EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) — Each week, WCCO This Morning is rewarding a hard-working, dedicated parent who loves what they do.

Natalie Kane went to Eagan to surprise this week’s winner, a mother who goes the extra mile, taking care of her children and others’, as well.

Tara and Becky Lien live in Eagan with their two young girls, Aidia and Brooklyn. Tara stays home with their children while Becky works during the day as a microbiologist.

“It’s overwhelming at times,” said Tara. “And I think that, having kids, you have this level of ‘Can you do more?'”

Becky said she nominated her wife Tara for the Just 4 You award because she constantly goes above and beyond.

“She works all day with the kids, not just sitting on the couch watching TV,” said Becky. “She is very active with our kids in a positive way by demonstrating good health, good exercise and being a great parent.”

Money is tight for the Liens, and health is a priority, so Tara replaces expensive store-bought baby food with homemade, organic food.

“We try to cook it all up, put it in a blender and try experiments,” said Tara. “She’s pretty forgiving of my recipes.”

When Becky comes home from work, the day doesn’t stop there. Tara then opens her phone line to care for even more children.

“We work a crisis line that we can do from home,” said Tara.

Operating a crisis line may require Tara to leave the house at any point overnight, should there be a need.

To balance the couple’s own needs, Tara says communication is key. Her advice is to always take things “one day at a time.”

Apparently the couple doesn’t get out very often with all those responsibilities, but we’re taking care of that. We have given them two tickets to an upcoming show at the Guthrie.

Each week, WCCO selects a new Just 4 You Parent, so keep those entries coming. You can nominate a deserving parent, grandparent or guardian online.

Comments (29)
  1. april uecker says:

    my sister is a rock star. ❤

    1. Cheri says:

      @april – you are right, your sister is a rock star and lucky to have you as a sister

  2. april uecker says:

    @Jake, just to clarify, because they picked a gay couple, tara isn’t a deserving recipient? closed-minded are we?

    1. Jake says:

      @April, I’m sure they are lovely people, but there was nothing exceptional about the parenting part of the story. One person stays home full time and is conscientious about the food the kids eat? Not exactly a “Man bites dog” story. That describes thousands of families in Eagan alone, not to mention across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The crisis hot line is great service, too, but again, that is no different than thousands of other families that provide volunteer work for the community at the expense of the family.

      There are parents home with multiple small children while the other parent is deployed. There are hundreds of families that take in special needs kids or parents with physical challenges themselves. The only thing highly unique about these recipients is the gender of the parents. While closed-minded sycophants to the cause will disagree, most people would have a hard time seeing a stay-at-home parent with two healthy little girls as exceeding the norm.

    2. Jake says:

      @April. Post Script: A couple comments below are illustrative. First, RHarr points out that “It is so nice for this TV station to award a gay couple this accolade.” The operative part is “gay couple,” which sure appears to be the focus of the story as opposed to the “parent” part. Also, Adam writes: “So great to see WCCO viewing all families as equal when deciding on their weekly winners!” I would argue that this is not true. The station has put a premium on the fact that the couple is gay. If this were a hetero couple, they would not have received the award. They are obviously good, loving parents, but at some point we ought to be honest.

      1. Natalie says:

        Hi, Jake – Our Just 4 You Parents segment is designed to give parents the recognition that they deserve. If you have someone you’d like to nominate, please do so at wcco.com/links.

        If you search “Just 4 You” in the search bar at the top of this page, you can get a better idea of how this segment works. We have honored moms, dads, single parents and more. Being a parent is exceptional. Tara, along with our past winners, is exceptional. And if you are a dad, I’m sure you deserve the recognition as well!

  3. RHarr says:

    It is so nice for this TV station to award a gay couple this accolade. It is very obvious that they truly love each other and their daughters. Thank you!

  4. RL says:

    Thank you so much for picking a mother that goes above and beyond! She is a true inspiration to me! Working round the clock and still finding time to be healthy and positive. Totally deserving of a night out! Thank you WCCO!

  5. Diane says:

    Such an awesome story and a beautiful family! So happy to see a deserving mom receive the kudos she deserves! Thank you for giving back Tara!

  6. Adam says:

    So great to see WCCO viewing all families as equal when deciding on their weekly winners! Becky and Tara are great , hard-working parents and are definitely deserving of some time to themselves. Thanks WCCO.

  7. Corey Jutz Billings says:

    Love this! What lucky kids they have:)

  8. Supa says:

    What a great piece and very deserving mom! Beautiful family!!

  9. april uecker says:

    @jack, guess what? you’re wrong. and why does that matter? do genes define a family?

    1. jackactionhero says:

      I’m making a statement. That’s all. And I’m right. The kids can’t be biological children of both women. That is a genetic impossibility, April. I’m not trying to offend you here.

  10. Natalie says:

    Hi, Jack – their daughters have the same donor. Tara carried Aidia and Becky carried Brooklyn.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Thank you for offering up the additional clarifying information. I appreciate that you took the time to do so.

      That sounds like a very unique way to do it. I have not heard of that happening before.

  11. JustAnotherMother says:

    Absolutely lovely to see a mother who goes above and beyond on a daily basis not just for her own children, but for other children as well. Its refreshing to get to read pieces on families in a positive light versus the horror stories heard most often. I’m happy to read that these two women have created such a positive environment for their children in today’s world and that as partners, recognize each other! As April says, genes don’t make a family a family–its through the love and dedication that Tara shows to her children on a daily basis that make a family.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      “genes don’t make a family a family”

      LOL When was that ever argued in the first place? Wow… Just wow…

      1. JustAnotherMother says:

        Sir, I’m not quite sure what your damage is with this particular winner? You seem to be the only naysayer thus far. Why are you so adamantly against this? Is it because perhaps this woman seems average to you and therefore you feel that isn’t extraordinary enough?
        Parenting is an extraordinary task. If you yourself are a parent, then you know how hard it is to raise a child in today’s world. Navigating those streets is no easy feat and perhaps parents like Tara, in their average ways, should be rewarded for staying the course and not becoming yet another statistic in the world of divorce and bad parenting decisions.
        What, in your terms, would a deserving candidate be? Does she need to perform some sort of Godlike miracle? Being a stay at home parent is no easy job. You are literally on call 24/7. There is no vacation, no weekends off, no time away…If you’ve got the flu, tough..You’ve still got to go to work. It might not pay and there are no employee benefits or Employee Assistance Programs. But you hand raised your children on your own. You taught them yourself and then you sent them off into the world at 18, crossing your fingers every lesson- whether it be taught with smiles or tears- was taken to heart. That, sir, is extraordinary.

        1. jackactionhero says:

          Huh? I haven’t been a “naysayer” AT ALL.

          You need to read more carefully and be more responsible with your accusations.

  12. Molly says:

    Thank you for this story! It is so nice to see a positive story on the news! Being a parent is a tough job! Congrats Tara on this award and hope you enjoy your night out. I am a mother of 2 little ones and the sleepless nights are rough. I commend you on being the parent you are and doing it with a smile on your face.

  13. Dave says:

    Great story on two great moms. Nice job Becky and Tara!

  14. Mike says:

    I think not only should this mom be rewarded for working so hard but she should also be rewarded for raising children in the face of adversity. As from some of the comments I have read, she can’t even just “win” this award without having comments from people who need to justify her relationship status with her children. Two thumbs up on this story and Tara I am proud of your parenting!!

  15. Brenda says:

    Wonderful story. Thanks for honoring parents in a special way.

  16. Heidi says:

    I loved loved loved seeing this story!! Congrats to two wonderful, loving, and dedicated mommies!! You deserve this!!!

  17. Coxy's friend says:

    Congrats, Tara and Becky. You deserve it!

  18. Cheri says:

    I just watched this video clip that was aired yesterday and was pleasantly surprised on the positive nature of the story. Today the world air ways are filled with negative stories. I smiled after watching this clip on this amazing family. It is nice to see a family working hard and making their kid’s health as a priority. Americans are losing the passion of a healthy diet and I am pleased to see this mother is taking an active role in providing her kids with healthy nutrients to fill their little bodies.

    I did a little research and couldn’t find another tv station in the local listen area that honors parents. WCCO you are a true leader in the tv business.

    Thanks to WCCO and to Tara. You made my morning.

  19. Huh? says:

    I have to agree with Jake on this one. I don’t see anything “above and beyond” in this family. Lots of families make healthy eating a priority and spend time volunteering. They are a just a regular 2 parent family.

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