9 Reasons My Third Pregnancy Is The Best Yet

9 Reasons My Third Pregnancy Is The Best Yet

The third pregnancy is quite different from the first and even the second one. Arguably, it’s the best. Here’s why: 1. ​You No Longer Care Who Finds Out or When While it may be nice to have a surprise or make a fun announcement, I let people find out organically the third time. I didn’t try to hide it, but I didn’t shout it from the rooftops either. I didn’t love the idea of anyone finding out too early, but if they did, oh well—been there, done that. 2. It Goes By So Much ​Faster I’m way too busy taking care of my two toddlers to track my pregnancy and pay attention to dates. I find myself checking sometimes, but occasionally, I’ve also forgotten which week I am in. This was unheard of in my first and second pregnancies. As a result, time is flying and I feel like this baby will be here before I know it. 3. No Planning Equals Less Stress Okay, I still have to plan a little, but it’s different now. For one, I’ve run out of bedrooms for a nursery, so I’m not creating one. I’ve done almost nothing to get ready for this baby since I already have almost everything I need. I have a boy and a girl, so I have clothing and gear is mostly covered. I’m setting up a sleep space and items in my bedroom, and that’s pretty much it. While planning for a baby is absolutely fun and exciting, especially during the first pregnancy, there is also a freedom in not having that stress hanging over me. During my...
12 Ways Evernote Will Help You Be a Better Husband & Father

12 Ways Evernote Will Help You Be a Better Husband & Father

Evernote is my go-to tool for managing and organizing just about everything in my life, work, and business. — When you consider what it takes to be a good husband or father, it’s easy to only consider the relational side of things: spending time with your family, providing for them, setting a good example, and showing unconditional love. But technology can also play an important role in helping you manage our family life. This is the one app I can’t live without. My go-to tool for managing and organizing just about everything in my life, work, and business is Evernote. This is the one app I can’t live without. It’s literally my digital brain, and I use it dozens of time every single day. In fact, I consider Evernote such a vital tool that I teach all my college students how to use it, and even wrote a book for church leaders on using Evernote. (I also have quite a few Evernote tutorials on my YouTube channel.) In this article, I’ll share a number of ideas for using Evernote in your personal and family life. 1. Scan as much paper as possible. Scan your paper bills, receipts, invoices, insurance information, health records, and other documents into Evernote. This had two advantages: getting rid of paper, and the ability to search your documents. 2. Scan the kids’ school papers. We have a notebook named “Ben” (for our son) where I keep copies of his school schedule, grades, lunch menu, safety patrol schedule, and other items. 3. Store current bills. I have a notebook called “Bills” where I forward all of the...
My Daughter’s Final Year With The Easter Bunny

My Daughter’s Final Year With The Easter Bunny

As we were getting dressed to go to the Easter egg hunt and children’s festival at our daughter’s preschool at our church, the question came blazing at me far too early on a Saturday morning. Carrying her Easter basket and dressed like a pre-tween, she walked into my bathroom with the blow-dryer running and demanded: “Is the Tooth Fairy real? I mean, don’t the parents leave the money? You said Tinker Bell was make-believe so that means the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, right? So does that mean parents hide the Easter eggs too? And bring the baskets?” I was so shocked I turned my back to her to hide my stunned look and mouthed, “Oh crap!” Where was my husband? Why do I always get these tough questions? She’s already asked, “Where do babies come out of a woman’s body?” and “How did the baby get in the tummy in the first place?” And on the first day of first grade, she said, “Angela said the Tooth Fairy isn’t real. Are you the one leaving the money?” I always replied in the past with the question, “Well, what do you think?” So I tried that tactic again, but she wasn’t falling into this parent trap. “I think the parents do it. Is the Easter Bunny real, Mom? I mean how does he even get into the house without setting off the alarm?” she asked. And there it was—the moment of truth. I always said if our kids asked point blank, I would tell them the truth, I’ve always felt bad lying to them anyway. I mean, when they’re younger it’s a fun ritual, creating the...
5 Questions Every Busy Parent Must Ask

5 Questions Every Busy Parent Must Ask

Mike Berry asks—and answers—the really tough questions about work-life balance. ___ We were late to school and I was growing frustrated by the minute. I had so much to get done before I jumped on a plane out of town for a few days. My two middle school-aged daughters didn’t seem to care whether I was frustrated or not. They took their good ole time getting out to the car. Once they got in, I zoomed out of the driveway, glancing every second at the ticking clock on the dash. As I pulled up to the school to drop my girls off, I hastily said, while trying not to release pressure on the brake pedal, “I love you both, I’ll see you in a few days.” That’s when my 13-year old ducked back into the car and asked, “Daddy, I thought you said we were going to mall today. Are we still going to do that sometime?” “Not today honey, I’m heading straight to the airport. But definitely when I get home,” I replied. “You said that last time you had to fly somewhere.” She shook her head and closed the door, darting for the entrance to her school. And that’s when it hit me. I did say that the last time. And the time before that. I had even said a few other things I had failed to deliver. And that’s when it hit me. I did say that the last time. And the time before that. I had even said a few other things I had failed to deliver. As drove I recounted a lot of promises...
10 Signs You’ve Found Your Mom Tribe

10 Signs You’ve Found Your Mom Tribe

Confession: I barely made it out of the house until my first child was 6 months old. Most of this, to be honest, was because I found it difficult to coordinate everything: nursing times, nap times, and the inordinate amount of stuff I needed just to leave the house. And once I did start getting out and making friends, it was kind of like high school all over again. Would the other moms think I was cool? Would I fit in? Not only was I looking for friends with similar parenting philosophies (or at least open minds), but they also had to be people I actually liked, and who liked me back.  It turned out, friends like these were surprisingly hard to find. Sure, there were plenty of moms I met that I liked well enough, but few that I wanted to actually hang out with on a regular basis; few that felt like true friends. But finally, with a little luck and a bit of patience, I found my “mama tribe” at a breastfeeding support group, just as my son neared 12 months old. And while it definitely helped that we all had breastfeeding in common, it turned out we actually liked each other, too. A whole lot. Soon, we started getting together weekly for play dates. Our kids got along well, and it was good to get out. But our real reason for setting up weekly get-togethers was about more than just that; it was about friendship. To this day, I still consider these mom friends some of my best friends on earth. After all, we lived through the earliest years of parenting together — when...