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Q: I just don't know what to do. My mother has been my little one's caretaker since she was born. (She was born during the summer, so I was able to be with her for the first two months, before I had to go back to work.) My problem now is that my mother is moving to another state, which means my daughter will have to go to a daycare. I am so worried about having to do this. I'm considering not working, even though I really need to be working. I cry just thinking about this and don't know how to feel at peace. I've been praying about this situation.

Also, I've been trying to decide whether to send my 13-year-old to public school next year for eighth grade or to keep her in private school. She's been in private school since she was 3 years old. I fear making the wrong choice for both children. How am I supposed to make a choice? I know that ultimately it is up to me and I have to believe I'm making the right decision.

Heija: How lovely that your mom was there to help you these first few months. I can understand your fears about leaving your child in someone else's care. It took me years to realize that someone other than me is perfectly capable of providing loving care to my children. Rather than make a fear-based decision to not work, consider utilizing state and local resources to research various daycare options. Once you have narrowed the choices, visit them at random times to get a feel for the environment. When you find one or two that you really like, ask if you can have a trial day or two. I know mothers who have started their kids in new daycare environments while still on maternity leave N so that they can ease the transition from home care to daycare without the added stress of their return to work. You may want to begin the transition while your mom is still in town so that she can support you through this change.

As for your older daughter, you don't mention the reasons for considering a switch to public school. Unless you have to make the switch for financial reasons, I would recommend involving your daughter in the decision. If she has been in the same environment since age 3, she may thrive and grow in a new environment. If you choose to keep her where she is, don't second-guess your gut. Trust your mommy instinct to make good choices based on information you have available at the time and to react and adjust if the situation changes in the future.

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