Anyone who's watched Fixer Upper knows that Joanna Gaines works hard. Not only does she star in the hit reality TV show, but she also flips homes, runs Magnolia Market, and raises four kids at the same time. It's the kind of schedule that would stress even the most patient person out, yet Gaines seems to handle all of it like a boss. However, once you take a look at quotes from Gaines on being a working mom, you'll realize she's going through the same ups and downs as all working parents — and that you're probably doing just fine yourself.
Gaines and her husband, Chip, have four kids at home, including Emmie, 6, Duke, 8, Ella, 9, and Drake, 11, and they haven't exactly ruled out having more kids. "I look at life as the more the better," Gaines told People last year. "If I found out we were having another baby, I would be really excited. We like a full plate. That’s just how Chip and I operate."
On top of the full plate at home, Gaines stars in Fixer Upper and runs Magnolia Homes (her remodeling and design business), The Magnolia Journal, and several vacation homes. Here's how she manages it all, in her own words:
Letting Kids Know They're Important
In a post shared on her blog last year, Gaines wrote:
As a working mom, it’s the hardest when my kids grab onto me as I’m walking out the door and say, "Mommy please stay home!" I don’t want to ignore that, so I always explain to them that being with them is my favorite thing in the world. I explain that I have to work just like they have to go to school.
Finding New Ways To Express Love
"I have had to find creative ways to connect with the kids during the day now that I work, to let them know I am always thinking of them," Gaines wrote in that same blog post. "I’ll send them a little note in their lunchbox or surprise them and pick them up early from school for a fun date."
Keeping Work & Home Life Separate
"We’ve had to over time figure out a way so when we’re at work, we’re all in. We’re efficient with our time, we’re filming," Gaines told People last year. "But then when we get home, we’re all in at home."
In a blog post from last year, Gaines detailed exactly how she tries to keep her home life separate from her work life, writing:
When I get home from work I try and leave my phone in the car and make that intentional effort to play and connect face to face with them. Even when I’m tired at the end of a long day, it’s fuel to see the look in their eyes when I ask them to cook with me or go play outside. As a mom, sometimes I have to change my mindset and remind myself what’s important. I only have so many hours a day to spend with these sweet, little people. And they won’t be little forever.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
True balance, according to Gaines, is a somewhat unachievable goal — so she tries to sneak family in first. "The balance thing is hard because at first that’s what I was trying to do, and I was kind of going crazy because at the end of the day, it’s hard to really balance anything," she told People last year.
At the end of the day, you can only do your best and forgive yourself for the rest, right?
Taking Some Alone Time With Each Child
According to Yahoo! News, the bus parents have one special way of balancing their kids with their work life: when they travel for projects, they bring one child along at a time.
"To some degree it's hard because I'm trying to think business, I'm trying to think creatively, and then you've got the girls asking, 'Can I have a snack? Can I have a snack?' but I think that's just the life I'm in," Gaines told Yahoo! News in May. She continued:
At the end of the day, the people who inspire me the most are my kids and my family, so they're there with me. It's not this pain in the butt deal; it's actually just part of the equation that it just works well for us, so and it's also just fun time with them and I hope they'll remember this when they get older.
Not every mom can have their kid join them on work trips, but I think Gaines' main message there is to find what works for you. Parenting is never easy, especially with full-time work thrown in, but every mom has her own way of making it work.