Despite its upsides, very few people would likely call parenting an easy or straightforward task. Just ask Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole.
The spouses pose for the cover and inside the pages of Parents magazine‘s July issue, where they talk water safety, preparing for baby No. 3 on the way and how life has changed since they welcomed sons Beckett Richard, 15 months, and Boomer Robert, 3 — who joined them for the pool photo shoot.
“I have to give myself time,” Nicole, 33, says of what keeps her sane as a soon-to-be mom of three. “There is always guilt, no matter what — do the laundry, clean the sink, put away the kids’ stuff — but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that it will all be there later, but the time for me to be a healthy parent and a healthy wife is right now.”
For the 23-time Olympic gold medalist, unsurprisingly, exercise is the way to go in dealing with stress. “If I’m in a bad mood and I go for a swim, I’m better 99.9 percent of the time,” says Phelps, 33. “It’s part of my DNA, and it will always be that way.”
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Expectant Dad Michael Phelps Says He’s “Hoping” for a Girl After Previously Welcoming Two Sons
As for their third child, expectant dad Phelps says the spouses are “excited” and prepared to “tag-team” to get all their parenting tasks done with three kids under 4.
“There was an initial ‘Oh my gosh, what are we doing?’ feeling,” the former Miss California USA says of learning she was pregnant again. “I got pregnant with Beckett a month after Boomer turned 1, and I got pregnant with our third a month before Beckett turned 1.”
“But we both have always said we want three kids,” shares the mom-to-be. “A week after coming home from the hospital with Beckett, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m not done, I want more.’ “
The transition, the couple share, from one child to two was difficult in the sense that “Beckett would not sleep and wanted to nurse 24/7,” Nicole recalls.
“I tried every sleep method you could imagine. I was ripping my hair out for months!” she says, noting that her younger son began sleeping through the night between 9 and 10 months old. “I just did whatever workaround I could so that I could function the next day.”
They’re “much more relaxed now” as parents, with Phelps revealing that his wife “is probably more laid-back than I am at times” — but they both can’t help wanting to check in when they are away from their little ones.
“When we go on a date, Nicole and I will both check the [baby monitor] cameras on our phones,” says the retired professional swimmer. “It’s kind of crazy how much we’re glued to them.”
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