CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Hannah Hudson, Sarah Robinson, Natalie Ralston

EmojiMom cofounders
save article
profile picture of Jaime Buerger
Updated June 5, 2017
Hero Image
Image: LVQ Designs

In 2015, Sarah Robinson was ready to return to her job as an ed-tech consultant after having her first child, Jack. Just as she was about to head out the door, Jack peed all over her. “It was such a frustrating, hilarious, I-might-break-down-and-cry kind of moment,” Robinson says. She immediately texted her two best friends, Hannah Hudson and Natalie Ralston, to vent—and to laugh. Right then, the moms agreed: There should be an emoji to describe the feeling.

What started as a funny back-and-forth became a reality, as the three women hired an illustrator and an app developer to bring their vision to life. EmojiMom, with its hundreds of cartoonlike depictions of everything from the pain of pumping to the weirdness of a kicking fetus, was released in July 2016. Within a week, EmojiMom reached No. 3 on the App Store (it’s now available for Android too), gained a social following of thousands and garnered plenty of media coverage. “We had tapped into something,” says Ralston, mom to 2-year-old Hattie.

“The only way the three of us survived new motherhood was through our group texts and messages,” says Hudson, a mom of two. “Mom emojis might seem silly to some, but for us they were truly a lifeline—and that’s our hope for other moms too.”

Hitting the Motherlode

“Too often there’s an assumption that women can’t be creators or innovators during this stage of life, when in fact motherhood has been a deep source of creativity for me,” Hudson says. “Watching my kids grow up, seeing things through their eyes and forming deep connections with other moms has given rise to so many ideas and new topics to explore.”

Now Serving Everybody

“A lot about parenthood is isolating, and your experiences feel so wonderful yet awful when you’re going through them,” Robinson says. “We had fertility support groups thanking us for our IVF and IUI emoji and adoptive moms thanking us for our “Adoption Day!” celebratory emoji. It’s the best feeling to make someone—even for just a split second, with something as silly as an emoji—say, ‘Oh, cool, they included me in here. That feeling is me.’ ”

Onward and Upward

“God bless Internet message boards. I’ve gotten so much parenting advice from them over the years, and many of our emoji were inspired by posts or threads that pop up on the regular,” Hudson says. “We’re always brainstorming ideas for new emoji—older kid emoji may be headed your way! We love hearing ideas from our readers and users, and those get put on the top of the list. We’re also exploring some partnership opportunities to see how we can make the app grow and be even better for moms.”

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

mom kissing baby at home
Tips for Planning Your Return to Work After Parental Leave
Fact Checked by G. O’Hara
mother working on laptop while holding baby
These Are the Best States for Working Moms in 2024
By Wyndi Kappes
erin andrews and her baby for enfamil campaign
Erin Andrews on Squashing Mom Guilt and Navigating Life With Baby
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
mother kissing baby before leaving for work
These States Provide the Best Work-Life Balance
By Wyndi Kappes
woman working at desk
Study: Providing Parents With Support Makes Businesses More Profitable
By Wyndi Kappes
Victoria Monét and two-year-old daughter Hazel Monét Gaines celebrate their Grammy nominations by indulging in Jimmy John’s Red Velvet Cookies while preparing for the awards show on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California
Victoria Monét and Daughter—The Grammy’s Youngest Nominee—Make History
By Wyndi Kappes
allison holker and family
Allison Holker Boss on Dancing, Resilience and Finding Her New Normal
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
mom sitting at table at home thinking and pondering
I Was an Accidental SAHM—and I’m Done Feeling Guilty About It
By Kristen Bringe
Kristin Davis at the New York Pemiere of "And Just Like That..." A New Chapter of Sex and The City held at MoMA on December 8, 2021 in New York City
Why Moms Are Loving Charlotte's ‘and Just Like That’ Monologue
By Wyndi Kappes
78 Percent of Moms Are Overwhelmed by Pumping at Work
78 Percent of Moms Are Overwhelmed by Pumping at Work
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
mother holding sleeping baby at home
Caregiving Reduces Mom's Lifetime Earnings by 15 Percent, Report Says
By Wyndi Kappes
working mother sitting at home with baby and breast pump
What the PUMP Act Means for Working Parents
By Wyndi Kappes
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hugs his daughter Poppy on the ninth hole during the Par 3 Contest prior to the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2023, in Augusta, Georgia
Kids Take the Masters by Storm Dressed as Adorable Caddies
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
mother wearing baby in wrap while working on laptop at home
Study: Parents Work Longer Hours Than Non-Parents Amid Recession Fears
By Wyndi Kappes
P!nk attends the 2022 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
Balancing Acts: Pink Shares Her Journey as a Rockstar Mom
By Wyndi Kappes
Sanya Richards Ross and family
Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross on Motherhood and Finding Balance
By Nehal Aggarwal
Reps. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., Andy Kim, D-N.J., left, and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., conduct a news conference to announce the Congressional Dads Caucus outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, January 26, 2023
Congress’ New Dads Caucus Advocates for Working Parents
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Shonda Rhimes attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Shonda Rhimes Shares the Secret Behind How She Does It All
By Wyndi Kappes
MommiNation founders talking at fundraiser event
How MommiNation Is Helping to Empower a Community of Black Moms
By Jen Hayes Lee
Rihanna is seen outside the Dior show, during Paris Fashion Week - Womenswear F/W 2022-2023, on March 01, 2022 in Paris, France
Rihanna Says Being a Mom Pushed Her to Perform at the Super Bowl
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List