CHINA - MANY OLDER WOMEN HELP RAISE GRANDCHILDREN
A photo from the post 'Laolao'
July 11, 2013 - Editor: Sun Xi
A well-illustrated online post called 'Laolao Is Busy' has
gone viral among Chinese netizens. 'Laolao' means maternal grandmother in
Chinese and the post depicts the life of an ordinary grandmother taking care of
Over 20,000 netizens have commented on it. One said, "My mother raised me. Now she is helping raise my child. Chinese elderly people live a hard life."
An online mini survey shows that 44 out of 50 young mothers of children aged from 1 to 3 have their mother or mother-in-law on hand to help with their child.
Netizen Huang from central China's Hubei Province was moved to tears by the post, saying that it is a true portrayal of her own mother.
"In order to help me take care of my 2-year-old daughter and my family, she moved in with us, from our hometown to a totally unfamiliar city," she said.
Another netizen sharply pointed out that young couples these days are in no position to raise children on their own. "They cannot quit their jobs or they will have no money to support the child and the family. They have no choice but to ask their parents for help."
Another netizen Linzi said that as a mother, she feels ashamed that she spends so little time with her child but that as a daughter, she is even more ashamed that her mother, who should be enjoying her leisurely twilight years, is still working hard.
According to Linzi, her mother applied for a child-raising training course as soon as she found out that Linzi was pregnant. Her mother has also learned how to use the Internet to read up on child-raising.
Sociologist Mei Zhigang from Central China Normal University said that having elderly grandparents take care of children consumes their time and energy.
"Young couples need to consider their parents' health and life. Grandparents do enjoy helping out, but overdoing it will burden them. Young couples must consider hiring babysitters to lift the pressure," he said.