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DEAR ABBY: Until a few months ago I was a full-time homemaker. In the process of easing back into the profession I left when my children came along, I took a part-time job.

All of a sudden, the other stay-at-home moms in my circle, whom I thought were close friends, began giving me the cold shoulder. They started screening their calls, stopped returning my messages, dropped out of our carpool, and no longer allowed their kids to play with mine.

When I mentioned this to my female colleagues, several of them described similar experiences. Abby, it's difficult for me to understand the behavior of these women. Is it jealousy or resentment? Can't they see how much we still have in common and that we share the same goals -- providing a good home for our families? Please offer me some insight. -- A WORKING MOM

DEAR WORKING MOM: The behavior you have described is mean-spirited. Forget the "insight" and cultivate friendships with other working mothers. They will understand the pressures you face, and perhaps you can take turns sharing the responsibilities of parenting.

DEAR ABBY: Last year my husband and I had an "altercation." I pressed charges and he went to jail. Big mistake. I should have kept my mouth shut. (That's what started the fight in the first place -- although it was his fault for assaulting me.)

I called our son in Germany and told him about the incident. Now he refuses to speak to his dad. They were fairly close before -- not now. My son and his wife have a new baby and they want to send me a ticket to visit them this summer. I want to go, but since Hubby and I are working things out with the help of a psychiatrist and our minister, I wouldn't feel right going without him. Should I go or stay home? I love them all and don't want to have to choose between them. -- HALF-PACKED TO GO

DEAR HALF-PACKED: Since you are asking me to choose for you, I recommend that you postpone visiting your son until the psychotherapy and marriage counseling are finished. Explain to your son and his wife that you very much want to visit them and meet your new grandchild, but saving your marriage has to take priority.

I commend your son for wanting to protect you. I hope if there are any more violent incidents that you will have enough self-esteem and conviction to call the police and exit the marriage.

DEAR ABBY: A recent letter mentioned insensitive remarks made about those of us who do not fit "the norm." It reminded me of a wonderful memory of my beautiful, intelligent daughter who is now in her 40s. She was born with a noticeable birthmark near her left eye. While she was growing up, in supermarkets, on playgrounds, etc., people would comment about it -- much to my chagrin.

One day, in answer to a passer-by's inquiry, she replied, "When God made me he touched me there, and said, 'She's done!'" The person's jaw dropped -- and I LOVED it! -- STILL PROUD MOM IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR STILL PROUD MOM: You and your daughter both deserve to be commended. You, for instilling in your daughter an unshakable sense of self-esteem. And your daughter for having the wisdom to understand that we are ALL as God made us.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds)

to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111; (816) 932-6600

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