3 Motherhood Lessons I’ve Learned From Joanna Gaines

written by LAURA ADOM
joanna gaines"
joanna gaines
Source: @joannagaines
Source: @joannagaines

I really love Joanna Gaines—there I said it. If you’re also a fan, she’s likely already inspired some of your home or kitchen decor in your home. Or maybe she’s lit a fire inside of you to finally tackle that renovation project you’ve been putting off. She’s done both of those for me. There aren’t many popular “celebrity” women that I look up to, but Joanna is one of them.

As I’ve gotten older, with a home of my own, my interest in interior decorating and home improvement has grown too. I first came across Joanna just like many people have, from her show Fixer Upper on HGTV. Joanna is a great decorator, has a keen eye for mixing patterns, styles, and textures, plus her signature shiplap. While we all know and love her for the work she does on HGTV, with her Magnolia brand and through her curated Target collection, I’ve come to appreciate how Joanna handles motherhood as well. 

While it’s not the focus of her shows, getting a peek into Joanna’s life as a mom is something I enjoy seeing when it does pop up. She exudes the type of energy, patience, confidence, and independence I hope to have in my motherhood journey. Here are a few of the motherhood lessons I’ve learned from Joanna Gaines.

1. Success needs a support system

It’s safe to say that Joanna could not have accomplished all that she has without having help and support from those around her. The biggest support system I see from what she shares is from her husband, Chip. Of course, I don’t know the inner workings of their marriage and family dynamic, but from what they share, he always has her back and tries to give her what she needs. 

With the empire she is creating, I bet most of her days are filled with work tasks. While she has her husband to help out on the home front, she also has created strong connections with her staff and other local businesses to take on work tasks so that she can spend her time doing what’s most important to her at that moment.

I know the feeling of trying to do it all myself and each time I do that I end up feeling burned out and resentful. I am learning to ask for help more often and being OK with letting go of the rest. 

2. Don’t be afraid to walk your unique path

There are countless home decorating shows to watch on TV, but I think Joanna’s show skyrocketed to the top of the ratings because she stayed true to herself. She has always put family first, loved living in a small rural town, and put her heart into all of her shiplap-filled work. She also knew that, even though she had hit a peak in her career with her TV show, it was time to walk away and do something different.

In motherhood, we often want to know if we’re doing things “right” and we look to others to confirm or justify our decisions. Sometimes, I’ve found I enjoy motherhood and parenting the most when I make decisions for myself and my family without crowdsourcing my ideas. When I make a decision from my heart or intuition, I see my true mothering qualities shine.

She also inspires me career-wise. When I was younger I used to chase the 9-to-5 corporate ladder style of work, but now I value flexibility, unplugging from my email and Slack, and being there for my family for those precious unforgettable moments. Joanna chose a career path unique to her and what she values. She’s made sure to craft her career in such a way that it includes all of the things she loves—family, community, and creativity.

3. Show your kids your passion for work

Speaking of work, I love that Joanna has chosen to blend bits and pieces of her career and family life. Sometimes the lines can get a little blurry when we’re checking emails while getting dinner on the table or putting on another episode of Sesame Street to hop on a work call. The way Joanna has blended these two parts of her life seems to come from a place of love and curiosity. She wants her kids to have a hand in the work she’s doing, to learn responsibility, and let their imaginations run wild.

I love watching her take her daughters to the local antique shops when I watch old episodes of Fixer Upper as she hunts for the perfect piece for a client’s home. Or when she has all of her kids join her in the newly-renovated home to help her stage it before the big reveal. It truly warms my heart because it’s not only giving her an extra set of hands to help out, but it’s also showing the kids what their mother does at work all day.

If you are a mom with a career, I think it’s important to talk to your kids about your job and why you do the work you do. Children often get inspired and motivated by watching their parents, and it can help them understand the value of having a career—and why their parents need or want to be working right now.

Whether it’s about shiplap and gardening secrets or how she juggles a career empire while being a mother to five kiddos, Joanna Gaines continues to be a woman I look up to.

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