CafeMom's MomIndex finds American moms' quality of life declined nationwide this quarter

MomIndex falls to a C grade in overall life satisfaction due to notable drops in Money and World categories

New York, NY (November 11, 2010) - CafeMom's second quarterly MomIndex study finds moms' life satisfaction has dropped in recent months, driven by decreased satisfaction around Self, Money, and World categories. CafeMom developed the proprietary index earlier this year to measure and track the quality of moms' lives on an ongoing basis across major dimensions of their lives.

The most alarming trend this quarter was moms' increasing concern around the Economy and World, said CafeMom EVP, Laura Fortner. "Nine out of ten of moms said they often worry about the economy and jobs. 27% of moms report dealing with a household job loss in the past year and only 40% feel their family finances are on the right track. This poor financial outlook seems to aggravate already distrustful feelings around government, leaving fewer than 1 in 5 moms feeling the country is headed in the right direction."

The Index score is based on mom responses to questions across 5 key dimensions: self, kids, relationships, money, and the larger world. The index is scored out of 100, with 100 indicating perfect life satisfaction. The CafeMom research team led by Laura Fortner and Steven Armour conducted the second quarterly survey with a nationally representative sample of 2195 moms. Insight Express programmed the survey, captured response data, and validated weighting of the sample.

Key trends emerging this quarter include:

The Index score itself is based on mom responses to questions across 5 key dimensions: self, kids, relationships, money, and the larger world. Each mom completing the survey received a score out of 100 points, with 100 indicating perfect life satisfaction. CafeMom also asked an additional battery of questions about moms' lives for greater perspective and to explore further themes.
  • Overall: The average score was 75.0 or a C, down from 76.5 last quarter; just 7% of moms scored 90% or better, representing an "A" grade, vs. 9% of moms scoring an A last quarter.

  • Kids: 1 in 4 moms believe their kids are not leading a healthy lifestyle. 21% of moms with kids ages 6-18 report having overweight kids, and childhood obesity is a growing concern.

  • Relationships: 85% of moms indicate their partner relationships are strong, however almost half of moms feel they don't spend enough time with their partners. Couples' time together became even more constrained over the past few months, dropping 26% this quarter to just over 5 hours/week.

  • Self: With less time for exercise and more relaxed eating habits, summertime was hard on mom self esteem leaving fewer moms than ever -- just 27% -- happy with the way they look.

  • Money: Coping with more job losses and reduced incomes, moms are highly stressed about family finances. 84% of moms agree their number one goal when shopping is to save as much money as possible.

  • World: Moms remain frustrated with the government and only 19% of moms feel the country is headed in the right direction, down from 22% in MomIndex 1. The top three national issues moms are concerned about are (1) Economy and Jobs, (2) Education, and (3) Healthcare.

  • While the study identified a number of challenges for moms this quarter, on the positive side the three main drivers of happiness from last quarter -- Connections, Control, and Self Expression -- held true, with some interesting trends by stage of motherhood: 1. Connections: strong relationships outside her household including bonds with friends, extended family, local community, and online friends strongly impact life satisfaction for the better. MomIndex 2 revealed that a quality of moms' connections outside the home is strongest for moms of younger kids. 2. Control: Moms who feel they are in control of the issues they face day to day, have higher life satisfaction. MomIndex 2 noted that as kids get older, moms cede control in many areas, including family health, finances and home organization. 3. Self Expression: Moms that feel challenged and make a difference outside the immediate family have higher life satisfaction. Moms of older kids have more free time and feel they have more opportunity to express themselves, according to MomIndex 2 results.

    CafeMom also found interesting new implications for marketers looking to reach moms. A mom's expectations of companies, brands and products trend with how satisfied she is with her own life and how well her own needs are being met. The more satisfied moms are in their lives, the more likely they are to expect companies to support social causes and deliver additional value to their lives beyond just offering relevant products, and will allocate their spending accordingly. More than half of moms affirm they would buy more from companies that add value to their lives.

    For the full MomIndex report, which includes details on how moms scored across each dimension, insight into the three paths to higher quality of life, and implications for marketers please see the full report at

    About CafeMom:

    Launched in late 2006, CafeMom is the #1 site on the internet for moms and the premier strategic marketing partner to brands that want to reach moms in a rapidly changing digital environment. CafeMom reaches 7MM unique visitors per month on and 20MM unique visitors per month on CafeMom Plus (comscore, Oct. 2010), a boutique network of sites that reach moms and parents. CafeMom also delivers engagement with more than 100MM page views per month on

    By moms, for moms, CafeMom offers moms Conversation, Advice, Friendship, and Entertainment. CafeMom is also the leader in developing custom programs for leading brands that want to connect with and understand moms online. Through programs that allow leading brands to join the consumer conversation, add value to moms' lives, and get members talking about sponsor brands in an authentic and viral way, CafeMom has become a strategic partner to leading mom companies like General Mills, Target, P&G, Nestle, Kohl's, Johnson & Johnson, Kmart, Unilever, and dozens of others.

    CafeMom (CMI Marketing) lead investors are Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. CMI was founded by Andrew Shue and Michael Sanchez.