Joanna Gaines’s Daughter Emmie Kay Is a Chip Off the Old Shiplap

There’s no doubt about it: Joanna Gaines’s 8-year-old daughter, Emmie Kay, takes after her mom.

The Fixer Upper alumna opened up on Instagram about the special Sunday afternoon she and Emmie enjoyed this past weekend and how it inspired her to reframe her idea of mom guilt.

It all started when Gaines, exhausted because “mama and Crew haven’t been sleeping great these days,” took Emmie Kay out to the garden and “followed along in her imaginations and her curiosities” because she was too exhausted to come up with an activity herself.

As Gaines explained, “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.”

So they gathered some old books, picked their favorite flowers and wrote their names and the date in the pages where they tucked the flowers. And because the Gaineses are no ordinary crafters, they also pressed the petals to “remind [them] of this special morning in the garden.”

Gaines ended her lengthy caption about their mother-daughter day by admitting, “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.”

She went on to appeal to anyone out there experiencing mom guilt and said, “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.”

There’s nothing like a Joanna Gaines pep talk.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.