We exist to inspire and connect a community of women to rethink and reimagine what parenting, entrepreneurship, work, and motherhood looks like.
Tell the stories of women and their journeys across pregnancy, parenting, entrepreneurship, and leadership, with a focus on how they’ve transformed (themselves, their work, their beliefs) as part of the process.
Build a thriving media company that connects an incredible number of women, parents, and entrepreneurs together to help them realize, grow, rethink, and build the next iterations of what work and parenting can look like.
The following are ten core values of Startup Pregnant media:
1 — We speak first using the words ‘in my experience’.
Our favorite three words are “in my experience.” 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 that guides us is knowing that there are multiple experiences, perspectives, and choices that we each make for ourselves along the way. Listen to the episode.
2 — There is deep power in community and collaboration.
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 the episode.
3 — Work-life balance is a myth. There is fit and there is tension.
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. Listen to the episode.
4 — Life is not all hard labor.
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. Listen to the episode.
5 — Plans are important. And things rarely go according to plan.
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. Listen to the episode.
6 — What ‘work’ looks like today is broken.
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. Listen to the episode.
7 — You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done.
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. Listen to the episode.
8 — Feelings matter.
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. Listen to the episode.
9 — Most of us have a sixth gear we don’t know about.
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. Listen to the episode.
10 — Culture change starts with stories.
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. Listen to the episode.
11 — Live and learn out loud.
12 — Ship it.
We shipped the first version of our core values with ten tenants. In the process, we learned a bit more about what we stood for, and added two more. Including “Ship it,” the idea that you won’t learn until you make. Listen to the episode.
“In life and in business values are important. They keep us accountable and let others know what we stand for and who we stand with. Without values, there is no way to gauge who or what is in alignment with us and who or what is not.” — Toi Smith
A purpose is why you exist. A mission is what you’re going for and how you’re going to do it. A vision is where you want to go. and your core values are the operating philosophies or principles that guide an organization’s decisions, behaviors, and relationships.