‘Fixer Upper’ Star Chip Gaines Admitted to Some Seriously Cringeworthy Parenting Fails

There’s no denying that Chip and Joanna Gaines are extraordinarily devoted parents. The former HGTV stars and hosts of the hit series Fixer Upper appear to be living an idyllic life on their sprawling Texas farm. Together, they’re parents to five adorable children.

Even the best parents in the world aren’t perfect all the time. The Gaineses share parenting tips and tricks, it’s true, but they also admit to failing on several occasions. Chip in particular is notorious for committing a few shocking parenting fails that are hilarious in retrospect.

Chip Gaines sometimes forgets his kids’ birthdays

Chip Gaines
Chip Gaines | Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

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The Gaineses have more offspring than the national average. In the early days of Fixer Upper, the couple had four children before their surprise bonus baby Crew made them a family of seven in 2019. That’s a lot of birthdays to keep track of.

And though Joanna surely knows and plans for each impending birth anniversary with a delicious recipe from her best-selling cookbook, Chip admitted that the days often get away from him. This leads to Chip not remembering those milestones — especially for the older set.

Chip called his oldest kids “guinea pigs,” Fatherly reported, claiming he made “every mistake in the book” with them.

“There’s lots of stories of me leaving kids places I shouldn’t have left them,” he said. “I’ve forgotten birthdays. Afterward, you’re like, ‘I’m the worst person.’”

Chip went on to explain that the mistakes were all learning experiences. “I’m a firm believer that it’s the mistakes that make us who we are. We learn the most from them, and I think that goes for parenting as well,” he continued.

He left newborn son Drake home alone by accident — twice

One incident that made a real impression on Joanna was the time Chip left their baby home alone. The worst part was that he didn’t just do it one time — he blanked on his parenting responsibilities twice in one week.

Joanna Gaines recounted the incredible story to People.

“I felt it was OK to leave him [their son Drake] with Chip for a half hour so I could take a short run,” she explained. “I walked in and discovered Chip had prepared an elaborate breakfast for me. I sat down to eat, and I looked over at Drake. He was sound asleep in his swing, still wearing nothing but his diaper.”

Joanna thought she knew what happened, but asked Chip to make sure.

“‘Chip, did you take Drake to the grocery store without any clothes on?’” she recalls asking her husband. “Chip gave me a real funny look. He said, ‘What?’ I gave him a funny look back. ‘Oh my gosh,’ he said. ‘I totally forgot Drake was here. He was so quiet.’”

Joanna went on. “‘Chip!’ I yelled, totally freaked out. I was a first-time mom. Can you imagine? Anyone who’s met Chip knows he can get a little sidetracked, but this was our child!”

The second time Chip left Drake home alone

The craziest part of the story is that Chip repeated the same mistake a few days later. Joanna recalled: “Several days later, I decided to go on a good long jog, trusting that Chip would not leave Drake again.”

“As I was on my way back, I saw Chip coming down the road. He rolled up to me with his window down and said, ‘Baby, you’re doing so good. I’m heading to work now. I’ve got to go.’ I looked in the back, thinking, Of course he’s got Drake. But I didn’t see a car seat.”

Chip added to the story, recalling how Joanna asked, “‘Chip, where’s Drake?’ she said, and I was like, ‘Oh, shoot!’ She took off without a word and ran like lightning all the way back to the house. She got there faster on foot than I did in my truck.”

Luckily, it sounds like Chip learned his lesson and never left Crew home alone. At least, not that we know of.