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Dear Abby: A new mom struggles with returning to work

Mom returning to work wants to find right day care

Dear Abby: I am a new mom to a sweet baby boy. I am (or was) very career-oriented and never in a million years thought I would want to be a stay-at-home mom. I will have to return to work shortly, and I'm really struggling.

I have a hard time putting my little one in day care, but I don't have a choice. I have no idea where to begin, how to select the right day care or what questions to ask. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. - New Mom in California

Dear New Mom: Start by talking to your friends and family, asking if they know of a day care that's good, then make sure that any facility you're considering is licensed. Spend a little time there to see how the caregivers interact with the children.

Go to babycenter.com and search on “daycare.” You will find a section on day care centers that will give you the information you need. You should also check with your state's department of social services to be sure no complaints have been filed. I wish you luck in your search.

Dear Abby: For years I've gone to a neighborhood bar every Friday night for a few hours during cocktail hour. I have recently started using oxygen due to COPD from smoking.

My doctor says I can do anything I feel I'm up to. Well, I'm up to going out to the bar like I used to do. Trouble is, I'm self-conscious about the carrier. It doesn't bother me to go out to stores, etc., but this does. Should I stay home, bored out of my mind, or get on with the life I used to have?

- Wants to Get on With Life Dear Wants: Your doctor has said you can do what you want. I see nothing to be gained by sitting home alone and becoming depressed. My only concern is that the bar you frequent may be smoky and be problematic for your already damaged lungs. If the bar is smoke-free, go. But if it isn't, then I'm suggesting you find one that is.

Write Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles 90069 or www.DearAbby.com.

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