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State of Motherhood

The Reset

There’s no better time to reset your perspective than a new year. Whether you are setting new intentions, crafting resolutions or simply looking for a renewed sense of calm after the busy holiday season, January is all about committing to resetting your family’s (and your own) physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

At Motherly®, it’s our mission to empower mothers to thrive, and one way we do that is by elevating the voices of today’s generation of mothers. Our annual State of Motherhood survey offers a view from a unique perspective—today’s modern mother. Here’s what we learned.


of mothers said they felt hopeful and 43% said they felt optimistic.


of moms said they were able to go out with or connect virtually with friends at least once in the last month.


said they felt very confident or somewhat confident that they were a “good parent”

The Great Resignation is even more complicated if you’re a mother

Mom working at home with son


more women left the workforce than men in 2021


of mothers still unemployed left the workforce in 2021 due to childcare issues


of mothers currently employed are dissatisfied with their employer’s lack of flexibility & paid time off

“I had to take a hard look at how I was managing it all. With no flexibility from my employer and childcare costs completely unmanageable, I reached my breaking point and had to resign.”

— Katie N.

The pandemic heightened the US childcare crisis—and it’s not getting any better


reason women changed or left jobs last year – lack of childcare

Mom working holding son


of working mothers are dissatisfied with their childcare


of mothers report childcare creates a constant financial strain


of Black mothers report having zero childcare support - 2x higher than white moms and 3x higher than Latinx mothers

“[Childcare] is a huge portion of my wages, like almost half my monthly take-home pay.”

— Molly D.

The great ‘baby bust’ of 2022

Asian mom with baby

Mothers are


less likely to want another child than they were in 2021


of mothers are less likely to want another child than in 2020


of mothers who don’t want to be pregnant again, work full time


of mothers surveyed are “one and done” – up 21% from 2020

“We had our first and only child in 2021. Before we had her, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted one or two. Now, I couldn’t fathom having more than one.”

— Jennifer G.

Sex & motherhood: The good, the surprising and the satisfied


of moms are having sex at least once per week and 87% of those moms report being “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied”

Couple in the kitchen


of moms who report having sex less than once a month report being “dissatisfied” or “Extremely dissatisfied”


of all millennial and Gen Z moms polled report being “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with their sex lives

Almost half of today’s working moms are primary breadwinners—and they’re still shouldering the majority of the mental load

Mom and child sitting in couch


contribute more than half of their household income


of “breadwinning” moms also still manage the majority of the household workload. Up 10% from 2018


of moms schedule all medical appointments for everyone in the family

Pandemic burnout may be waning, but not enough


report feeling completely burned out (down 5% from last year)

Mom and daughter wearing face masks


of SAHMs report they “always” or “frequently” feel burnt out – significantly higher than working moms


of moms who report feeling frequently burned out are having sex less than 2 times per month

“Being a primary caretaker is incredible taxing. All of the responsibilities fall to your shoulders and there’s never a break.”

— Christine C.

But here are things moms said would help them


of moms said more support would help


access to more resources to better balance work & motherhood


of Gen X moms said a shift in the cultural mindset that a woman could do it all

In the past 5 years mothers have proven their power. Here’s what’s changed

Mom and baby in the bed

The pandemic has, undoubtedly, played a large role in the change in statistics from 2018 until now. While fewer Gen Z and millennial mothers plan to expand their families, more mothers are primary income earners than ever before. Compared to five years ago, there’s been a dramatic increase in mothers who are interested in legislation and policy geared toward improving the lives of families, too.

Mothers are


more likely to choose smaller families

Only 42% of millennial and Gen Z moms intend to have another child, down from 57% in 2020.


more mothers are contributing more than half of the household income

47% of moms surveyed in 2022 contribute more than half of the household income, up 10% from 2018

Flexibility in the workplace improved for


of mothers polled

18% of moms hope for more flexibility when it comes to work, down from 20% in 2018


more mothers believe it’s time for policies and legislation to change when it comes to paid family leave

77% of moms surveyed in 2022 believe better policies around paid leave would help them feel supported. That is up 28% from 2018.

It’s clear that times are changing. It’s also time for public policies and societal expectations to catch up to the needs of today’s mother. Because mothers are the key to a healthy, functioning, flourishing society—and we can’t get there without them.

METHODOLOGY STATEMENT Motherly designed and administered this survey through Motherly’s subscribers list, social media and partner channels, resulting in more than 17,000 responses creating a clean, unweighted base of 10,001 responses. This report focuses on the Gen X cohort of 1197 respondents, Millennial cohort of 8,558 respondents, and a Gen Z cohort of 246 respondents. Edge Research weighted the data to reflect the racial and ethnic composition of the US female millennial cohort based on US Census data.

Time-lapse proves moms are never off the clock