In honor of Mother’s Day, various organizations have been talking about the importance of mothers, (obvious), their needs and their resilience. Last Monday I was invited to attend an evening sponsored by Save the Children to listen to a presentation of, “The Shriver Report Snapshot: Insight into the Complex American Mom: what she needs, wants and expects for her children” based on a survey of mothers conducted by Mark Shriver, President of Save The Children Action Network and his sister Maria Shriver. Their report was presented the next day at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. The statistics that were given in this report were amazing and I thought I would share them with you this week on my website in honor of Mother’s Day.
More than 20 million moms with children at home are likely to vote in the presidential election. In the 2012 presidential race nearly 10 million more women than men voted for the president according to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. It’s very likely that we will have the same ratio this year and more than one in four will be moms with children under the age of 18 who are living at home. Currently 70% of these mothers are working.
A nonpartisan survey representing more than 1000 mothers likely to vote was conducted by the polling firm PSD. The results were published in US News and other media. This Shriver media survey was conducted to assess the attitudes and aspirations of moms. It showed the following:
•More than half fear that America is becoming a bad place to be a parent and two thirds believe their children are less safe than when they were kids.
•Nearly 2/3 of working moms believe American businesses are making it nearly impossible for them to combine work and family demands.
•More than half of the mothers are living paycheck to paycheck.
•When asked what employer benefits would most help their families, the most popular responses were: flexible hours, more affordable healthcare and good retirement benefits.
•83% of American moms believe that education is the single most important issue for lawmakers to address and are more likely to back a candidate who supports early childhood education.
•One in three mothers cite education reform as the next President’s top priority, recommending a special focus on addressing the high cost of college tuition and ensuring children have a fair chance to succeed in school.
•The good news… 9 out of 10 report being optimistic about the future, their children’s future and their own ability to raise independent and caring kids. (Moms are truly resilient when it comes to the care and hopes for their children!)
We simply cannot underestimate the power of a mother. I hoped that the politicians and the presidential candidates (two or three?), our congressional leaders, state governors and legislators, and those who allocate funds on a community level pay close attention. It should be Mother’s Day year round.