Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter has stirred strong feelings in the ongoing debate about whether women can indeed have it all.
Pittsford wife, mother, and lifeguard Debbie Curry offers her personal perspective on the issue.
“I never tried to have it all. When I was pregnant with my first child, 21 years ago, we lived on Long Island. It was not hard to figure out that it would take most of my salary as a computer programmer to cover day care and all the work around the house we wouldn’t have time to do.
"I chose to be a full-time mother, and to see how much I could learn to do with our house. “
Regarding that decision, Curry chronicles five moves and two more additions to the family.
“It was fun,” she recalls. “All this family activity kept me very busy. I can install new lighting fixtures now and use a plumbing snake. I can bake bread and deal with a kid who has scraped up his whole leg by falling off his bike.
“When we had our fourth child,” she says, “we realized we liked Pittsford and wanted to stay a while. I decided it was time to work for money again. Of course, 15-year-old programming skills are pretty much worthless, and I really did not want to code again."
Family was her top priority when it came to finding a job.
“Having two parents working crazy hours,” she acknowledges, “was still a bad idea for a family I believed. And, of course, I was no longer the person who could shut out the world and concentrate on a programming bug.”
This part-time lifeguard now has more time to call her own. To illustrate, she admits, “If I haven’t read on any given day, then something major has happened that day.”
In addition to her human family, Curry has three dogs, a Siamese cat, and two chincillas.
Religious leader Brigham Young once remarked, “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”
And Debbie Curry, committed to teaching her own children what she knows, especially about cooking and eating healthful foods, has already begun educating generations — either in the pool or in her own home.