May 27, 2020

Double duty: New survey shows moms are burnt out, multitasking amid the pandemic

Since the beginning of the pandemic, an overwhelming 95% of moms are multitasking, for an average of nearly 8 hours a day.

LAKEVILLE, Minn., May 27, 2020 – Since the beginning of the pandemic, an overwhelming 95% of moms are multitasking, for an average of nearly 8 hours a day, which means moms are squeezing in at least a whole extra day’s work every single day. This data is among the findings from a new national Malt-O-Meal® “Moms Need a Break!” survey conducted by Wakefield Research. Long a champion of moms, the Malt-O-Meal (MOM) brand of ready-to-eat cereals created the survey to understand how the pandemic is affecting moms and their outlook in the coming months.

The survey also found:

  • More work taking a toll: More than half of U.S. moms (55%) have seen their workloads increase at home for nearly 9 in 10 (89%), that increase has taken a toll on their well-being. More than 3 in 5 moms (61%) report feeling more stressed, 48% are more anxious, 46% worry more often, 27% get sad more often and 26% are easier to anger.
  • No “me” time: With added responsibilities as teachers, coaches, playmates, short-order cooks and more, moms are finding it hard to make time to care for themselves. Nearly a third (32%) say that they only have one hour a day for self-care. And more than 1 in 8 moms (13%) say that they have no time for self-care at all.
  • Running on empty: When asked about the ways they are destressing, 60% of moms say they are binge-watching TV or movies, 43% are eating more, 38% are exercising, 35% are sleeping more, 35% are baking more, 24% are drinking more and 24% are crafting more. But 7% of moms haven’t had a chance to destress at all since the outbreak’s beginning.
  • Avoidance tactics: Moms are finding it so difficult to take a moment to themselves that they’re resorting to desperate measures. Nearly half of all moms (48%) say that they have avoided or hidden from their children in order to get some time to relax. For moms working from home, that number increases to 61%.
  • Stressed to the max: And moms’ emotional well-being isn’t going to improve as they continue to worry about the world around them. Top contributors to moms’ stress and burnout include finances (33%), home-schooling (32%), feeling isolated from friends and family (28%), health and wellness (19%), and work (18%).
  • But still loving their kids to the max: Despite all of the hardships and extra time spent with their kids since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, 69% of moms say that changing 100 dirty diapers a week would be worse than continuing to shelter in place with their kids all summer. Even though being a mom is really, really hard right now, there’s nothing like being there for your kids.

“It’s clear that moms are burnt out and in need of a much-deserved break,” said Jessica Wobschall, Senior Brand Manager of Malt-O-Meal, and mother of two with another on the way. “As a brand that has been there for moms for over 100 years, we wanted our survey to draw attention to the job of being a mom, which for many has expanded significantly right now, and find some way to provide a little relief.”

MOM to the Rescue

To honor all of the important and extra work moms across the country are doing right now, Malt-O-Meal is giving away $30,000 worth of personalized gifts to moms (two $500 gifts each day for 30 days), plus Malt-O-Meal cereal for each winner’s pantry, via a “MOM to the Rescue” social contest on the brand’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Launching today and running through June 25, moms are invited to share their challenges and solutions from the home front for the chance to win a customized gift, curated from local businesses in their communities. Whether it’s a take-out date night from a beloved local restaurant or a future day of relaxation at a favorite spa, moms need relief, and Malt-O-Meal is making it happen.

“Our survey found that 66% of moms would prefer to get a gift they can use right now during this crisis, and 34% would prefer a gift they can look forward to after a return to a more normal schedule,” Wobschall said. “We want moms to know they are appreciated, and we thought that it would be nice to help local businesses in their communities that may have been hurt during this time too.”

Malt-O-Meal is here to rescue Moms

Moms don’t anticipate a return to more normalcy any time soon

Nearly 3 in 4 moms (72%) think daily life will continue to be impacted by the pandemic for three or more months, with the average estimated length of time being nearly seven months (6.96). And when asked what will lead them to believe that daily life is actually returning to “normal,” 1 in 5 moms (20%) say that “nothing will lead me to believe that daily life is actually returning to normal.”

As restrictions begin to ease and as summer break begins for many, moms shared their perspective on what they think might happen and how their behaviors may or may not change as a result:

  • Maintaining the way they eat: 94% of moms expect to continue the food routines they’ve adopted since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak over the summer.
    • 71% of moms expect to continue to do more home cooking
    • 47% expect to eat out less at restaurants
    • 23% expect more take-out
    • Only 4% expect more eating out at restaurants
    • Only 3% expect to be doing less home cooking
  • Summer state of mind: 77% of moms say it’s unlikely that their children will attend a one-week program like camp or daycare this summer. That means one of the reprieves many moms have is off the table all summer long.
  • Most looking forward to: Surprisingly, considering all of the together time during state stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, 38% of moms say they are most looking forward to taking a trip with the family when daily life returns to normal. Other activities moms are looking forward to as restrictions ease include:
    • Meeting up with a loved one they cannot see right now (22%)
    • Going to a favorite restaurant (18%)
    • Having some time alone (11%)
    • Taking a self-care trip alone, such as to a spa (9%)

For more information on how to enter the contest and see how Malt-O-Meal is helping moms, visit the brand’s Facebook or Instagram pages. To learn more about Malt-O-Meal cereal, visit:

 About Malt-O-Meal® Ready-to-Eat Cereals

The Malt-O-Meal brand features more than 30 flavors of ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals that appeal to every taste bud in the family. Eight of the top 40 selling RTE cereals in terms of pounds sold are Malt-O-Meal brand, including Frosted Mini Spooners®, Golden Puffs®, Cinnamon Toasters®, Fruity Dyno-Bites®, Cocoa Dyno-Bites® and Berry Colossal Crunch®. The brand is a leader in the value cereal segment, offering great taste at an affordable price. A majority of its cereals are packed in re-sealable bags, without an exterior cardboard box, reducing the amount of consumer waste by 75 percent, compared with a similarly sized bag-in-a-box cereal.

About Post Consumer Brands

Post Consumer Brands is a business unit of Post Holdings Inc., formed from the combination of Post Foods and MOM Brands in May 2015. Headquartered in Lakeville, Minn., Post Consumer Brands today is the third-largest cereal company in the United States, with a broad portfolio of products spanning all segments of the category — from iconic household name brands and value ready-to-eat cereals to natural/organic and hot cereal varieties. As a company committed to high standards of quality and to our values, we are driven by one idea: To make better happen every day. For more information about our brands, visit

Editor’s note: Malt-O-Meal created the “Moms Need a Break!” survey to better understand how the pandemic is affecting moms and what their outlook is in the coming months. The survey was conducted online among a national probability sample of 1,000 U.S. moms of kids ages 1 to 17 by Wakefield Research between May 13 and May 18, 2020.