Not only will Chip and Joanna Gaines be producing a number of product lines, publishing another book, and running their Waco, Texas-based empire, the Fixer Upper couple will also be getting ready for a baby on the way.
The pair has always put family first for their four children: sons Drake, 12, and Duke, 9, and daughters Ella, 11, and Emmie Kay, 7. “Family is the most important thing in the world,” Joanna, 39, told PEOPLE in September.
“I feel a little bit like a drill sergeant sometimes. Some elements of my personality, as a parent, I’m not real crazy about,” Chip, 43, told PEOPLE in December 2016 about his parenting style. “I grew up in an environment that was pretty much ‘back by dark’ — [my parents] didn’t generally know what we were doing, and it was all good, clean fun. So I thought, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a wild parent.’ ”
On the other hand, Joanna admitted that she’s “little more laid back than I thought I’d be,” telling PEOPLE: “[There are] certain things that I really care about, but I think the funny part, with Chip, is just the video games, the TV. That’s where he kinda gets a little strict. It’s, ‘You go play outside.’ ”
From dance parties in the middle of the night to bonding over arts and crafts as well as playing dress-up, the parents have been documenting special moments with their kids on social media to their over nine million followers.
“I want my kids to date, I want them to go out,” Chip shared. “I just remember great experiences as a kid, you know? Driving your car for the first time, picking up a young lady on a date for the first time. All those were little milestones to some extent.”
Joanna and Chip have previously expressed that they want their kids to have a life away from the national spotlight their fame has drawn. “They’re so young, and we want to give them the chance to have a normal childhood,” the mother-to-be said.
The filming schedule for Fixer Upper was a particularly exhausting one that required Chip and Joanna to film for 11 months out of the year since they began back in 2013.
“[The kids] would ask, ‘Mom and Dad, do you guys have to film again today? When is this going to be over?” Chip explained to PEOPLE in October. “The kids were so young when we started. Fast-forward to today and our oldest is almost a teenager — they’re all growing up so quickly,” Joanna added.
Ending their popular show meant slowing down because no matter how much it meant to them, it wasn’t worth risking what’s most important: their relationship and their family.
“Jo and I don’t want to find ourselves years from now realizing there were warning signs letting us know we were exhausted. We would rather stop here, where we still feel we’re in a really good place,” he said.
Back in July 2016, Joanna shared a viral Facebook post about the importance of instilling lessons in children that you hope will stick.
“You sow seeds early on and work hard to be intentional and then over time you move on to new lessons and challenges. Then one day you look up and the seeds you planted in your little children’s hearts are now in full bloom. Be encouraged today to keep pressing in and tending to their hearts. It will be worth it,” she said.
While they had never shut down the idea of expanding their family, the decision to end their popular HGTV series after five seasons may have presented more opportunities to think about welcoming another child.
“We had four babies right before the show started, and then we’ve had zero babies since the show started,” Chip told Houston ABC affiliate, KTRK in November. “For me, I’m really excited to go back and try to maybe . . . try to make some more babies,” he said.
And in June, Joanna shared with PEOPLE that she would consider trying for more than one child. “I would love another baby — or twins! The kids are always asking me, ‘Mom, can you have another baby?’ But Chip thinks we’re done,” she said.
The couple hasn’t ruled out a return to TV, but for now, plan to enjoy time together, time with their kids, big breaks like their recent trip to Italy and pet parenting five dogs, a handful of cats, cows, horses, chickens and goats.