidy Freitas
Hi Cassidy! Will you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Sure! My name is Dr. Cassidy Freitas and I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Diego. I specialize in working with peripartum individuals, couples, and families. In addition to my practice I run support groups for moms and teach part-time at the University of San Diego. I’m also a mom to two, and enjoy creative pursuits such as writing and videography.
What inspired you to start your business?
When I finished up my doctoral program I was looking into full-time professor positions and agency jobs. I have always valued creative freedom, and decided to take the risk of starting my own practice and to take on a part-time teaching job.
It’s been about two years now, and I’m so glad I took the risk of creating something of my own. In this season of my life with young children I need flexibility, and I have been able to pursue creative endeavors that I would have otherwise not been able to pursue, if I chose a full time position working for someone else. I really love working one-on-one with clients and getting the chance to teach and train the future generation of family therapists.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different, my husband and I both own our own businesses and with two young kids going different places, different days it can get pretty hectic. We have a shared calendar that we put everything on, so that we are (usually haha) on the same page. Our kids typically wake us up early 🙂 and from there my husband and I tag team morning tasks.
These days he’s been making breakfast/school lunches and taking the dogs for a walk, and I get the kids dressed and put together any important homework/paperwork that needs to go with our daughter to school. He usually takes our oldest to school and I drop our youngest with our family who watches him while we work. From there it depends on the day, if I’m seeing clients that day I usually get to the office a little early to prep, return calls, or write emails. If I’m teaching I’ll get to campus early to prep or finalize any lecture/grading tasks.
We have a lot of support and have both gotten better at saying yes to help or asking for help, so we rely a lot on our support network to pick our kids up from school or take them to activities when we can’t. As often as I can though I carve out time to get home early with the kids, or spend quality time with my husband. Recently we’ve been using meal delivery services (we’ve tried Blue Apron and Sun Basket and love both) and are cooking more at home. The days we can’t cook one of us usually picks up hot food from Whole Foods or some sort of (hopefully healthy) take out!
We definitely don’t do this all perfectly, and it’s hardly ever smooth, but we do our best to be flexible and give ourselves a lot of grace.
I’m curious, what do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working I’m almost always spending time with the kids or we are all together as a family. One of the benefits of us both owning our businesses is that we can take a day off in the middle of the week if we want and go to the zoo or the beach when it’s not crowded.
One of the things I’m working on this year is allowing myself to spend more time with myself. Today is actually the first day in a long time that I asked for childcare support and I’m not working, I worked out this morning (I won’t even tell you how long it’s been since that happened!) This afternoon I’m going to happy hour with a friend that I’ve been meaning to catch up with. I always work with my clients to engage in more self-care, so I’ve set an intention to up my own self-care game this year.
As you know, The Balanced Life is all about empowering women to approach health & fitness with a balanced mindset. How do you handle the pressure as a woman to look or act a certain way?
One of the courses I teach is Human Diversity in Family Therapy. We spend a lot of time in this class discussing societal discourses around gender, race, sexuality, spirituality, and abilities and disabilities. One of the most powerful tools I’ve discovered is to become mindful of when a particular discourse is taking us hostage. There are a lot of discourses out there that suggest as women we SHOULD look a certain way or act a certain way. I believe that taking a step back and looking at how these discourses align or don’t align with our personal values or belief systems can help us unhook ourselves from these pressures.
What does balance mean to you during your current season of life?
I really believe that balance is a unicorn 🙂 it’s a myth! Balance would suggest that everything in every part of your life has equal weight and is being given equal attention. I just don’t believe that’s realistic. What I’ve found to be helpful is to take stock of my values and how I feel they need to be prioritized in this season of my life. Right now, my relationship with my kids and husband and building my career most often gets prioritized. This sometimes means saying no to social invitations and accepting that my work out regime is not going to be what it used to be.
Sometimes though, my value of community and connection gets prioritized and I say YES to a social gathering or to a friend. Or, I listen to my body’s signals that I need to tune into and prioritize my health and call the babysitter so I can get a workout in. Or my values can share space with each other, and we can all go for a hike as a family.
Balance for me looks more like being mindful of the decisions I have in front of me, realizing that I can’t say yes to everything, and allowing my values to inform the actions I take.
What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a busy life?
The best tip I can offer is building a support network and allowing yourself to receive the help. Asking for help is a sign of strength not a weakness, whether that means hiring a babysitter, finding a therapist, or engaging a friend to hold you accountable for your health goals.
What projects are you currently working on that you’d like us to know about?
I’ll be a mentor at a retreat called Nourish this upcoming May in Palm Springs at the Korakia. It’s an all-inclusive retreat for creative mamapreneurs who are looking to rest, connect, and create. I’ll be running groups and offering one-on-one consultations as a part of the retreat. You can find more info here: www.nourishtheretreat.com.
I’m also hoping to start a podcast this year! I recently did an interview on emotional agility on my good friend, Chrissy Power’s podcast Sure, Babe and just loved the idea of being able to deconstruct stigmas around mental health with a larger audience. If you want to hear the interview with Chrissy you can listen to it on the front page of my website www.drcassidymft.com.
Thank you, Cassidy! It’s an honor to have you here on the blog today. Thank you for the work you are doing to inspire others!