You Don’t Have to Choose Between Being a Good Mother and Building Your Career
The Mindful Return Maternity Leave Course sets you up for success and gives you the tools to confidently navigate going back to work after baby. (Yes, even during COVID-19.)
We now have UK & India chapters of Mindful Return, too! Go here for the UK chapter and here for the India chapter.
What goes through your mind as you sit in your newborn’s nursery at 2 a.m.?
How hard will it be to be apart from my new baby (possibly while everyone is home, during COVID) when I go to work for the first time?
Will I be able to fall back into my same rhythm at work after being out on maternity leave?
What if I’m working from home with my child, and my coworkers hear or see my baby? What will people think of me?
Will my baby feel abandoned, and will we lose out on this bonding time together after I go back to work?
Am I really cut out to do this whole working mom thing?
These thoughts are completely normal.
After all, you just went through the single biggest life-changing experience. You created life. And now, you’re tasked with figuring out how to balance your old patterns with caring for a new bundle of joy.
This is a beautiful time, but if you’re like most moms, you have some (or a lot of) anxiety over what the future holds.
Know that you are not alone, mama. The secret to silencing these fears and gearing up to return to the office lies in how you prepare for your new role as a working mom. We’re here to help.
Introducing: Mindful Return
Mindful Return is a program designed specifically for career-minded parents who have gone through the transformative experience of having a child. Sound like you?
This program will leave you feeling more calm, empowered, and connected than ever before. Through it, you’ll feel encouraged and inspired to start this new journey. You’ll learn how to negotiate for flexibility, plan complex logistics, and find real balance between both demanding roles. Throughout it all, you’ll be surrounded by a community of other working moms ready to offer insight and answer questions.
And now there are Mindful Return UK & India chapters, tailored for working mums based in the UK and in India. Go to the UK chapter page or the India chapter page to register, and check out the FAQ below to help you choose which session to take.
It’s a powerful experience you can’t get anywhere else.
It Starts Here!
Sign up for the Mindful Return weekly email list and get our free guide, 99 Questsions to Ask Yourself Before, During, and After Maternity Leave.
“I gained confidence in myself while gaining a new supportive community within the course cohort.”
So Much More Than an Online Class
Mindful Return is more than just an e-course. Yes, we help you iron out the inevitable wrinkles that go along with returning from parental leave, but there’s so much more here.
Created By a Working Mom
Mindful Return is the brainchild of a working mom who gets it. Lori Mihalich-Levin is a lawyer with two young children of her own. She has experienced first hand the challenges that come with returning to work after maternity leave. It’s through her experience that she created this course for other working moms.
A Community of Support
In addition to receiving expert guidance from Lori and her team, you’ll also get inspired by the community of other moms who have walked or are walking in your shoes. Ask private questions. Get real answers. Having other working moms to lean on for support will leave you feeling like it’s possible to lead, grow, and thrive in your new role!
“I think this course has been made all the more valuable in this COVID-19 crisis. It’s forcing us to reexamine what, at the end of the day and at the end of the madness, is truly important. What truly matters. Thanks for helping me ground myself in this time of craziness.” — March 2020 Mindful Return participant
“Overall, I realized that being a good mother and building my career are synonymous.”
What You Get
Mindful Return is a 4-week online class that you can take in your yoga pants and while nursing your newborn. It’s designed for your lifestyle during maternity leave, which means we keep things casual, comfortable and convenient while helping you build your confidence and maintain a calm mindset.
After the 4 weeks, you’ll be able to:
Get into the right state-of-mind to have a calm, peaceful experience when returning to work
Brainstorm practical solutions to all those worrisome logistics
Turn your maternity leave into a leadership opportunity at work
Enter a supportive community of new mamas from all over who are returning to work around the same time you are
In addition, here are the classes you’ll get access to:
1. How to Return to Work with Confidence
2. Working with a Mindset of Gratitude
3. Adopting a New Perspective
4. Coping with Overwhelm & Anxiety
5. Baby Steps Toward Self-Care
6. Building Good Relationships with Your Child Care Provider
7. Understanding Work Flexibility
8. Sick Days, Snow Days, and the Land of the Unexpected
9. Nourishing Your Baby – Pumping and Not Pumping
10. Putting Food on the Table
11. Using Your Leave as a Leadership Tool
12. Grow Your Team
13. Focus on Your New Skills
14. Set an Example
15. Avoiding Isolation
16. Creating and Living in Community
17. Build Your Community: In-Person and Online Options
18. Your Village: Partners and Parents and In-Laws
19. Sharing Good News
20. Keeping the course alive
Choose Your Session (Global Course)
“This course gave me the power to come back to work ready to go. I didn’t cry walking into work this time. I didn’t have to make phone calls to people while in my office to tell me that I could do this. This course helped me get ready to come back to work – ready for the challenges and excited about what I had to offer.”
At $199/person, Mindful Return costs about the same as a 90-minute massage or an hour of therapy, and the results last much, much longer. Participation includes:
Indefinite access to (1) all the course materials, and (2) private Facebook and LinkedIn Mindful Return Alumnae groups.
A $25 coupon for your partner to sign up for any of our Mindful Return courses, including this one for working moms and our course designed specifically for working dads. Or, use it for a friend and buy a second Mindful Return course at a discount to give as a baby shower gift.
Many employers cover the cost of the Mindful Return courses! Ask yours if Mindful Return is part of your employee benefit package. (And if it isn’t, ask if it can be added. We can help you make the case.)
Know you’d benefit from this course but have financial hardship?
Please fill out and submit the Mindful Return Financial Assistance Application to be considered for a full or partial scholarship for our upcoming programs.
If you have any additional questions, please e-mail Lori Mihalich-Levin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I learned how to view my maternity leave as an opportunity to learn new skills as a mother and apply them to my job.”
Lori Wrote the Book on Returning to Work After Maternity Leave
And this book is available for you to read while waiting for the baby to arrive or during a marathon nursing session.
Dig into the pages to learn more about the intricacies of life as a working parent, so you can feel better prepared and more confident in your new role.
When should I take this course? When I’m pregnant or in the process of adopting? On parental leave? Back at work?
The mamas who have taken this course say the best time to take it is when you are out on leave. That said, anytime is a great time to dive in. The course helps pregnant women and women who are in the thick of the adoption process to prepare, and it helps mamas who are already back at work to survive the chaos. When in doubt, sign up for the earliest session you think makes sense, and you may always take a later session at no additional cost.
If you are currently pregnant or getting ready to adopt a baby, learning and getting ready now will help you plan ahead and give you a support network to make your return less daunting. If you are already on leave – but perhaps trying to avoid thinking about going back – now is the time to get some reassurance that you can do this in a peaceful, radiant way. And if you’re already back, you could probably use some extra positive voices helping you get through the day. This course is for all of you. Check out the course testimonials to see how mamas at each stage describe their experience with the course.
What if I’ve already read Lori’s book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave? Will I still get anything out of the course?
Yes. Both the book and the course cover similar material and focus on the same four themes: mindful mindset, logistics, leadership, and community. There are important differences, though. Key features of the online course that are not found in the book are: (1) writing and journaling prompts at the end of each lesson, to encourage you to dig deep into the material; (2) the amazingly supportive community of other new working mamas whom you will meet during the course; and (3) the UK course contains revised and additional materials specific to the UK that are not mentioned in the book. There is also additional reading material in the book that is not included in the course.
Does it matter how long my maternity leave was?
No. The lessons in this course will be helpful, whether you took 6 weeks off, 6 months, or a year.
What is the difference between the global course and the UK or India courses? Which one shall I take? Can I change between the global and UK or India courses?
We very much believe that both courses are internationally applicable. Having said that, the global course has moms joining the course from all over. Lori Mihalich-Levin (the course founder) and a Mindful Return alum moderate the global course from the US. The UK course is co-authored and co-moderated by Lori and Anya Smirnova (a London-based working mama and lawyer-turned-coach). The India course is co-authored and co-moderated by Lori, Aaditya, and Shibani.
Closely following the structure and wisdom of the global course, the UK course reflects the legal and practical aspects of being a working mum in the UK (e.g. parental leave, flexible working or breastfeeding at work), it refers to UK-based resources and creates a UK-wide community. So if you are based in the UK or are moving to the UK soon, or if your country’s leave policies are closer to the UK approach of statutory parental leave, go here to register for the UK course. Otherwise, choose the global course.
The India chapter course also follows the structure and wisdom of the global course, but it reflects the legal and practical aspects of being a working mum in India, refers to India-based resources, and creates an India-wide community. If you are based in India or are from India and want to connect with other Indian mums, go here to register for the India course. Otherwise, choose the global course.
If you are joining the course through your employer, you can choose whichever course is more suitable for you, irrespective of where your employer is headquartered. If you are moving countries through employment, you can switch at any time. If in doubt or if you have already signed up for one course and want to move to the other one, contact Lori at email@example.com (global), Anya at firstname.lastname@example.org (UK), or Aaditya at email@example.com (India).
This isn’t my first return to work after maternity leave. Will I still get anything out of this course?
Absolutely. Every return is different, and perhaps there things that could go better for you the second time around. Case in point: After Lori had her first baby, her return went relatively smoothly; after her second, she had the feeling that 1 child + 1 child = 85 children…and that’s when she thought she was drowning.
It was her second return that inspired her to create this course. If this isn’t your first return, you’re invited to join the community as a voice of experience – you will have great tips to add to those in the lessons. Find out what second-time-around mamas have to say about the course here.
How much time should I plan to spend per day on the course?
Once the course starts, it’s recommended that you spend about 15-30 minutes a day reviewing the course material and answering the prompts. You can easily spend more time reading your fellow mamas responses and responding to their comments, but about 20 minutes will ground you in the material. That said, this course is for you – to do at your own pace, and work as you are able. The more you put into the course, the more you get out.
Is there a particular time of day I need to log in to the course? And can I participate from a mobile device?
Any time of day is a good time to log in, read the lessons, and see what other mamas are writing. And yes, the private and secure online platform used for the course (Ruzuku) is accessible via mobile devices. Whether you log in during your metro commute at the beginning of the day, while your newborn is napping, or while you’re feeding your little one in a rocking chair at 3 a.m., chances are, another mama will be following along with you, posting comments at the same time!
Will I hear from anyone else during the course?
Lori, the creator, designer and moderator of the course, is the author of the majority of the course content. She and her colleague, Jewelyn Cosgrove (a course alum) moderate the Global course sessions. For the UK course, Lori joins forces with Anya Smirnova who co-authored and co-moderates the UK course. You will also have the great opportunity throughout the course to hear from some fantastic guest teachers who bring decades of expertise as mothers and professionals.
The following inspiring women graciously share their writing and advice in the course:
- Sarah Rudell Beach, Executive Director of Brilliant Mindfulness LLC and author of the Left Brain Buddha Blog
- Shawn Fink, founder of The Abundant Mama Project
- Dr. Megan Hughes-Feltenberger, clinical psychologist at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital
- Alexandra Hughes, Life and Leadership Coach for Mothers and founder of The Bliss Space
- Amy Jacobsohn, Managing Director of Leadership Development Coaching and Managing Director of Health Care Services at Sunergos LLC
- Dr. Coleen Kivlahan, family medicine physician and Professor in the Department of Family Community Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine
- Kristin Lane, Assistant Director at KinderHaus Child Development Center
- Dr. Kerry O’Brien, biology teacher at St. Albans School
- Pleasance Silicki founder of Lil Omm
- Valerie Young, Your (Wo)Man in Washington
My schedule is so unpredictable – what if I fall behind with the lessons?
This course is designed with the chaos of a working mom’s life in mind. It’s easy to pick up where you left off and go at your own pace. The weekends are always good times to get caught up, too, because there are no new lessons on weekends.
Will I have access to the course materials after the course is over?
Yes! You will have indefinite access to the course material, on the course’s private Ruzuku page. There will also be an opportunity to stay in touch with your fellow returning mamas after the course is over.
How much does the course cost, and what methods of payment do you accept?
Joining one of the global sessions of the 4-week, 20 lesson course costs $199 US. All major credit cards are accepted for payment (in all currencies) through the Ruzuku course website using Stripe (like PayPal, only easier to use!). If you know the course would help you, but you have a financial hardship, contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss financial assistance options.
Do you have a question that wasn’t answered here? E-mail Lori directly at email@example.com.
Choose Your Session
Stay In Touch
Even if you’re not ready to sign up for Mindful Return yet, we want to keep in touch with you. Sign up to learn more about what it takes to be successful as a working mom, with regular tips, guidance, and support from Lori Mihalich-Levin.