Picture having 9 kids ranging in age from 8 months to 15 years. Do you (a) start your own small country, (b) have yourself committed to a home for the terminally ex­hausted, or (c) think about having more? Oprah gets inside Kathryn Sansone's very organized mind and house to find out how she keeps her sanity...to say nothing of her shape.
After five minutes in the St. Louis home of Kathryn and Jim Sansone, I know this family is a clan unto itself: nine kids, each exuding the kind of spirit and confidence that doesn't happen by chance. I first met Kathryn last May when she was in the audience of my show. Then six months pregnant with her ninth child, she stood to explain how working out with weights had transformed her body. One year and 700 guests a day later, I sit across from a woman I find unforgettable: a mother whose greatest joy comes from raising respectful and responsible children.

The Sansone family, by the numbers: six boys and three girls, ages 15, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 5, 2, and 8 months; four in braces, two in preschool, one in high school, four taking piano lessons. One Saint Bernard dog. One swing set behind their house on three and a half acres. One homemade ice-skating rink in the backyard. One Texas-size table big enough for everyone to sit around. And two parents who call each one of their children a gift: Jim, a 42-year-old lawyer who co-owns a real estate development business, and Kathryn, whose passion is to do what I believe is the most important spiritual work on earth—mothering. The three of us sat beside a fireplace and talked.

Start reading Oprah's interview with Kathryn Sansone

Note: This interview appeared in the May 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.


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