Chip and Joanna Gaines Get Apology From Writer Who Questioned Their Parenting

Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are getting an apology from a writer who questioned their [...]

Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are getting an apology from a writer who questioned their parenting skills in the light of their professional successes.

Writer Daryl Austin issued an apology in a column for Fox News, saying a trip to Mexico made him rethink his initial column for USA Today on the HGTV family, whom he does not know. In the column, Austin said the husband and wife renovation team "don't put family first" while they run multiple businesses. Chip and Joanna are parents to Drake, 13, Ella Rose, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 8. They have a fifth child, a little boy, on the way.

Austin's April USA Today column brought up the question of how the Gaineses can devote enough time to their children and also run their multiple business lines.

"No matter how rich and famous, we are all limited by the same 24 hours in a day," Austin wrote. "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."

Chip responded on Twitter to the column, denying that he and his wife are neglectful in any way to their kids, and insisting that family always comes first with he and his wife.

"I don't know daryl, & he clearly doesn't know me," Chip tweeted at the time. "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."

In Austin's apology column, published last week, he blamed his own views and experiences as a parent for his misread of the situation. A recent trip to Mexico changed his mind, where he saw a mother working on Mother's Day and children looking through trash on the side of the road. He claimed that seeing these things made him realize that "many children all over the world were suffering even more" than he thinks the Gaines family may be, and "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," Austin wrote. "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. If our society is ever going to have the conversations we need to be having, judging and shaming one another is a terrible place to begin, especially when there are so many more serious concerns that need addressing."

The Gaineses has yet to respond to the apology. The couple announced in September that the fifth season of Fixer Upper, which concluded in April, would be their last, so that they could focus on time with their children.

"While we are confident that this is the right choice for us, it has for sure not been an easy one to come to terms with," they wrote on their blog at the time. "Our family has grown up alongside yours, and we have felt you rooting us on from the other side of the screen. How bittersweet to say goodbye to the very thing that introduced us all in the first place."

Photo credit: Facebook / Fixer Upper