Sometimes, it's hard to admit when you're wrong. Or, at least, when you have spoken out of turn. Recently, writer Daryl Austin wrote a controversial piece slamming Fixer Upper couple Chip and Joanna Gaines for how they handled their parenting duties, particularly in relation to their work. In the recently-published apology piece, Austin apologized, saying he ultimately "regrets" the words he wrote and the criticisms he lobbied against the HGTV reality television personalities. It's not easy, but sometimes, it's good to admit your errors. Here's what Daryl Austin said about his controversial Gaines opinions.
I didn't write it to be hurtful, out of jealousy, or to cause controversy -- all motives I was accused of. I wrote it for one simple reason: because I believed every word I wrote to be true... When I heard Chip and Joanna Gaines say (again) that they wanted to spend more time with their children, I wanted to respond: 'If you want to spend more time with them then stop saying 'yes' to every business opportunity that comes your way.' ... There just seemed to be a disconnect between the amount of time they say they want to spend with their kids, and the business decisions they make that appear to prevent them from doing so. I thought it was a valid argument worth exploring... I was convinced that the lifestyle they presented to the world was a great recipe for building loads of successful companies, but not necessarily a way to have more time together as a family... All I was trying to do was provide a different perspective and discuss the potential consequences of the you-can-have-it-all lifestyle Chip and Joanna seem to portray to their millions of followers.
As Daryl Austin explains in his Fox opinion piece, the writer was speaking from first-hand experience as a business owner. He learned there's a divide between your work life and your family life. Austin is the father of three, and he believes in a world of "if/then." For instance, if you want to spend more time with your family, you have to make sacrifices and say "no" to personal projects and other things you want to work on, even if it's tough. It's a similar mentality to "if you want to lose weight, then you need to eat better and exercise." While there are parents who need to work as often as they do to provide for their families, Chip and Joanna Gaines are not in that position. They are pretty secure with their finances at the moment, and he believes the business operations they are currently pursuing are preventing them from raising their children, in one way or another, even though they have expressed a desire to raise their children more, particularly with the end of their hit reality TV series, Fixer Upper.
Daryl Austin wasn't deterred by the backlash at first, particularly because his piece was getting notoriety and attention, and Austin admits that he wrote the original piece, in his words, because Chip and Joanna Gaines are reality TV stars and "they have presented a lot of information over the years and portrayed a lifestyle for their viewers to develop opinions about." But his thoughts began to change, with him saying:
I was proud of what I wrote and I shut off my haters by taking my family out of the country for a pre-planned vacation to Mexico. But within 10 minutes of arriving at our destination and hopping on a tour bus, I started to feel very, very small ... All around me I witnessed poverty I've never known... Suddenly the parenting choices of two well-meaning American parents paled in comparison. Especially because as bad as it seemed to be for some of the children I witnessed in Mexico, I knew in that moment that many children all over the world were suffering even more. I smiled as I realized how lucky any of those kids without parents would feel to have a mother and father like Chip and Joanna Gaines. I don't know them personally, but I suspect they really are terrific parents. I've never said or thought otherwise. And just because Chip Gaines chooses to spend his time differently than I do doesn't make him any less of a father. Mine was a flawed argument that projected my if/then belief system onto another family. My intention was to start a conversation about what it actually means to put family first, but my means of doing so were way off course.
While Daryl Austin doesn't completely dismiss what he wrote, the writer believes it wasn't in his best interest to approach it the way he did. For that, he apologizes to the Gaines family, and he is working towards bettering himself in the process. Chip Gaines hasn't responded to the atonement piece, but we're hoping they put aside their differences and forgive one another soon. Here's what Austin said.
I still believe we live in an if/then world of cause and effect. But after this experience, the bar for which causes I want to affect has been significantly raised. I've never backed down from anything I've written before now, but maybe progressing in my beliefs and doing better next time is what being a fixer upper is all about.
It's not always easy to admit to being wrong, but we're glad Daryl Austin has spoken out and accepted that he was in error. We'll keep you posted on additional updates from Chip and Joanna Gaines.