Numbers one, two and three of a family of four girls, Jen, Kristen and Patience have ten children between them, ranging from 5 months to ten years old. Sister number four, Katie, has not dipped her toes into the murky waters of motherhood. Much like the girls of our Louisa May Alcott favorite, Little Women, you could not find more unique individuals. With that individuality comes three unique parenting styles and a whole lot of laughs.
Jen lives on a lovely street in Silver Spring, Maryland with her brilliant husband Dave and two wild children, Madeleine (9) and Carter (6). It is on this very street that Jen rides her shiny blue bicycle everyday, waving to onlookers like a third grader as she sails down the hill.
If you ask Jen why she makes art or writes stories about finding beauty in ordinary things, be prepared for her to break out into song—an ode to a life of love by Ani Difranco.
When she's not on a bike run for more dark chocolate or attending a magical birth, you can find Jen hiding out next door at Mark and Meryl's house, where every night they lavish her with love, affection and heaping bowlfuls of salad tossed with yummy olives, creamy avocado and fresh feta.
Kristen has three boys, Ethan, Nathan and Mason. Ethan was born in February 2005. Nathan was born in February 2007. Mason was born in April 2009. Together they create a force field that can bend steel. As a result, Kristen hasn't had a coherent thought (or a decent night's sleep) in years. Luckily Kristen's husband, Derek, has lots of coherent thoughts and is the voice of reason in the house.
Kristen left the professional world in her 30's to pursue a career in raising children. Technically she lost her job when she was due to come back from maternity leave so her full career change was not completely intentional. Soon bored with watching CSPAN and daytime dramas all day, Kristen made the transition from stay-at-home mom to work-at-home mom two years ago when she started her novelty tee shirt business out of her house. What started as an online maternity tee shop, Baby Brewing has grown to include funny shirts for the whole family.
When she isn't here at Supersisters, you can always look for Kristen at her personal blog at Mommy Needs a Cocktail.com. Before you panic, you should probably know that Mommy Needs a Cocktail is not about needing a bottle of scotch to get you through the day. It's far more innocuous than that. It simply represents that moment of the day when you have finished cleaning the green painting from the living room carpet (a masterpiece by your three-year- old) only to realize that the one-year-old got the bottle of paint an hour ago and has graciously redecorated the dining room. It is the moment that you realize that only humor is going to get you to bedtime. Cocktail=Humor. Kristen probably should have named her blog "Mommy Needs a Sense of Humor" but it didn't have the ring of "Mommy Needs a Cocktail."
Dreamy chaos. Is that even possible? Patience Salgado lives it everyday beside her gentle partner, Jorge, and four kids, Josiah (9), Jack (6), Lucy (3) and Lyra (11 months). She lives in a tiny brick house near the James River in Richmond, Virginia, where nature and city have somehow come together to make her heart whole. The root of her sanity comes from picking anything (strawberries, blueberries anyone?), her kindness work and uncovering delight in the everyday.
With a deep love of child development, befriending children and connecting with parents, this expert found herself working as an early childhood educator and childcare director for several years. After a short break to birth a couple babies, she later returned to 10 more years of creating innovative programming, writing curriculum and leading seminars for parents and educators on children's spirituality. One existential crisis and another baby later, Patience discovered kindness and family had been calling her all along and settled into her life's work.
She now spends her days playing mama slam (a tickling/wrestling sort of game) with her kids, thinking up new guerrilla goodness projects and pretending her life is a movie complete with soundtrack. Simple joys like daisies, yellow peppers, serious chocolate and flip flops ground her as she desperately tries not to obsess over her freelance writing gigs and the size of her ever growing belly. Join this Supersister as she seeks new superpowers in parenting, sisterhood and family love.