Joanna Gaines: ‘If you ever want to feel young again, have a baby at 40’

Guests pose in the press room for the Christian Dior fashion show

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Joanna Gaines is super-popular with People Magazine’s core readership demographic. The Gaines family are happy, uncontroversial Evangelicals who home school their children but aren’t super-preachy about much of anything. They quit their wildly popular HGTV show Fixer Upper and they’re already working on other things, like a whole new TV network called The Magnolia Network. Joanna is also on the cover of this week’s People Magazine to promote her latest children’s book, We Are the Gardeners. So, there are reasons for her to cover People Mag. I just think it’s weaksauce for People to not devote any cover stories to Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman or even the Duchess of Sussex’s upcoming birth. But whatever, enjoy some comments from Joanna Gaines:

Giving birth to her son Crew at the age of 40: “I kid with people, ‘If you ever want to feel young again, have a baby at 40.’ It’s brought this whole new thing for me where I’m a lot more laid-back. People joke that I’m the ‘Fun Jo’ now.”

The fifth child has given her spontaneity: “I realized there has to be spontaneity, and schedules kind of go out the door. It’s like, ‘Hey, if I don’t get to it, it’s fine.’ I’ve just relaxed so much more, and it’s been fun for me.”

Crew goes everywhere with mama: “He’s my little sidekick. He comes to work with me every day and goes to all my meetings. There’s literally a sign-up sheet because everyone wants to hold him.”

Whether she’ll have more babies: “Heck if I know. I thought I was done, and then we had Crew. But [husband Chip Gaines is] always joking that he wants him to have a little sister. No plans for another baby but then again, we’ve never been planners anyway.”

[From People]

I think Chip is pretty much down for anything that Joanna wants. That’s their dynamic – if she said she didn’t want any more kids, he would be fine with that. If she said she wanted five more, he would do that too. As for this: “If you ever want to feel young again, have a baby at 40…” I get that she’s saying that jokingly and all, but good lord, I’m close to her age and I want no part of any baby. I know my old ass would not be able to keep up with any of that.

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77 Responses to “Joanna Gaines: ‘If you ever want to feel young again, have a baby at 40’”

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  1. TheHeat says:

    Maybe…if there’s a night-nanny involved.
    After I turned 40, I couldn’t function without a decent night’s sleep. I remember how exhausted I was with the two kids I had at 25 and 29 years old. At 40? No thank you!

    • M says:

      This! I had my first at 37 and my second baby a few months shy of 40. I’m 41 now and have never felt older. I used to be told I look young for my age but I now look it every bit and then some thanks to lack of sleep and juggling motherhood and work.

      • Singtress says:

        I had my first at 40.
        My second at 42

        I knew that my age had a lot do with my lack of ability to race Aries with the kids the way I see fiends do.

        And I used to look 10 years younger.
        Now I look older than I am (unless I do a long grooming routine that I def don’t have time and energy for right now)

      • JByrdKU says:

        This isn’t exactly related to the topic, but thank you for talking about your age when you had kids. I’m 35, and I’m still not quite in the mindset of having kids. It’s really nice to hear from someone that had kids at a different age, and I really appreciate that. Thank you.

      • Notafan says:

        This, all day.

        First kids (twins) at 40

    • Raina says:

      Haha, I was thinking the same thing. I had my last kid at 30 and I felt too old for all that crazy newborn stuff!

      • lynn says:

        you felt too old at 30? do people just write random stuff on here..

      • Cali says:

        @Lynn People write their personal OPINIONS on here…what’s hard to understand if Raina felt 30 was too old to have a newborn? Her feeling are valid. I’ve heard the same thing from many women who believe 28-30 is the absolute cut off for babies vs others who believe 45 is the limit. It’s ALL ok and not just random stuff🙄

  2. Lizzie says:

    i’m 35 and if i don’t get pregnant this year i’m going to have an only child. personally, i am too old. i’m too tired, my body takes too long to heal and just…no. it is now or never again. i know lots of people have children after this age and that is cool too! it is awesome that society has changed to where it is an uncontroversial choice to have kids whenever they want – 20, 36, 40, 50 but for me, having a kid made me feel old AF physically and i know after being fortunate enough to have one healthy, happy kid, i wont’ be up for it at 40.

    • sequinedheart says:

      Lizzie – I am in the same boat. I have a beautiful healthy girl and I’m kind of at the now or never stage because I don’t want to be tired forever (haha too late!) nor have a giant age gap. If it doesn’t happen soon, thats ok. I lucked out with the one I have.
      Good for Gainesy and her tribe of children. As one of 6, I think that is insane but it suits her well. And having more money than god doesn’t hurt either.

    • Mel M says:

      I feel the same. I’m so freakin exhausted all the time and thought we were done and now I’m pregnant with a BIG surprise at 37. Honestly don’t know how I’m going to get though this newborn stage since I’m so used to finally getting sleep at night again.

    • Kimmy says:

      That’s how I felt. I lucked out and it didn’t take us long to get pregnant. I’ll be 35 in december and baby 2 will be here by July. They’ll be almost 3 yrs apart. I’m done!!

    • Stormyshay says:

      I am 35 and pregnant with our surprise baby who is due in 2 weeks. Our other two girls are ages 10 and 12. Pregnancy this go around has been brutal. I have been in a perpetual state of exhaustion. I like to think it will get better when the baby arrives but I am terrified of how I will handle caring for a newborn. This story made me laugh cause never have I felt older.

  3. Rapunzel says:

    My sis just had a baby at 40. She’s now 41, and baby is 3 months. I showed her this headline, and she laughed.

  4. Jb says:

    35yrs old and trying to get pregnant here! It’s only been 5 months but still nothing so trying to stay positive and had lab work done so we’ll see what happens. It’s always nice to hear after 35+ women getting pregnant naturally and having healthy babies but hoping/praying our baby plans come To fruition before I turn 40. We’ll see how life goes…

    • Kay says:

      Don’t fret too much! Average time to take to get pregnant is six months. But good for being proactive. My neighbor tried for years for her first. Finally got pregnant at 34. Then got pregnant super easy with her next two after 35.

    • Cleo17 says:

      Big hugs, JB. The waiting is horrible. We could never have afforded IVF, and it would’ve been dangerous in my case because of my cancer history, but we did some very low-cost fertility treatment. None of it worked, and we started looking into fostering to adopt. I just couldn’t take the stress. A month later, I found out I was pregnant.

      The last thing I’m ever going to tell someone is to be patient or to just relax and it will happen. I wanted to throat punch anyone who said those things to me or who casually mentioned that we could just adopt. I won’t say it’s not heartbreaking when your plan looks like it’s not going to work out, but please try to keep in mind there are different paths to being a mom, and sometimes miracles do happen.

      • Mel M says:

        Agree with all these ladies. Also, all of my kids have been conceived with help, lots of it. We were married seven years and never got pregnant naturally even though I was never on birth control and we never used protection. So you can imagine my shock when we were “done” and I find out I’m pregnant just after my 37th birthday. I still don’t understand how it happened, I mean I do, but to go years and years of trying and trying and being so much younger then and end up having to use fertility treatments anyway and then boom, surprise! It’s like, why couldn’t this have happened ten years ago?! Because of it though I definitely think that stress and the constant pressure you put on yourself when you are trying has so much to do with it. Good luck to you and sending good fertility vibes.

      • Mel M, congratulations to you! Something very similar happened to a family member of mine. They tried for six years with many different fertility treatments and nothing. When they stopped trying is when it happened. Her thought was that maybe all the stress and all those years of upset and disappointment were at least a part of why?

        Good luck to you, Jb. I hope everything works out for you!

    • isabelle says:

      35 though is a big difference than 40 though. Those few years are miles in fertility and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Of course its very possible to deliver a healthy baby at 40 but it is still harder to become pregnant and the risk is higher.

    • Lizzie says:

      best wishes!

    • Originaltessa says:

      JB I got pregnant naturally at 35 after trying 8 months. I tried everything and really started to think something was wrong. Maybe this is TMI, but try pre-seed if you haven’t. I got pregnant the first month I used it.

      • Kit says:

        Preseed got me baby#2 and 3 (at 40 and 42) in less than 2 months each time. Most lubricants mimic cervical mucus that is designed to block sperm. Preseed is watery like cm is when fertile.

    • Frida_K says:

      Try acupuncture!

      Fertility acupuncture is a big deal for a reason–it works. You could also get your husband to go; there is a lot in the fertility acupuncture realm for guys, too. Get both of yourselves at your peak of health and see how things go.

      Best wishes to you!

      • Lizzie says:

        i second this. i went off birth control and didn’t get my period for 6 months. i tried that whole time and was like – well am i even ovulating? – and i tried ovulation trackers but it was showing i was not. before i went to my doctor for tests, i started acupuncture at the the recommendation of a friend. her take was “i don’t how or if it works, but it is relaxing and i think it is worth a try” and she was right. it was a nice hour a week that i quietly relaxed and after 2 months i got pregnant. never got a positive ovulation test. never got a period. so my advice is the same: i don’t know how or if it works but it is relaxing and i think it is worth a try.

    • CatPS says:

      It took us a year to get pregnant (no fertility treatments), and then I ended up having identical twins at 35!!! A few weeks after we brought them home, hubby and I looked at each other and said “Yep, we’re done!”
      I’m glad JG thinks having another baby makes her feel young… with twin toddlers, I just feel tired. So. Tired. They’re amazing and I love them more than anything in this world, but I don’t want any more!!! This 36yo body does not bounce back like it used to!

    • Skwinkee says:

      JB we were in the same boat and started at a clinic and did a round of cycle monitoring. Where they tell you, ok you are ovulating now-have sex!

      And boom that worked.

      Turns out I ovulate at day 21/23 (but still have a 28 day cycle)

      Now I’m 41 and we are trying for #2. It’s a bit more stressful but I’m trying to keep calm.
      I do think my child keeps me young. I love looking at the world through her eyes

  5. Cleo17 says:

    I wish I could’ve had a child earlier (cancer is kind of a dick when it comes to your plans for the future), so I had my little girl when I was 43. She really did a number on my body, and the infant phase was pretty harsh as far as sleeping goes. But, getting to see the world through her eyes is almost like getting a second childhood. It’s amazing. They also have all the money in the world to hire any kind of help they might need.

    I don’t think this family is uncontroversial. The anti-LGBT comments made by the pastor at the church they attend they were pretty horrible, and their response to it was pathetic. And have they ever done a gay couple’s house? I haven’t watched every episode, but I can’t remember ever hearing of it.

    Some of the houses they have done are lovely, but I will always blame them for the decor trend of fake shiplap and ginormous nonworking clocks hung up everywhere. And I will never forgive them for painting over the beautiful original brick on a craftsman house they did.

  6. Jumpingthesnark says:

    Had mine at 39 and 41. Along with full time work through it all, the first few years were kind of a blur, looking back. A good blur though! I wouldn’t have done it any differently.

    • Astrid says:

      So true and me too!. I had mine at 29, 31, 37 and 39. Worked full time. Those early 40’s were a blur but wouldn’t trade it for anything either. I”m 56 with a 16 year old. Life is fun

  7. InVain says:

    I sort of like them. They’re harmless. Although, I don’t believe she feels younger having a baby at 40. More laid back? Probably.

    I’m 34, married, with 2 fur babies and no human ones at this point. I struggle with the idea of getting pregnant and realize that the older I get the harder it will be on my body… I just don’t feel ready. Everyone I know is having babies at my age or later. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s okay too. Good for Chip and Joanna. Healthy babies at any age is a blessing.

    • Lady D says:

      I get how she feels. I was almost 30 when my son was born and something about his birth or being a mom made me feel 17 again. For years I felt so much younger than my age after having him.

    • dogmom says:

      I really can’t with them ever since I read she wanted a $150K appearance fee to do a legal deposition. I side-eyed the shady anti-LGBTQ church when that came out, but then when I read about the appearance fee … ugh. 🙄

  8. isabelle says:


  9. Millenial says:

    They make really cute babies.

    I like them, but I’m glad their show is over. I’m hoping now that it’s over the farmhouse trend can die down a bit.

  10. Originaltessa says:

    Homeschool their kids? Since when? That changed. The kids used to go to school.

  11. Moneypenny says:

    Funny, having a baby at 38 made me feel tired and old :).

    • moco says:

      Right? I had my last at 37 and it made me realize we are really meant to have babies at 20.

      • HeyThere! says:

        Same! 30.5 and right after my 32nd birthday when I gave birth and this is for early 20’s. LOL Back when sleep wasn’t a big deal and weight fell off! Ha! Although, having two back to back is hard(for me). I’m finding in my friends lives that 3-5 year age gaps in kids is the way to go.

        At least now we have a nice home, SUV’s, and spare money. College is finished but man this is for the early 20’s!

  12. Sayrah says:

    I like them but I had my last baby at 37 and now at 40 I’m finally able to breathe. That toddler phase is brutal. A good 18 months of chasing around something that’s wont to put small things in its mouth, pull a dog’s tail and climb on everything in sight. Being pregnant and having a newborn is nothing but I couldn’t imagine having another and the toddler phase not being awful again.

  13. I'm With The Band says:

    I had my first (and only) child when I was 38. When people ask me if I’m having another child, I laugh maniacally. I’ve been tired since he was born in 2014 and my energy levels are non-existent, thank you very much. Ain’t no kidding around for me. I cut straight to the “hell no”!

    • Ali says:

      I had my second at 38, my first at 31, and wow big difference. Chasing a two year old at 40 is no joke (he’s almost 5 now time flies!). Good for her that it’s making her feel young but it physically made me feel my age and tired.

  14. MoodyBlue says:

    I come from a family of old parents… My granparents were 45 and 54 at my dad’s birth, my own parents were 40 and 54 at my birth, and my children were born when I was 22, 38, and 41! I didn’t plan such a large gap but a divorce and lots of miscarriages ( finally found the reason) made that happen. I am pretty tired but I definitely appreciate the smalls more now and am less selfish about my time. No regrets here!!

  15. Anastasia says:

    Uh, yeah, no thanks, sis.

    Also, Crew? I’m sorry, but WHAT a dumb name.

  16. Emily says:

    Motherhood makes me feel tired/old and I’m 31.

  17. Trillian says:

    I had a baby at 28 and one at 40. And all I can think now is l‘m too old for this shit. So no. Love them both to pieces but damn, 40 isn‘t 28 😬.

  18. Lindy says:

    Just had my second at 41 last April. He was planned; I have a 9yo son from my previous marriage and my husband and I really wanted one of our own as well. Luckily for me I got pregnant right away at 40 only six weeks after getting the IUD out.

    Instead of feeling young again, though, I feel extra tired, extra drained, and really exhausted all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I would do it again in a heartbeat. We would even love another baby if we could guarantee a girl and if we knew we could handle it financially, but since we can’t, we’re done.

    If I were in her shoes, with endless money, resources, and a job where I could bring my baby to work with me and still get things done… Well. No wonder she feels that way.

    (Aside, I am not a fan of their repetitive, generic designs and their religious crap).

  19. Nancypants says:

    Is she kidding? She’s kidding, right?
    How many housekeepers and nannies does she have?

    I had a miscarriage at 35 – heartbroken and after a healthy baby boy and girl -and the Drs did tests and said, “You’ll probably never get p.g. again but if you want to try you better get on it because you ain’t no spring chicken.” Hey, thanks.

    Well, 5 years went by and I retired from my first career and was getting the house all perfect and came upon a box of tampons and realized I hadn’t needed one in a while and thought I was going into menopause. NOPE.

    I had all the tests and she turned out smart (scholarship for a BS in Science at CU this Fall) and beautiful and all that but I’M TIRED.
    I’m tired of raising kids.
    I’m tired of making all the sacrifices and having them in my house 24/7.
    I’m tired of getting up in the middle of the night when one is sick and even the best of them temporarily (hopefully) lose their minds as teenagers and they all COST A FORTUNE.

    I love her and would take a bullet for her but I’m just tired of raising children.
    You do have more time and money when you are older which helps but it’s exhausting and kids are like a box of chocolates…you never know what you are going to get.
    We just got lucky.

  20. curachel20 says:

    As a 24 week pregnant 39 year old with a 23 month old active boy…nope. Having a kid at this age has made me feel every one of my 39 years(when I normally forget that I’m over the age of 32). Maybe if my other kids were her kids ages and helped, then maaayyybe I could get with what she’s saying. I’m just exhausted all day, every day 😩

  21. hkk says:

    I had a baby at 36 and it made me feel all sorts of old! Like, oh this is why people do this when they are younger. I think having a baby at 40 AS A SUPER RICH AND SUCCESSFUL FAMILY can make anyone feel great though…

  22. ariel says:

    Yes, she feels young at 40 with her new baby. But will she feel so young at 56 when the kid turning 16, learning to drive and dealing with the customary teen troubles?

    Also, she’s so in love with her new baby, I feel an undercurrent of- wow, those first four kids must be assholes. (only joking, but still)

  23. BendyWindy says:

    Lol. I had my first at 22 and my last at 32. I’m exhausted. There will be no babies at 40.

  24. mycomment says:

    happy looking baby; and that’s pretty much all that counts. besides they’ve got the money for any help they need.

  25. TQB says:

    I had baby #2 at 42 and now at 44 I totally get it – i feel so much younger than I did in my late 30s. Physically, mentally – it was like going through the experience put my focus back on me and my body. I eat better, exercise more, and just generally, the new baby is a cheerful happy little soul who made my life so much brighter. It’s weird to say, but I have said the same thing to people that she does. Also, by the time you get to Baby #5 you are Parent Level Expert; stuff like getting baby to eat, sleep, etc. is second nature. Even on baby #2 I was so much better at managing the tough parts and enjoying the good ones.

  26. I had my first child at 38 and my second at 40. I have always been active and a gym rat since high school because I joined the softball team in lieu of having to take home ec — and it’s stuck with me. That diligence and training allows me to have the energy and stamina to keep up with two toddler boys 3 and 5 (and I do not have help of any kind family or paid; just hubby and me).

    I am 43 now and not sure if we are done either. You never know with medical advances these days. If you really do take care of yourself, especially since we are so much more informed about diet, exercise, and other advances as it relates to longevity and better health. For me, having kids at this age was/is feasible. I make a much better parent now then say when I was in my 20s or 30s. Those were my two decades when I was a gigantic, irresponsible asshole and was proud to have that selfish time to myself. I have a shitload more patience now then I ever did back then.

  27. Eribra says:

    I had my first at 18 and my second at 37. It did make me feel younger- just the looking at everything through the eyes of a baby/ toddler, the joy of finally getting that second baby, financial security, more time available, new mom friends who were younger than me. I was pretty vocal about a new baby making me feel younger. 9 years later, it’s kicking my ass. School, activities, his friends… I just want a nap!

  28. jennifer says:

    I mean she was 39 when she got pregnant and just shy of 40 when she delivered…its not THAT old

  29. The Voice says:

    I had our first at 39 and our second at 42 and I feel old as dirt. I’m much more relaxed with the new baby (almost 5 months old now) and I’m smiling even when I’m changing his poopy diaper. I just know that it goes by so quickly. But sometimes when both kids are crying, I just have to laugh. And remind myself that things get better. I wouldn’t mind getting more sleep though. These kids are exhausting.

    On a side note, I hate ship lap. If she revealed my house with it, I would rip it right off.

  30. Blocked Cause I Am says:

    I had my last baby at 43. Didn’t have half the energy I had at 34. Kid is now 8 and I’m still dead ass tired. Celebrities and their money lead very different lives.

  31. Rebekah says:

    I had my babies at 21, 24, 34, and am 8 months pregnant at 37. Lemme tell you, those years make such a difference!!

  32. knowitall says:

    This is her shtick, the whole “devoted mom” thing. Fact is, you don’t build a multi-million dollar company by being a stay at home mom. Half the time, the kids are with granny, even on fixer upper. She’s a workaholic, which, there’s nothing wrong with that. But she ain’t spending her days with that baby.

  33. Lindy says:

    Can I just say how awesome it’s been today to read these comments and see how many other moms in their 40s are hanging out here in the CB comment section? I’m very much an outlier in my friend group. I love hearing all this!

    • Blocked Cause I am says:

      IKR? I have two in university and one graduating high school this year and one in grade 3. I am both in and out of my friends group(some have younger kids, but none have older kids than my two oldest and only one has younger kids). I am looking forward to 8’s graduation from high school when people who never met me yet will think I’m his grandmother ( I will be 61 when he graduates high school and 65 when he graduates university. ugh.

  34. WHAT FRESH HELL says:

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, regardless of what your evangelical church tells you.

  35. Greta G says:

    I had my second child at 40 & we planned it.
    Everything went well. It’s not the baby, infant stage that kills you it’s the high school years & the fact that at the same time you’re going through menapause! Those are the days that you pray doesn’t kill you. 23 years later all is well. I call the boys my 2 ONLY children ( same mom & dad) because of the seven year difference. God Speed to all of those who are in it. Stay strong!

  36. pissykrissy says:

    I had my first two at ages 33 and 36 and my third (unplanned) seven months ago at age 38. Phew. It’s a lot of work and I definitely felt more ragged with this last pregnancy. I even developed postpartum blood pressure issues that have stuck around. I stay home with them and my husband travels frequently so it can be exhausting. But life’s short, man, so I am trying to embrace the chaos and enjoy these busy years.

  37. Dani says:

    Just had my first 3 months ago (I’m 36) and I already feel like I’ve aged 10 years! I’m afraid that when I finally do get more sleep (in the blissful future), the hubby will want to try for another baby…

  38. Summer says:

    I think she means it, neither bragging or exaggerating. She had four kids rapidly with less money and less resources. And with her driven personality, she was probably trying hard to be a perfect mom and meet unrealistic expectations. I doubt she has more energy now, but she certainly has more wisdom and perspective, plus a boatload of money to alleviate stress. Just the chance to do parenthood over may be exhilarating for her. You learn a lot raising four kids and most don’t get a chance to go back and savor it one last time.

  39. Ishqthecat says:

    Had my first two at 30 and my third at 40 (two years ago). Can’t see that there is any difference in how I felt at 30 and at 40. My daughters (soon twelve) just said “all our friends think you are 30 Mummy”- music to my ears …. but perhaps they were just fishing for an extra helping of candy, you never know with pre-teens 😉 ….

  40. Caty Page says:

    32 and stressed about my fertility window “closing” before I have time to conceive. These stories bring so much joy to many women stressed about aging and birth, please keep them coming!

  41. Sammie says:

    I had my last child at 32 and I don’t regret it. I’m still dealing with the all nighters when he can’t sleep and I’m exhausted but I’m really happy that I’m done. The pregnancy took a toll and I realized early on in the pregnancy that I can’t keep doing this because complications were popping up that had never happened before. I always try to tell people to try and have as many kids as you want before your 32 so you aren’t spending your later years raising kids and having to potty train etc. I’m very lucky my husband agreed with me and remarked that he didn’t want to be in his fifties still chasing after a teenager and I wholeheartedly agree lol.

  42. DS9 says:

    I had kids at 20 and 22 and then one more at 30 and I felt every year older and then some at thirty. The body doesn’t handle it the same way, the pregnancy, birth, recovery, any of it.

  43. msd says:

    Biologically speaking it’s better to have kids young but it’s there are pros and cons: less energy but more patience, for example.

    I’m more judgey about having 5 kids, frankly. The environmental impact of that is huge.

  44. Sylvie says:

    Well, more power to her, and it’s great that we are all free to make our own reproductive choices. I’m the child of older parents (by choice) and always knew if I had kids that I would do it before I was 30. So now I am enjoying my empty nest at the same time my mother was signing me up for kindergarten, and I hope to enjoy grandkids in my 50s. My mother turned 60 the day I left for college.