Tyler Hubbard has a confession — he’s going to be a dad!
“There’s a lot of excitement — it’s something we’ve looked forward to for a while,” Tyler, 30, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue of the couple’s first child, who is due to make his or her arrival in December.
Explains Hayley of how the two found out the baby news, “We’d just gotten back from California and I wasn’t sleeping when we got back and … I woke up one night and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m pregnant.’ ”
“So I took a test the next morning and I couldn’t even contain myself I was so excited. So I honestly didn’t have time to think of how to surprise Tyler, so I just jumped back into bed and showed him the pregnancy stick,” shares The Vogue Trip founder, who admits she hasn’t “been feeling great” during her first trimester.
“Tons of morning sickness. Just nausea all day, but that’s to be expected,” says the 30-year-old. But instead of staying at home and “feeling sorry for” herself, Hayley flew to Malawi to work on a “maternal health trip.”
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“I’m not going to lie, it was pretty rough,” says Hayley of traveling while not feeling well. “I was definitely exhausted.”
She continues, “But it put things into perspective for me because we were working in Malawi with the UCSF School of Nursing and so we were in a lot of hospitals with women that just had babies and they were with their newborns in these dirty congested hospitals and no sheets on the bed — you know, conditions you would never want to have your baby in — so suddenly I didn’t feel as sick or feel as sad.”
Although “it was the best thing” for Hayley to “be away from everything” and have time “to let it soak in” that she was pregnant, the most challenging part for the soon-to-be mama was that she missed her husband.
“That was probably the hardest two and a half weeks, just being pregnant and being away from Tyler,” she says.
As for what the couple is most looking forward to when it comes to being first-time parents? “It’s just an exciting phase of our life and an exciting next step,” says the “Cruise” singer.
“I think there’s a lot that we’re going to get to learn,” explains Tyler. “I think Hayley and I both really love learning and growing as people. And I think for us, it’s the next phase and the next stage of life that God can really teach us a lot and show us patience … and selflessness.”
He adds, “To be honest, our world, at this point in our life, it revolves around what we want it to revolve around — our wants and our needs and our desires, what we have going on in our schedule … and all that’s about to change.”
“Trying to have the balance of raising a kid and raising a family with the lifestyle that we have, and the pace of life that we live, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be challenging and something that we’re really, really excited about,” Tyler continues. “So I think there’s all kinds of emotions on both ends of the spectrum from excitement to [nervousness]. But I think the excitement definitely [outweighs] the nerves.”
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But the baby news is no surprise, considering Hayley recently took a pregnancy test (that turned out to be negative) while the couple — along with their close friends, Florida Georgia Line songwriter Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren — were on a safari trip in Tanzania together.
“Both of our wives actually took a pregnancy test and I yelled to Lauren that we were pregnant — joking because we weren’t pregnant — and she said, ‘Yes, we are, too!’ ” Tyler previously told PEOPLE about learning his friends were going to be parents. (Naturally, Thomas Rhett and Lauren were also the first to learn about their pals’ baby news.)
And it was in that moment the Hubbards, who tied the knot in July 2015, realized they should start a family.
“I think that was when it hit Hayley and [me]. It was the first time that we were actually excited about the possibility of being pregnant,” recalls Tyler. “When we realized that we weren’t pregnant, when we thought we were, we had two minutes of a little bit of disappointment. So that instigated the conversation of, ‘Well, maybe we should give this thing a shot and see what happens.’ ”
Tyler shares that the pair is also “all about God’s timing too.”
“We haven’t put a whole lot of pressure on ourselves to just try to have a baby or not try to have a baby,” he explains. “We’ve just been going with it and seeing what happens, and it’s been fun to live in that moment for a little while of, ‘If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, great as well.’ So that’s where we’ve been, and it’s been fun to trust God and know that his timing is perfect. It really is so perfect.”
Adds Tyler, who just kicked off the Florida Georgia Line: Smooth Tour with Nelly, Chris Lane and the Backstreet Boys, “The due date is the end of December — we’re going to be off the road [and] be able to be home for the first few months. It’s just crazy how it all worked out so perfectly.”
And are Tyler’s FGL partner Brian Kelley and his wife Brittney-Marie Cole excited to eventually have a little one touring with them? “I think they’re excited to have a baby on the road,” shares Tyler. “I’m sure if they were sharing a bus with us they would not be quite as excited, let’s be honest. But I think everybody is excited about the addition to the tour, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
But even though Tyler is currently on tour and just recently launched the band’s new Nashville, Tennessee, restaurant FGL House, the Hubbards plans to keep their impending bundle of joy their main focus.
“I think for us, Hayley and I both, we just thrive in that environment of having a lot of things going on and a lot of excitement in our lives,” explains Tyler. “We don’t like to get bored. The second that we feel bored, we’re on to doing something else. This has been a big year. And I think next year is going to be a great year to reflect on what all happened this year.”
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“With FGL and with our family and with all the different things that Hayley and I really have going on, it’s been crazy,” he continues. “But like I said, it keeps us excited and it keeps us on our toes, and keeps us continuing to try to get better every day from businessman and woman to raising a family, and being a parent, and being a husband, and being a wife, and being an artist and being a homemaker.”
Tyler adds, “Just all the different hats that we wear, Hayley and I both. It’s really fun to continue to grow that hat collection. Keep switching them out.”
When it comes to the hats they’re going to wear as parents, Hayley hopes her husband will be the disciplinarian.
“He is going to be the best dad. I thought that since day one when I met him,” she praises. “He has the biggest heart in the world. But he’s also so much fun, and I know our kids are just going to have a blast with him.”
She adds, “He’s going to be the really fun parent. But also the [disciplinarian], I’m hoping. He says he will be, but I’m really going to hold him to that … He’s going to be the best. He’s just the most loving, helpful guy. I’m so lucky to have him as my husband.”
Echoes Tyler about his wife, “I think Hayley is going to be the best mom. She’s so caring, loving … and it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve seen it since the first time I met her.”
“We have a golden retriever that we get to play parents with as well, so that’s been fun,” Tyler continues. “She’s always been the best mom to [our pup Harley] and she also has a great mom that she’s learned from, so … she’s going to have the mother role down for sure.”
As far as getting some shut-eye with a newborn, the country star already has that part figured out months in advance.
“The best advice that I’ve heard is to get a night nanny,” says Tyler. “Get a night nurse. That’s my advice. That’s the advice that I’ve taken. But Hayley’s picked up on a lot more advice.”
For more from Tyler and Hayley Hubbard on their growing family, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.