Survey: Opinions of Working Mothers on Family, Career

 June 13, 2018

Many working mothers these days not only have to work hard during the daytime, but also have to take care of their children when they are off duty and back at home.

The requirements for women as proposed by the society has become higher in recent years.

For those women working as professionals, what is their attitude towards childbearing? And how is their career influenced?

Here are the results of a recent report that looked into the status quo of working mothers, and women's opinions on this topic.

Among the people polled, 43.3 percent have one baby, 7 percent have two babies or more, and 49.7 percent no baby.

Why Women Are Unwilling to Become a Parent

The biggest reason, chosen by 41.9 percent of the subjects, is that they consider that they do not have enough time or energy to take care of a baby. The second reason, chosen by 36.9 percent, is that babies cost too much.

The third reason is the worries about career development, chosen by 35.2 percent. The fourth reason is the fright of bearing a baby and giving birth, recorded at 25.9 percent.

The last two reasons are that they don't have their own apartment and that they have no confidence in love or marriage life, with the number at 24.8 percent and 21.5 percent, respectively. 

Men and women have different opinions as for the influence of having children on career. Compared to a separate report, among male white-collar workers, 48.6 percent considered that the influence is large, 41.9 percent say it is normal, and 9.4 percent very small.

Some 63.4 percent of female white-collar workers think it influences them a lot, 30.8 percent say it is just common, and 5.8 percent very small.

Changes Working Mothers Have Experienced after Having a Baby in 2017

Only 6.7 percent got an increased salary, 60.8 percent had no change in salary, and 32.5 percent get even less than before. Some 36.1 percent report that they have been downgraded, 5.9 percent upgraded and 58 percent saw no change in their position.

Breast-feeding Mothers Need More Support

When it comes to the support that many mothers have received from their workplaces, 45.0 percent stated that they have a one-hour leave for breast feeding, 33.0 percent are protected by the rule that their contract with the company cannot be dissolved during such a period, and 29.5 percent had no business trips.

Moreover, some 29.2 percent do not work overtime, 24.9 percent have no night shift, 10.4 percent make use of breast-feeding facilities, and only 6.4 percent get a special allowance.


Some 66.0 percent have experienced depression after giving birth, with 22.4 percent having no such experience, and 11.6 percent were not sure.

Around 65.3 percent considered that going back to work is helpful to reduce depression and 13.2 percent are not sure about its influence. But 13.8 percent say the condition became worse and 7.7 percent think it has no influence.

Freedom Needed

The first urgent need for working mothers is free time, as expressed 70.5 percent. The second need, recorded at 62.1 percent, is that they should prioritize taking care of their families after working hours.

In addition, 41.1 percent need a higher salary, 40.2 percent would like to do jobs they prefer, 35.9 percent hope to have less work pressure, and 13.9 percent want to have a higher position.

Some 77.1 percent have changed their job because of the far distance between their work place and home, 38.6 percent have rejected challenging work because of taking care of their family, 20.1 percent choose to do work related with babies, and 12.4 percent have experienced other job changes.

Changing Job 

Around 38.9 percent have considered changing a job but have not done it yet, 46.3 percent have already changed, and 14.8 percent have no such consideration.

Women's Consideration about Job 

Salary is the most important element when women consider a job, and the number of women who care about it drops to 68.7 percent, from 76.59 percent, after they have a baby.

Some 46.4 percent want a better working environment before having a baby and 31.4 percent after it. Before being a mother, only 45.9 percent think that the distance between workplace and home is important, but it increases to 81.0 percent after it.

As for position, 33.2 percent care about it before having a baby and only 16.8 percent continue to do so after it. The amount of workload arouses 26.1 percent women's attention before having a baby and 49.7 percent after it.

Which industry they are in is less important, 23.2 percent care about it before being a mother and the number decreases to 12.4percent  after it, 19.0 percent care about their boss's working style before having a baby and 15.1 percent after it.

Ways to Relieve Pressure

Working mothers have their own ways to remove pressure. They try to get out of the thought of perfectionism, gradually making some progress. Going to sleep and getting up early is a useful way to leave them some personal time.

If necessary, they'd like to employ a babysitter. They would like to limit their shameful feelings of not looking after their babies perfectly to a certain degree, as it would be harmful to them. They also want to spend some time relaxing and finding themselves again.

Raising children is a responsibility for both mothers and fathers. Husbands should be considerate to their wives, respect them, understand them and help them relieve pressure, both from family and work.

(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)


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