Small business owner, Daryl Austin, in the predominantly Mormon town of Orem, Utah, wrote an Op-ed for USA Today that began as a piece promoting family values. That was the cover theme for what it really was — a hit piece on one of America’s most loved Christian television couples, Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” The Gaines have four children and one more on the way and are very family-oriented as seen on their design show.
However, Austin has a huge problem with them, suggesting they aren’t who they get credit for. He questions their true intentions with fame and blames them for a number of issues he feels they have caused in their own family and in other families in America.
Having combined hard work with a focus on their family, there’s really nothing most sensible people would criticize this couple for, but have a lot to congratulate them on. They bring good values to television at a time when there’s an extreme lack of wholesome examples in entertainment. Austin sees it differently and speaks as an authority on parenting, by imposing his opinion on what the Gaines are doing wrong that’s damaging their children. His main assertion is that two parents who work hard can’t possibly be good parents.
In this part of Utah where Austin wrote his piece, most families have a stay at home mom and the husband/father is the sole breadwinner for the family. While there is nothing wrong with this classic arrangement and does have a lot of exceptional benefits, it’s not the only right way to raise a family. However, living in an area where this is predominantly the case and expectation, it is likely the reason for Austin’s skewed perception of what a “quality” family is.
When the Gaines family caught wind of the personal criticism in the article, Chip Gaines came out swinging in defense of his family.
Fox News reported,“Fixer Upper” star Chip Gaines is hitting back — and letting his thoughts about family and career be known.
The reality star took to Twitter on Saturday to respond to Daryl Austin’s USA Today Op-Ed about him and his wife Joanna.
In the Sunday piece, Austin, a small business owner from Orem, Utah, claimed to “love” the successful design duo. But the direction of the article takes a sharp turn when the writer says the success of the couple didn’t happen by prioritizing their family.
“There is much to be admired about them, including their commitments to their faith, marriage, family and community,” he asserted, before claiming the Gaineses “did not get where they by putting their family first.”
Despite statements from former #FixerUpper hosts, Daryl Austin says that "Chip and Joanna Gaines did not get where they are now by putting their family first." (via @usatodayopinion) https://t.co/M1aI3QycVT
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 28, 2018
Austin argued that the Gaineses “want to be seen as a couple that can do it all while at the same time making their family their top priority.”
However, Austin claimed that it’s “just not possible, and it does a disservice to the parents who really are putting their children first.”
“No matter how rich and famous, we are all limited by the same 24 hours in a day,” he continued. “You cannot do all they’ve done (or even a fraction of it) and still have any real time left over for family. Frankly, I wonder where they even find the time to brush their teeth, let alone spend quality, one-on-one time with each child daily.”
Gaines fired back, offering his own take on Twitter.
“I dont know daryl, & he clearly doesnt know me,” he wrote. “But for the record: If there is ever a need w/ my family (1st), I’ll shut this circus down so fast it will make your head spin.”
I dont know daryl, & he clearly doesnt know me. But for the record: If there is ever a need w/ my family (1st), I'll shut this circus down so fast it will make your head spin. BUT jo & I believe, w/ God anything is possible. Including having an amazing family AND career you love. https://t.co/3DbWIIKMnh
— Chip Gaines (@chipgaines) April 28, 2018
Gaines added that he and his wife “believe, w/ God anything is possible. Including having an amazing family AND career you love.”
In America, every family looks different from the next and for different reasons. Some people might have the luxury of one parent staying home, but what if a single income doesn’t provide enough for the family’s needs? Is a father to work multiple jobs so the mother doesn’t have to? If he does, that takes away all available time he could have with his kids. Or what about the single mom who’s doing her best to make a living and be a great parent? Whether single by necessary choice or left alone tragic circumstances, that’s a reality in this world and one many people have to deal with. Nobody shouldn’t be parent-shamed by someone who hasn’t had to face the same challenges someone else has.
In the Gaines’s case, they are two parents with a successful show and home furniture line. Perhaps the Gaines are better at time management and multitasking than Austin is who has a hard time understanding how people can be successful who do life the way he does. He seems to believe in one “right” way and if you do it that way then your life will be great. For those who don’t, he believes they pay a price in some way, which is silent vindication to the judgemental person who stays in the lines.
To see a successful couple who is living a great life out of his pretentious parenting box he’s limited himself and his family to must be difficult for Austin. He could have done it different too had he just broadened his view.