Mindful Return 201, the next-level course for all overwhelmed working parents, is finally here.
I launched Mindful Return as a passion project in the summer of 2014, creating what I wished had existed for myself as a new working mom. Our first cohort of moms transitioning back to work after parental leave graduated from our program in January 2015, and since then, our alums have been asking us, “where’s the next-level course?” We’ve heard parents saying, “don’t you have a course for those of us who already went back to work after parental leave and still need help?” And we’ve heard comments that within employers, “initial concern about parental well-being faded after the first few months back.”
For years, the idea for Mindful Return 201 has been in my Mindful Return CEO parking lot. You know, that list of ideas you will turn to one day. When you “have time.”
Stepping down from my job as a law firm Partner (more on that transition here) this past summer and making Mindful Return my primary professional focus has meant that I’ve “found” the time. Time I’ve chosen to use to prioritize this community and how best to meet its needs.
The course I am introducing you to today reflects the incredibly thoughtful feedback of 66 of our Mindful Return (101-level!) alumni, who graciously spent time answering survey questions to guide our course content and format. It also reflects the hard work and thoughtful reflection of our working parent course faculty, whom I can’t wait for you to meet.
On to what the Mindful Return 201 Course faculty have in store for you!
This course gave me a weekly community where I could show up as my fullest self. As someone who had their first baby on the cusp of the pandemic and is one of the only parents working at my current company, I hadn’t found that yet! Our teachers showed up with compassion, wisdom and created community in each zoom call.
What Content Does the Mindful Return 201 Course Cover?
While the Mindful Return programs have their roots in supporting new parents through the transition back to work after parental leave, we know that working parent life is STILL HARD, even after those first few months back at work. During the 4 weeks of the Mindful Return 201 program, our 4-member faculty guide you through expert-led lessons and conversations on the following topics:
- Week 1: Caring for Yourself (and Managing Guilt)
- Week 2: Managing Your Time (and Ending Overwhelm)
- Week 3: Strengthening Your Relationships (with Significant Other, Friends, Family, etc.)
- Week 4: Managing Your Career (including Confidence and Choosing Paths)
How is Content Delivered During the Course, and How Do Classmates Connect with One Another?
The Mindful Return 201 course takes place on Ruzuku, the same course software platform we use for our other programs. When you register, you’ll get a private login that you can use to access the portal. During the four weeks of the course, here’s what you’ll gain access to:
- Mondays: A blog-post length written lesson. A list of resources. Prompts for discussion on the private course message boards.
- Wednesdays: A recorded video/audio lesson to watch or listen to – your choice! – (approximately 30-40 minutes), with reflections and wisdom shared from all 4 faculty members. Course message boards for you to discuss the material covered in the lessons.
- Fridays: One-hour live group coaching calls for everyone in the cohort to attend. (Conversations will be recorded and available only within the private course portal. Live calls take place from 1-2pm Eastern during the 4 weeks of the course.)
When do upcoming Mindful Return 201 course sessions start?
New sessions of the Mindful Return 201 program start three times per year. Upcoming course session dates are listed below:
- January 8 – February 2, 2024
- May 6 – 31, 2024
- October 7 – November 1, 2024
Who are the Mindful Return 201 course faculty?
I am so honored to introduce you to the amazing working parent leaders who will guide you on this journey. Combined, we have 9 children and decades of working parent experience under our belts. We also represent parenthood perspectives from diverse racial, ethnic, marital status, sexual identity, religious, and family backgrounds.
Our 4 Mindful Return 201 Course Faculty are:
- Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD, CEO & Founder of Mindful Return, healthcare lawyer, and mama of 2 redheaded, school-aged boys.
- Lauren Gordon, MBA, a working mom of 3 young daughters, a former senior HR manager at a global financial services company, and a certified coach.
- George Hwang, MD, anesthesiologist, musician, entrepreneur, and remarried dad of two young daughters.
- Sage Morgan-Hubbard, MA, Director of Workplace and World Lab Learning at College Unbound for adult learners, mom of a son and daughter, and a full-bodied Black, Jewish, Native, Multiracial, Queer mother, poet, artist, curator, and educator.
Working with Lauren, George, and Sage to develop this course has been some of the most professional fun I’ve had in ages, and I can’t wait to share their wisdom with you.
Who Can Sign Up? Who Should Sign Up?
The Mindful Return 201 program is for any working parent – mom or dad – who would like to feel more abundance and calm and less overwhelm and guilt in their working parent lives. (No, you don’t have to have taken a Mindful Return course previously, to sign up for this 201-level class.) Specifically, we invite you to sign up as:
- Individuals: Anyone who could use more support on their working parent journey can sign up using the registration button below. (We do, however, encourage you to be past the first 6-9 months after your return from parental leave before taking the 201-level course. If you are in the very early stages of working parenthood, you may find a better fit with our courses for new moms and new dads that are focused on the transition back to work after maternity and paternity leave.)
- Employers: As with our courses for new parents, employers can offer the Mindful Return 201 program to their working parent employees. Offering the course not only provides employees with concrete tools, but it makes a statement: my employer cares about me as a person and a parent. Reach out to Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to offer Mindful Return to your parent employees.
- Friend Groups: Have a posse of working parent friends who support one another? Sign up together so that you can continue the conversation outside of the course, too.
- Partners: Perhaps you are a member of a couple, and both partners could use some support? Take the course together and use the prompts to help structure critical conversations within your relationship.
Here’s what parents who have been through the Mindful Return 201 course have said about it:
“Do yourself a favor and take this course RIGHT AWAY! If your experience is anything like mine, I was drowning in finding balance and self-care after having my second child, and I did not know how to recover. Mindful Return 201 reminded me that I am not alone and gave me invaluable tools for navigating guilt, stress, family-time, and most importantly, prioritizing self-care.” – Victoria, attorney and mom of infant and toddler boys
“Great opportunity for peer support and reflection on your own personal journey! Very talented and impressive facilitators with diverse strengths and perspectives.” – Amy, consultant and mother of three
“A powerful resource of highly engaged parents and professionals that fosters community and collaboration — where no question is too small, and you are always on time. :-)” – Shelby, Higher Ed, Mom of 2 young girls (9.5 months and 5.5 years)
What Does the Course Cost?
All of our Mindful Return online programs cost $399 US/person, and this 4-week program is no exception. All major credit cards are accepted for payment (in all currencies) through the Ruzuku course website.
Know you’d benefit from this course but have financial hardship? Please fill out and submit our short scholarship form, the Mindful Return Financial Assistance Application, to be considered for a reduced fee to access the program.
Can’t wait to get to know you in the next cohort!
Highly recommend this to all working parents. It has been an incredible resource to explore components of life/working parenthood/personhood. It was invaluable to connect with other people trying to balance and find the harmony in all our responsibilities and navigate the complex layers of what it means to be a working parent.
This course is for anyone who longs to be both an exceptional parent and an exceptional employee and is overwhelmed in the journey to achieve both. We learned effective frameworks and actionable strategies that can help reframe what it means to be an effective working parent while providing opportunities for introspection that can challenge our current beliefs. I highly recommend this course.
“Do this for YOU! This course expertly packages and imparts actionable advice to thrive as a working parent in a way that does not sugar coat the difficulties, with coaches who bravely share their experiences and encourage others to do the same.”
Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave