If you believe something, does it always have to stay the same? One of the best advantages we have as entrepreneurs, moms or human beings is recognizing when our values need to adapt. Today’s special mini-episode walks through the learning process of how we established the 10 Core Values for Startup Pregnant, and what we learned along the way.
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Stories are the first part of culture change. In order to create a new future, part of the process is unearthing all of the stories of what’s happened, and what’s happening. So much of the stories of motherhood and parenting are hidden or silenced, not public. To change the narrative of motherhood, we need to start by first telling the stories of what motherhood looks like, from a place of truth, honesty, and compassion.
Most of us have a sixth gear we don’t know about. We’re all capable of far more than we can imagine. At Startup Pregnant, we believe in the power of human potential, both individual and collective. Parenting often teaches us that we have a previously-unknown-to-us “fifth gear,” and then when faced with a challenge, maybe even a sixth gear we can tap into.
Here at Startup Pregnant, we believe in the call for a greater emotional dexterity. We believe that it’s important for each of us to experience our emotions. Not just experience them, but feel them, name them, and work with the entire range of emotions that we’re given. To us, this means that you’re allowed to be your whole self. All of you is welcome here.
You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done. And startups are one of the best places to imagine new futures. It’s okay to break things, to rebuild things, and to do things differently than the way that they’ve always been done. Startups and Pregnancy have a lot in common because they are both creators of new things—ideas, businesses, structures, life—and to do so, they harness a huge range of power.
The current version of work—the idea that we work in offices, that we work from 9 to 5, that we’re continuously productive throughout the day, at equal measures—there is overwhelming evidence that this isn’t true. Research shows that we aren’t effective in an 8-hour workday. Work is especially broken for women. And when we layer in parenting, and we try to make all of it fit together, within the paradigm that currently exists, well, what we see is that across the board, it doesn’t fully work.
Babies are the ultimate plan-changers. Inviting a human into your life is inviting chaos in. There’s no right or perfect time to start a business, or have kids. Slowly, parenting and pregnancy (and life) teach us that we don’t have control over everything.
Life is not all hard labor, and it’s not an all-out hustle sprint. In pregnancy, there are distinct phases and changes, with deep periods of fatigue, moments of sickness, periods of high energy and excitement, and everything in between.
The strive towards some sort of perfect work-life balance is a myth. Life is always changing, and our goals are often in tension with each other. Instead of some idealized “balance,” we strive to find the right fit for us as individuals, for this moment, for this season.
We aren’t born to live alone, and we’re not meant to parent alone, either. In both parenting and work, we need diverse teams and communities, especially at the beginning of the adventure.
We speak first using the words “In my experience.” These three words are critical for any conversation. We don’t strive for “one perfect woman” archetype. There are multiple stories of what it looks like to be a parent and to be an entrepreneur. The first principle or philosophy guides us and reminds us of this.
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