44-year-old quarterback Tom Brady opened up on his podcast about how his strenuous career has limited the quality time he’s able to spend with family.
There’s a price to be paid for the most successful NFL careers. Being at the top of one’s game means long hours spent watching film, studying the playbook and getting reps in at practice.
For Tom Brady, the strain of professional football has taken away precious time watching his kids grow up and being present with his wife, former supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
On a recent episode of the SiruiusXM podcast Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, the 44-year-old legend detailed how his time on the field affects his life off of it.
“I think my wife has, you know, held down the house for a long time now,” Brady said. “And I think there’s things that she wants to accomplish. You know, she hasn’t worked as much in the last 10, 12 years just raising our family and kind of committing to being in a life in Boston and then moving to Florida. But that’s an issue, and it’s a very difficult issue to reconcile without just saying, ‘Hey, it’s time to retire.’ And I think there’s, you know, we’re coming to the end here too, so I don’t want to miss any of the kids’ stuff.”
Although Brady wishes he was able to spend more time at home, he does acknowledge that he does get a good chunk of time to spend with his family in the offseason — especially when he stopped participating in OTAs as a 20-year veteran.
“I get a lot of time off, actually,” Brady said on the podcast. “Football players, we get a good healthy off-season. And I try to do my best with the kids. Although I wish I was there more, but I think if I was there too much, you know, they might be sick and tired of me screwing up everything that’s been going on in the house for a long time too.”
Tom Brady on missing his wife and children while playing in the NFL
Brady has joked for years that wife Gisele Bundchen was pushing him to retire. Last year, Brady revealed just how much that tension strained their marriage during an interview with Howard Stern. Brady said that Bundchen wasn’t “satisfied” with their marriage, which prompted Brady to reflect on how he could evolve.
“Two years ago, I had to make a big transition in my life to say, I can’t do all the things that I wanted to do for football like I used to,” he said in 2020. “I gotta take care of things in my family because my family — the situation wasn’t great. She wasn’t satisfied with our marriage. So I needed to make a change in that. Her point was, ‘Well, yeah, of course this works for you. It all works for you. But it doesn’t work for me.’ Because you can get caught up in your life where you think a relationship’s great because it only works for you, and the point of a relationship [is] it has to work for both. You’d better work on both ’cause if you don’t, then ultimately, it’s not sustainable.”
Bundchen wrote Brady a “very thought-out letter”, which the quarterback said he still keeps tucked away in a drawer. Brady also acknowledged that for men, family decisions are often made so that men can focus on their careers.
These days, Brady is incredibly cognizant of how his career affects his wife and beloved children: Jack, 14, Benjamin, 11, and Vivian, 8. It’s why the Bucs quarterback bought his family a $6 million yacht for family vacations in the offseason — and soon, to sail during Brady’s impending retirement.
Brady likely won’t retire because he’s old or reached a cliff. Ultimately, he will hang up his cleats just to spend more time with his family.