Photo Credit: John Aquino/Corbis
"I'm just doing all I can to stay above the water," Faith Hill told iVillage as she packed up the Tennessee house she's shared for the past six years with husband Tim McGraw and their three daughters -- Gracie, 12, Maggie, 11, and Audrey, 7 -- to move the following day. The 42-year-old country singer (who sings the theme song for NBC's Sunday Night Football) took some time out of her eventful day to chat about her "serious football family," the best mom advice she's ever received and how she feels about her daughters entering their teenage years.
We heard that you watch football because your husband loves it.
That's not the only reason I watch football. I was brought up on football. My mom is a huge New Orleans Saints fan. It was just part of our life. When Tim and I first met, I realized quickly I was moving into a serious, serious football family. So it's become part of our lifestyle and something that our kids enjoy as well. It's hard to imagine 12, 11 and 7-year-olds -- and girls to boot -- all really, really love watching football.
Do you think women should learn to watch football?
It's a personal thing, but it can be a lot of fun. I don't know a ton about the game, but I do know a little bit, enough to keep me interested and enough to really get involved when Tim's getting excited. It allows me to have time with my husband during football season. If I did not enjoy football, it would almost be like living alone.
Has Tim gotten involved in any of your hobbies in return?
Not as much as football. I'm a big organizer and he's not quite there yet. He's trying. In the middle of this move it's been funny -- I always ask him to clean out this pile and clean out that pile. It takes him about five minutes whereas it takes me a whole day. So maybe I should be more like him.
How much does Tim love that you're singing the Sunday Night Football song?
It's pretty cool. He thought it was an opportunity not to be passed on. It's something that he looks forward to every Sunday night. He calls for me, "Come in, you've got to see it!" I tell him I've see it many times. He gets very excited.
You make an effort to schedule tours and work around your kids' schedules.
Tim is able to go out and do more and I'm able to stay home more with the children. But he does as well when the school year begins. We really try to work hard to book our working schedule around the girls' school schedule. It's just really busy when you have three children in school. And I'm speaking to the choir when I talk about kids, but boy, it's really our busiest time because we have all three daughters in school now. From the afternoon when they arrive home and we pick them up at school until they go to bed at night, it's almost busier than when they're at school. It's crazy. Homework and dinner and bath and reading. It's another eight-hour day.
Why is it so important for you to be home with your daughters?
It's an incredible opportunity that we have the choice to do this and to be home. I've just been able to be a part of so much of their lives. And I just really enjoy it. It's more stressful for me not to be here, to be honest with you. There have been times when I've had to be away -- not for long periods of time, it's just a day or so -- and I just felt like I missed out on so much.
What's your best advice for busy moms who are trying to balance work and family?
I'm sure they could offer me advice. I don't think I'm one to offer any. I don't feel apart from a working mom who's raising children. I feel like we could all probably sit around a table and share lots of stories and learn from each other. I think for me, I honestly try and enjoy the time. It can get very stressful, especially when you're running from point A to point B. We've tried to cut that down quite a bit, by just having the children involved in one activity after school and not three or four. I love that time at night after the homework's done and we're eating dinner and we try to get in reading each night, which is so important. And then we try to get them to bed at a decent hour, by 8 or 8:30, which they're still young enough to do. Now our two oldest ones are in middle school and it will become tougher to do that as they get older because their workloads are just multiplied times ten. It's just a work in progress. It changes day to day. That's the ideal scenario, but listen, daily there could be a wrench thrown in the whole plan.
Are you nervous at all for you daughters to enter their teenage years?
I'm not nervous. I mean I have heard horror stories. And I mean every person I run into that has girls they say, "Oh, how old are they?" and I give them the age and they say, "Oh, you're just a couple of years away from hell." I've not experienced it but I'm taking notes and reading. One of the greatest bits of advice that I have never forgotten [was from an article] about how important it is for teenage girls to be friends with their mom's best friends. If something ever happened and they felt like they couldn't come to you because they were embarrassed or they could possibly get into trouble, they could go and tell your girlfriend. I've never forgotten that.
Do your daughters think you're cool?
Probably not. My daughters think I'm goofy and crazy. They love their parents, I can tell you that. I don't know that they think we're cool. You'd have to ask them that question.
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
We just like hanging out, we really do. As long as we're together, it doesn't take much to satisfy us. We really just like hanging out around our house. It's been kind of bittersweet this morning because this is our last day in this house that we've been in for about six years. This has kind of been our interim place while we're building and we've just fallen in love with it. It's a really old house that was built in 1932 and it's just got a sweet vibe about it and it's a good-sized house. It's not too big and we're going to really miss it.
You've probably had lots of great memories there.
Lots of great memories. We've been waiting to move for three-and-a-half years. [We've been] building this house in the middle of tours and all that kind of stuff, so this is a very big thing for our family. Every home we've ever lived in has always been a place we knew we were going to move out of, so this is a special time for our family. After thirteen years of marriage! Now we're really excited. I've been trying hard to pack in a smart way. I have unpacked boxes in this house that I have not opened in ten years and I'm not over-exaggerating. That's how busy our lives have been. I tried to promise ourselves that I was not taking one thing to the new house that I had not seen or cleaned out.
You and Tim made a promise not to be apart for more than three days at time? Are you sticking to that promise?
We've managed to do well in that regard. We've broken it a few times. When we first started dating, got married and had kids and all that, that was the rule. But there's been a couple times we've had to break that just because it's impossible. It would have been more difficult to jump on a plane and get home as opposed to staying one extra day. But we try and stick together as often as we can.