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/ Source: TODAY
By Erin Clements

Nick and Vanessa Lachey became a family of five when they welcomed baby Phoenix in late 2016 — and the proud parents have slightly different takes on the adjustment.

“The jump from one to two is a bigger transition,” Vanessa told TODAY while promoting a partnership with Pampers. “And by three, you just kind of slip him right in there and just hope for the best."

"I used to feel that way, and now I don't,” said Nick, who found that adding a third child caused a bigger change. “Especially as the two older ones have gotten more mobile and more dependent — especially our daughter, who is a very spirited, headstrong little girl. It's just you definitely feel like you're out-manned at times.”

Vanessa says they’re “still learning,” and the mistakes they’ve made have helped them become better parents.

“It's a good thing they're resilient,” Nick said. “Because it's a lot of trial and error, as parents will tell you.” Vanessa added, “Yeah, I used to think, ‘Oh, my parents know so much.’ But they were just as clueless as we are.”

“Even more so,” Nick joked. “We were chewing on lead pencils back in those days.”

Phoenix was born 10 weeks early, and Vanessa later revealed that she underwent an emergency surgery when he arrived.

“You never know what's going to happen,” she said. “And I think for us, what I've learned is to find my support and foundation in my husband, because hopefully this part is never gonna change. And we're the foundation and the rock of this family and that's always going to be our priority.”

While the family's life may look picture-perfect on Instagram, Vanessa says it’s not without “mess-ups” — and there are “many sides to life” that social media doesn’t show.

“I remember when we had Camden, I was following some mommy blogger, and she was talking about how they just went to this apple orchard and they picked apples,” she recalled. “And then they went home and then they boiled them and they made applesauce. And I was literally in the process of, like, ordering pouches of applesauce on Amazon.”

“I just remembered having this, not mommy guilt, but just, like, am I doing enough?” she said. “I did a skillet chicken the other day. What you didn't see was the burnt side and that I left water in the skillet and actually rusted it and he yelled at me the next morning.”

Nick added, “There's strength in knowing that other parents make mistakes, too. You try so hard to be perfect for your kids, but we all screw up.”

98 Degrees recently wrapped a holiday tour, so we had to ask which of the boy band's hits best encapsulates parenthood.

“‘The Hardest Thing’ I ever had to do probably,” said Nick. “Sometimes ‘Una Noche’ is how you got in this predicament to begin with. Actually, 98 Degrees is suddenly the soundtrack for parenting. And then when you look at 'em the first in the morning, ‘It's All Because of You.’”