Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneer NFL player and husband to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, has revealed the toughest part of parenting. He has people's attention after complaining in a recent episode of the Drive with Jim Farley podcast that it’s not the sleepless nights, the difficult decisions about their futures, or the grocery aisle tantrums—apparently for him, it’s being rich.
The star is worth $250 million, which he describes in the podcast as both an immense blessing and a challenge in raising kids. “We have people clean for us. We have people that make our food. We have people that drive to the airport…that’s my kids’ reality.” The couple has three children together, ages 9-12.
Brady’s admission got parents' attention as many families struggle with pandemic-related financial woes and a potentially looming recession. He did nod to his appreciation of his wealth, having grown up in the midwest in middle-class America, and with his wife Giselle being raised with five sisters in a two-bedroom home in Brazil.
“It’s probably the hardest thing for us as parents with myself and my wife, [who] grew up in rural Brazil, at the farther state, south Rio Grande…a very small farming town, a very simple girl. There were two bedrooms in their house, one for their parents and one for her and her five sisters,” he says in the podcast. “I grew up in a middle-class family in California—my dad worked his ass off for the family, and my mom stayed at home and took care of us kids.”
He goes on to remember his mom making home-cooked meals, doing laundry and supporting him by showing up at games. But Brady says he has to manufacture some of these experiences for his own children to “create experiences that are more along the lines of what most kids go through.”
As rumors circulate of an impending recession, and Americans still work to recover from pandemic-related financial woes, some found it hard to sympathize with the millionaire’s parenting difficulties.
One tweet says, “I thought it was finding high-quality affordable childcare and getting paid family leave.” Another wrote, “@TomBrady you want to change your kids’ reality? You don’t allow the maid to clean their room or take out the trash. You assign chores to teach independence. Their [sic] are plenty of wealthy that have taught their children the value of hard work.”
Others found the honesty refreshing, pointing out that Brady seems open and aware of his privilege. While most Americans won’t ever come close to being able to relate to Brady’s issue, his commentary opened the door to widespread conversation about privilege, responsibility and the impact wealth has on children.