Joanna Gaines Gets Real About Moment of Mom Guilt

Joanna Gaines during an interview with the Today show.
Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Parents have been known to face guilt from time to time — even famous moms and dads! Former Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines recently explained an all-too-real mom guilt moment that left her initially feeling a bit devastated. Once she worked through it, however, she said she “found grace” in the situation.

Joanna Gaines is a real mom

One of the great things about the show Fixer Upper was seeing Chip and Joanna Gaines keeping it real with their big family. They’re loving, caring parents who are giving their kids everything they need in life. As any busy parents know, however, sometimes things can’t be absolutely perfect and the occasional shortcut is made.

Gaines made just such a decision to make her life a little easier when it came to mealtime for her kids. Unfortunately, it left her feeling some major guilt, even though it wasn’t much of a parenting misstep.

Gaines explains her parenting priorities

In a recent interview with Southern Living, Gaines talked about being a busy mom to five kids, who she calls “the core of who” she is. She explained in the interview that “(Motherhood is) my top priority.”

Gaines shared her parenting perspective, noting: “What I always challenge myself with every day — even if it involves going on an out-of-town trip — is asking myself, ‘What can I do to fill these kids up?’”

She continued: “The biggest investment that I’ll ever put into life as a woman or as a wife or as a mother is time. That is my greatest investment. That is what I’m carving out and scheduling when I look at my days. It gets hard. I’m juggling meetings, and then I get home and am tired.”

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Snoooow Day! ❄️

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The home improvement mogul shares her small oops

Given everything that Gaines has going in her professional life and her five kids, including baby Crew, it’s only natural that something tiny might slip through the cracks.

That’s where the guilt came in for Gaines, who shared: “Two weeks ago, I came home exhausted. I’d forgotten about meal planning and had five bags of 30-cent ramen, which I made for dinner.”

While she’s definitely not the only parent ever to phone it in, she felt like she let her kids down — turns out, they were just fine with their mom’s simple dinner.

Gaines admits she ‘found grace’ in the situation

While Gaines might have initially felt crummy over the lack of planning and offering a simple and quick meal just to get some food on the table, her kids were completely happy.

The former Fixer Upper star shared her realization, noting: “My children were in hog heaven. While I was beating myself up for giving them my second best, they loved it. And I found grace in that moment.” No harm, no foul.

She doesn’t want to waste time on guilt

While Gaines admitted she’s “been through plenty of stages of guilt,” noting that “It always creeps in. It paralyzes me,” she doesn’t want to spend any time with that feeling.

Gaines noted: “I don’t want to waste a second of emotion on something that doesn’t create any good. I think, ‘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. It’s about finding little ways to connect.”

Gaines wants moms to celebrate themselves

These little moments, Gaines explained, provide perspective and she hopes to encourage others by sharing these stories.

She remarked: “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.”