Welcome to the Mindful Return Maternity Leave Course for Entrepreneurs
You Don’t Have to Choose Between Being a Good Mother and Building Your Company
The Mindful Return Maternity Leave Course for entrepreneurs sets you up for success and gives you the tools to confidently navigate returning to your business after baby.
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, even though I care deeply about my company?
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 employees or investors hear or see my baby? Will my team see me differently?
Will my baby feel abandoned, and will we lose out on this bonding time together when 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 work 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. This chapter of Mindful Return is specifically for founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are navigating the transition to parenthood, while also growing their companies. 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 plan for flexibility, navigate complex logistics, and find real balance between both demanding roles. Throughout it all, you’ll be surrounded by a community of other entrepreneurs transitioning into motherhood ready to offer insight and answer questions.
This Mindful Return course is tailored for founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are navigating the transition to parenthood, while also growing their companies.
To join the global course for parents who work for employers, go to the global maternity leave course page. Check out the FAQ below to help you decide which course suits you best.
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 Two Working Moms & Entrepreneurs
Mindful Return’s course for entrepreneurs was created by two working moms and founders, Lori Mihalich-Levin and Arianna Taboada. Lori, a Washington, DC-based lawyer and mom of two, founded Mindful Return in 2014 after her first-hand experience of the challenges that come with returning to work after maternity leave.
Arianna is a maternal health researcher by training, the founder of The Expecting Entrepreneur, and has supported entrepreneurs in navigating parental leave as a coach and consultant since 2013.
Lori and Arianna met on the internet in 2015 and bonded over their shared desire to transform painful maternity leave into supportive, transformational experiences. After 7 years of camaraderie and collaboration, they adapted the Mindful Return course content for entrepreneurs in 2022, and launched it to the public in 2023.
A Community of Support
In addition to receiving expert guidance from Arianna and Lori, you’ll also get inspired by the community of other moms and founders who have walked or are walking in your shoes. Ask private questions. Get real answers. Having other entrepreneurs 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 for your company
Enter a supportive community of new mamas from all over who are building companies and 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. The Unexpected, Prioritization & Productivity
9. Nourishing Your Baby – Pumping, Formula, and Beyond
10. Putting Food on the Table
11. Turning Leave into New Opportunities for You as a Leader
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 (Entrepreneur Maternity Leave Course)
To join the global course for mothers who are not entrepreneurs, register via the global maternity leave course page.
“I registered for Mindful Return to gain guidance on balancing family and career, coping with conflicting priorities, and leveraging new skills learned while on leave. The course provided so much more in the additional resources and welcoming you into their online community. The shared experiences created connection and responses to posts were encouraging and insightful.” – Alison, New Mom to 14 month old
At $399/person, the 4-week-long Mindful Return costs about the same as a spa day or 2 hours of therapy, and the results last much, much longer. Participation includes:
Indefinite access to (1) all the course materials, (2) private Facebook and LinkedIn Mindful Return Alumnae groups, and (3) monthly alumni group coaching calls (free!) after the course ends.
A $25 coupon for your partner to sign up for any of our Mindful Return courses, including this one for working moms who are entrepreneurs 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.
Consider expensing this Mindful Return course as a learning expense, similar to how you would consider coaching or a mastermind a resource in your role as a founder.
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 Arianna Taboada 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. Also check out Arianna’s wonderful book, The Expecting Entrepreneur: A Guide to Parental Leave Planning for Self Employed Business Owners!
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 entrepreneur-focused course contains revised and additional material specific to entrepreneurs that are not mentioned in the book. There is also additional reading material in the book that is not included in the course.
What if I’ve already read Arianna's book, The Expecting Entrepreneur? Will I still get anything out of the course?
Yes. This course is primarily material that has not been included in the book, and it is organized around four themes: mindful mindset, logistics, leadership, and community. The course is also anchored around two key features: (1) writing and journaling prompts at the end of each lesson, to encourage you to dig deep into the material; and (2) the amazingly supportive community of other new mamas whom you will meet during the course and after the course in our alumni community.
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 this course and the global course? Which one shall I take? Can I change between courses?
This is the only course that is tailored to the experience of entrepreneurs, regardless of location. We very much believe that this course and the global course are internationally applicable. The global course has moms joining the course from all over, with a focus on supporting women who are returning to work for an employer. Lori Mihalich-Levin (the course founder) and a Mindful Return alum moderate the global course from the US. Arianna moderates this entrepreneur-specific course.
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.
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 are 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 and Arianna are the authors of the majority of the course content. Arianna moderates the course sessions, and you will hear from her frequently in the course message boards. 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 $399 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, please complete the Mindful Return Financial Assistance Form to apply for a full or partial course scholarship.
Do you have a question that wasn’t answered here? E-mail Lori directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.