Australian mothers feel undervalued: survey


SYDNEY, AFP

Most mothers have probably thought it at one time or another, but a new Australian survey confirms they feel undervalued by … just about everybody.

A nationwide Newspoll survey conducted here has found that 92 percent of mothers believe raising children to be their greatest achievement.

However, about the same proportion of mothers told researchers they felt undervalued by society.

The survey results, published Tuesday, showed two-thirds of mothers said having children meant weeks passed by before they were able to enjoy any time solely for themselves.

A third of respondents said motherhood had compromised their careers, reporting also their confidence about returning to the workforce had suffered.

The survey was conducted on behalf of MotherInc, a lobby group formed by … mothers.

It was the brainchild of businesswoman and former journalist Claudia Keech, who said the idea for the organization had its gestation period while she watched her son playing in the grounds of his school.

“I sat in the playground and watched the mums coming and dropping the kids off, and I saw that whether you were a mum full time or whether you were a working mum, it was obvious that everybody was struggling coping with the ever expanding roles and responsibilities of motherhood today,” Keech told Australian media.

“Our mums had a support network — 80 percent of mums in days gone by were full time mothers and homemakers and provided a fabulous community support.

“Today we leave school ready for a career, we have our children later, we make all different decisions as we raise a young family and the support system has fragmented.”

The group will eventually offer a Web site, contact points for mothers, and even an online employment service to help mothers looking for work.