A wise doula told me that in preparing for birth, she encourages women to consider the range of birth experiences and possibilities. In this way, designating “preferences” instead of a “plan,” we would be able to plan for something that was, effectively, un-plan-able. Babies are the ultimate plan-changers! Inviting a human into your life is inviting chaos in. They have their own ideas and what happens is often different than what we planned or expected.
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.
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 and a fruitless exercise. Life is always changing, and our goals—many of them—are often in tension with each other. That tension often creates interesting results; for example, many women have shared that they adore their businesses and work lives, and their families have created a hard edge and new set of boundaries in how they approach work. Instead of some idealized “balance,” we strive to find the right fit for us as individuals, in this moment, in this season.
We aren’t born to live alone, and we’re not meant to parent alone, either. We are a social and communal species. For us, this translates across our startup, business, parenting, and pregnancy lives — and how we build and embrace communities of support across all of these experiences. We need teams, we need diverse communities, and especially at the beginning of adventures in entrepreneurship and parenting, we need lots and lots of support. There’s an outsized burden on parents, and mothers, to try to do it all or somehow be everything to everyone. It’s an impossible goal, and something that sets us up for failure. Listen to this 10 minute 10×10 episode on Core Value #2: There is deep power in community and collaboration.
In this special mini-series, we’re looking at the 10 Core Values of the Startup Pregnant Philosophy. These are the values that underscore everything we do, how we do it, and even how we design our interviews! Over the next ten days, we’ll be releasing ten different, short, 10-minute episodes looking at each of the core values of our philosophy. In today’s episode, we unpack the first core value and why these three little words are so important. Listen in to hear why these words are critical for any conversation, and why we can’t strive for “one perfect woman” archetype to be. There are multiple stories of what it looks like to be a parent and to be an entrepreneur, and there isn’t one size that fits everyone. The first principle or philosophy guides us and reminds us of this.
This November 2017, we’re running a contest here at Startup Pregnant where you can win 1:1 coaching with our founder, and prizes such as books, resources, and more. We’re running the contest around a special series of episodes we’re releasing this month on the Startup Pregnant Podcast.
You’re the trailblazer we need. The way work looks is broken. It’s not going to change by someone else. It’s going to change through us, building the future we imagine, fighting against what’s not working, and taking as stand. If you can parent, you can entrepreneur. Motherhood transforms you. These, and many more, are the words of wisdom from our first ten interviews for Startup Pregnant.
Stephanie Jhala enjoyed a healthy, medically uneventful pregnancy. But at the very end of the planned home birth, something went wrong. Her baby was not breathing. After a transition to the hospital, Steph’s newborn daughter was on put on life support in the NICU, consigned to a cooling sack and connected to countless tubes. Doctors predicted her death. But Stephanie knew instinctively that her daughter would be fine. And she was right. Her daughter improved by leaps and bounds, and is now a thriving, feisty 10-month-old. How did Steph access that intuition? How does she continue to trust and cultivate her mind-body connection on a daily basis? And how is she using the tools she learned in her business as a leadership consultant to become a leader in motherhood? In this episode we talk about intuition, deep listening, observation, and checking first with yourself as a source of wisdom.