You know those WWJD bracelets popular in youth groups in the 1990s? I totally had one.
As cheesy as those were, they had a way of making a point. Before you do something, ask yourself how you’d emulate the actions of the main man in the acronym.
Since that fad evaporated years ago along with Bryan Adams and Keds, I’m resurrecting a new trend with a more lighthearted WWJD:
What Would Jojo Do?
Like half the women in the country, I have a girl crush on Joanna Gaines, one of the stars in HGTV’s home renovation show, Fixer Upper. Part of why we all love Jojo is that she’s got her design style dialed in. There probably hasn’t been an episode that didn’t include white subway tile, shiplap, french doors, cedar accents, or vintage inspired decor. *inspired sigh*
I plan on copying every. single. one. of her design ideas as we start building our new home in the Milwaukee area.
But there’s another reason we’re drawn to America’s reigning design queen: we relate to the genuineness we observe in Joanna and her husband, Chip—most of us feel like we could be friends with them.
Have you ever imagined yourself hypothetically bumping into Joanna in the grocery aisle in her hometown of Waco, TX, and shooting the breeze? Oh, you’re not that crazy? Well, join me in my crazy then.
Me: Hey, Jojo. How’s your week?
Joanna: Oh, pretty good. Just dealing with a shiplap splinter and a barn-wood shortage. How about you?
Me: Living the dream, girl. We should get the kids together next week.
Joanna: Sounds good, I’ll call you. I can get your opinions on some design ideas and the kids can play with the baby goats. No pun intended.
Me: Perfect. Chat later!
I can resist Bono. I can resist Matthew McConaughey (just barely). But I just can’t resist my celeb crush on Joanna Gaines. Why? Well, because I kind of want to be her. I love the ways she relates to her husband, family, and others–things like:
She takes creative time for herself. Near the end of each episode, before unveiling the dramatic changes, we are privy to Jojo’s evening of creative styling; something she does by herself. The kids come, share a pizza, and then go home with daddy. She doesn’t apologize for needing time to do her thing, she knows she creates best away from the other responsibilities of life. All of us have some inner desire to create: whether it’s writing, cooking, singing, painting, decorating, crafting, acting, or making pretty graphs from data. You can and need to foster that creativity, and many times it means prioritizing time alone—guilt-free—to do so.
Her husband isn’t a babysitter. Chip appears to be an active part of the parenting team; so kudos to Jojo for letting the other parent parent. Not every mother has a husband or partner in the mix, but when we do, we often fail to remember we don’t have to shoulder the stresses of raising kids alone.
She does what she loves. She doesn’t appear to be caught up in the SAHM vs. working mom debate. She has created this life where she doesn’t fit into any mold—she does what she loves. I don’t know her financial or social support situation, but I admire she’s found a way to make it work.
She doesn’t demean her man. Chip shines because he’s got Jojo in his corner. She laughs at him, encourages his skills, believes he can do anything. It’s refreshing to watch a woman unabashedly proud of her guy in a society where guys are often portrayed as “idiots,” especially on TV. When a woman has a good man in her life, she has the power to bring out the best in him. #challengeaccepted
She’s lighthearted. I want to be lighthearted, too. When I asked my husband how I could be a better wife, he gave me some freeing insight. “You’re the heart and soul of our family and you set the tone at home. When you’re upset, we feel it. When you’re lighthearted we feel it. Forget cooking or cleaning, if you’re happy, that feels more supportive than anything else.” Great, I’m allowed to have fun with my kids and not let the responsibilities of life weigh me down all the time? I can happy-up then. Hot dog, anyone?
She knows what she wants and communicates it. Sometimes in relationships I get MAD when people don’t know what I want—but usually the problem is I don’t know what I want or feel bad asking. I admire that Jojo seems to know what she needs and has no problem voicing it. I am taking this observation to heart and immediately requesting that my husband take all the kids to Costco and let me stay home and take a nap.
Though I’ll never have silky long, brown hair, a closet full of cute boots, or a television show featuring my design ideas like Joanna Gaines, I’m loving the inspiration she brings to my mothering and other relationships.
Now over to Etsy to get WWJD stamped on vintage leather, so I can remember to stay fierce like my girl Joanna.