Zionsville's Mother of the Year
Writer & Photographer / JJ Kaplan
You’ve probably seen a recent commercial with people interviewing for a Director of Operations position. It is explained that the job offers no breaks and requires unlimited hours with a high level of energy, all in a chaotic environment with no time to sleep or eat. When the reward of “no pay” is revealed, the overwhelming response is that no one would want this position. And yet, American Greetings reveals that thousands of people gladly accept this position due to the immeasurable pleasure that they receive. You probably know by now that we’re talking about the 24/7 job of being a mom.
This year we would like to acknowledge an outstanding mom who sees herself as just an ordinary person. Sarah Sampson is the mother of 10 children, ranging from 1 to 18 years old. Along with her amazing, supportive husband, Jon, she runs “Team Sampson,” with everyone pitching in when needed. When Sarah met Jon at Notre Dame, she knew that she wanted to someday fill her home with the sound of pitter-pattering little feet. Growing up as the fourth child of Tom and Kate Esterline, she enjoyed being part of a close-knit family. When she was 10 years old, her parents announced that a new bundle of joy would be arriving. Shortly after that birth, another newborn came along. Sarah’s understanding of unconditional love deepened from babies and family. She loved caring for her siblings and watching them grow. During these formative years, her desire to have a large family of her own was ignited, and Jon also shared this vision.
Sarah is the first to acknowledge that she has a bevy of friends who can quickly pitch in to give her children rides to after-school activities, and she is most grateful for their assistance. She is happy to see her children participating in activities they enjoy, and she tries to be present for their shows, races, games or special events.
When it comes to time for herself, Sarah has found a way to multitask and combine personal time with exercise, which often entails walking with her husband or dog. Nurturing friendships are also important, so she meets other moms for lunch once a week.
What’s her secret to managing such a busy household? She arises each day with the mindset of a problem-solver. She doesn’t attempt to create the perfect day, house or children. According to Sarah, “I ask what must be done today. Those items go on the to-do list. I prioritize multiple times in a day. There is chaos most nights as we juggle dinner, homework and activities, but I accept that as our ‘normal.’ I am very driven to enjoy my family, be kind and to have fun with these kids that I love so much.”
We all know what an important job being a mom is, whether it’s to one or 20 children. It is a blessing to have a family and be instrumental in shaping these young lives. Motherhood also gives us an excuse to stay young forever and let down our hair while enjoying love beyond measure. This is the toughest of all jobs. Yet, unequivocally, it is the most gratifying job in the world. Happy Mother’s Day!