DEAR ABBY: I'm a 20-year-old single mom of a 17-month-old son. I love my baby dearly, but lately I feel I'm missing out on life. I feel like I need to go out on my own and find myself.
Before I got pregnant I had plans to go to college, work abroad and experience life. My mom says if I do it, I would be running away, that I can't take a break from being a mom, even for a little while, and come back and be a mom again. I know being a parent means all or nothing, but I'm still just a kid myself.
If I did leave, I'd go somewhere and use that time effectively. I have thought about going to school in Colorado where I could experience something different and give myself a shot at a better career. Would it be running away and leaving my baby if I did that? -- YOUNG AND RESTLESS IN IDAHO
DEAR YOUNG AND RESTLESS: Your mother is right. You are responsible for the welfare and emotional development of your baby. While this does not mean you can't have some social life, please recognize that your son needs consistency. He should not be left for an extended period of time. Take the college courses, but take them locally. Foreign travel to "find yourself" will have to wait because leaving your son now could cause lifelong repercussions.