Why This Full-Time Marketer & Mom of Two Launched a Site for Moms to Share Their Stories

We couldn’t be happier to share the story of Danielle Hobson and her new startup, A Timeout with Mom. When she was on maternity leave with her youngest, she was looking for mom stories – she wanted to hear about experiences from mom to mom. But she wasn’t finding the raw, real stories from moms, for moms that she was looking for.

So this mom of two working in marketing full-time at Publicis Sapient decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship and build A Timeout with Mom (ATWM). Check out Danielle’s full interview below to learn more about her startup, how she got started, her plans for the future and what drives her to keep going.

What was the inspiration for your company?

When I was on maternity leave with my youngest, I wanted to see mom stories—the real, the raw, the ones from moms, for moms. So I launched the original site as a test to see if other moms would share their stories, and it turned out moms wanted to! I have a writing background and wanted to hear from all moms, not just those who can and liked to write, but anyone. We all have so many stories inside us. As I would read the stories, there was always a mental health component. I already cared so much about mental health in general, so I decided to merge the storytelling with the mental health aspect. And now the product is live and starting to build community.

What is your background & how has it helped you build your company?

My background is in marketing (strategy, demand generation, and product). I’ve spent most of my time building go-to-market plans, doing product discovery and product launches, creating thought-leadership and messaging, and storytelling. I never realized how valuable those skills were until trying to do my own thing. I’ve also spent much of my career in the tech startup world, so I’ve had a good amount of experience wearing many hats.

What is unique about your products?

A Timeout with Mom looks at mental health holistically, not just at the transactional phase of booking an appointment (although we have that!), but at the many stops along the journey. We create acceptance through shared user-generated mom stories, belonging with a community mindset (and events & meetups), education through professional insights, and access to mental health professionals with bookings–all together in one place. Our mission is to change the conversation around mental health and well-being for moms. Mental health is not what happens to you when you’re at the end of your rope – it’s something that occurs daily. We’re solving for it in that very way by humanizing stories, providing information in the context of being a mom, and centering it all around community. There are some really exciting data and AI developments on the roadmap too.

Once you had the idea, what were the first few steps you took to launch it?

I spent a lot of time talking to moms and mental health professionals. I still do! Understanding gaps and areas for improvement. I started with the content piece first – it was something I could do quickly myself – spinning up a website, marketing it – that was second nature. Then I started building the wireframes and contracting out experts who could build the product to its state today.

How long has A Timeout with Mom been around?

We’re quite young! Infants, if you will. We soft-launched with content in 2020 and launched our MVP in March of 2021. Building a trusted community takes time, and I’m here for the long haul.

What drives you?

So much. I’m incredibly curious. I want to leave this world a better place, and so while I’m here, this feels like my calling. If I can make one mom feel less alone or get the help she needs, I’ll feel like this was all worth it. I also want to show my kids that you can do incredible things with hard work and focus. We often glamorize other people’s end-stage – the IPO, the billion dollar valuation – and we earmark that as success in this country, but there are so many little victories that we hit each day. I get up for the journey – the little steps that keep us moving.

What is the most valuable lesson you've learned so far as an entrepreneur?

A growth mindset. Fail-forward and always be learning.

Any advice you'd like to share?

Trust your instincts and control what you can control. And, of course, most importantly, take care of yourself first. It’s the only way to be the best version for everyone else.

What are the best & hardest parts of being a parent and a founder?

Time! There’s never enough time to put towards either – so being intentional and focused is important. And I try really hard to be present when I’m with my kids and family – even though it can be so hard to turn your mind off.

How do you "balance" motherhood and entrepreneurship?

I haven’t figured this out yet…I’d love some insight 🙂

Danielle Hobson

CEO & Founder

A Timeout with Mom

My name is Danielle, and I’m a mom of two, a 4-year-old boy and a 17-month-old girl. I work for Publicis Sapient, a digital consulting firm, leading their marketing for their Transportation & Mobility and Telecom, Media, and Technology industries. A Timeout with Mom is my passion project. I have a huge interest in bettering mental health, especially for women and mothers.

I grew up in Traverse City, MI, and went to school at a small liberal arts college in South Carolina. Over the last decade, I’ve lived in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City and have recently returned to the Midwest, calling the suburbs of Chicago home (for now…). I love traveling, comedy, sports, live music, and time spent with friends and family.