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Pittsburgh Mothers Find Contentment, Balance In Lives

By Kim Lyons
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

When Anne Marie Slaughter, a former U.S. State Department official, wrote an opinion piece for the Atlantic magazine in June 2012 titled, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” she dumped a bucket of cold water on the idea that balancing career and family might be an attainable goal.

Pittsburgh working mothers responded last week to a call through social media and shared their thoughts on that much-debated topic: Can you have it all? And what does “all” represent?

Katie Biehl of Pitcairn
Ms. Biehl is a divorced mom of four kids who works in the loan servicing department at PNC Bank. She said she relies heavily on family for help with child care to keep her schedule and her kids’ schedules on track.

“I work hard to make sure everyone stays happy doing what they want to be doing. ‘All’ to me is contentment. There’s no way anyone can be happy all the time. But I’m content as long as we have what we need and some of what we want.”

Laura Diamond of Crafton
Ms. Diamond is mother of a 10-month-old boy. She quit her previous job in retail because the schedule wasn’t working for her, and now she works part time as a model and as a mortgage loan officer for a company that allows flexibility in her schedule.
“I think I do have it all. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but if you can take each day as it comes and focus on the present, you can be content.”

Natasha Smith of Whitehall
Ms. Smith is mother of a 2-year-old boy. She has a variable schedule in her job in construction management, so her husband handles many child care duties.

“I feel like I do have it all, but only due to my husband. He is a true partner and helps in the child care and housework, and we share or divide all of the household responsibilities.”

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