Her day may begin at 6 or 7 in the morning, preparing breakfast for the children. She ferries them off to school in a minivan or SUV and perhaps uses a call list to announce a rescheduled game or remind other parents about a PTA meeting. After school, she picks up kids from one or more schools and drops them off to do various activities, including soccer. On weekends she brings kids to games, prepares snacks and cheers her children on. This is the traditional soccer mom.
This term came into use in the 1990s, as a means of describing a group of mothers who might not work outside the home. Of course there are exceptions. Many soccer moms work from their homes, or hold full-time jobs. In addition to the duties listed above, the mom is associated with political groups and alliances and has been used as a term to describe the voting demographic of stay at home moms.
Most often the soccer mom may be parenting young children, while her husband or partner earns their single income. She is usually college educated, Caucasian, and relies on a middle class or greater income made by her partner. The term "soccer mom"has also been used in a negative sense to suggest that the these women are less than sympathetic toward working moms, and have little to do besides being the transportation method for her kids.
In actuality, there’s very little truth to the concept that mothers who parent their children full time are not working. Some studies suggest that stay-at-home moms may work the equivalent of two and a half full time jobs. Yet the term "soccer mom" may be slung as an insult to suggest a stay-at-home’s mom lack of sympathy with working mothers, or rigid political ideals.
The soccer mom seems to reflect, at least in the US, national voting trends. A shift from Democratic to Republican presidents was a national shift, and both elections for President Bush were close ones. These moms are by no means either all conservative or all liberal, but tend to be a good sample of the split-voting group represented by Americans. In Canada, this figure or "hockey mom" is thought more liberal, or less associated with being a political group or voting force.
In a sense the term "soccer mom" is an overgeneralization of what mothers do. Working moms are also responsible for getting kids to school, to games and to other activities, and they may be equally involved in schools or volunteer work. Moms in general, not just soccer moms, are important from a political standpoint, and the wise politician knows that appealing to this audience is valuable.