Re­port: Gen­er­a­tion of moth­ers born in 1990s will­ing to sac­ri­fice

Ca­reer path takes sec­ond place for 70% of young women sur­veyed

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHENMENGWEI chenmengwei @chi­nadaily.com.cn

Many tag the young gen­er­a­tion born in the 1990s as re­bel­lious, and in some cases even self­ish, yet a re­cent re­port re­vealed that when they be­come moth­ers, they tend to sac­ri­fice more for their chil­dren — in­clud­ing their ca­reers.

More than 70 per­cent of th­ese young moth­ers choose to put their jobs aside to take care of their ba­bies whole­heart­edly, and they want to do it alone, with­out their par­ents’ help.

By con­trast, moth­ers born in the pre­vi­ous decade lean more to­ward the work­place. About 46 per­cent of those born in the 1980s main­tain a full-time job, and nearly half of them want a help­ing hand from their par­ents, ac­cord­ing to the 2016 Na­tional Par­entsChil­dren Re­la­tion­ship Re­port.

The re­search was jointly con­ducted by Vinda, a lead­ing toi­let pa­per com­pany in China; the In­sti­tute of Pop­u­la­tion and La­bor Eco­nom­ics of the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences; JD.com, a ma­jor e-com­merce com­pany; and Babytree.com, a pop­u­lar on­line par­ent­ing com­mu­nity. The re­port was re­leased on Mon­day.

Since April, the re­searchers con­tacted 7,501 fam­i­lies in dif­fer­ent parts of China whose chil­dren are be­low 12 years old. They used Babytree’s user database for on­line ques­tions and com­bined the re­sults with JD.com’s con­sumer habits track.

They also found that chil­dren whose moth­ers have a full-time job are more likely to get along with their fam­i­lies and friends, though the ex­act rea­son was un­clear.

Wang Guangzhou, a se­nior re­searcher with the In­sti­tute of Pop­u­la­tion and La­bor Eco­nom­ics, who led the re­search, said the re­port to some ex­tent filled in a blank in aca­demics to fo­cus on young par­ents who have two chil­dren or plan to have a sec­ond one. But Wang also ad­mit­ted that the time spent was not enough and more ef­forts should be made in the fu­ture.

“Most of the things we found were just as we pre­dicted. But I’m sur­prised to find out that so many young moms born after 1990 want to be full­time moth­ers,” Wang said. “I think we should dig deeper into that in fu­ture re­search.”

Wang said he and his team value the raw data col­lected in the re­search but plan to up­grade it to a more aca­demic and sys­tem­atic study to bet­ter an­swer peo­ple’s con­cerns in the two-child pol­icy era.

About half of par­ents are ei­ther rais­ing a sec­ond child or se­ri­ously plan­ning to do so, the re­port said. Their pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion is to pro­vide the chil­dren with com­pan­ion­ship.

For the oth­ers, who don’t want another child, the main hin­drance is the eco­nomic bur­den, the re­port said.

Be­fore the project be­gan, Wang said he thought most young par­ents would have a sec­ond child be­cause of peer pres­sure, but the re­search found that only 7.2 per­cent were sub­ject to the in­flu­ence of oth­ers.

CHEN XIAOGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A fa­ther lifts his daugh­ter for a pic­ture at Tian’an­men Square in Bei­jing dur­ing the Na­tional Day hol­i­day on Wed­nes­day.

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