Joanna Gaines on Motherhood: ‘Sorrow and Joy Can Go Hand in Hand’

Photo from Joanna Gaines Instagram

Joanna Gaines on Motherhood: ‘Sorrow and Joy Can Go Hand in Hand’

By Movieguide® Contributor

In a recent Instagram video, Joanna Gaines read an excerpt from her new book, The Stories We Tell, reflecting on the difficulties that come from watching your child grow up. 

“Today, we watched our oldest son drive away for the first time,” Gaines read. “I won’t lie; there were a lot of tears. Not from Chip—he was practically chasing Drake [her oldest child, 18] down the driveway cheering him on while I went back inside to gather myself.”

She continued, “It hurt to watch my son leave in such an obvious display of what it looks like to grow out of us. This right of passage now belonging to him.”

Gaines then shared that, when she went inside, she encountered their youngest son Crew, 4, “standing there as though nothing had changed forever.”

“He was simply wondering if I’d come back in to play with him,” she read. That moment changed Gaines’ perspective on what it means to be a parent.   

She explained, “At that moment, I knew how essential this rhythm is; to lose and then gain, to have and to hold, only to let go. It was a gift of perspective.”

Having Crew there was “this beautiful and gracious reminder of the bigger picture,” she continued. “Showing me that highs follow lows, that sorrow and joy can go hand in hand, and that letting go reveals what else our arms were made to carry.”

Gaines is very open about the ups and downs of parenting and the lessons she learns every day. Movieguide® previously reported:

As Joanna Gaines has gotten older, she’s been reflecting on her life and her mindset as a mother. 

Gaines shared that previously, she thought, “I’m the mom, I should have the answers.” However, now she understands the importance of being “vulnerable.”

“The older I’ve gotten, I’ve realized the more humanity these kids can see in me, the more we’re going to connect,” Gaines explained. 

She continued, “I want them to see the highs and lows, so when they’re feeling anxieties about school or relationships, they know it’s a safe place for them to come to me.”

This lesson comes just in time for a pretty big life change for the Gaines family. Drake, their eldest child, is getting ready to head off to college.

“When [Drake] was Crew’s age, people would look at me and say, ‘Oh, you better hold on tight. It goes by fast,’” she shared. “Now, being a mother of a 4-year-old and an almost 18-year-old, it’s a constant reminder to not take these moments for granted.”

Gaines has gotten comfortable with the idea that she might not always have all the answers, and says that her children are her biggest cheerleaders. 

“They’re encouraging me as I walk out the door like, ‘Mom, you’ve got this. Just be yourself, have fun,’” she laughed. “Sometimes I feel like they’re the parents.”

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