Do Chip and Joanna Gaines Have a Nanny to Watch Their Children?

Now that baby Crew has arrived and settled into life at the farmhouse, Chip and Joanna Gaines are parents to five adorable children. That sounds incredible — and chaotic and exhausting, too. Plenty of fans have wondered how the Fixer Upper stars managed to get their children to and from school — as well as keep everybody fed and entertained — when they were filming the show. (How does Joanna do it?!)

Even after Crew’s birth, fans have still wondered whether Chip and Joanna Gaines have hired a nanny or turned to anyone else to help them out at home. After all, Fixer Upper is over, but the couple still has numerous businesses to run. Ahead, discover what we know about whether Chip and Joanna Gaines have hired a nanny, and why some people would criticize them if they even hired a babysitter.

They quit Fixer Upper to spend more time with family

Chip and Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

Chip and Joanna Gaines made it clear that they were ending their tenure on Fixer Upper to spend more time with their growing family. The couple said of their children, “They’re so young, and we want to give them the chance to have a normal childhood.” Romper reports that they haven’t shared many details about their day-to-day lives as parents, but some fans have wondered whether they would choose to homeschool their children.

As the publication explains, the Gaineses “do belong to a religious community that is made up of many homeschooling families.” But on the other end of the spectrum, fans have also wondered whether Chip and Joanna Gaines have ever hired a babysitter or a nanny to take care of their kids.

PopSugar reports that “Due to their evangelical faith and their strong family values, we think it’s very possible that the Gaines family hasn’t recruited full-time help to care for their four [now five] adorable kids.” The publication reports of Joanna, “She and her husband may not have ever confirmed or disputed the need for childcare assistance, but we have a feeling that being the primary caretakers for their children is a job this power couple takes seriously.” But the reality may not be quite so simple.

Similarly, Joanna closed her first store to raise her kids

Ending Fixer Upper wasn’t the first decision Joanna made with her children — and her church’s philosophy on motherhood — in mind. Curbed posits that “Fixer Upper is a stealth feminist fantasy, albeit a complicated one.” Chip and Joanna have long been members of the Antioch Community Church.

The evangelical megachurch states on its official Beliefs page that while “the husband and wife are of equal worth before God,” “a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband … [and] has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his companion in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.”

So it’s not surprising that, as Joanna recalls, she opened the original Magnolia shop but then closed it in 2005 to raise her children. “I was also pregnant with my second child, and I really felt like God was saying ‘Hey, I want you home, I want you raising those babies at home, at this age,’” she said. She admitted to crying when they closed the store.

Joanna found a way to live according to her religion, but make it work for her

Curbed reports that the future Fixer Upper star launched her lifestyle blog, at a time when “a seeming tidal wave of religious stay-at-home-moms had realized that a Blogspot account could keep them connected to their creativity and a world beyond nap schedules and potty training.” Curbed reports that Joanna carved out a career for herself so that she could live according to her church’s philosophy, “while also gently pushing beyond it.”

Fixer Upper famously became a full-time job for both Chip and Joanna Gaines. And fans of the show will recall that just about every episode began with a scene at the farm, followed by Chip and Joanna heading out to meet clients. So who was shuttling the children to school, or supervising them when they spent time at home?

Critics don’t even like the idea of Joanna hiring a babysitter

Chip and Joanna Gaines have their fair share of critics, and some conservative Christians have criticized their parenting choices. Christian blogger Elizabeth Prata wrote, “If there is a babysitter on [the] scene because mommy is working late a lot, and fast food, and daddy taking on roles he is not biblically mandated to, then that is not putting Christ first.” She added, “Christ maintains that the woman’s primary role is oriented to the home.”

Conservative Christians may object to the Gaines’s lifestyle. But as Curbed notes, Joanna Gaines’s platform — both on Fixer Upper and on her blog and social media — focuses less on religion and “more on empowering women to own their domestic space and their right to exist outside of it.”

Many fans speculate that Chip and Joanna must have a nanny, a babysitter, or another support system, but they don’t talk about it, leaving fans with what Curbed characterizes as unrealistic “expectations about having an Instagram-ready home, church-approved marriage, and generally perfect life.”

Read more: These Are the Cutest Chip and Joanna Moments You Saw on ‘Fixer Upper’

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