Living: The Child-Care Dilemma

Millions of U.S. families face a wrenching question: Who's minding the kids?

The smell of wet paint wafts through the house on a tree-lined street on Chicago's North Side. Marena McPherson, 37, chose a peach tint for the nursery: a gender-neutral color. But the paint had a will of its own and dried a blushing shade of pink. Ah well, no time to worry about that. With the baby due in less than a month, there are too many other concerns. Like choosing a name, furnishing the baby's room, reading up on infant care and attending childbirth classes. Above all, McPherson must tackle the overriding problem that now confronts most expectant American mothers:...

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