The phrase soccer mom broadly refers to a middle-class suburban woman who spends a significant amount of her time transporting her school-age children to their sporting events or other activities. Indices of American magazines and newspapers show relatively little usage of the term until a 1995 Denver city council election. It came into widespread use during the 1996 United States presidential election.
The phrase has taken on a negative aspect. Soccer moms are sometimes accused of forcing their children to go to too many after-school activities; overparenting them in concerted cultivation rather than letting them enjoy their childhood. In 2003, the car manufacturer Nissan, who had for several years courted the "soccer-mom" image, repositioned its Quest minivan as "stylish, sexy and desirable".