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Stressful new school term for working mothers

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A mother in Hong Kong was heavily criticised in June by netizens for suggesting cancellation of summer school holiday so she did not have to deal with the stress of planning summer activities for her kids.

Summer can be stressful indeed, according to a survey published in September by UK parenting website Netmums, as one in three parents are relieved when their youngsters go back, but do not like to admit it.

The survey which interviewed 1600 parents said although over a third (36.2%) of the parents said they miss their children and get upset when term-time begins, up to 30% said they happy to see their kids return to school, and a further 21.6% said they look forward to the start of the school year.

Another UK survey suggested working mothers are feel particularly guilty and stressed at the start of a new school year.

The survey published by education consultancy Gerard Kelly and Partners questioned 1,000 working mothers with school-age children earlier this year and found more than half of the working mothers (58%) felt stressed when they could not attend school events like plays.

Less than half of stay-at-home mums felt the same pressure.

ALSO READ: Tech giants woo new mothers through enhanced maternity leave policies

Working mothers were also more likely to admit that they feel inadequate when they see the costumes, artwork and cakes that other parents make their children for school events.

And nearly a third (31%) said that their children make them feel guilty if they are not around to pick them up after class or welcome them home from school.

Around six in 10 (62%) agreed that working mothers miss out on opportunities to make playdates for their youngsters because they are not around at school drop off or pick up time.

All of these are views for local employers to look out for, as 32% of businesses in Hong Kong are planning to hire more returning mothers in 2015, up from 26% from the year before.

This trend was evident in Mainland China (51%) and Taiwan (42%) as well.

Image: Shutterstock

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