"While I was beating myself up for giving them my second best, they loved it," Joanna Gaines told Southern Living of her children for their March issue

February 12, 2019 03:51 PM
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Not even super mom and home-organization extraordinaire Joanna Gaines is immune from the occasional quick-fix dinner — but her kids aren’t complaining!

The former Fixer Upper star chatted with friend Jenna Bush Hager in an interview surrounding her March cover of Southern Living, admitting that she resorted to “bags of 30-cent ramen” for a recent evening meal.

“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,” recalls Joanna, 40.

But her children didn’t mind one bit. In fact, they “were in hog heaven,” she jokes.

Mike Davello for Southern Living

“While I was beating myself up for giving them my second best, they loved it,” Joanna explains. “And I found grace in that moment.”

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Jenna Bush Hager and Joanna Gaines
Mike Davello for Southern Living

RELATED: Joanna Gaines Says She and Chip “Don’t Have a TV” and Talks Kids’ iPad Limits: “I Don’t Want Them Focusing on That”

Grace is something the mother of five is continuously working on giving herself as she parents Crew, 7 months, Emmie Kay, 8½, Duke, 9½, Ella Rose, 12, and Drake, 14.

“I’ve been through plenty of stages of guilt. It always creeps in. It paralyzes me. I don’t want to waste a second of emotion on something that doesn’t create any good,” explains the We Are the Gardeners author.

“I think, ‘What can I do to show my kids that I love them?’ ” Joanna continues. “Even if it’s making a cup of hot cocoa, which takes a few minutes. It’s about finding little ways to connect.”

[ent-hotlink id="18448" href="https://people.com/tag/joanna-gaines/" title="Joanna Gaines"] covers Southern Living's March issue

RELATED VIDEO: Chip Gaines on Having Another Baby with Joanna: “Don’t Be Surprised If No. 6 Is in the Cards!”

Her secret to keeping a tidy home even as she and husband Chip Gaines wrangle five kids, run their Magnolia empire and more? The ability to “trick [herself] into enjoying it” by playing music really loudly and setting herself a timer, turning cleanup into a game.

“My nature is for things to be orderly. It helps my mind think,” Joanna tells Southern Living. “After the kids are all in bed, I do a once-over of the house so I can start the next morning fresh for the day ahead. I love doing that. Not everyone does, so don’t let that pressure overrun your life.”

“My motto is ‘Take it little by little.’ Tell yourself that it’s okay,” she advises.

Joanna’s debut children’s book, We Are the Gardeners, is out March 26 but available for pre-order now on amazon.com.

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