She’s a mama (of five!), an interior design mogul and apparently, an inspiration to the rest of us. Joanna Gaines’ mom advice is genius. And if you don’t believe us, check out Gaines’ Instagram post about her day with daughter Emmie Kay.

Raising one kiddo isn’t easy. So can you imagine what raising five is like? Well maybe you can. Whether you have one, two or more, parenting is a challenge. Add on the pressure that you put on yourself to reach that Pinterest-perfect parenting goal and forget about it. You might as well give in. Or, in Gaines’ case—not.

Photo: Chip Gaines via Instagram

Gaines has a full plate. And that’s putting it mildly. With a newish baby who isn’t sleeping well, the mama of five admits that she’s not exactly getting the zzz’s she needs either. As she describes in her recent IG post, Gaines took daughter Emmie Kay out to the garden and let the little girl take the lead for their activity, instead of the other way around.

And no, this wasn’t some sort of free-range parenting moment. Gaines admits that reasoning behind letting Emmie Kay follow her imagination and curiosities was that she was simply too tired to come up with another idea. Yep, we think that’s totally okay (and more than understandable—especially with five kids!).

Even though mama Gaines wasn’t exactly a perky parent at this point, what happened next was pretty magical. She described Emmie Kay’s idea to pick flowers and press them into old books. The mommy-daughter duo then wrote their names and the date onto the pages, leaving the flowers to find when they’re older. Genius! And super-sweet, too.

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I took Emmie Kay out to the garden this morning and I let her lead and I just followed along in her imaginations and her curiosities (In all honesty I was too tired to come up with anything because mama and Crew haven't been sleeping great these days). She told me she wanted to pick flowers and put them in old books that only her and I would know about and then look for them later when we got older. We gathered some large old books in the shed and picked out our favorite flowers from the garden and then wrote our names and date in the books. We also pressed some petals that we could frame later to remind us of this special morning in the garden. One of the sweetest surprises for us both was when we opened up one of the books and found that someone else had done the same thing with some pretty leaves many years ago. It was like we stumbled on a treasure that reinforced how we would feel when we find these flowers again one day. I know at times it can be hard to find simple ways to connect with your kids. Especially in the tired and the hard and busy times in life. It can feel like it's all or nothing. But I really believe it's somewhere in the middle where the grace is extended and these simple, unplanned moments are actually the sweetest. I write all this for any of you out there who may experience "mom-guilt". I promise you that's a never ending cycle that leads to nowhere. Replace the word guilt with grace. Look for grace in the moments, the small wins that lead to the greatest investments in their little hearts. From one mom to another, stop being so hard on yourself. Don't spend another second focusing on failure, instead use whatever time and whatever energy you have and look for the moments where grace can be found. Because I'm telling you, this grace is sufficient. ✨

A post shared by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

In her IG post Gaines explained, “I know at times it can be hard to find simple ways to connect with your kids. Especially in the tired and the hard and busy times in life. It can feel like all or nothing.” She went on to add, “I write all this for any of you out there who may experience “mom-guilt”. I promise you that’s a never ending cycle that leads to nowhere.”

Gaines doesn’t leave the advice at that. She continues, “Replace the word guilt with grace. Look for grace in the moments, the small wins that lead to the greatest investments in their little hearts. From one mom to another, stop being so hard on yourself.”

Hmm. Guilt to grace? That’s advice we can abide by.

—Erica Loop

 

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