Marni Tuttle #KIAWorkingMom

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Before I chatted with Marni Tuttle I had no idea there was such a thing as a Certified Fund Raising Executive…and, after going through the finer details of her education, work involvement, volunteer committees, fundraising and board positions…I needed a nap.

Marni Tuttle is…no word of a lie…AMAZING! She’s up there with all the women who are making a difference in the world.

While Marni was a little more reserved to discuss her many accomplishments…she let it all out when talking about her girls!

There’s “almost” 11-year-old Ada…sweet and helpful and excelling at school. Ada loves to read and has even been known to be scolded for “sneak reading!” She loves to figure skate and has recently started with a private coach. Ada is a huge help with her younger siblings, helps with putting the laundry away…and has even begun to learn how to cook!

Jane just turned 8. She’s independent…knows what she wants and does EXACTLY that…all with a brilliant smile! Jane is great at math, being a friend and has a flare for art that is beyond her years. Jane is a help at the breakfast table in the mornings and she’s recently begun using a sharp knife to cut cheese, fruit, etc to help out just a little bit more!

Tess is 5 years old and loving her first year of school. She’s a charmer…full of mischief and giggles. “Quotes from Tess” often appear on Marni’s Facebook page as Tess has a knack for saying the unexpected! Tess isn’t fond of chores but is learning to pick out her clothes the night before school and is pretty good at playing with her younger sister.

All three girls are involved with figure skating with the Sackville Skating Club, they’re learning to sew with Cathy Andrews and they take music lessons (piano, voice and choir) with Joyful Sounds Music Studio. In the summer…the girls are involved in various sports like baseball, paddling with Cheema, swimming and water skiing!

AND YES…there’s a younger sister!

Baby Kate is 18 months old and quickly losing her title of baby. She’s a Daddy’s girl, loves to dance and has tea parties with her three older sisters. Currently, Kate is being dragged from the rink to the music studio to the baseball diamond…but it won’t be long before she joins in and let’s everyone know who’s boss!

While the joys of being a Mom are incredibly rewarding, Marni’s found a fabulous career in a field that makes her feel good about her accomplishments. As the Campaign Director for Nova Scotia Nature Trust (100 Wild Islands)…working with a group of dedicated, accomplished and influential volunteers to raise $7M to protect coastal wilderness within our city limits…Marni’s working hard knowing that what she’s doing will benefit our entire province by protecting the unique places that Nova Scotian’s love.

On top of that, Marni is the Chair of the Windsor Junction Community Centre; Vice-Chair of Sackville Skating Club; Member at Large of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners NS…and so on…and so on…and so on!

While at some point in the future we may see this Mom of four with a life in politics…at the moment, Marni has mothering down to a science and is making a difference not only for her children, but for yours and mine!

Here’s how it works…

As luck would have it, Marni doesn’t require an alarm clock as her kids are early risers! She wakes them up, tells them to get dressed, and supervises as they start breakfast (although she’s done a good job teaching Jane how to handle those knives)…and then she’s off for the day! Marni’s sitter and husband handle it from there until her work day has her rushing home where it’s time to start supper or pick up the girls depending on the day. Throw in the childrens’ activities, homework, cuddles, meetings, bottle feeding, a run on the treadmill, bedtime stories and chores…and the day is done!

Marni enjoys Sunday mornings with the run club based out of the Sunnyside Running Room. She’s training for a 1/2 marathon in Ottawa and the Wine & Dine half in Disney World…because apparently she doesn’t get enough miles on her sneakers from chasing four kids around!

Speaking of Disney…with four girls under 11, it’s a family favoured location! They manage to visit the princesses every 2 years but sometimes throw in an extra trip to re-group and take a break from the busy-ness of day-to-day schedules.

While Marni is pulling rabbits out of hats…she’s not doing it alone.

“We’re co-CEOs at home. Shane and I can get most anything done. But if I didn’t turn up for weeks, everything would still happen. Shane’s the go-to guy that I appreciate everyday. It doesn’t hurt that he’s smart, handsome and his kids adore him.”

Together, Marni and her husband Shane are making it work. When asked about their parenting style…Marni eloquently stated,

“Our parenting style is a combined effort. I try really hard not to be overprotective. I yell more than I expected. Shane’s more patient that anyone can imagine. We read less than we anticipated. We’re disappointed the kids aren’t more comfortable on bikes but excited that they love to skate, and are fearless in water. We’re ok with too much screen time. Surprised how long it takes to sunscreen 4 very fair children. Our kids are the priority, but that doesn’t mean the world revolves around them. Kate has chaired WJCC meetings with me when she was weeks old. Jane & Tess both spent much of their first 6 months in classes at Dal. I’m hoping they’re getting instilled a sense that hard work is worth it and giving back to your community matters.”

While the parents share a jam-packed google calendar that keeps everyone on track and makes one day to the next flow seamlessly…grandparents are always there to help and Marni has a couple of sisters who live nearby and pitch in when they can. They’ve a great circle of friends and neighbours who are always nearby…and Marni and Shane are thankful for loving and reliable child-care…after all, it takes a village.

A village with children who are growing up with a sense that hard work is worth it…and giving back to your community matters most of all.

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