Kerri Walsh On StrongMoms Empowerment Campaign, Expanding Her Family

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Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings is keeping busy since taking home her third medal at the 2012 Olympics. From playing her last game with teammate Misty May-Treanor to welcoming her third child Scout last month in April, Walsh is now focusing her time on a new program to help moms. StrongMoms Empowerment, created by Similac, is a new campaign Walsh has traveled for to help raise awareness of the pressure moms undertake to make the “perfect” parenting decisions. 

During our recent chat about the program, the volleyball Olympian also dished on where she keeps her medals, and reveals how she’s hoping for a fourth child in the future.

How did you get involved with the StrongMoms Empower program?
KERRI WALSH: The StrongMoms Empower program is about being more supportive of moms. When Similac called and asked if I wanted to be involved, I jumped at the chance. I want to be part of anything that empowers moms to be more confident.

What was the Summit like? What were some of the comments you heard about moms feeling judged?
Some of the judgment is really out front, some not. I’ve been judged about putting my oldest son in school too early, judged for using formula or about whether I vaccinate my kids. Some of the criticism has made me think twice, which I appreciate, but I also choose which to listen to. If I don’t like it, I take a deep breath and try to not get angry.

What’s it been like since completing for the last time with Misty May-Treanor at the London Olympics?
Life has been great! It’s been a different kind of busy. Preparing for London and the months leading up were jam packed with training, training and more training. Since then, life has been super busy with life and off the court business. It’s been both fun and challenging readjusting to new focuses and goals.

Do you both still meet up to play? What’s it been like since she retired? 
Predictably, We haven’t seen much of each other. Off season is typically very busy with each of us running around the country for business and trying to catch up with our loved ones. We connect in other ways though and it’s always a sweet thing.

You’ve been in several Olympics and won several gold medals. What’s been one of your greatest memories so far? 
Standing on top of the podium, side by side with Misty, listening to our national anthem and saying a prayer of thanks. As a mother, reuniting with my family after the hold medal match.

And have to ask, where do you keep your medals?
I gave my Athens gold to my parents as they more than earned it! Beijing is in an Oakley sunglass case on my closet. London is in a cute little box in a purse of mine waiting to travel to the next appearance.

You’ve also been keeping busy with a third little one! Congratulations on the birth of your daughter Scout last month. Has your schedule changed at all? Any milestones? 
Scout is just as mellow as my boys, knock on wood, so I don’t see a lot of differences in that respect. But, I have noticed a change in me. She’s changed our whole family. There is a different energy – we’re all a bit softer. I’m really proud of my boys. We talked so much about our new baby before she was born. Now that she’s here, they keep asking, ‘Where’s sister?’ or saying, ‘I’m a big brother.’ They just love her. We’d love to have a fourth child after the 2016 Olympics, but I also need to look at the bigger picture. I want to make sure I have enough love and room for my kids and husband.

So, what’s next for you? The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are up ahead.
I’d like a lot more sleep! And a lot more family time. And, of course, I’ll be getting back in shape. I am going to be on tour this summer so I have a lot of playing to do – and a lot of loving my family to do.

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