Skip directly to content

See our guest post at the New America Foundation: Equality and Justice for All Families.


The Motherhood Study - National Survey (2005)

The Motherhood Study - National Survey of Mothers

In 2005, maternal feminist Enola Aird and Martha Farrell Erickson of the University of Minnesota co-authored a report on their rigorous large-scale investigation of a nationally representative sample of U.S. mothers age 18 and older with at least one child under the age of 18. The team of social science researchers found that "nearly 81% of mothers said mothering is the most important thing they do." Other key findings include:

  • "In contrast to much of the popular discourse that typically emphasizes the stress and strain of motherhood, mothers reported strikingly high levels of satisfaction with their lives as mothers."
  • "More than 92% of the mothers we surveyed agreed with the statement, 'After becoming a mother, I found myself caring more about the well-being of all children, not just my own.'"
  • "More than half of the mothers surveyed think that society as a whole is not doing a good job of meeting the needs of mothers, children, and families."
  • "Mothers want more time to spend on personal and family relationships, with almost 61% 'strongly' agreeing and 22% 'somewhat' agreeing with that statement."

Aird, Enola, and Erickson, Martha F. (2005) “The Motherhood Study: Fresh Insights on Mothers’ Attitudes and Concerns.” Institute of American Values, New York.

Download a pdf of The Motherhood Study at Mothers for a Human Future.