Study: The Impact of Back-to-School on Mothers

As summer vacation winds down, back-to-school season proves to be a laborious time for parents as they undertake a plethora of responsibilities for their children.

A new survey from YouGov and Evernote has uncovered compelling data on the impact of back-to-school on mothers—from the frequency they are managing these tasks to the numerous roles they must partake in. 

Just in time for back-to-school, the data speaks to the responsibilities mothers are loaded with, the most stressful back-to-school tasks, how mothers are finding ways to unwind, how they keep track of tasks, and more. 

Key findings include:

  • Moms are handling back-to-school tasks without much help. More than a third (34 percent) handle them all of the time, and another 21 percent handle them most of the time. Only 11 percent split up back-to-school tasks evenly with their partner.
  • Amidst inflation and the pandemic, budgeting and safety concerns are the top stressors for moms of kids returning to school. Over half (58 percent) of American mothers report that one of their top back-to-school stressors among those tested is budgeting. Mothers also report concerns around safety from COVID-19 (57 percent), organizing drop-off/pick-up schedules (53 percent), managing extracurricular activities schedules (52 percent), managing platforms/apps (44 percent), and arranging childcare (35 percent).
  • Moms wear all the hats. Many mothers are single-handedly managing a multitude of back-to-school tasks every day or almost every day. When asked what tasks they are managing, 58 percent of moms plan and prepare meals for the family almost or every day, 39 percent monitor and help with homework, 37 percent organize drop-off/pick-up schedules, 26 percent manage extracurricular activities schedules, 25 percent handle school-related paperwork, 22 percent arrange child care, and 15 percent shop for back-to-school supplies. 
  • Some, but not all moms are blocking off time for themselves. With juggling the back-to-school workload, a quarter (25 percent) of mothers are not able to block off any time for themselves. For the other three quarters who are, nearly half (62 percent) of mothers are blocking it off for quality alone time, 52 percent are spending time with friends and family, and 34 percent turn to leisure activities. 
  • Many moms are not keeping physical track of family-related tasks. Nearly half (47 percent) of American mothers report keeping track of what needs to get done mentally (i.e., in their head). An identical 47 percent use a physical to-do list, and 18 percent keep track of tasks with one or multiple apps. 

“Evernote is an essential tool in my daily life—not just in my work, but in my personal life as well,” said Gretchen Fox, Director of Content Marketing and Strategy at Evernote. “Sometimes, it feels like their schedules and to-do lists are as packed as my own. Evernote keeps the moving pieces in order and helps me guarantee I’m remembering and managing it all, from back-to-school shopping lists to my kids’ schedules and activities.”


*August 2022 YouGov survey of adults in the United States. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,083 adults who identify as a mother. Fieldwork was undertaken between July 29–August 4. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

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