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Supermom: Sara Patterson

11/26/2013 07:29PM, Published by Hood Magazine, Categories: In Print, Family, Today


Sara Patterson and family



By Sara Patterson, Stay-at-Home Mom

Image title


Describe your typical day.

With one husband, four kids, and an eighty-seven-year-old grandma to look after, no two days are alike. Each is filled to overflowing with some combination of appointments, school assignments, meal preparation, diaper changing, shopping, laundering, cleaning, and driving. In the midst of all that busyness, we make a point of tossing in a fair amount of laughing, cuddling, tickling, singing, and talking. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Even our nine-year-old and six-year-old drink it (decaf for them, of course).

How do you balance work and family?

At one time or another, I've lived out every possible combination of working outside the home and working inside it, and I have never once been able to achieve the coveted prize of “balance.” Try as I might, I’m always caught emphasizing one thing at the expense of something else. There was that time back in 2011 when I pulled off a stellar backyard carnival/birthday bash/block party. The sense of balance was euphoric and all too fleeting. Cleaning up a truckload of mess for hours afterward made me wonder if perhaps “balance” doesn't agree with me.

Are you involved in the community? How do you choose what to participate in?

Yes, although not in a conventional way. We have been a foster family for more than two years; in fact, we’re just weeks away from finalizing an adoption through the foster care system. I also volunteer at Compassion Childcare, a Christ-centered daycare located in the Sioux Falls Ministry Center that serves families with limited resources.

Choosing what to participate in can be tricky. Andy and I often wish we could do more for those in need. Our foremost criterion tends to be whether or not we can honor our commitment well. With four kids, Andy’s commitments quickly become mine and vice versa. Generally one of us has to free the other up to fulfill whatever it is we promised to lend a hand with. It’s important for us both to be on board, and that can quickly weed out projects.

Do you think it's possible to "do it all"? Why or why not?

It’s certainly possible, but I personally don’t think it’s necessary. To me, it’s like saying you have to buy one of everything in the grocery store. What for? Some of the things on those shelves you don’t even want or like.

How do you find time for you? What do you do with your "me time"?

On the extremely rare occasion that someone in my house doesn’t need me to toss 1,243 pitches for batting practice, isn’t exhibiting signs of the Bubonic Plague in order to dodge garbage duty, or hasn’t managed to lock himself in the bathroom so he can frolic in the toilet unfettered, I love to read. There’s nothing like a well-drawn character and some perfect prose to bring peace to my mind. Reading feeds me while I try to feed the 1.2 million people who seem to live in my house come dinner time.

What rules do you have for yourself about using technology at home?

I don’t have a special set of rules just for me, but as a family, we do regulate one another’s screen time. We keep our laptop and Kindle in public areas of the house, and everyone has to earn their privilege to use them, usually by completing reading minutes for the kids and finishing a daily chore for the adults. We set a timer to keep ourselves accountable, although it’s not all that necessary as the boy who’s waiting his turn stares at the clock mercilessly in order to “help” the brother taking his turn.

How do your children describe what you do?

I often describe myself as “The High Princess of Taxi and Laundry Services,” and while they wouldn't use those exact words, I’m confident that my big boys would concur since most of what they see mom do involves either 1) stuffing a Honda Odyssey to the roof with people, food, and strollers; or 2) management of dirty underwear. I’m also the stand-in for dad when he can’t make the pre-bedtime wrestling match, which the boys say I’m pretty good at for a girl. With one exception: I ask if they’re okay too often.

What advice do you have for other moms?

I don’t give advice. I need it. Lots of it! That said, I’ll offer this small suggestion (not advice, mind you, suggestion): work together. There’s something wonderfully universal and unifying about motherhood, but it seems that everywhere I turn we've transformed it into a competition that it was never meant to be. In our ardor to measure up and do it all, we’re growing more and more isolated. Enough. Let’s build one another up instead of tearing one another down. Merely a suggestion.



family kids life south dakota sioux empire sioux falls supermom magazine parenting resource balance work mom motherhood spouse


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    Come to the Downtown Library (200 N Dakota Ave) the first Saturday of every month for creative wo...


  • Super Saturday's

    04/01/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    We are bringing back our Saturday night open gym! Every Saturday night from 6-8pm! Anyone ages 6-...


  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox

    04/01/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Roald Dahl’s much-loved story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean,...


  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox

    04/01/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Roald Dahl’s much-loved story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean,...


  • The master/pupil relationship continues to thrive in the music profession, with few legacies riva...


  • Easter Bunny at Sioux Empire Mall

    04/02/2017
    09:00AM — 07:00PM

    IT'S TIME FOR EASTER BUNNY PHOTOS He'll be waiting for you Center Court. Simply go to simon.noe...


  • The PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) “Built Ford-Tough” Series is bringing their exciting brand o...


  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox

    04/02/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Roald Dahl’s much-loved story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean,...


  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox

    04/02/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Roald Dahl’s much-loved story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean,...


  • The master/pupil relationship continues to thrive in the music profession, with few legacies riva...


  • Little All Stars

    04/03/2017
    09:00AM — 09:50AM

    -Ages: Walking - 6 years -10 punches per card -Cards do not expire


  • Story & Craft

    04/03/2017
    10:00AM — 10:30AM

    Join us for storytime and a simple craft! Age: Preschool RSVP anna@sfmvm.com Regular kids' act...


  • Playgroup for Toddlers and Preschoolers

    04/03/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Play Groups are specifically for kids and their caregivers. Gather your friends at our “house” to...


  • The Ransom Church, located at 700 N. Main Ave in downtown Sioux Falls, is sponsoring an "After th...


  • Toddler Time

    04/04/2017
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    If they can walk, they can jump! Toddler Time at Sky Zone is a special time just for the little o...


  • Storytime Tuesdays

    04/04/2017
    10:00AM — 10:30AM

    Bring your kids to a storytime every Tuesday at Child's Play Toys. It starts off with a few songs...


  • Into the Pit

    04/04/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Into the Pit Quarry Tour arrives with another chance to go Into the Pit of a Concrete Materials q...


  • Lapsit

    04/04/2017
    10:30AM — 11:05AM

    Delight and stimulate your baby with songs, stories and playtime. Get to know other families and ...


  • Mommies Matter: A PostPartum Support Group

    04/04/2017
    12:00PM — 01:00PM

    Every 2 weeks on Tuesday


  • Baby in Our Family

    04/04/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    The Breastfeeding class is a one night class designed for those who are planning on breastfeeding...


  • Join local musician Steve McFarland as he introduces the soothing sounds of the islands on th...


  • Little All Stars

    04/05/2017
    09:00AM — 09:50AM

    -Ages: Walking - 6 years -10 punches per card -Cards do not expire


  • Get in the Garage Camp

    04/05/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    Join us for our FREE Transportation Camp on April 5, 2017 from 9-2 to find out more about three e...


  • Milk Monologues

    04/05/2017
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Join Shelly (CLC) or Sarah if you are the mom of a non-mobile nursing baby. One of them will be a...


  • Babywearing Basics (SF Babywearers)

    04/05/2017
    06:30PM — 08:00PM

    Monthly on the first Wednesday


  • Mother Courage and Her Childeren

    04/05/2017
    07:30PM — 10:30PM

    Location Details: Edith Mortenson Center Theatre on Augustana Mother Courage and her childre...



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