Relationships

I Want a Love Like Chip & Jo

Written by Michelle Downing

There aren’t shirts reading “Love Me Like Chip Loves Jo” for no reason. I love a good home renovation. I love shiny fixtures, rustic elements, repurposed vintage décor, heck, I even love shiplap. But what I love most about Fixer Upper? I love the love between Chip and Joanna Gaines.

There’s something so beautiful about a couple who stays in love. A couple who works together every day and still wants to spend their evenings together. A couple who is constantly scrutinized and photographed by the public, suffers through relentless rumors, yet remains a unified front. And, a couple who raises four kids and still manages to find the time, and passion, to make another baby.

Yes, I said it. I’m impressed these two, celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, running countless businesses and raising four children, are still hot and heavy. It’s obvious Chip still thinks his wife makes the sun shine. The adoration in his face, and the countless romantic gestures on the show, prove how much he loves her. And the fact that she still belly laughs at all his corny jokes and gushes about how handsome he is as he pats his growing belly show that the adoration is mutual.

So, I was rather shocked when I saw all the backlash at their baby announcement.

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A lot of people felt that the couple was making a last ditch attempt to save their marriage. They concluded that this child would ultimately grow up in a broken home, knowing the parents split not long after he or she was born.

I completely agree that a child cannot save a marriage. In an unstable environment another responsibility just adds stress, both emotional and financial, to add to the tension of the marriage. Plus, you will have even less time to focus on fixing your marriage with the time commitment you must now make to your new baby.

However, I think Chip and Joanna’s marriage is solid. And sure, I may just be looking at it with my rose-colored vintage glasses. But, I don’t want to accept the fact that they’re anything but happy.

(So, please don’t flood me with “I told you so”s if news to the contrary ever surfaces. I will be in my room watching endless reruns and melting watching Chip freak out as Joanna gifts him with a new Jeep for his birthday and he subsequently almost runs her over with it. The look of pure joy turned to pure terror on his face is reserved for true love. I just know it.)

Aside from all of this nonsense about their fix-their-marriage offspring, more shocking was the backlash regarding the size of their family.

People complained that America is already populated enough; families shouldn’t be making it worse. Others argued that their current four children already aren’t getting enough attention. 

Sure, in today’s society, five children is rather unique. Frankly, I’m still surprised how many minivans you see on the road, considering it seems most families don’t let the children outnumber the parents. The average American has 2.5 children, although majority of people say the ideal number is 2. (Guess having that half a child can be quite the burden!)

My main question: how can you argue when a more stable than I could ever be in five lifetimes couple brings a new baby into the world? Obviously, this child will be well-cared for. He will grow up in a big, beautiful house with two parents who love him and four siblings who will always have his back. He will, undoubtedly, have the most gorgeous nursery we’ve ever seen. And, by the looks of his siblings, he will be a beautiful baby.

So, what harm is it to the rest of the world if Chip and Jo are growing their family?

Is it because we are plagued by the Octomoms and Duggars of the world? Do we assume growing families are just for publicity? Or do we assume growing families will become a burden on society? Needing extra resources, assistance, or special treatment?

Personally, I prefer having a smaller family. But, I don’t have the unlimited resources that they do. I would struggle paying to put meals for seven people on the table every day, much less buying five cars and paying to put five kids through college.

So, I say, if you can do it, more power to you. I know that for lots of people, living a busy life and endlessly chasing children is what makes life exciting. They love crowded get-togethers, cozy car rides, and an endless supply of activities. I’m from a big family and so is my husband; we love the chaos of holidays and family vacations because it’s a constant reminder how much we’re loved. Plus, I’m my parents’ third child so I’m definitely thankful they didn’t quit after two.

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier for Chip and Jo. And yes, mostly because a baby is a blessing. There’s nothing like raising children and watching them grow and learn, knowing you helped shape them into these miraculous little beings.

But, I also think it’s really romantic that Chip and Joanna are still getting busy trying to make babies after four kids and 15 years.

About the author

Michelle Downing

Michelle Downing is a married mother of two young daughters. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and home renovation projects.