Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines seems like the ultimate mom: hard-working, creative, talented and devoted. But the HGTV star has had her struggles.
This Mother's Day, Gaines wants to communicate a vital message to women who are moms or want to be moms: "You are enough."
"I think at times, all moms get this insecure feeling of 'I'm not doing enough,'" Gaines writes in a recent blog post.
"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. I also let them know what I'm doing at work that day—whether it's filming the show or going into the office—and what time I'll be home. Taking a few seconds to let them in on this other huge part of my life has really helped them understand that mom and dad have a big job to do."
For those who struggle with their identity as a mother, Gaines offers ideas to recognize how to capture the seasons they're in.
First, savor the time you have with your kids.
"The young stage my kids are in is the sweetest. Chip and I are their favorite people, and they still stop what they're doing to greet us at the door when we get home. I really want to savor this season for as long as I can," Gaines says.
"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. So I get up and keep moving."
The couple's four kids can often be spotted on Fixer Upper as Joanna's husband, Chip, will drop by with the family during a project, or everyone will go together to auctions or flea markets. This time together allows the family to grow together.
And while these little trips or moments together may seem minuscule, kids will notice.
"The details have always mattered to me, especially when it comes to my kids. Whether I'm making cereal for breakfast or a big, fancy dinner, I want them to know that celebrating them in small ways in everyday life is a big deal to me," Gaines says.
"When Chip and I are traveling a lot, the first thing I want to do when I get home is cook. I want my kids to have the security that when momma's home, there will be a good meal. At my birthday breakfast a couple weeks ago, Chip had the kids go around the table to say what they love most about Mom, and each one of their answers was that I cook for them. I've been cooking since they were born, and I've never heard them say anything like that. The fact that they notice and feel provided for in the kitchen was a sweet moment for me."
The Gaines family efforts to keep Christ first in all they do, especially in their fame. They told the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that faith is their foundation as they move forward with their store Magnolia Market and their TV show.
"As for Fixer Upper, we have been surprised at the impact of our faith through the show. We haven't been overtly evangelical, but the rich feedback we have received on family and love all source from our faith. Jesus said the world would know His disciples by their love for one another, and we've glimpsed this in practice and strive for it every day."
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