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Supermom: Sara Patterson

11/26/2013 07:29PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

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.

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  • Hood Night at the Sioux Falls SkyForce

    01/29/2018
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come join The 'Hood Magazine at the SkyForce game!


  • Join us at the Museum of Visual Materials for these free activities. No registration is required ...


  • Skyzone Toddler Time

    01/30/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    01/30/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • Ladies Night

    01/30/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Ladies Night! Receive 20% off your purchase.


  • Kindergarten Round-Up

    01/30/2018
    06:30PM — 08:00PM

    Sioux Falls Lutheran School invites you to get acquainted with our kindergarten program at our an...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    01/30/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Join us at the Museum of Visual Materials for these free activities. No registration is required ...


  • Toddler Jump

    01/31/2018
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join us for one of the highlights of our week, Toddler Jump at Air Madness. During Toddler Jump, ...


  • Scheel's Family Open Ice Skate

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Scheel's Family Open Ice Skate Open Skate Rates: Admission – $6.00 $4.00 for ages 12 and under...


  • Open Hockey

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Open Hockey Monday & Wednesdays 11-1:00 pm Friday 2:00-4:00 pm $10.00 - per session $100 -...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • Open Skate Discount Night

    01/31/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Open skating session for all ages at a discounted rate! Admission is $3. Regular skate rental fee...


  • Discount Skate Night

    01/31/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Skate for $1.00 an hour every Wednesday during our Discount Skate Night! Wednesdays • 6-9pm A...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    01/31/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Tot Time

    02/01/2018
    05:30AM — 10:30AM

    Tot time is designed for toddlers and other little tikes, 6 years and younger, who may not be com...


  • Walking Program

    02/01/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/01/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Skyzone Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Little All Stars

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 10:50AM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Wee Play & Learn

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 11:15AM

    Come with your child to play, meet other families, and talk one-on-one with child development exp...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/01/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • New Baby & Me

    02/01/2018
    01:30PM — 03:30PM

    This group for new moms and their babies meets weekly. Moms can join in open discussion on topics...


  • Creative Kids

    02/01/2018
    03:15PM — 04:00PM

    Elementary-aged children are invited to join us for books, activities, and a craft. For more info...


  • S.T.E.A.M. -N- Thursdays

    02/01/2018
    03:30PM — 04:15PM

    Discover science, technology, engineering, art and math through activities. This month's theme: S...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    02/01/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Walking Program

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/02/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • First Free Friday

    02/02/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Little All Stars

    02/02/2018
    06:30PM — 07:20PM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Teen Night at Skate City

    02/02/2018
    08:00PM — 11:00PM

    This session is directed toward, but not reserved for, middle to high school aged skaters.


  • MallWalk 2018

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM — 10:30AM

    Pre-register your team for MallWalk 24--Saturday, February 3rd at the Empire Mall! Here's how! ...


  • Walking Program

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • MallWalk

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us as we Walk and Roll for people supported at LifeScape. 100% of Mall Walk proceeds will he...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Ice Fishing 101

    02/03/2018
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Winter is the perfect season to explore your frozen waterways while enjoying the cool calming atm...


  • Little All Stars

    02/03/2018
    09:00AM — 09:50AM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Tai Chi

    02/03/2018
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    f you are looking for a way to reduce stress, consider tai chi (TIE-CHEE). Tai chi is a gracef...


  • Decorating Days

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Call us by Friday and you can come in and decorate cookies on Saturday! We do cookie decorati...


  • Saturday Morning Family Skate

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Spend Saturday morning with the whole family at Skate City! Parents skate for FREE admission with...


  • Morning Skate

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    This session is directed toward, but not reserved for, beginner skaters and their parents.


  • Pioneer Day

    02/03/2018
    10:30AM — 12:00PM

    Bring the family to experience our prairie heritage. Churn butter, make newspaper twists and butt...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/03/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • Open Gym

    02/03/2018
    12:00PM — 01:00PM

    OPEN GYM (Ages 6-18) $80/10 punch card


  • Bookworms Reading Program

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 01:30PM

    Join local celebrities and Zoo Educators for a free story time and animal encounter. Bookworms Re...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Saturday Cookie Decorating Days

    02/03/2018
    02:00PM — 04:30PM

    Call us by Friday 605-978-0991 and you can come in and decorate cookies on Saturday! We do cookie...


  • SUPER SATURDAY

    02/03/2018
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for SUPER SATURDAY each Saturday from 6-8pm! 2 hours of RUNNING, JUMPING, PLAYING FUN! ...