Meet A Mom, Dr. Samina Sanwari of Innovision Family Eyecare
Dr. Sanwari is a Katy mama of two amazing little boys and has proudly called Texas ‘home’ for the past 18 years. She’s a family Optometrist and opened her practice, Innovision Family Eyecare, in Katy because she knew it was the ideal community where she could help all families! Originally from Cypress, she studied at the University of Texas at Austin for her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry.
While in college, she volunteered at many organizations. One of them, Prevent Blindness Texas, had a special place in her heart. She enjoyed the distinct feeling of fulfillment and rejoice as low-vision patients’ faces lit up when she assisted them to see clearly at community events. At that moment, it was crystal-clear to her what she would be doing for the rest of her life. As soon as she was back in Houston, she immediately applied and was selected into University of Houston’s Optometry program. She completed her first internship at Berkeley Eye Center in Upper Kirby where she gained experience in caring for patients with ocular diseases, pre-op and post-op care for Lasik and Cataract patients. For her second internship, she was trained in comprehensive patient care at a private practice setting in Humble TX. When deciding where to open her practice, she knew Katy was the community for her. We chatted with this inspiring mama about her journey to being a physician, how she balances her career with her joy of being a mother, and her favorite things about Katy!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I was born in Pakistan and moved to Houston 18 years back. I have lived in Houston/Katy/Cypress areas since then.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have two very energetic boys. A soon-to-be 9 year old and a 7 year old.
Greatest gift about being a mom?
The unconditional love! Sometimes when I am feeling down I wish I could see myself through my kids’ eyes!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I love to travel and have been to many beautiful countries around the world and yet have never been to Mexico!
Favorite local things to do in Katy?
Shopping at LaCenterra! I love walking around outside on a nice sunny day and browsing the local stores. I also like visiting the various parks and trails in the area with my children. We specially love going to the Mary Jo Peckham park.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
Great sense of community! Even though Katy has expanded tremendously in the past few years, it still has a small-town vibe. Raising a family in a place that I also have the opportunity to improve though my profession is great!
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
We love going to Jimmy Changas. The kids get to play outside and we all love the food!
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun?
I love going to the YMCA for a quick cardio session or a group exercise class. I always feel so much more energized and positive after a good workout!
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Using my fingers as a hairbrush! Works quite well on my two boys as they are rushing out the door in the morning.
Best mom hack that makes life easier?
Engaging my kids in the grocery shopping process. It definitely makes the grocery trip longer, but I find that they are more likely to eat something they helped pick out.
When did you first know you wanted to be an Optometrist and why this path in the healthcare industry?
I did not know I needed glasses until I failed my driver’s license test at 17. I was shocked at how much better the world seemed once I got my glasses. I love the idea that I could help people see better every day. Plus, the look on a child’s face when they are able to actually see the leaves on trees for the first time is always so inspiring.
Tell us about your practice and what makes you unique in your space!
I worked in corporate retail optical for the past few years. I was not happy with how little time I was spending with patients. With my own practice, I have the flexibility to spend quality time with my patients. I like listening to them and treating them as an individual. I want each and every one of my patients to be comfortable with me and be able to share my knowledge and expertise to help improve their quality of life.
How has the Katy community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The first few months of a new business are rarely easy. But I was so grateful to the friends and neighbors who came out to support me, promoted me to their circles and encouraged me throughout my journey.
Best advice for working moms who experience the inevitable and dreaded MOM GUILT?
We cannot be everything all the time. It is OK to occasionally immerse yourself in your other roles in life.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
My grandmother was widowed when my dad was 9. She had very limited education and finances. Yet she managed to get her three children through school and raised them to be responsible adults.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
Knowing that I would not want it to be any other way.
Name one thing you hope your kids look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama?
Their mama loved them! I never ever want them to doubt that!
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Enjoy this flat stomach while you can!!
To learn more about Dr. Samina and her business, visit the Innovission website.