Inspired By: Gathre Co-founder Marilee Killpack

We are constantly inspired by the amazing mamas in our Tubby Todd community. In our Inspired by series we profile some of these incredible women and give you a little glimpse into their lives as they discuss family, careers, style and more!

Today we're inspired by Marilee Killpack. You might recognize her as one of the co-founders of Gathre. Marilee has had an incredible mama journey with her four kiddos, especially over the past few years as her sweet littlest boy has had some extended hospital stays due to a rare blood. Read on for some wise, wise words from this inspiring mama!

Tubby Todd Mama Blog

Q: You have a pretty incredible job, tell us a little about what you do!

A: My most fulfilling job is mothering four good kids alongside a good man :) But as for my profession, I also run a business with my best friend Jessica called Gathre. We create leather goods that make life prettier and easier for everyone. I don’t take it for granted to have five living and breathing humans by my side and feel so lucky to get to live out my creative dreams alongside them.

Q: This past year you’ve had some extended hospital stays with your sweet little boy, what advice do you have for other mamas or parents who might be in a similar situation?

A: Oh man, this thought made some tears fall. If you’re in that situation, I’m praying for you. Remember you are brave enough, and strong enough for this. As far as advice, it sounds counterintuitive but one of the few things that brought me true joy during that time was looking outside myself for someone I could lift in any small way — whether that’s taking three minutes to slip a thank you note to someone, compliment a nurse on a job well done, text a friend you miss, or cheering on another patient you pass in the hall. They are easy, free things that lifted my spirits without fail. Even on the bad days, there is nothing that couldn’t be made better by helping others instead of dwelling on yourself. Oh and take a walk outside whenever you can. Lastly, remember this too shall pass so never give up.

Q: What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from motherhood?

A: Has there ever been a more loaded question? Haha. EVERYTHING! My mom was out of the country for three years while my first two babies were born. When she left I was 9 months pregnant with my first. She wrote me a note that said amongst other things, “Enjoy mothering.” Motherhood has been my biggest dream since I was a little girl but I wouldn’t consider myself a natural mother. However since that note 9 years ago, my heart is softer, my soul is bigger, my house messier, and my hairs grayer than I ever imagined they could be. My two-word lesson comes from the words of my own mother, enjoy mothering. I am still learning to do that!

Q: We love hearing people talk about their dreams. What are some of yours? They can be simple and small, bucket list goals or experiences, or an overall grand hope for life.

A: My biggest overall hope is to become half the woman my mother is. She is my absolute hero. But some simple bucket list dreams would be to not miss the little things in life everyday that are actually add up to be the big things. And as for experiences, I’ve never written this out before but someday I dream of opening a summer camp for boys who have the same disease as my son to come stay with their family for free in an effort to give back because we have been given so much.

Q: We’re so inspired by you, Mama—we want to hear, where do YOU draw inspiration from?

A: The biggest source of inspiration for me is God. Connecting with heaven always leaves me feeling more steady, more loving, more peaceful, more aware of the bigger picture, more me. My business, my family, and the world deserve a better woman of me and I feel more motivated to become, and capable of becoming, that woman by drawing near to God than in any other way.

Click HERE to read about more #tubbytoddmamas in our Inspired By series!

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