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by Abigail Van Buren

In-Laws' Public Reserve Is Wife's Private Frustration

DEAR ABBY: I've been following the letters from job-holding and at-home mothers, each of whom is critical or envious of the other.

Isn't it time to declare that parenting is just plain difficult? If there were a way to raise kids to ensure that they'll turn out to be happy, well-adjusted adults, we would have noticed by now.

Let's stop wasting time and join our efforts to make a better place to raise children. Give parents more help and respect, make our schools great and our streets safe. Let's applaud mothers who go out and work to support our economy, as well as those who stay at home and keep the neighborhood alive.

We're all in this together. -- DIANE E. BAKER, BERKELEY, CALIF.

DEAR DIANE: Thank you for a levelheaded letter. You said a mouthful.