Drumroll please, for an important Mindful Return announcement: we now serve Portuguese speaking moms!
I’ve shared before that I have international passions but a domestic legal career. Mindful Return has, joyfully, been an outlet for my ongoing desire for global connection. We hold monthly calls, for example, for our Mindful Return course alumni. And one of these recent calls had moms joining from as far-reaching places as Egypt, Canada, California, the United Kingdom, and Florida. All on one call! As one of these moms put it so eloquently, “it’s been so reassuring to see how we all struggle with similar issues and are able to overcome them.” Despite living in such different parts of the globe.
So today, once again, I’m excited to reach out with news of a new international Mindful Return Chapter. This time, for moms who speak Portuguese!
If you’ve been following along on our 8-year Mindful Return journey, you know that we have our signature global courses for new moms and new dads. But we also have specific chapters of our programs for new parents in the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, and in Spanish Language mom and dad versions.
Today, however, in heading to Portuguese speaking countries (including Brazil!), we are now able to serve all of North and South America. What motivates this particular expansion? A desire to help support more working parents. Requests from our employer partners to have resources for their employees throughout the Americas. And an organic coming-together of some amazing working moms.
I’ve learned, through this journey, that although we, as working parents, may live all over the globe and be subject to different policies and resources, we are more alike than different. We all care deeply and passionately about our babies and our careers. We all feel a jumble of conflicting emotions when we return to work. And we all benefit from supportive communities that can shepherd us through crazy times.
Now, please meet the two fearless mamas leading the brand new Portuguese Chapter of Mindful Return: Mila Azevedo and Carla Renfield-Miller! At Mindful Return, we are so thrilled to welcome them into the Mindful Return Team and our global working parent family.
Mila Azevedo and Carla Freitas Renfield-Miller are two Brazilian mamas who have joined the Mindful Return community as the leaders of the Portuguese Chapter of Mindful Return.
Mila, who is leading our Portuguese-language cohorts, is based in Brazil. She is the loving mother of a boy. And she is passionate about growing a supportive community for moms. Carla is helping us devise a strategy for the Brazilian market. She recently relocated to southern California with her husband and two wonderful children, a boy and a girl.
Although they live in very different parts of the world and have diverse career backgrounds, Mila and Carla complement each other’s skills in many ways. They also recognize that they are bonded by all the wonders, fears and new paths that friendship and motherhood have brought to their lives.
What Brought These Two Mamas Together?
Mila and Carla met each other in school, when they were close to 13 years old. They instantly became best friends. Years passed, and they chose to follow different career paths. Mila stayed in Brazil. She is a marketing professional and a school coordinator. Carla’s professional adventures took her over the world. To places like China, South Korea, and the United States as a financial services and banking professional.
They have remained in contact all these years, always cheering for each other and their families. In 2019, just before the pandemic hit, they came together for a common dream: to help people live happier and more intentional lives, improving their mental health through journaling.
To support this mission, they created an international publishing business called A Day To Remember Journals. They became the creators of mental health workbooks for mental health professionals and patients, and also self-development and gratitude journals for adults, and educational journals for children.
How Did They Wind up as Mindful Return Portuguese Speaking Course Leads?
Sharing a business while helping people with their mental health and quality of life was a dream come true for this motivated pair of working moms. So, after having taken the Mindful Return program herself, and after remaining connected to the Mindful Return community, Carla introduced Lori to Mila in a Zoom call. In this call, we brainstormed what we could do together and explored the synergies between Mindful Return and A Day to Remember’s goals and communities.
As a trio, Mila, Carla, and Lori’s first conversations were simply about sharing their experiences as mompreneuers. These conversations led Mila to take a session of Mindful Return for the first time, and Carla for the second. And then, magic happened! We decided to work together so that Mindful Return could reach Portuguese speaking moms!
Mila got really inspired by the lessons and the support she got from the other working moms in her cohort. She and Carla debated how valuable it would be to bring such a great experience like Mindful Return to moms in Brazil. And to other Portuguese-speaking countries. They started to adapt course materials, Mila started to translate the course’s lessons…and the Mindful Return Portuguese Chapter was born!
Mila and Carla saw the benefits of being part of a community that would be open to discussing the great and messy parts of parenting in equal measure. A supportive community that recognizes that there is not only one way (right or wrong) of doing things as mothers. And that all of us are thriving in different, messy and sleepless ways…and that´s ok!
It doesn’t matter whether we are still building our professional careers in companies, or creating our own business, working from home, or going to the office. We can all use strategies and learn productive logistics skills to help us during our motherhood and career development journeys.
Hopes and Dreams of Two Brazilian Mamas
Mila and Carla felt deeply how valuable it would be for all mothers in the world to find themselves supported by a community like Mindful Return. The power of growing this wonderful online village can impact and actually change our experiences as mothers with careers.
We need to balance so many things, right? Healthy kids, nutrition, career, house chores, family life, matrimonial life. In the midst of this overwhelm, the power of a community of people who are all going through the same messy and hard stuff at the same time can actually change everything. For the best!
Our hope for the Portuguese Chapter of Mindful Return is to give more mothers in the world this opportunity. We all deserve to know that motherhood can challenge our professional lives, yes. But it can also prepare and give us tools and skills that we as working parents can use in our careers. We want Portuguese-speaking moms to know that they have a unique value. And that they have special abilities that can make them the best moms and professionals they deserve to be.
We hope you will join us on this new and exciting adventure!
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