Being a mom is the greatest gift.

By Mary Shannon Wells
February 12, 2019

If you had to make a list of the most well-like celebrities, Joanna Gaines (and husband Chip) would undoubtedly be on it. They would probably cringe at the word "celebrity," too, because their motto has always been to put family first. Their adorable family grew to seven members with the birth of son Crew in June 2018. Whether she's talking about Duke, Ella, Drake, Emmie, baby Crew, or the whole bunch, Joanna has graced us with some of the cutest quotes on motherhood over the years. From speaking honestly about the importance of family traditions to goofing off with Chip while parenting, Joanna has always kept it real as a mother. Although we value her design tips, Joanna Gaines's motherhood quotes are too sweet—and so relatable.

On Motherhood Overall

Warning: These sentimental motherhood quotes might cause a few happy tears.

"Motherhood means everything to me. Everything else in my life can go away, but that's my thing. That's what wakes me up. It is my heart—these kids."

"Being a mom is at the core of who I am. It's my top priority. What I always challenge myself with every day—even if it involves going on an out-of-town trip—is asking myself, ‘What can I do to fill these kids up?' The greatest investment that I'll ever put into life as a woman or as a wife or as a mother is time. That is my greatest investment."

"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."

On Time Flying By

Every parent knows it's true: Time really does go by too fast once you have kids. Even Chip and Joanna Gaines aren't immune to its hold!

"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."

"Time together as a family is a gift."

"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."

"It's always been my nature to reflect on the past and linger there a while. I find myself thinking about what I will miss and how life is just moving too fast…This whole time thing can feel like a thief if you let it."

"I'm challenging myself in this new year to live for now. The present. Taking in every breath, every sight, and sound and holding it dearly. Not thinking about how the good ol' days have passed us by or how the best is yet to come. But that right now, this very second, this is the gift. These are the days. These are the moments. And I'm gonna breathe them all in. If there's pain and sorrow, or happiness and hope, let it in and then let it out."

"I want to enjoy the now because it's the only thing we can actually embrace. I want to hold it carefully. Hold it thoughtfully. I want to rid myself of the little distractions because I have found that these are the thieves that steal our moments and rob our days. But time, time is our most precious gift."

On the Magic of Having a New Baby

When Crew was born, it had been eight years since Chip and Joanna had a baby in the house, which is quite the adjustment.

"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 this through the eyes of my other children, especially Emmie, my youngest girl."

"Now it's the little moments that stop me in my tracks, because that's what life is all about."

"I love being a mom to a newborn. I'm not sleeping, I look older, but I feel like I've been given a gift all over again, and I am feeling it more than ever before. I can't imagine it any other way. I just love this sweet stage of life."

"It's amazing. It woke me up a little bit. Life was doing its thing, and this baby—typically you feel tired—but this baby, he's just like my second wind."

"It's sweet how, even in the most unpredictable ways, we're given exactly what we need for that exact moment in time. It wasn't something I could have anticipated. But being pregnant and ‘forced' to slow down has been a gift."

On the Letting Go of Perfection

Instagram and Pinterest can warp what parenthood is "supposed" to look like. A beautifully styled shot of your kids in their Sunday best can quickly be ruined by an orange juice spill or a full-blown tantrum. Luckily, Joanna doesn't try to pretend that motherhood is perfect.

"Two weeks ago, I came home exhausted. I'd forgotten about meal planning and had five bags of 30-cent ramen, which I made for dinner. My children were in hog heaven. While I was beating myself up for giving them my second best, they loved it. And I found grace in that moment."

"…that's when the kids have the most fun—when I'm playing Wiffle ball or hide-and-seek. You can tell that's a special time for them. That's what Chip does well. I know that I don't have to be so hard on myself because God gave them Chip as a dad."

On Preparing Kids for the Real World

Parents aren't just there to be sure their kids eat veggies and get a full eight hours—they're consistently shaping the kind of adults their kids will be one day. That's a tall order, but Joanna has some sweet wisdom on the matter.

"As parents, we need to help our kids express what they're passionate about and challenge them in the things that are hard, knowing they probably won't appreciate this until they're about 40 years old. It's a balance of both."

"In the home, we can make sure our kids' hearts are secure and strong so 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."

"I always tell my kids to look for that kid on the playground who's not playing with anybody, to go reach out, ask them their name, to look for the kid in the lunchroom who isn't sitting by anybody, be their friend."

On Kids and Technology

Navigating motherhood in a digital age is unchartered and, honestly, intimidating. Here are a few of the ways Joanna is trying to balance screen time and real time with her kids.

"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 home- work. 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 I see the things they create and invent on their own. I'm like: ‘That! That's the stuff right there, kids.'"

"At our house, we keep phones away from the table at mealtimes so we can focus on each other and the conversation around the table and we wanted this to be an option for our guests at the restaurant as well."

On Keeping Traditions Alive

Chip and Joanna have consistently spoken about keeping with family traditions (and starting new ones).

"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 today."

"We play music 24 hours a day in the house. Each of the kids has their own favorite song. That's important to us. I also feel like we're traditional people, so maybe for me, being traditional is being with my family. And that's home to me. I want my kids to remember the smell of the candles that I always burn and the songs that we have playing. Home is such a sensory thing: the sights, the smells, the sounds, the emotions. We create those for our family."

"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."

On Advice to Other Moms

From getting real about the pressures of social media to talking all things "mom guilt," Joanna has always been a relatable but inspiring figure for other moms.

"I want to be that person who encourages other moms. I remember those times when I was home and couldn't even take a shower. When you're on social media, you need to step back and say, ‘My life is going to look different—and it should look different.' Celebrate others doing little things as well as big things, and celebrate yourself by saying, ‘This is what I was meant to do.' I really want women to feel encouraged. Know that you are doing enough. Own yourself."

"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…Look for grace in the moments, the small wins that lead to the greatest investments in their little hearts."