Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD: Mom of the Month [June 2022]


The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms: working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD! Each month we will feature one special mom as the mom of the month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!

Lori Mihalich-Levin June Mom of the Month
Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD DC Area Moms’ June 2022 Mom of the Month

Meet our June Mom of the Month: Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD

Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD, believes in empowering working parents.  She is the founder and CEO of Mindful Return, author of Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave, and co-host of the Parents at Work Podcast. Lori is also mama to two wonderful red-headed boys (ages 9 and 11) and a health care lawyer in private practice. Her thought leadership has been featured in publications including Forbes, The Washington Post, New York Times Parenting, Thrive Global, and The Huffington Post.

Called a “working mama guru” by Working Mother MagazineLori has been committed to promoting women’s equality and leadership throughout her career.  While she was a Partner at Dentons US LLP, she founded and Co-Chaired for two years at Dentons’ Parent Professional Network. In her prior job, she founded the Returning to Work Community (RWC) for mothers who return to work from maternity leave at Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). She also founded a D.C. Health Policy Lean in Circle.

Lori Mihalich-Levin June Mom of the Month
Back to Work After Baby: Mindful Return, Lori’s book

Here is our Q & A with Lori:

1. What is the best advice you have for mothers headed back to work or looking to return to the workplace?

First, I encourage everyone going through a return to view it as a process, not an event.  When I went back to work after my boys, I somehow thought that after a week or so, everything would feel completely normal and I’d be back in the swing of things. Not true!  It took me the better part of a year to fully adjust to the new identity of “working parent.”  Second, I think community is so incredibly important.  I spent way too much time alone, isolated and crying on the kitchen floor in the early days of working parenthood. Finding my working mom posse was critical to helping me feel normal and supported.

2. Which leadership trait has served you well?

I took a leadership program in which we used the CliftonStrengths assessment, and I learned that one of my personal superpowers is as an “activator.”  This means I can’t just see a problem, complain about it, and walk away. I have to do something about it! My boys were 11 months and 2 years old when I founded Mindful Return. In retrospect, I wonder, “What was I thinking starting a company at that time in life!?” I’m so grateful the “activator” passion kicked in and I went forward with the idea anyway.

3. How does parenthood serve as a training ground for leadership (and not a career ender)?

OH, I love this question!! I am such a huge fan of talking about all of the ways parenthood makes us better leaders. Did you know there is neuroscience research (by Dr. Ruth Feldman at Yale Medical School) that shows that the one single year in our entire adult human lives when our brains are the most neuroplastic is the year following the birth of our children? We gain skills like empathy, prioritization, efficiency, negotiation skills, and patience that are so incredibly useful to us as leaders. Check out Amy Henderson’s book Tending: Parenthood and the Future of Work for more on this subject.

Do you know an amazing mom that would be a great mom of the month? Nominate them here!