They live on a huge rural farm in Waco, Texas, so it’s not surprising that Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines try to encourage their five kids to get outside instead of turning to technology when they’re bored. During a recent conversation with Jenna Bush Hager for the March issue of Southern Living, the Fixer Upper star revealed that she and her hubby don’t have a TV in their home and have strict rules for their children when it comes to screen time with the family’s iPad.
“Our rule for the iPad is that the kids can use it a certain amount of time every other day,” the 40-year-old mom said of Drake, 14, Ella Rose, 12, Duke, 9, Emmie Kay, 8, and Crew, 8 months. “It’s contingent on them doing their chores and homework. I try hard to make it not the thing they look forward to every day. I don’t want them focusing on that.”
Joanna even shared that her kids can get quite creative when the iPad is off limits. “It’s funny when I say, ‘No iPad games,’ and then see the things they create and invent on their own,” she added of limiting their screen time. “I’m like: ‘That! That’s the stuff right there, kids.'”
Since being a kid today is much different than when she and Chip, 44, grew up, Jo admitted to Jenna, 37, that she learns new things about motherhood every day. “Looking through the lens of my older children has really helped me see that,” Joanna said. “When I had the first four, it was a whirlwind. This past weekend, Crew was sick, and I took him to the doctor — just me and him. The simplest things are highlighted to you. Before it was ‘I have to get through it.’ I’ve learned so much through this season of my life because I’m experiencing it through the eyes of my other children.”
Joanna also gushed that motherhood as “everything” to her and confessed she still struggles with mom guilt from time to time. “I’ve been through plenty of stages of guilt. It always creeps in,” the brunette beauty admitted. “It paralyzes me. I don’t want to waste a second of emotion on something that doesn’t create any good. I think, ‘What can I do to show my kids that I love them?’ Even if it’s making a cup of hot cocoa, which takes a few minutes. It’s about finding little ways to connect.”
The proud mom continued, “You just think kids will fit into your life, and then I had these babies and didn’t realize how they would have every string of my heart. Everything I do, from the moment I get into my car to drive to work, I’m thinking, ‘Did I do everything I could to make those kids know that I love them?’ I’m a segmented person, but there is not a moment when they’re not in my mind. I never thought it would be like that.”
Joanna seems like the best mama to her kiddos — they’re so lucky to have her in their lives!