‘It Paralyzes Me’ — Joanna Gaines Opens Up About Mom Guilt, Wants Others to ‘Know That You are Doing Enough’

Joanna Gaines

It’s no secret that I, (along with every other woman in this country) have an ever-growing girl crush on Joanna Gaines. I mean, think about it, the woman appears to be one of the most level-headed beauties we’ve ever seen come out of television, with a design aesthetic that is actually to die for, unbelievable success running several businesses with husband, Chip, and publishing several books just to name a few.

Joanna Gaines

But as fellow mom and TV personality Jenna Bush Hager would tell you, when you strip back the shiplap and all of her career accomplishments, you’ll come to learn that Joanna Gaines is just like us.

A working mother of five, Waco’s sweetheart understands the weight of mom guilt.

“I’ve been through plenty of stages of guilt,” Joanna told Hager in a recent interview for Southern Living Magazine. “It always creeps in. It paralyzes me. I don’t want to waste a second of emotion on something that doesn’t create any good.”

Joanna says in these moments of deep shame and guilt, she’s found that it’s better to shift her focus to “What can I do to show my kids that I love them?”

“Even if it’s making a cup of hot cocoa, which takes a few minutes,” she says. “It’s about finding little ways to connect.”

Her response rings true of what we’ve seen for years from Chip and Joanna — that quality family time is a top priority.

So much so in fact, that not having enough quality family time was a major factor in the couple’s decision to end their hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper in April 2018.

In a post on the Magnolia blog, Joanna explained that the decision to end filming was “bittersweet,” and ultimately what they feel is best for their family at this time.

“While we are confident that this is the right choice for us, it has for sure not been an easy one to come to terms with,” Joanna writes. “Our family has grown up alongside yours, and we have felt you rooting us on from the other side of the screen. How bittersweet to say goodbye to the very thing that introduced us all in the first place.”

Gone, But Not Forgotten.

Although fans are no longer getting their weekly dose of Chip and Jo on the TV, the Magnolia Moguls have been ever-present throughout the year.

We followed along through Joanna’s pregnancy with the couple’s fifth child, Crew, and we waited in anticipation as both Chip and Jo released new books. We were reminded of the perfection that is ALL things Joanna Gaines every time we stepped into Target, and thanks to their private, but oh-so-regular social media presence, Chip and Jo have remained close and relevant to fans.

In March, Joanna will release yet another book called “We are the Gardeners,” a story she wrote with her kids about overcoming struggles in the garden and finding success in the little things.

Joanna Gaines

Motherhood is ‘Everything’

But no matter how many books she releases, houses she flips, shops she opens or magazines she sells, one thing remains constant for Joanna, and that is being a mother to those five kiddos the Lord has trusted her with.

“Motherhood means everything to me,” she tells Hager. “Everything else in my life can go away, but that’s my thing. That’s what wakes me up. It’s my heart – these kids.”

Joanna says these days, she has a lot of help in order to be successful in both her personal and professional endeavors. But it hasn’t always been that way. She hopes to encourage others moms in every season to know that we were each created with purpose, on purpose, and life won’t always look the way it does in this moment.

“I remember those times when I was home and couldn’t even take a shower,” she says. “When you’re on social media, you need to step back and say, ‘My life is going to look different—and it should look different.’

Celebrate others doing little things as well as big things, and celebrate yourself by saying, ‘This is what I was meant to do.’ I really want women to feel encouraged. Know that you are doing enough. Own yourself.”

Joanna Gaines

Of course, such is hard in today’s digital age of social media, to which Joanna and Jenna Bush Hager both agree “we need to lift each other up.”

“Comparison is the worst thing in the world,” Joanna says. “Contentment is the goal and the greatest gift in life.”


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Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of ForEveryMom.com! An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook!