Joanna Gaines is sharing her parenting lessons learned and how she’s righting her one regret.
The Fixer Upper star, 40, who has four children (and one on the way!) with husband Chip, 43, opens up in the new issue of Magnolia Journal about how forcing herself to get out of her comfort zone has changed their relationship for the better.
“As you can imagine, Chip is all fun all the time,” the HGTV star writes of her notoriously mischievous spouse. “He’s the twirler, the chaser, the Nerf gun champion — and I love watching him light up the kids’ faces every day.” But, the designer admits, “his larger than life personality allows me to stay where I’m most comfortable, which, if I’m being honest, usually means the sidelines.”
“I know this time in their lives won’t last forever and I should jump in sooner,” she writes of kids Drake, 13, Ella Rose, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 8. Now, however, she has found her own ways to be more extroverted and playful — traits she says she previously thought she “simply didn’t inherit.”
The expecting mom, who’s talked about overcoming her habit of being “a textbook control freak” in the past, says she still has to push herself to be more outgoing, but when she does, the rest comes easy.
“Once I get myself there, this is usually how it plays out,” she writes in the personal essay. “Whether I’m dancing to loud music with Emmie and Duke or playing magic tricks with Drake and Ella, it only takes about five minutes before I’m twirling around or talking in my magician’s voice, and you’d think I was born for this.”
And it’s not just for the benefit of her little ones. “Once I’m in it, I’m reminded that I’m more than I thought I was,” Joanna says. “I know I could choose to be OK with Chip being the playful one for our kids . . . but I think that would mean missing out on moments that are truly beautiful, and that work to refine and sharpen who I am and the kind of mom I want to be.”
Pick up Magnolia Journal’s summer issue, on newsstands now, for the full story.