Joanna talks to Jenna Bush Hager in this exclusive Southern Living interview.


Joanna Gaines sits down with Jenna Bush Hager to talk about motherhood, letting go of perfection, and finding magic in the everyday moments.

Jenna: Family is the cornerstone of your life. Talk to me about that.

Joanna: You look back, and you realize it's true what people say about kids growing up so fast. Drake is taller than I am. Ella could literally run the business. They're getting so big and so old. The farm has always signified life together for us as a family. The kids are what keep us grounded. With baby Crew [born last June], life is even sweeter because we get the chance to go through that stage one more time. But now the older kids can experience it too. Time together as a family is a gift.

Jenna: How often do you have family dinners?

Joanna: Chip is adamant about us being around the table for breakfast and dinner, even if we have to work around schedules and games or have dinner at the ballpark. We know those times will be harder as the kids get older. So far, we have had the privilege to do that. Table time is important. We have to reconnect with one another—and we will fight for those moments together as long as we can.

Jenna: Describe a perfect night around the Gaines table. What are y'all eating?

Joanna: Chicken pot pie with mashed potatoes—and there's music on in the background. We're always playing music in the house. Lately we've been into card games, like spades. When Chip and I first got married, we did the no-TV challenge and started playing cards every night. Now that's what we do as a family. What we did 15 years ago is what we are doing to

Jenna: What's your screen rule?

Joanna: We don't have a TV. Our rule for the iPad is that the kids can use it a certain amount of time every other day. 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. It's funny when I say, "No iPad games," and then see the things they create and invent on their own. I'm like: "That! That's the stuff right there, kids." day.

Jenna: Maria Shriver once told me that you can't control the news and the outside world, but you can control how people feel when they're in your home. It's empowering that we can create this feeling that can change our kids.

Joanna: In the home, we can make sure our kids' hearts are secure and strong. That way, when we send them out into the world, they feel ready for it and know how to take it in without it crushing them. We have to think about what we can do to keep them safe and assured. It's not easy, but this is what we are called to do.