Marie Tillman is founder and CEO of the children’s clothing subscription box Mac & Mia, founder and CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation, a nonprofit that provides academic scholarships for veterans and their spouses. She talks with us about balancing it all.
Quick facts about Marie
- Spouse: Joe Shenton
- Children: Joey, 17, John, 15, Sam, 13, Mac, 6, and Frankie, 4
How did you find love after such a public loss? (Her first husband, former NFL player Pat Tillman, was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2004.)
I tried to stay open to life and love, which was really difficult at times. I wasn’t really looking for love, but love found me, and I am grateful every day for second chances.
How do you balance five kids and a demanding career?
Balance—that’s the illusive thing we are all searching for that we never quite get! Trust me, it is a daily struggle to figure out what takes priority each day. I’ve found that the key is to stop looking for balance and realize you can’t do it all. Instead of trying to squeeze everything in, I try to focus on the most essential things each day, which means some stuff doesn’t get done. I’m learning to be OK with that.
What’s your parenting style?
Our kids have such different personalities and needs that my style may change depending on the kid and the situation. If I had to describe my style it would be “learn as you go.”
What are your family’s favorite holiday traditions?
Baking cookies, decorating the tree and Christmas PJs.
How does your latest venture, Mac & Mia, help busy moms?
We create a virtual shopping experience that’s so much easier and more convenient than dragging your kids to the store and having them try on clothes there. Our stylists create personalized relationships and work one-on-one with parents to pick the perfect styles for all seasons and occasions.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other moms out there just trying to hold it all together?
The days are long, but the years are short. Enjoy every minute, which is sometimes easier said than done!
This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Chicago Parent. Read the rest of the issue.