Today I’m writing to share an important update: Mindful Return’s programs for new parents are now available in Spanish! Read on to find out how this came to be, and to meet our new course coaches. Roberta Marcos is our incredible working mama coach for the new mom course, Guia para Retornar al Trabajo despues de la Maternidad. And Sergio Rosario is our amazing working dad coach for the new dad course, Curso para papás que trabajan.
How the Mindful Return Courses Came to Be Offered in Spanish
Listening and inclusion. These two fundamental principles guide every major decision I make as the CEO of Mindful Return. The original version of Mindful Return, both as a blog and as a course for new moms who struggle with the return to work after maternity leave, was a product of deep listening. Yes, I was drawing on my own personal experiences as a frustrated and confused new working mama. But I also knew I wanted to meet the needs of as many working parents as possible.
So in launching Mindful Return nearly 8 years ago, I resolved to listen to the needs of new working parents. Drawing on my husband’s wise counsel based on his background in market research, I held a focus group over brunch at my house. I surveyed working moms about their challenges, joys, and needs. And I have kept the listening going ever since.
After launching the mom version of our programs, our employer partners spoke loudly and clearly: “We need a course for our new dads,” they said. So we listened, and created the Mindful Return Working Dad Course. Our course alumni told us, “We need a course to help us a little bit down the line, once we’re a few years into working parenthood.” So we listened, and created Mindful Return 201.
Fast forward a few years, and both by listening and focusing on our goal of supporting and including as many diverse parents as possible, we now have programs for: working parents of special needs children, working mums in the UK, working moms in India, and working dads in India. We also have maternity leave planning templates and paternity leave planning templates to help guide parental leave conversations.
Now, once again at the request of employers who want to be able to meet the needs of their new parents who are native Spanish speakers, we are expanding again! This is our first foray into translating our incredibly effective (check out our employee retention data here) new parent support program into another language. And I suspect it won’t be our last.
Meet Our Spanish-Speaking Course Coaches: Roberta and Sergio
I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to our Spanish-speaking course coaches for the two new Spanish-language courses. Roberta Marcos, our mom course coach, is a CPA, a Mindful Return alum, and mama of a one-year old. Check out her interview below, to learn more about her working mama journey.
Sergio Rosario, our dad course coach, is a musician, educator, and Fatherhood Advocate, husband to a US Army Officer, and father of a 4-year-old daughter. All of Sergio’s projects rely on the support of online communities through social media. Soy Super Papa promotes unifying fathers from all over the world and providing a safe space to foster an active parenting culture and break the stereotypes the community faces when parenting.
Learn More About Roberta, Our Spanish Language Mom Coach
To help you learn more about Roberta, the coach our Spanish language course for new working moms, I interviewed her about her working mama experience:
Mindful Return: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your working parent story.
Roberta: I was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, until I moved to San Diego for college in 2011. I am the second of 5 children and always dreamt of becoming a mother. My mom never had a job outside the home. I always said I could never do that, so I always knew I would be a working parent.
Fast forward to December 2020: I had my son Eric in the middle of a pandemic in California where everything was shut down. My maternity leave was very short, and after being 24/7 with Eric since he was born, I could not imagine being apart from him. I was fortunate enough to work from home and find an amazing nanny, Maritza, so that I could keep working but still continue to breastfeed and see my son whenever I wanted throughout the day.
I started a job at a new company a month after returning from maternity leave (also remote for now) and was able to say my son was my priority. Whenever he has been sick or Maritza has been sick, I have been able to take care of him.
Thanks to my work from home/nanny set up, I have been able to breastfeed my son for 12 months and have no plans to stop until he wants to. This is something that would not have been possible had I returned to an office setting. (With my commute and long hours and my pumping experiences, I am sure my supply would have tanked.)
Mindful Return: What do you think is the #1 challenge new parents face as they transition back to work after parental leave?
Roberta: Guilt. I think the biggest challenge is a self-induced one of guilt. Feeling guilty about the time we spend away from our kids. (How can their caregiver be spending more time with them than us?) Feeling guilty when we have to stop working to take care of our kids. (When we breastfeed, pump, pickup from daycare, etc.)
Mindful Return: Why did you want to get involved with translating the Mindful Return program for new parents into Spanish and with being the Course Coach?
Roberta: As a first time mom living in another country, away from my family during a pandemic, the Mindful Return course really helped me feel ready to get back into work. So when Lori told me about launching the Spanish course, I wanted to help make it happen.
Mindful Return: Who should take this course, and how will they interact with you if they sign up?
Roberta: This course is for working moms back from maternity leaves, moms about to go on maternity leave and moms on maternity leave.
When you join the course, I will comment on each of your responses in messages at the end of every lesson, and I will also respond via email to anyone in the course.
Mindful Return: What’s the thing you’re most proud of in working parenthood?
Roberta: I think I am most proud that I have been able to stand out at a new job and receive commendations from the executives, while working from home while breastfeeding my son.
Mindful Return: Any parting words of wisdom (in Spanish!) for Spanish-speaking parents who are facing a return to work after baby?
Roberta: Comuniquense con sus equipos de trabajo, no se queden con sentimientos o ideas dentro. Sean muy honestos sobre sus prioridades y preocupaciones desde el principio.
Are you a new parent? Is Spanish your native language? Join us to make your return to work a smoother, calmer one.
Register here for our sessions starting on January 10, 2022!
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