After welcoming her third baby in May, "Bachelor" and "Dancing with the Stars" alum Melissa Rycroft shares how she's managing her new family of five (and their sometimes-hectic schedule) and finding time for herself (hint: one easy beauty routine!)—all while savoring the precious first years of motherhood.

By Emily Elveru
Melissa Rycroft Strickland/Instagram

After appearing on "The Bachelor," winning "Dancing with the Stars," and becoming a host on reality TV show "Redneck Island," Melissa Rycroft is learning to take a breath. In May, she and husband Tye Strickland welcomed new baby boy Cayson, who joins big sister Ava, 5, and big brother Beckett, 2. Here's how she's managing her new role as a a mom of three while still taking care of herself. What advice would you give to moms who are bringing in a new sibling to the family?

MR: I'm working on it. I laughed this morning because I actually got out of the house with all three kids and my hair and makeup done. I really just want to make my kids happy. My 5-year-old is always willing to help now that the new baby is here. I don't think my 2-year-old exactly knows what's going on yet, but the baby is so good and rarely fussy. I'm learning to relax. I won't have control over the house at all times, and that's OK.

What are a few of the beauty secrets that help you get out the door on time?

My style has always been clean and natural. I'm a fan of applying BB and CC cream, because it's an easy, one application coverage, then finishing with a little bronzer. I like throwing my hair into a bun with a couple of spin pins. It's easy and gets my hair out of my face.

What parenting hacks do you practice to make your days a bit easier?

I keep telling myself to stop worrying about the little details. The dishes don't have to be done all the time. If someone's coming over and I accidentally left a diaper on the table, that's fine. What's most important is that I'm happy and my family is happy.

How do you make time for each child?

I'm still getting in the swing of being a parent of three and am starting to really enjoy those moments I have when it's just my daughter and me. Whether I'm doing her hair or we're painting our nails or running to Target together it's been great taking that time to be with her.

Your life is busy managing three kids and a career. How do you balance it all?

I have to realize that life goes quickly, and my kids will only be this little for so long. I only got three hours of sleep last night, but this time in our lives of being completely exhausted is short. Someday, we'll look back and see that we got through it.

What's the worst parenting advice someone has ever given you?

Someone once told me it's fine to leave my daughter in the car with the vehicle still running while I quickly go into the post office. No, I definitely didn't take that advice! [Children should never be left alone in an automobile.]

What's the best advice?

The best advice someone ever gave me was to not sweat the small stuff and pick your battles. Sometimes it's just not worth it to upset your toddler if it's going to ruin the rest of your day.

Your life has been on display since starring in "The Bachelor" and "Dancing with the Stars." How do you filter out parenting advice you might not have exactly asked for?

I learned early on that I know my kids better than anyone else. While outside advice might be good and might have worked for other people's kids, ultimately, mother knows best. Sometimes I might hear something that is smart and think of how I could incorporate that into my own family's life, but in the end it's all about your own intuition and gut feeling. You know what's best for your child.

Obviously, life isn't perfect. What has been your biggest parenting fail?

I've definitely had my fair share. Lately, it's been when my daughter and I get into a disagreement and I'll start acting like a 5-year-old. I'll find myself walking out of the room saying, "Well, I don't want to be your friend either." My husband laughs and that's when I realize there was probably a better way to handle that situation.

How do you move on from those tough parenting moments?

Sometimes I just need to take a moment for myself. When one child is coloring, another is eating a snack, and the other is napping, it's perfectly fine to walk into the next room and take a deep breath. I'll also ask my husband to come home early from work if I need to get out and take a drive by myself. Whether it's one minute or 30 minutes, find a little time in your day that's just your own.



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