As many as 35% working mothers in urban India avoid having a second child, a survey said on Friday, highlighting the need to devote more time and energy in taking care of parents and raising kids and increasing expenditure as key reasons.
“Considering the stresses of modern marriage, job pressures and cost of raising children are key reasons why many mothers want to stop after their first child and decide not to add to their family,” said a random survey of 1,500 working mothers having a single child conducted by ASSOCHAM’s social development wing ahead of Mother’s Day on May 14.
The survey was carried out in 10 cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai — during the course of the past one month to gauge how much time working mothers generally spend with their son/daughter and their plans of having/not having another child and the reason for the same.
Of over 500 respondents who do not want to have another child, many said that they “hesitate, knowing that their job/promotion might get jeopardised if they take another maternity leave”.
Favouritism is another important reason as to why many respondents said they do not want another child to ensure that attention does not get divided, more so as gender is a common reason for favouring one child over another, said many respondents, citing various reasons as to why they prefer sticking to the single-child policy.
Majority of those who do not want another child said their spouse did not support their decision to stop at one child.
The government should provide certain supportive measures/incentives such as reducing taxes for families/parents with a single child, so that single-child policy can be better carried out, averred many of the respondents.
Almost two-thirds of the total respondents — about 65% — said they do not want their children to become “lonely misfits and would rather make their kids understand the joys of sharing and companionship with a sibling”.