Judging women for their decisions

When I write these sorts of blogs posts I tend to get very few comments and very few visits, I am not sure why — is it because you strongly disagree or has this made you think a little about how you perceive women like me. Please read so the next time you meet a woman who works you will engage in a conversation rather assuming that our activities as a working woman are unGodly and that we don't love our homes and children as much as you.

My parents sent me to school when I was 5 years old, I attended the local public school before moving to an independent private school for the remainder of my education. I was a hopeless student, but I loved all my friends. 

My children attended child care and then to school.

I have friends who went to boarding school.

Other families home school with mothers at home.

As parents we are making decisions about all accepts of our children's lives, including their education and its very important to understand that your decisions is not the only option available to parents and nor is it the only "correct" way of doing things. It is simply one of the options open to families and we all need to respect and accept other people decisions when it is different to ours.

I read a comment the other day that said that working women who placed their children in childcare were "repugnant". . . . in case you don't know what that word means — revolting, disgusting, offensive, vile, foul, loathsome . . . . thanks and yes, it was written by a Christian. 

I read more and more comments and blogs by Christian women who are incredibly critical, judgmental and in some cases scathing about women who work and place their children in childcare and go on to send their children to school.  The comments can be cruel, hurtful and sometimes downright nasty.  I would like to remind all women that as Christians we are to love our neighbours as ourself and these comments are far removed from loving anyone. Lets support each other and show a little kindness — more Godly behaviour and less worldly.

Firstly — the decision of a mother and wife to work is no one else's business — and often when we dig a little deeper, it is not a matter of career selfishness or ambition but rather a selfless woman helping her family, yes, selfless. This isn't vile or foul or loathsome, instead she is a hardworking woman helping her husband (as a helpmate should) and doing the very best for her children.  As long as any decision her and her husband have made are done through prayer and it is the path God has opened for them, then it isn't your business to be critical.

Do you know the plans that God has for other women, no, and for that reason we need to trust God and not try to point fingers. Being home 100% of the time may not be possible for all women, it doesn't make them any less Christian. 

Secondly — many children attend childcare and whilst you may think it is a terrible thing to do, the evidence is to the contrary. A number of longitudinal studies have been undertaken in both Australian and the UK and the data is clear — children do very well in childcare and thrive. It isn't the nightmare that many like to portray it as in their attempt to make mothers who use care as horrible selfish women.  My children loved childcare. We picked carefully and made sure we were very happy with the staff.  We had no issues,  our children did not suffer, were not unhappy, keen to attend, loved all the activities and have very fond memories.

If you don't like childcare for your children, that is perfectly ok — but do not judge other women for making this decision sometimes when they don't really want to.

Just remember that there are around 8.6 million single mothers in the USA who are working — many don't have a choose, lets support them rather than being hurtful and pulling them down. Lets built them up with our need our prayers, our encouragement and not being judgmental. 

If you can stay home and care for your children, that is excellent and the best option available for many families and lots of Australia women are doing just that. Those who do work, are often doing part-time hours to make sure they maximise their time at home. Women (families) are making wise decisions on the most part and many are not selfish women thinking only themselves. It is sad that some Christian women have such a low view of other christian women and the decisions they make.

Lets build up women and not tear them down. Lets encourage rather than discourage, lets love rather than play judge and jury. 

Thirdly — I loved school, I may have been a hopeless student but I loved all my friends at school and it is those friendships that I remember most about attending school.  If you have decided to homeschool, great, I will fully support and encourage your decision. If you have decided on sending your children to school, excellent, I will support you in that decision too. Because, it isn't my place to lecture you or your family and the decisions you have made.  There are pros and cons to both homeschooling and attending a school — how and why we decide is up to us as individual parents and as long as each child is receiving a high level of education then the decision made is fine. 

Whilst schooling may not be an option in the area you live in, perhaps the schools aren't very nice or too rough and you can't afford private schooling — I might have excellent schools in my neighbourhood or I can afford to send my children to a private school. Schools varies in different countries and across neighbourhoods and that can be factor in deciding what to do. Christian bloggers shouldn't jump to conclusions when they read that other families are attending a local school.

The same goes for university — you may not want to send you daughter (or son) to university and that is your decision. I have different views on higher education and I may not agree with you, however, instead of getting in to confrontation (and judging others) why not choose a conversation instead.  

Finally — Do not judge or call others names when you disagree. It is unChristian, very unpleasant and hurtful to others.

In a perfect world, mums would be able to stay home and care for their children and it would be wonderful, but many cannot so they have to make decisions that might not always be perfect, but believe me, their children will turn out just fine if their homes are full of LOVE and grace.

It is easy to demonise other people's chooses because it is different to yours and forget that yours may not be perfect either.

Stop looking over your shoulder at what others do, focus on your family and let God look after others. You have no idea how He works in other homes and to honest, it isn't your business.

As women, we are here to offer support, encouragement, love, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a smile of friendship and not calling others names.  Take the bible verse "Love thy neighbour" to heart and the next time you meet a mum in bogland that works and maybe have her children in childcare . . .

. . . don't start to lecturing her, ask her about her day. 

Ask her how things are going, talk . . . and you might find out some amazing things about this woman and become good friends. 

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

Proverbs 12:18


  1. From a fellow Aussie I will gladly comment on your very heartfelt and thought provoking post. First of all I have noticed lately that many people in social media are using terminology incorrectly, carelessly or in ignorance to it's true meaning. For example the other day some one shared a facebook video of animals being slaughtered in staggering numbers with the comment that it was animal genocide. Nothing could be further from the truth since genocide is where one ethnic group tries to murder and erase another from the planet. Farmers want to continue to bred animals ion order to make a profit. I felt that this comment was completely uncalled for and even hurtful for those (like my husband) who have lived in a country where genocide took place. I think it is because they like the punch of sensationalism it brings. I am a mother of 5 children. My husband is a Maths teacher. I have 2 university degrees but have chosen to stay at home. I did send my first 2 children to public school up to year 3 but since then have home schooled. This year my eldest (16yrs) is attending TAFE to complete a Tertiary Preparation Course and plans to study a Bachelor of Science at ANU. I have 3 children schooling at home and a toddler who will start in 2 years. This is my decision which for me was a journey and one like many others who home school their children was taken with much thought and conviction. I think because it was such a struggle for home schooling SAH parents to come to their decision and they often receive such criticism from the community and their family, they often lash out in a similar way to those who have chosen a different path from themselves. This is very sad especially when it involves Christians and I'm sorry that you were hurt by a careless and uncalled for comment. of course we all want to do what is best for our family and while we can have a civil conversation about why we do what we do, it should never involve judgement or belittlement. some times things that some working mothers say do grate on me, such as they work because they have to, but then I see them with voluntary debt up to their ears for luxuries that are not necessary (please understand this is only a generalisation and I know many mothers are just struggling to meet the basics)when I have forgone many of those luxuries to be able to stay at home. But that is my decision and I don't have the right to put others down because their choice is different from mine. I think that on reflection it is so sad that our in our culture it is almost the norm to put others down in order to validate ourself, especially women. Even in home school groups there are divisions and snobbery. Judgements about what curriculm you choose to use, whether you encourage your children to pursue further education, your family size etc. A lady who is part of our home school group recently spoke at a local home school conference about pathways to tertiary education. When I asked her how it went she replied Ok but she was saddened and hurt by the cliques. One group of parents were very critical of her choice to encourage her 3 children to pursue tertiary qualifications. This group of mothers held a paternalistic view of marriage where the husband is the absolute authority and the number of children you had were a badge of honour. She was asked if the reason she only had 3 children was because she believed in sending her children to university and the cost it would involve to send multiple children. I apologise for this very long comment but I just wanted to put out there that it's so sad that we are often so too willing to judge others when their decision is different from our own. I hope that one day we can live in a society where we can discuss different life choices without derision.

    1. THANKYOU so much for responding as you have hit the nail on the head so to speak - there is such division and its ridiculous, no wonder some non-Christians are so scathing of Christians as this sort of behaviour is completely un-Christians in every way. And sadly, I have found women to be particular bad at pulling down other women - their sisters in Christ.

      The comments your friend received about higher education and the number of children she has is one I have come across so often, there are blogs that are very anti higher education in particular for girls and want women to have as many children as physically possible and if you aren’t in that camp, watch out, it means you aren’t a Christian as far as they are concerned. I have been asked if I work so I can afford holidays and a big house –no, if only they stopped to have that conversation they would discover that I work for a very different reason and my holidays involve visiting my elderly parents in another state and visiting two cousins to offer support and friendship - no luxury holidays for me. And no, our house is small.

      I have family who homeschool and I think its great and I am fully supportive of them and help where I can.

      This is not the grace that God talks about, this isn’t about loving one another — this is really nasty behaviour and not one of a meek and quiet woman, sadly :(

      Have a wonderful week and thankyou again.

  2. Do you hear me applauding?
    Well, done both you and Theresa!


  3. When I form my opinion on the work/family balance, there were many days of my childhood that I wanted to do things but my mom put her job first and I was totally denied them. I never got into sports or band or drama or dance or cheering or girls scouts or YMCA activities or before and afterschool activities, for example, because she was getting home maybe at 7:30 everyday... and t-ball or whatever it was just didnt fit her schedule. So I never played outside with my parents much, we never saw movies or went out to eat, we never played board games and only sometimes do I remember going to a park with my dad. My mother is not the type of person to cherish her two kids.... and she had a rough childhood herself so I can understand that she doesnt understand how to support us. She just knows how to work her shift, be on call all night, and repeat the same the next day with gusto.

    Although its remarkable how much she put into her job, I dont think that this neglect is right either. Someday I hope that she might regret not investing her time with us. <3

    Whether a mother works or not, I think kids need to feel loved and important. Thank you for this reminder that women who work can be awesome mothers too

    1. Dear Kate,

      I am so sorry to hear your childhood experience - what your mother did was wrong and I don’t advocate those sort of working hours for women with children. They are fine if the woman is single, then she can dedicate her entire time to work if she so wishes, but it isn’t wise or good when one has a family. I only choose jobs that suit my family and have never made my family fit around my work. My advice to any woman that needs to work, choose VERY careful because even though you may need to work, your family needs must always be at the forefront of your thinking. My children were still about to attend their music classes, go to cubs and scouts and sport because they were important to them.

      Many of the mums I work with who have young children only work part-time which I think is an excellent idea – it’s the best of both worlds. You are right, children need lots of love and need to feel important and wanted – a career mum often is so dedicated to her job, her children are secondary and that is really sad. And for most mums who really struggle with juggling both work and family, I would always suggest they put family first rather than try to do both, not only for her family, but for her own well-being.

      I do hope you mum realises one day how sad she has made you.

      Have a wonderful day – God bless.

  4. Something Mother Theresa once said put an end to my guilt, grief from loss and/or misunderstandings of friends and even anxiety over "what to do next". She said, "In the final analysis of things, it's just between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
    When we were married 40 years ago, I did not want to be a "career" woman and I knew this. I knew what my vocation was to be, a homemaker, wife and mother if that's what God called me to be, and I was pretty sure it was. However, in all this time, I've had to adjust that to our current circumstances at the time because first and formost I was my husband's companion, best friend and soul mate. When our children were born, I stayed home with them and we made that sacrifice together. When he needed me to help support us, I worked part or full timeto help with bills, school tuition, whatever. When we needed me back home because our family was going in too many different directions, I home-schooled and conserved and we made sacrifices. When he lost his job/career because of serious health issues, I started a clerical service to get back to work immediately, and this went on for 5 years, while he stayed home and homeschooled until the kids gratuated. When he was able to return to work, I came back home and now I keep the farm, the home and us. So in summary, we did what we needed to do when we needed to do it. And I feel that whether I worked away from home or not, my heart was always here and the family knew it.
    So, it doesnt' matter what others think we should or shouldn't do. In the final analysis of things ~ it's just between your spouse and you and God!

    Gwen in Arkansas

    1. So beautifully put Gwen :))

      Sometimes those who put down legalistic rules about what they will and won't do can often find their world turned upside down by God who says "no, I want you to do something different". My dad never expected to be a full time carer for his wife which included cleaning, cooking and having to buy clothes for his wife. But he managed and did really well. You are right, we do what we have to do.

    2. "And I feel that whether I worked away from home or not, my heart was always here and the family knew it . . ." I think this is the key. I see women who stay home and spend most of their time surfing the internet and the children watching tv show after tv show. They are in the pjs until 3 and then get a sitter to go out and get their nails done. Throw in frozen food for dinner, barely uttering a word to their children all day. But they are "stay at home moms" and therefore superior to working women. This is very silly. I know other mothers who work to help support the family (like Gwen did) but make every moment with their little ones and husbands count. Their heart is at home (as Gwen said), not at the career, yet they know they need to step in and help when Daddy is out of work or dealing with health issues. They make an effort to put a homecooked meal on the table, and to tuck the children in bed at night, and to save a few moments before bed for just their husbands. They may have a smart phone but they certainly don't sit around playing games and scrolling through social media all day-- they simply don't have the time. This woman is to be admired above all else. She is doing what she has to do -- again echoing what Gwen said. Never never to be condemned. So I agree wholeheartedly with this post. However, I would be dishonest if I didn't mention the opposite circumstance. Daddy can provide just fine, but Mom looks at the crumbs under the table and the runny noses and the constant crying and fussing, and says, I can't do this any more. I want the beautiful clothes and the accolades and the "sense of accomplishment." We need to get these little ones in day care 7:30-6 pm so I can Get Out of the House. I am younger than both of you (32, 3 very young children) but with all due respect, this I do not support. I know everyone is different, but I would rather speak truth than flattery and this kind of thing I just sincerely don't agree with. If daddy can provide, it is my sincere and respectful opinion that ideally, mama would do best to be home caring for the children. We may disagree on that point, but nonetheless, thank you for raising this point, and Jo, I really enjoy your blog. I like the fresh perspective from your Austrailian view points. In love, Jennifer, Florida, USA

    3. Hi Jennifer - there are mums who work because being at home drives them up the wall and they couldn't think of doing anything worse (and probably shouldn’t have had children) - but most of the women I work with, this isn't the case and you can see this in their action when it comes to their children's needs (the women I work with all have teenage or adult children). I also agree that if you have young pre-school age children, it is much better to be at home with them as long as possible - it is a time you never get back and it really is a wonderful part of your child’s life to enjoy together.

      My mother worked from when I started school (I am the youngest of 4 children) and she was a wonderful mother - we always had a home made meal for dinner, she made all my clothes, knitted like mad, managed 4 children (got us all helping whether we liked it or not) and took great care of her husband (my dad). We always knew that we came first and we always knew that she went out of her way to make sure home was as cosy as possible. Looking back, she was quite remarkable - I just didn’t realise it at the time.

      Each family needs to think wisely about any decision they make and what ever decision they make, doesn’t need to be justified to anyone else. As I wrote in my post, as long as their decisions are woven around their family and through prayer - I am sure it will work for them. And at times God throws us things we least expect and we need to be flexible and able to deal with change, even if it takes us out of our comfort zones as some of the ladies have written about.

      I love hearing everyone’s views and I don’t mind if you disagree with me - its lovely to have a conversation and learn things from each other :)


  5. Yes we cannot judge others unless we have walked a mile in their shoes. There are so many factors involved in making these decisions that berating someone for their choices is just ridiculous.
    I can add a little perspective from the US. Where I live the real estate costs and rental home costs are so high that if two parents do not work full time they cannot survive. I have met mothers that are working two jobs while the grandparents are caring for their children. A radical choice must be made to change the situation which would be to move a few states away where the real estate is cheaper and try to find employment there, leaving family behind. This is a difficult choice that many families will not make. I am childless and near retirement but when I have a conversation with someone in this kind of situation I encourage them to really analyze carefully the cost of staying employed and keeping the children in school. If the second car and gas money and cell phone and fancy wardrobe are eliminated they may find that finances will even out. If you add onto that growing some food to offset grocery costs there sometimes is no need for the second income. I find that many women are working simply to pay for the car, the gas and the daycare but do not understand how to analyze their finances.
    A loving and attentive set of Christian parents that are daily involved in the child's life are what is needed to turn families around. It is a battle that must be won for the children's sake and if we pit ourselves against one another nothing will ever be accomplished. We must put aside the petty judgments and help and support one another. Put the children first and go from there.

    1. We have the same trouble in the city I live in here in Australia - a standard house is around $500,000 -$600,000 and on one income that is almost impossible to do and does need that extra income. And as you mention, there are all those other costs associated with two working - i.e. childcare and running two cars etc.. However I have noticed that many mums work part time whilst there children are small which I think is great - they can help with the family budget but also spend time with the children at home. Many of these families rely on the grandparents to also help too. Its all a matter of doing the maths and deciding what is important and each family will come up with slightly different results which is fine as long as family come first and mum and dad are doing things for the right reasons.

  6. Wonderful post. My children are in a daycare that is actually a learning center. It will put them light years ahead when it comes time for school. They will also go to public school, which I don't regret either. I work full time and don't feel bad about it at all. I have a brain. I have 2 degrees. I use them for the good of my family. What could be repugnant about that??

    I do read a lot of Christian blogs by women who are very judgmental about how women like me live. These women also write a lot about having to scrimp and save and do without and make sacrifices. Sometimes I think these women are so judgey because they are jealous that women like me can CHOOSE to pay for pre-school and CHOOSE to work or stay home and freely make consumer choices without worrying about how bills get paid. I'm not rich, but I'm comfortable. That's inpart because I work full time and educate my children outside the home - and have a husband who is totally on board with all of it.

    Hats off to women who are truly happy staying home and/or homeschooling. Some days I wish I could. But most times, I look at my paycheck, my degrees on the wall, and the schoolwork my kids proudly show me and I thank God for all that is good in my life. Great post!

    1. My sons loved childcare and had a great time with very fond memories. If I hadn't worked we wouldn't have been able to afford the course that my son did once he completed school which has resulted in an excellent job he has now. I am so pleased we were able to pay up front for the course which left no debts and now allows him to earn a very good income.

      There are pros and cons to all that we do and whilst it would have been great to be a stay-at-home mum, being a working mother has not been a bad experience for my family and they haven't missed out on any (I worked hard to make sure that didn't happen). In fact they both have said that my work ethic has been an excellent example to them and because of that, they are really hard workers. They are proud of what I do and I am very proud of them.

  7. I enjoyed your post! God has a place for each of us as we are all called for a purpose, so who are we to judge anyone? There is only one who knows the reason for the path we have chosen and most of the time we don't even know ourselves how we are being used for a greater good. I was able to do both at different times in my life, a stay at home mom and a working mom, both were equally as hard and required strong commitments. Hats off to all moms, because no matter where you are in your life and choices, you are wearing the hats of many! All moms deserve support because lets face it, we are not born mom's and it certainly takes a village!!
    Great post!

    1. Its so true - God has given us each a purpose and it is very varied and different. He didn’t make us all clones doing the same thing:) Mums should be congratulated and given a hug for all the work they do, especially those with young children (mine are all grown up so life is much easier these days). They also need lots of support and words of encouragement and not criticised and made to feel guilty for the decisions they have made.

      have a great day :))

  8. As a homeschooling mother of nine, I know all about being judged for my choices and feeling like I have to defend myself to people who are bold enough to share their unsolicited advice with me! I've learned that as long as God and my husband have okayed my choices, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It's taken me awhile to learn this, but it helps so much to surround myself with like-minded people who will build me up and encourage me, rather than try to force their opinions and judgements on me. That's one reason why I'm so thankful for the many blogging friends I've found---sometimes the closest friends and the best encouragers are those who live far away and whom I'll never actually meet in person! I hope you've got a good friend or two who lift you up and encourage you in the choices you and your husband have made for your family. Keep your eyes on the goals you have for your own family and be encouraged!


    1. I can imagine the negative comments about the size of your family and it is so uncalled for and sad - likewise women who don't have any children (and can't) or those who have small families also get attached for not having large families - its all a little mad to me and so unnecessary and so unchristian. I just think we should be pleased for each other and cheer on our sisters in Christ — and not think the worse of each other, it reminds me a little of school yard!!

      I do have some lovely friends + bloggers who are very supportive and encouraging which is just wonderful and I try and avoid those bloggers who pull women down and not willing to have a conversation. I also have some wonderful non-Christian friends which would put many a Christian lady to shame as they are so caring and kind.

      To you and your family - in Gods perfect Grace xx

  9. I'm so sorry you felt degraded by the careless comment. I think sometimes we forget that there are people "out there" that are making healthy and wise decisions that can be different from our own. Many, like myself have been unduly criticized for our choices and we speak out in defense of them. As a homeschooling mom, I've felt the pressure from my own mother to have a stunning, organized home because I get to be home.
    Thank you for sharing your views. I pray that many more Christian women will learn to lift each other up.

    1. Hi Leslie - as an older woman, I see my role as one of encouraging and supporting Christian women, rather than being critical and judging. We need to accept other choices families make, such as yours and be part of cheering you on, rather than pulling you down. Isn't it funny how others (including one's own family - mine have always been very supportive) are quick to find things you should improve in, rather than telling you that you are doing a great job.

      Thanks for stopping by :)

      In God's wonderful love xx

  10. Thank you so much for this post <3
    I would love to stay at home, but it didn't work out for us. Now i work part time at a daycare center with babies age 1-3, i love them and kiss them and try to be a "mom away from home" to them, for the childrens sake, but also for their mothers, because i know how hard it can be to leave your baby in somebody elses care. My heart is definitely with my children and husband, and i love to get home after work. 2 times a year i see two old school girlfriend for brunch, a little tradition of ours, and about once a year one of them has a girls night in, an all womens dinner party at her home, which i attend. That is about it, and i never did that until my youngest was about 2 years old. I have breastfed them until they were 9 months and 1 year old respectively, they never had babysitters in their first years, apart from the daycare center from age 1. I Cook, bake, clean, iron, read bed time stories for them, and my husband plays alot with them. Thanks to my part time job he is less worried, and my girls can attend ballet classes and will hopefully, be able to start with piano and art soon, since we plan to move to a smaller apartment closer to the capital. Moms should be more supportive and loving towards each other. Have a nice weekend <3

    1. I did all those things for my children and they have turned out just fine. Mine haven't missed out on anything just because I worked and have turned out to be two very hard working young adults that have a great work ethic who have no regrets that I worked. Most children don't have the hangups that some adults think they do as long as they are loved and given lots of attention and know that their mummy and daddy are happy. A happy family makes for happy children.

      Have a wonderful weekend - rather hot here this weekend, would love things to cool down a little soon :)

  11. The curse of the modern woman - comparison with one's neighbour.
    We can not judge others, we can only do what works for us. And while there are many who make decisions I would not make, I try to support them, and encourage them in their decisions.
    Christians should encourage, support and build each other up - we should be an example to the world, not a matter of derision!

    1. I think it has happened for centuries - one woman comparing herself to her neighbour :( We just can't help ourselves.

      its interesting that some women wouldn't do XYZ then their circumstances change and they are forced into doing something they hadn't considered and realised it wasn't as bad as they thought it was. God throws all sorts at us when we least expect it and we might find ourselves doing the very thing we judged others for .

  12. Dear Jo,
    I would bring a different comment to this discussion but find there is no point because I see that you are no different to those around me...

    You say in one breath

    "Firstly — the decision of a mother and wife to work is no one else's business — and often when we dig a little deeper, it is not a matter of career selfishness or ambition but rather a selfless woman helping her family, yes, selfless."

    and then in answering Kate you say

    "I am so sorry to hear your childhood experience - what your mother did was wrong and I don’t advocate those sort of working hours for women with children. They are fine if the woman is single, then she can dedicate her entire time to work if she so wishes, but it isn’t wise or good when one has a family. I only choose jobs that suit my family and have never made my family fit around my work. My advice to any woman that needs to work, choose VERY careful because even though you may need to work, your family needs must always be at the forefront of your thinking."

    Don't you have a double standard here declaring what you think is right when you previously say it's no one else's business?? One could even say judging when you don't know both sides of the story.


  13. It is easy for people to get caught up in their own world and not stop to realise that other people have a totally different journey to travel through life. But it is true what they say - until you have walked my path in my shoes, don't judge me! There is ONE who knows what it is like for each of us, and He loves us with grace and He is able to guide and keep us no matter how hard our path is! I have found that the best thing we can do for one another is to show love and respect, and then if we have concerns for someone else's choices we should most definitely take them to the Lord - first and foremost! Each of us answers to the Lord for our choices and decisions and actions - we do not answer to any other person (apart from our husbands). That being said, our lives should also be a testimony and we should also "abstain from all appearance of evil" - so we must judge ourselves whether our choices bring glory to God and are right and righteous. :)

    1. Couldn't put it better myself. For some reason some think we are all clones, God made us all different which is why we all travel different journeys through life.


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