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Exclusive Interview: "Bachelor" Star Melissa Rycroft On Her Heartbreaking Finale And Her Life 10 Years Later

Just as another season of The Bachelor comes to an end, we had a chance to do an exclusive interview with former Bachelor star Melissa Rycroft. Die-hard fans are sure to remember her 13th season finale where bachelor Jason Mesnick chose Melissa during the last episode. However, at the After the Final Rose special, Mesnick broke up with Melissa and propose to runner-up Molly Malaney.

As well know, Melissa didn't let a little life snafu like that get her down. In the 10 years since Melissa has used her experience as a stepping stone to a fulfilled and happy life. Following her stint on The Bachelor, she reconnected with an old boyfriend, Tye Strickland, and married him. Together they have three children, a daughter 8-year-old Ava Grace, and sons, Beckett, almost five, and Cayson, almost three.

Melissa made more reality show appearances when she showed off her dancing skills placing third on season eight of Dancing with the Stars and coming back to win the All-Stars season.

These days Melissa is all about her family and makes her children her main focus while balancing some television appearances. She also hosts a new podcast with her husband Tye called Logically Irrational that's available on iTunes. They chat about their crazy lives with three young kids and how to balance life, their marriage, and work.

We talked with Melissa about her life as a busy working mom and her thoughts on this somewhat polarizing Bachelor season. Keep reading because Melissa is hilarious and has great advice for moms of babies and older kids.

BabyGaga (BG): It’s been 10 years since your own memorable Bachelor finale. How much has changed for you in the last decade?

Melissa Rycroft (MR): Literally everything about my life has changed since my time on The Bachelor over a decade ago. Not only am I married with children on my own, but I feel like I’m a completely different person. Honestly, I was such a kid on the show - I was only 24! But it also gave me an experience that drove my life into a direction it never would have gone in otherwise.

BG: You have three kids! What’s crazier? Them, or being on the Bachelor?

MR: Crazier: The Bachelor. Easy call! But life is never boring with all these kiddos at home! It’s like a new adventure every day! Am I going to find slime on my couch today? Is someone going to draw on my walls in Sharpie?? Much more thrilling than a rose ceremony, if you ask me!

BG: In your opinion, what is the number one must have baby item?

MR: For me, it was the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper (not an ad!), and we didn’t discover it until we had our third baby! It’s a bassinet that sits right by your side of the bed, and when the baby wakes, you can just swivel them over to you and get them out to feed them!! No more getting out of bed, and finding somewhere to feed the baby. It was a game changer, and we loved it!

READ MORE: 20 Boy Names Inspired By The Bachelor

BG: What have been your thoughts on this most recent season? Do you keep up on the show? What have you thought about Colton being the bachelor this season?

MR: Colton was not my favorite going into the season. For no reason, other than I knew the ‘virgin’ thing was going to be so overplayed. (And it was!!). But we all know we don’t watch this show for the lead character - it’s for all the crazy girls and guys competing!! It’s been a pretty dramatic season in terms of the women fighting with each other. A lot of ‘she said, she said’ happened, and it got a little annoying. Cassie, Caelynn, and Hannah Alabama were a few of my faves this season!

Like I said, he (Colton) wasn’t my favorite. Sure, he’s good looking and played football…but I find him a little vanilla. He doesn’t have the charm of Sean Lowe, the polarizing-ness of Nick Viall, the humor of Bob Guiney, or the Ph.D. of Travis Stork. But he has his own title: virgin. We may have heard him and the girls talk about it a time or two this season (or a million….), but it got so overplayed I think everyone was over it after the first few weeks. However, I think he’s sweet and nice and seeing as he’s only 27, he’s going to be just fine.

Via ABC

BG: What would be your advice to the women for their lives after The Bachelor? What can they expect now, especially those who won’t get a rose?

MR: I think being authentic and genuine after time on The Bachelor is what can create a sustainable future for these girls. Now, this is coming from someone who is so old that social media wasn’t even a thing when she was on The Bachelor, but hear me out! A lot of the girls are looking for social media status, and some just happen to find it because they become beloved (or hated) during their time on the show. And we’ve all seen that some of them can actually get quite a career becoming ‘influencers’, but if it comes from a place of desperation or fake-ness, people can read that. Just be true to who you are, and what’s meant to be, will be!

BG: How do you feel about the new chosen Bachelorette, Hannah B.?

MR: My heart developed a soft spot for Hannah Alabama. Now, the girl needs to work on her toasting skills, because that was just painful! But! I love her quirkiness, and I love that she made mistakes along the way, and I think she handled them the way most of us would in the real world: with some humility and awkwardness. There is something very real about her. She is super young, so that’s one for the negative column for me. But I do think she’s charming and a little odd…in a good way!

BG: How has being on The Bachelor changed your life? Do you have any regrets about doing the show?

MR: The main thing I took away from my time on The Bachelor was confidence. I went through a lot my season: from going into the process with a damaged heart to feeling like I found love there, to getting engaged, to getting dumped - all in a matter of months, and all while under contract (meaning I couldn’t tell ANYONE ANYTHING)! I internalized a lot of emotions during that time. But I ultimately came out knowing my worth and what I deserved, and what I really wanted out of life. I’m sure I would have gotten there at some point, but my experience on The Bachelor sure catapulted me there! And I have zero regrets. Yes, it was one of the most embarrassing times of my life, but I gained so much from the experience and it changed my life in so many ways, that I’d be a fool to say I regretted any of it.

BG: What will you tell your kids about your time on the show?

MR: Well my daughter already knows! Her friends are at the age where they all know about the show, and she’s heard through the grapevine that Mommy was on that show. Now thankfully, she doesn’t know what the show is about yet - she thinks it’s just about love! But she’ll put the pieces together soon, and we’ll have to have the talk! But I think it would be good for her to know her Mom tried something, got her heart hurt, but she kept going and better things came to her.

RELATED: 20 Bachelor Contestants We Had No Idea Are Moms Now

BG: What is something about the baby stage you don’t miss at all?

MR: The lack of sleep. Duh. And it got exponentially harder the more kiddos we had. With our first, the lack of sleep was bad, but it was tolerable in the sense, that I could just sleep when she did - even if it meant at random hours of the day. Now when my second came along, I wasn’t allowed the luxury of napping when he did, because I had my daughter running around, and I had to tend to her while the baby was sleeping. And by the time the third came along, I had given up on sleep. I invested in a coffee IV drip (kidding) and found myself just hanging on, waiting for the time when the baby slept a good, solid 5 hours at night. And now here I am, with 3 kids who all fall asleep by 7:30 at night, and I get a full 8-9 hours of sleep a night. We made it!! Felt like it took forever to get to this point, but it also feels like it came in the blink of an eye.

BG: How do you balance work and being a mother? Do you have any parenting life hacks for new moms of younger kids? Or moms adding more babies to their family?

MR: I just realized that I am one of those women who needs her own thing - needs a career or something that is just MINE. So I realized that I was going to have to work even harder to create a balance in my life where I feel fulfilled career-wise and at home. I’m the mom who doesn’t miss anything: parties, school meetings, baseball games, recitals, etc. But sometimes it means I have to wake up earlier or stay up later so that I can get it all done. I am most fulfilled in my life when all those boxes are checked, so I have to make sacrifices sometimes to make it all happen! And I wish I had some life hacks! I feel like as moms, we just magically figure it all out as we go! Everything is in our brain, and we know what needs to get done/packed/etc all the time. I no longer have the ability to shut off my brain! It is literally always going, and always thinking one step ahead, because it kind of has to with a family of 5 to take care of. Nothing a little red wine can’t cure at the end of the day.

BG: What have you been up to this past year? And where can we see you next?

MR: I was working on a daily morning show for a year (starting my days at 3 am), and as much fun as it was, I was living in a state of exhaustion! So I took some time off, and really focused on the family!! My husband and I started a Podcast called Logically Irrational, that lets me feed my love of pop culture, and I get to bring Tye into my world (kind of a win/win!). And I work with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and CMT every year on a show called Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, and we start filming this next season in a couple of months!

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy mom to life to chat with us! Definitely listen to Logically Irrational if you can!

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