Joanna McFarland, HopSkipDrive: Frees moms from kid-schlepping

hopskipdrive founders

Joanna McFarland, center, and her co-founders at HopSkipDrive

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Admit it: You hate running your kids around. And chauffeuring children to and from after-school activities, play dates and, you’re a separated family, to their dad’s house, is one of the dregs of parenthood. It is for me. And finding a safe driver, with their own wheels, available for the inconsistent chore of schlepping kids to and fro is a chore in and of itself.

Enter HopSkipDrive, the Uber for kids. Founded in 2013 by three moms of little kids, the California startup is coming to a city near you. To thank for this gift is co-founder and CEO Joanna McFarland, herself a Los Angeles married mom of two sons, whom I interview in this fun interview. Joanna and I discuss:

  • How the three founders birthed HopSkipDrive.
  • Why so many customers are divorced families (drivers serve as intermediary between the homes of contentious parents.
  • Why the service is such a great job for moms.
  • The mom guilt that pressures women to assume the onerous task of kid-schlepping.
  • How outsourcing this (and other mom duties) enhances earning potential and quality of family time.
  • Why this may be one of the only jobs that enthusiastically accepts ‘motherhood’ as work experience.
  • The joys and challenges of entrepreneurship as a mom of young children.
  • How McFarland balances her demanding career with family and marriage.
  • No, says McFarland, a former investment banker, HopSkipDrive is not a competitor of Uber or Lyft.

Learn more about HopSkipDrive here.


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Emma Johnson is a veteran money writer, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour,, REAL SIMPLE, Parenting, USA Today and others.

The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children (Penguin, 2017), was a #1 bestseller and was featured in hundreds of media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, and the New York Post, which named it to its ‘Must Read” list.

Her popular blog, and podcast Like a Mother, explore issues facing professional single moms: business and career, money, sex, relationships and parenting. Emma regularly comments on these topics for outlets such as CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, The Doctors, and many more. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” one of “20 Personal Finance Influencers to Follow on Twitter” by AOL DailyFinance, “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and “Most Eligible New Yorkers” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker on gender equality, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality.

Emma grew up in Sycamore, Ill., and lives in New York City with her children.

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