Joanna Gaines’ sweet way of connecting with her daughter proves it’s the little things that count
As a working mom, it can be hard to feel like you’re “nailing it” in every area of life. More like failing it, amiright? It often feels like we can’t win and are spreading ourselves too thin, but sometimes, we can go easier on ourselves — as this brilliant post by Joanna Gaines reminds us.
Gaines took to Instagram yesterday to share a story about time spent with one of her daughters, eight-year-old Emmie Kay. As both the head of her home decor empire and a mother of five, Gaines knows how it is to feel stretched thin — but she’s still finding ways to spend good momma time with her little ones.
“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,” she writes.
Gaines shares that thanks to Emmie’s infant brother, Crew, that she hasn’t been sleeping too great lately and couldn’t think of something to do with her daughter. That’s ok, because letting Emmie decide how to spend those precious hours with her mother turned out rather nicely.
“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,” she writes. “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.”
Anyone else thinking that their shed definitely doesn’t hold gorgeous vintage books but probably has a few broken scooters and an old beanbag chair that a mouse has possibly built a cozy home inside of? Oh, Joanna. Never change.
Along with pressing the flowers into the books, the pair pressed individual petals they could later frame to remind them of their time spent together in the garden. They also discovered that someone else had pressed some leaves in the books years before, which is pretty nifty. “It was like we stumbled on a treasure that reinforced how we would feel when we find these flowers again one day,” says Gaines.
“I know at times it can be hard to find simple ways to connect with your kids,” she says. “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’ll buy that. The things my kids end up remembering are usually little things — and almost always, unplanned things. Like that time I was just too tired of cook dinner so I let them have ice cream and popcorn instead. Ok, that’s happened more than once. But the point is, I see what Gaines is saying. Enjoying their giddiness at eating junk instead of chicken and carrots, listening to them talk and spending time with them instead of panicking over cooking dinner, not guilting myself. In that tired and hard and busy moment, there was definitely enough joy to go around if I could stop beating myself up for a hot second.
“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,” she says. “Look for grace in the moments, the small wins that lead to the greatest investments in their little hearts.”
She concluded her post with words that will make any mom feel like there’s a little dust in her eye.
“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.”