Meet Karen Rilling! Mama of 4. 3 beautiful girls and 1 beautiful boy, the last two, of which are twins! Karen joined Mom Strong in the spring of 2018 and was and continues to be an inspiration to us all. She hauls two bucket seats around like like they’re a bottle of water. Karen is the epitome of strength and grace. She is currently in her last round of Mom Strong as she prepares for her return to work at a teacher. Karen kicks butt in the gym while managing her twins with ease. All participants will miss her and her adorable children dearly but we are so glad we had the opportunity to be in her presence. Karen, you do us all very proud!

We asked Karen a few questions to let you get to know her better.

1. If you could choose one song to play when you walked into a room what would it be? 

“The Growing Pains Theme Song...YouTube it.”

2. What has been the biggest struggle with being a Mama of 4?

 “Giving myself grace. I can't be everything to everyone. I missed Black Day at preschool last week (sending her is blue & silver); our dinners aren't spectacular (buying groceries with twins is hard), our house isn't as clean as it used to be. There have been many times this year where I had to be at home with the twins where I missed out of Ringette tournaments, baseball games, etc.

On my previous mat leaves, I felt like we easily slid into a nice routine, but with 4 kids, at least one of them had something going on that would throw a kink in our plans. Giving myself the grace, telling myself this is just a season has saved me on many a day!”

3. What is the sweetest thing any of your children have said or done for you?

 “I had been up all night with the babies and my four year old looked at me and said, "Mama, I love you!  You look so very beautiful right now!"

When our twins were brand new, our son was very colicky.  He cried all the time!  Our 7 year old would pick him up, grab a book and read to him.  He would snuggle in and fall asleep on her.  She would just sit their and snuggle him to give Mommy a break.”

4. Being a Mom is super hard and also rewarding. Can you share a moment that reminded you that all the hard stuff is worth it?

“In the early spring, our 4 & 7 year old wanted to ride their bikes to the park.  So we got all packed up with the double stroller, helmets and bikes and we set off, alone, just me and 4 kids!  It was slow going as our four year old was new at riding a big girl bike, we made a long convoy to the park.  When we were almost there, a lady stopped her vehicle in the middle of road, got out and said, "I just wanted to tell you, you are doing an amazing job!  I know this can't be easy." I laughed and thanked her, she got in her vehicle and drove off. We had so much fun at the park and our little trip was so worth it!”

5. What is your best advice for Mom's of multiples?

“Be kind to yourself and take pride in every little accomplishment.  Be proud you had a shower, you ate, or you were able to take two babies out in public!”

6. What exercise makes you feel most accomplished in Mom Strong?

“LUNGES...haha!  When I started Mom Strong, I was 7 weeks postpartum and my core was not strong from being stretched out so much.  I could not do one lunge, even with modifications.  Now I feel so proud that I can do them with ease!  This may seem so simple, but it makes me so proud!”

Cheers to you, Karen! You are strong, resilient, humble beyond belief, honest and encouraging. You are my inspiration in all things Mothering. THANK YOU! - Michelle