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This CEO mama is working to create incredible job opportunities for new moms

Whether on maternity leave, looking to dip your toes in a project, or ready to dive into a new career move STAT.

This CEO mama is working to create incredible job opportunities for new moms

Motherly @ Work features the stories and insights of modern women growing their careers—and their families.



Allison Robinson is one of those mamas.

She’s a new mother, who while on maternity leave used her time to do her part to redefine the workforce for mothers. Founder + CEO of The Mom Project—a digital talent community which connects educated women with highly successful companies for top notch employment opportunities.

The Mom Project offers accomplished women (who also happen to be mothers) three different options—project-based work, a ‘Maternityship’, and permanent staffing.

Their revolutionary Maternityship program helps companies staff any gaps they experience due to parental leaves, and also helps mothers ease back into the workforce.

Allison and her team are committed to providing incredible work opportunities for women throughout their motherhood journey—whether they’re on maternity leave, looking to dip their toes in a project, or ready to dive into a new career move STAT.

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We caught up with Allison to find out her secrets to a happy family and the motivation to speak up for millions of women on a daily basis.

Your business is brilliant. Why did you want to create The Mom Project?

Allison Robinson: We lose too many talented women in the workforce because they can’t find the right balance between their career goals and desire to build a family. I started The Mom Project to provide mothers with an alternative career path that allows them to meaningfully engage in the workforce on their own terms and be supported by a community of like-minded women.

What was the need in the market?

Allison Robinson: Acquiring and retaining top talent is critical to the success of any organization and we’re giving companies access to a large pool of highly educated, professionally accomplished women that has been largely inaccessible.

What is a Maternityship, and how does it work for mothers and businesses?

Allison Robinson: The Mom Project’s Maternityship program provides companies with coverage through gaps in staffing created by parental leaves of absence while also providing mothers a bridge back into the workforce. For instance, if a company has someone going out on maternity leave for three months, we will send in one of our professionals who has similar experience to cover for that gap.

Does The Mom Project offer projects all over the U.S.?

Allison Robinson: Yes it does! We have new companies signing up daily all over the country!

Why is it important for you to work toward ensuring mothers have work opportunities?

Allison Robinson: It’s critically important mothers have access to rewarding work opportunities.

I believe if we can structure work so that mothers can achieve both their career and family goals, we can help close the gender pay gap, increase the number of women in leadership roles and significantly stimulate our national economy.

What are your big hopes and dreams for The Mom Project?

Allison Robinson: I look forward to The Mom Project becoming the leading destination where world-class companies access highly educated and skilled female talent.

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What inspires you to do this work?

Allison Robinson: I feel most inspired when I speak to moms across the country that we have helped place into great opportunities. Everyone has a unique story and I find the personal narratives of the women on our platform to be incredibly moving and motivating.

Tell us about your career to this point—how did you get here?

Allison Robinson: I’ve spent the last eight years with Procter and Gamble. I was able to get a lot of great experience working with some of the largest retailers across the country and learning what makes consumers tick—specifically millennial moms during my time on the Pampers brand.

What are your secrets for integrating work and family?

Allison Robinson: I think the line between one’s personal and professional life is becoming increasingly blurred. Personally, one thing I am working on is to avoid the urge to check emails on my phone when I’m spending time with my family.

You’re a busy woman—how do you recharge?

Allison Robinson: Spending time with my family is my favorite way to unwind. I also really enjoy traveling, cooking, drinking wine and reading nonfiction (including my Twitter and Facebook newsfeed!)

Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to that’s helped to shape you as a woman and a mother? Tell us how they inspire you.

Allison Robinson: I’m blessed to have many inspiring role models in my life that have helped shape me as a mother, wife and entrepreneur. My sister Holly is about to have her seventh child and she manages to do it all with poise and grace and she is such a wonderful role model to me… and I often try to channel her patience!

Tell us about your son. How has he transformed your career?

Allison Robinson: I had my first child last year and he has absolutely transformed my life outlook. I think from a career standpoint he has given me a more balanced perspective to the way I approach work and the meaning of success.

What gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you inspired and excited about life?

Allison Robinson: First, a piping hot cup of coffee! On a more serious note, I’m motivated when I wake up to see my beautiful son and to make the most out of this opportunity to help other mothers find meaningful work.

Tell us about a typical day in your life.


At 6: 30 am. . . hit snooze until my son wakes up at 7:15 am

At 7:45 am. . .drink coffee and enjoy the morning with my son and husband before the workday starts

At 9:00 am. . . meet with my team to discuss the newest project opportunities

11:00 am…provide my CTO recommendations on how to enhance our site based on the excellent feedback from our highly engaged users

At 1:00 pm. . . check my news feed to see what’s trending in workplace topics and share relevant stories and articles with the members in our network

At 3:00 pm. . . present a new parental leave program recommendation to one of our partner companies for their organization that will help them to better retain their female talent

At 5:00 pm. . . dinner with my family, if we’re not cooking it’s usually takeout sushi

At 9:00 pm. . . respond to emails and catch up on Shark Tank or Top Chef


What’s one thing you do every day (or try to do every day!) to ensure that your work and home lives run more smoothly?

Allison Robinson: A well-synced family google calendar!

We’d love to hear—what would you tell other mamas who have a great idea and want to start their own business?

Allison Robinson: I would highly recommend reading the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. It does a terrific job walking you through how to test the market viability of your idea before investing a lot of time, money or resources.

Also, I’d suggest finding mentors and advisors that push you and can make up for your areas of weakness.

What do you hope your children learn from your career?

Allison Robinson: That there’s no one path to success and if you find work that has meaning, you’ll figure out how to make a living from it.

What’s in your purse?

Allison Robinson: My iPhone, passport, chapstick, a notepad and pen, bronzer, and Pampers wipes.

What does ‘Motherly’ mean to you?

Allison Robinson: Motherly means a modern mother who isn’t afraid to rewrite the rules.

Spot on.?

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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