We're on the verge of a significant daycare shortage in town. There are two in-home providers who will be quitting at the end of the school year. A number of families are going to be left looking for a new provider. And a number of mommies will spend many hours tossing and turning about what's best for their babies.

Babies vs. Career. This was the cover of the April 15, 2002 edition of TIME magazine. I was a senior in college. I saved the magazine - must have known that was the question that would plague me just a few years down the road.

The truth is, I always knew the answer. I always, always knew I wanted to stay home with my babies. What I lacked, was the conviction to share that with my husband, my friends, my co-workers and myself. I cried and cried after my first child was born; furious at myself for not living the life I wanted.

So I went back to work for a few weeks, gave my notice, and never went back. Daycare was really never part of my "life dream," but it helps me to keep my mini-van, err, Target clearance rack wardrobe, err, lifestyle.

What I have learned is that "Babies vs. Career" is a very personal question; one that each mommy must answer for herself. And if you fail to, one, fully examine both sides of the issue, and, two, live the life you have always wanted, you have not answered the question.

Perhaps in my community a few mommies will be forced to take another hard look at that "question of our generation." And I hope they make a decision that will bring them closer to that life they dreamed of years ago...


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