Joanna Gaines Reveals How She and Chip Really Handle Their Hectic Work-Life Balance
It seems no one is busier than Chip and Joanna Gaines. The famous fixer uppers run a clearly successful real estate and home design business, manage schedules to shoot the show about it, have their own entrepreneurial endeavors … oh, and they have four kids at home, too.
How do they do it? Joanna Gaines revealed the secrets behind how she and Chip perfected their work-life balance (and no, it’s not just an extra large iced coffee).
1. The kids chip in
Joanna told People Magazine how she involves her four kids (Emmie, Duke, Ella, and Drake) in her work when possible. “I want them to feel like they’re part of the process,” she said.
She lets them choose the paint colors and help with the process (when safe) so they can work with her rather than watch her work. “We figure out ways to make them feel like they’re super-involved so that it seems a little more holistic.” Plus, Chip and Joanna recently instated a new rule in the household: Each time they travel, one kid comes with and they rotate a travel schedule.
Next: They maximize their time with this trick
2. They know how to multitask…
… But they’re still clear on where they need to be, when. “We’ve had to over time figure out a way so when we’re at work, we’re all in. We’re efficient with our time, we’re filming,” Joanna said. “But then when we get home, we’re all in at home.”
When you have irons in a large number of fires — whether it be Fixer Upper, their remodeling business, The Magnolia Journal, or Joanna’s new home line, Magnolia home — multitasking is a crucial skill. However, Joanna credits her and Chip’s success to their ability to give 100% to whatever task they’re working on at that moment.
Next: Keep it simple, sweetheart.
3. They simplify tasks when possible
Why make a task harder than necessary? It’ll only add stress. Joanna and Chip know this well. “Our passion is to really help people with their homes,” Joanna explained. They choose to just “simplify that process” as much as possible. An easy way to do that? Identify the task at hand and tackle it, whether it be at home or at work.
“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 [the kids]. As a mom, sometimes I have to change my mindset and remind myself what’s important.”
4. They embrace the outdoors
The couple’s personal fixer-upper is a gorgeous, 1,700-square-foot Victorian home on 40 acres of land right outside of Waco, Texas. “Going all in at home” has different meanings for every family, and for the Gaines, it means enjoying the beautiful outdoor land in their backyard.
The Gaines crew plays outside, tends to their livestock (cows and goats), and keeping up with their hobbies. “I think that’s how we kind of bring balance mentally so we’re not all-work-no-play,” Joanna said, “For me, it’s the garden and being outside and working with my hands; for Chip, it’s just doing the whole cowboy thing, and we incorporate the kids.”
Next: They know exactly the right lessons to teach the kids…
5. They inspire their kids to work hard
Part of the Gaines’ family success? Chip and Joanna inspire their children and let the kids inspire them in return. “At the end of the day, the people who inspire me the most are my kids and my family … It’s not this pain in the butt deal; … it’s also just fun time with them and I hope they’ll remember this when they get older,” Joanna said.
When the kids complain about Chip and Joanna going off to work, she reminds them that while being at home is her favorite thing, work is important too. “I explain that I have to work just like they have to go to school.”
Next: They keep their priorities in line.
6. They always put family first
Even when plans run amuck and balancing becomes hard, Joanna and Chip keep their priorities in line. “Family is first,” Joanna said, “The balance thing is hard because at first, that’s what I was trying to do, and I was kind of going crazy because at the end of the day, it’s hard to really balance anything.”
When her focus shifts, Joanna reminds herself of one thing to keep herself grounded: She only has so many hours each day to spend with her children, and they won’t be little forever. “As a mom, sometimes I have to change my mindset and remind myself what’s important,” and that’s OK.
Next: Every superhero needs a partner in crime.
7. They know how to delegate to each other
The couple knows how to split parenting duties the same way they split remodeling homes: Delegate when necessary and stick to what you know. “Chip is the best swaddler,” Joanna said, “He’s always been able to rock our babies to sleep.”
Joanna shines when it comes to diaper duty. However, in light of their recent news (next), she says she may need to refine her skill when it comes to the changing table.
Next: Chip and Joanna’s final message
8. When one door closes, another one opens
“I look at life as the more the better,” Gaines told People in 2016. “If I found out we were having another baby, I would be really excited. We like a full plate. That’s just how Chip and I operate.” Lucky for the Gaines, they do have another one on the way — Joanna is pregnant with their fifth and is due in summer 2018.
Joanna and Chip are ending Fixer Upper after five seasons on the air. The couple felt they had a lot of responsibilities and needed to take a break and step back from TV. The news that baby No. 5 was on the way only solidified their decision. “It was a total surprise,” she said of her pregnancy, “But when we found out, it solidified that it was the right decision to leave when we did.”
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