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September 1, 2011

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Shanghai moms pretty happy

SHANGHAI mothers are the third-happiest moms on the Chinese mainland, after those in Yunnan Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, according to a survey about pressure from work, life and child raising.

The survey revealed the feelings of mothers from all 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the mainland.

One key finding: Happiness is not necessarily related to a city or region's wealth and development. It is pressure that mothers care about the most.

Beijing and Shandong Province round out the top five provinces and municipalities where mothers are happiest, said the online survey of nearly 2,700 people. Half of those questioned were mothers with children younger than one year old and half were working mothers.

For mothers in mainly rural Yunnan Province in China's southwest, the major source of happiness comes from lack of daily pressure, officials from, the survey conductor, said yesterday.

"The survey was prompted by a previous survey ... which found Chinese mothers' feeling of happiness ranked No.61 worldwide and No.18 in developing countries," said Guo Shuang, a babytree official. "We wanted to find the reasons for mothers' unhappiness and help them find solutions."

Low income and children's daily care are the major sources of pressure.

About 32 percent of new mothers nationwide complained that their pay can't meet high child-rearing costs once they go back to work, while 30 percent were anxious about grandparents' improper child-raising concepts and measures.

"I always quarrel with my parents about how to teach and raise my son," said Jenny Tang of Shanghai, who has a two-year-old boy.

"They just use candies and snacks to calm down the boy instead of teaching him about discipline."

The survey found that women's age when they give birth influences happiness. Women having children when they are in their late 20s are happier than those becoming mothers while in their early 20s, likely because they have a more mature mental status, better family relationships and may be economically better off than younger moms.

Researchers also spotted a pattern as the mothers' children go through life. They usually feel a strong satisfaction and happiness when their kids are born, then the feeling starts to drop while their babies grow. Happiness rises again when their children go to kindergarten but then declines again when children go to primary school.


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