Three-quarters of New Zealand children were aware of the sacrifices their mothers made - more than 10 per cent lower than the average of the 12 countries included in a new survey.

And this Mother's Day, nearly a third of Kiwi mothers would be happy with a simple "thank you".

The Attitude to Gratitude survey, commissioned by Procter & Gamble (P&G), investigated attitudes to Mother's Day - which is this Sunday - and parenting by 3000 respondents across 12 countries.

Of the 15- to 55-year-olds with mothers still living who answered the survey conducted by independent research agency Ipsos, 250 were from New Zealand.


The other countries were Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Although 75 per cent of the Kiwi respondents said they were aware of the sacrifices their mothers made for them, a little more than that (77 per cent) said they were willing to make the same level of sacrifices for their own children.

And more than three-quarters of respondents (76 per cent) said they had a close relationship with their mum.

However, this was somewhat lower than the regional averages of the 12 countries surveyed (85 per cent) and considerably lower than countries such as India and China where 96 per cent reported having a close relationship to their mother.

Many Kiwi mothers showed an obvious devotion to raising their children with 38 per cent agreeing they had sacrificed advances in their career, while 24 per cent said they had fewer opportunities at work because of their parental status.

The survey, released to the Herald, is an extension of the P&G Thank You Mum worldwide campaign begun in April to celebrate and honour mums of London 2012 Olympians.

Four-time world squash champion and mother of four boys Dame Susan Devoy said she was proud of the sacrifices she made for her children.

"Watching my four sons ... develop into fine young men fills me with enormous pride. As they get older and start to spread their wings they begin to realise the sacrifices we have made as mothers to give them every opportunity life has to offer."

Dame Susan agreed with the third of New Zealand mothers who said all they wanted was a simple "thank you" this Mother's Day.

Olympic medal winner and mum of two Barbara Kendall also said saying "thank you" meant a great deal.

"Being a mum is tough work, especially if you're juggling work and family life. As mums we care for our children without any expectation of reward. But a little thank you and a sweet smile makes it all worthwhile.

"This Mother's Day I'm looking forward to a big thank you hug from my children along with tea and toast in bed."

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of mothers surveyed thought it was difficult to be a mum with nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) saying they appreciated their own mother more after having walked in her shoes.