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New poll on desiring to have kids

Dear Abby: Many years ago an advice columnist (your mother?) posed the question to her readers, "If you had it to do over again, would you still have children?" I'm wondering when the information was collected and what the results of that inquiry were, and if you asked the same question today, what the majority of your readers would answer.

-- Ready2bdone in Phoenix

Dear Ready2bdone: The columnist was Ann Landers (my mother's twin sister), and while I remember the poll, I don't recall the date. I do remember that the responses arrived on postcards because it predated the establishment of the Internet.

The results were considered shocking at the time because the majority of responders said they would NOT have children if they had it to do over again. I'm printing your question because it will be interesting to see if feelings have changed over the intervening years.

> Caring for mom

Dear Abby: My widowed 82-year-old mother will return home soon after a stay in an extended care facility. She'll need unskilled 2 4/7 care for a month or so.

I'm the only family member who doesn't work, so my siblings expect me to take care of her. Mom suggested hiring someone to stay with her and everyone thought it was a good idea. However, when I said I'd do it and Mom could pay me, everyone was outraged! My siblings think that because I'm her daughter, I should do it for nothing. I say the deal would be between Mom and me and it's none of their concern. What do you think?

-- Mind Your Own Business in Washington State

Dear M.Y.O.B.: I'm glad you asked. If you need the money, make the deal. If you don't need the money, then give your mother the help she needs out of love, respect and gratitude for the care she gave you when you needed it.

Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

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