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Utah-based USA Today opinion writer says Chip and Joanna Gaines don't put family first

In this March 29, 2016 photo, Joanna Gaines, left, and Chip Gaines pose for a portrait in New York to promote their home improvement show, "Fixer Upper," on HGTV. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
In this March 29, 2016 photo, Joanna Gaines, left, and Chip Gaines pose for a portrait in New York to promote their home improvement show, "Fixer Upper," on HGTV. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
Brian Ach, Invision

SALT LAKE CITY — Do Chip and Joanna Gaines really put family first?

The former “Fixer Upper” couple often tout a family-first lifestyle, saying that they put their marriage and children ahead of their careers.

But Daryl Austin, an opinion contributor to USA Today from Orem, wrote this week that the Gaines may not be as family-first as they want viewers to believe.

“I’ve always believed that we prove what we value most by where we choose to spend our time. So where do Chip and Joanna Gaines spend their time?” Austin wrote. “In addition to running their home and 40-acre ranch, they also run a successful real estate company across the Texas cities of Waco, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and San Antonio. Their real estate services include land development, renovations, rental property management, remodeling, fixing and flipping homes, a brokerage, and managing a large team of real estate agents.”

Austin, who is a writer and small business owner, wrote that the couple has been on the road since their oldest son, Drake, was born in 2005. They’ve written best-selling books, populated an online store and even designed home products for Target, he said. All the while, the couple has filmed episodes of “Fixer Upper," too.

According to Austin, the Gaines do "a disservice to the parents who really are putting their children first," by claiming their family comes first in all they do. He wrote, "No matter how rich and famous, we are all limited by the same 24 hours in a day. 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."

“What’s most unfortunate to me is that they say they are aware that they need to spend more time with their children, but their actions continually contradict that,” Austin wrote.

Read the entire piece at USA Today.