The Wise Women’s Council
First things first: I’m so glad that you are here. Thank you for finding us, for joining us, and for becoming a part of the Wise Women’s Council.
This is a place for honest conversations, kindness, and connection around what it’s like to be a parent, a business owner, and to grow through both. We welcome women and folks who identify as women to this space to talk about life, leadership, and growth. Please read this document in full or reference it if you have a question about how things work around here.
Our aims with this project and this space
We want to empower us as women with more information about what is actually happening in our bodies and the wisdom that we each have already.
We want to inspire people to consider new ways of working and doing business, especially insights that are derived from the experiences of pregnancy, parenting, and transformation.
We believe there are so many ways we can innovate when it comes to working, parenting, and living, and we want to have a space for deep conversations about what’s working, what’s not working, and what we dream of changing.
We believe in the power of community and connection, and that doing it alone (or trying to “do it all”) isn’t working for most of us.
We want to connect women together to help combat the issues of loneliness, hyper-individualism, and emptiness that come up in Western culture.
By connecting us together for honest, true conversations—that yes, sometimes will be hard—we want to promote the idea that we’re all part of a larger puzzle, and when we strive together, we can all grow.
Inclusion and Bias
There’s enough that divides us in this world, and we want to promote a tribe of women and parents that is supportive, diverse, and engaged. To that end, we actively check our biases and strive to work harder to combat systemic and unconscious structures that perpetuate inequality.
As your facilitator, I come from a white, educated, wealthy, cis-gendered, straight-identifying background and I realize this comes with a whole host of privileges and blind spots. Biases, like tides, can carry us in a certain direction if we’re not aware of them and working on them. At Startup Parent, we are learning and growing in progress, and we evaluate regularly to make sure our guest list, website images, and articles aren’t depicting one overwhelming type of motherhood or business. If you’ve got feedback for us or a guest recommendation for us, please help us identify our blind spots and encourage greater diversity by emailing us at email@example.com to let us know.
Guidelines for Conversations
Group programs can be a hard space to be vulnerable, so here are some of our pillars for how we engage in conversations. Use these as gut-checks when you’re engaging with members of this community.
- HEART + HONESTY. Speak from the heart. Tell the truth. We don’t have to pretend or posture. Tell us what’s really going on.
- GENEROSITY. When in doubt, give someone the benefit of the doubt.
- IN MY EXPERIENCE. No two mother’s experiences and choices will be identical. One of the magical marvels of parenting is how many different choices we can make, and yet how much space there is to support each other through all of it. Speak first using the words “In My Experience,” to help remind us that there are many experiences of motherhood and business, and not one perfect, right path.
- HELPFULNESS: Will this help if I say it? In yoga, there are four reminders to guide how we speak. Here they are as a gut-check for sharing: Is it kind? Is it necessary to say? Is it true? Does it need to be said right now? If all of these are true, please share.
- DON’T GIVE ADVICE UNLESS IT’S ASKED FOR. Sometimes we just want to be seen and heard, and we don’t need our problems solved. We just want to be witnessed. If you don’t want advice, label the post “No advice please, just commiseration and support!” Notice if someone is asking for advice or looking for commiseration. Sometimes we just need someone to send hugs and support, not shower us with advice. If they didn’t ask for advice, be mindful and listen to what’s being requested before you post.
- ANSWER THE QUESTION BEING ASKED. Read what people are asking for and answer the question being asked. Many of our failures in communication happen when we assume someone is asking for something that they actually didn’t say. Read it through and let’s do our best to stay on topic.
What’s Not Allowed
- Spamming people—whether in comments or in private messages. If you meet someone in this group and there’s an organic reason to connect outside of the group, great. We will *not* tolerate folks spamming members of this group with pitches, DM’s or service offerings. This is not a space for that group.
- Attacks, shaming, or hateful speech—I trust that all of you are kind, operating with the best of intentions, and working hard to contribute to the community. Occasionally our emotions and frustrations get the best of us and we may speak out of turn; we’ll ask you to rephrase or rethink something. If you consistently speak in anger, attack others, or use shame/offensive language, we will remove you from the group.
- Breaking the circle of trust—This is a sacred community in which we will be sharing details of our lives and our businesses. All communication is to be held in the strictest confidence and must not be shared with anyone outside the community at any time. You can share that you are in this program, and you can share YOUR stories of your experience of the program. Please do not share any stories to which you are not the owner.
We Are All A Work In Progress
We operate from a posture of generosity, curiosity, and kindness. When something doesn’t feel right, speak up, ask questions, and seek clarity. Ask for help. Help each other. Know that no one is perfect, and no one has all the “right” answers. We’re here to support each other, to work through hard things, and to grow as a result.
One last thing…
This is a secret easter egg (one of many that might be in the program, so have fun—I like to have fun with my programs)! That means you read to the end, and you’re currently reading this. As a thank you, here’s a video that makes me laugh every single time I watch it.