Mom of the Month: Lori Wilen {May 2021}

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The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms: working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms! 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 Wilen: May Mom of the Month

Lori is a proud mama of two, a yoga teacher and educational consultant. She lives in DC with her wife, Angie, kids, and recent rescue dog, Lucky. Lori grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA and moved to the DC area in the early 90s to attend college. She has been in the area since, except for one year for graduate school at Harvard’s School of Education. 

Lori and her wife are raising their kids to appreciate both of their backgrounds. Lori is Jewish and Angie is Hindu. They call themselves a “Jew-du” or “Hin-Jew” family. They have found many similarities between their cultures and believe that talking about similarities and differences with all people is a key tenant to making our world brighter and better.

Lori WilenIn her professional life, she served as an elementary classroom teacher, an instructional coach, and a District leader. When she gave birth to her eldest, she was the Director of STEM for DCPS but left to be a full-time mom and a part-time educational consultant. 

For most of her adult life, Lori has practiced yoga and meditation. A few years ago, she decided to become a certified yoga teacher (even though she used to teach yoga in the classroom to her students many years ago). She finds the practice supportive through many life transitions and daily happenings.

Here is our Q&A with Lori:

What is it like to be a later-in-life mom?

When I had my daughter, I was 6 weeks away from turning 40. Thankfully, I did not have any fertility issues, but I had committed myself to my education career. I also went through a few life transitions (marriage, divorce, realizing my sexual orientation, and graduate school) before I found someone I wanted to raise a family with. I am definitely the oldest mom in my group of friends with kids the same age. And my friends who are my age have much older children or no children, so I do feel somewhat solo in this part of my journey. In my opinion, being an older mom has helped me stay calm around my kids – I know there’s a bigger picture. I know this isn’t the only part of who I am either. And being in my late 40s provides a life perspective. And… I am tired a lot. It’s hard work to be a mom to two young and active kids. I’m thankful that I stay fit and healthy, but I know that is temporary too.

How has yoga supported you as a person and a mom?

I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for most of my life in some way. It has ebbed and flowed but it’s always been a practice that grounds me and helps me feel connected to myself, others, and a larger tradition. I did pre- and post-natal classes which really helped me be in tune with my body. Now I teach kids yoga, but unfortunately my kids don’t always want to join me. Every Sunday, I also teach a Mindful Yogic Parenting class at night from 8:30-9:30 pm on Zoom. It’s a place I try to share what works for me and stay connected to other parents who want to explore how the tradition of yoga can support us as people and parents. What happens on my mat reflects what happens off and sometimes it’s easier to work things out in that safe space than it is in “real life”.

Lori WilenWhat do you want your kids to learn from you?

I hope my kids learn patience, love, appreciation, and kindness from me. I also hope that I model self-care, but boundaries aren’t always my strength. So, I also hope they see that we are all a work in progress and we can always reflect, keep trying, and be kind to ourselves.

Lori WilenWe all know the pandemic has been hard, what is one good thing that you think has come from the pandemic?

You’re catching me on a good day, but spending time with my kids and getting to see them learn and grow through virtual school has been a blessing. Like all things in life, this is also the hardest part of the pandemic, but I’ll enjoy the good days when they come. 

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