Tom Brady Opens the Lid on Co-Parenting With His Ex
| LAST UPDATE 11/15/2022
Tom Brady is known for his NFL quarterback status, but when it comes to choosing between football and family, there has been endless speculation. Here's what the pro athlete's had to say about life at home.
The Start of It All
In 2004, the Buccaneer met Bridget Moynahan, the I-Robot actress. While the two hit it off due to their unwavering passion for business and pleasure, they seemed to set a standard as the ultimate Hollywood dream team.
With red-carpet events and tabloid headlines, they were seemingly everywhere. Both their careers were taking off. Moynahan landed lead roles in the CBS drama series Blue Bloods while Brady was the Patriots' winning flame. They were the talk of the town - but soon, things were going to change.
The couple shocked everyone when their surprise split in 2006 was announced. But despite his long-term romance with this ex, it didn't take Brady long to find himself a new love. He met supermodel Gisele Bündchen at a party - and it was love at first sight. The quarterback saw something special in the blonde bombshell.
There was no one in the room that could deny the spark between the pair, regardless of how little time it had been. They were going on date after date, and all eyes were on them. Plus, his ex seemed to be doing just fine, so all was fine in that region - they thought. It turned out Moyhnahan had surprises of her own.
An Unexpected Addition
In December 2006, Moynahan found out she was pregnant... with her ex, Brady. Even the Prey actress was shocked, especially because the father was not going to be in the picture, learning she was going to raise this child alone. But she confronted her quarterback ex, and his answer was just what she needed to hear.
Moynahan recalled her traditional thoughts on family to Harpers Bazaar, "When you're suddenly pregnant, and no one is standing by your side… it's a hard conversation. I'm a traditional girl, and I believe in marriage… For a moment, it was hard for me to accept that this was the way I was going to have a family."
As time went on, the actress also opened up about bumping along in the limelight. While being a celebrity is hard enough, especially having everyone know your personal business, Moynahan opened up about the complications of the situation. With the dad not in the picture, things were about to get even more, well, complicated.
Whenever she went out, Brady wasn't seen, which pushed the press to harass her for an explanation. They wanted a story, she explained. "I had a public breakup, and then I was pregnant, and then I had a baby… And those moments were kind of stolen from me by the paparazzi, the tabloids, whatever."
Brady was taken aback by the news, especially since he had just started something special with a new flame. Though he adored her, he knew he still had to be there for his ex and their child. However, despite Brady expressing his devotion to Gisele, she had some apprehensions regarding the complicated lifestyle.
Gisele had doubts about Tom being committed to her while also taking care of a new child with his ex. At the time, she even proposed that Brady should try and work things out again with Moynahan. Despite everything happening for a reason, she questioned her position in Brady's life, wondering if she was the end goal. Was she?
Trouble in Paradise
The baby news had broken only two months into the Gisele and Tom love story, so it wasn't ideal. Gisele told People, "It was definitely a surprise for both of us. In the beginning, you're living this romantic fantasy; you're thinking, 'This can't be true, it's so good!' And then, whoops – wake-up call!"
The situation was not one to be taken lightly, no matter how supportive Brady's new girl was. Of course, the couple faced their challenges, but the pair knew they had something worthwhile and were eager to work it out. Though, it wouldn't be easy…
Welcoming Baby Jack
Fast forward to August 2007, and Moynahan welcomed their son John Edward Thomas Moynahan (also known as Jack). Despite the touchy situation, Brady's baby was destined to receive everything he needed - from resources to all the love in the world. As for Gisele, she learned a new kind of love the minute she saw Jack.
In an exclusive interview, Bündchen confessed, "He's a little angel – the sweetest, most cuddly, loving baby. I feel blessed to have him in my life. I understand that he has a mom, and I respect that… but I love him the same way as if he were mine… like he's my son from the first day." And there was more love where that came from.
The pair continued to date, even with a newborn in the picture. And by 2009, just two years after Tom's son's birth, Bündchen and Brady tied the knot. Clearly, they were ready for this next chapter, and they took the ultimate plunge. The quarterback scored the ultimate touchdown with a life partner.
Brady gushed over Gisele in an interview with Access Hollywood, "I'm blessed to find this life partner that we all kind of seek at different times in our life. We found each other at the right time. We've been through a lot of ups and downs together, and in so many ways, that's kind of built our relationship so strong."
Baby No. 2
Committing to each other forever was only the beginning. During the same year as their wedding, the pair welcomed Benjamin Rein Brady. This was now Brady's second child - but a first for the Brazilian supermodel. Now, the NFL star was learning how to deal with the real challenges of co-parenting.
But Moynahan wasn't worried. She told People, "I think from the very beginning, the whole goal specifically was to always keep it positive… To raise a son in the healthiest environment… and it shows. I always encourage everyone to stay positive and understand you have to make the kids a priority."
The Kids Come First
Bridget was always transparent about the situation, especially when it came to her child's happiness. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy and happy environment. While she remained in the public eye and Brady wasn't always in the picture, Moynahan looked at the positives.
She felt her child was blessed to have half siblings and an extended family. While she and Tom decided to raise the child together, they found other partners that had the same respect for their son. She valued the support from Gisele, as she raised him like one of her own. "My son is surrounded by love," she noted.
Staying on the DL
In 2013, a few years after family ties were established, Tom recalled, "I've navigated the challenges (of co-parenting), and now we just do what we need to do as a family." From tackling on the field to his own home juggles, Brady was constantly in the spotlight. This resulted in him choosing family life to remain private.
While Brady and Bündchen were cozying up in their new family home, there was always his ex and firstborn to keep in mind. The situation made it easy for the press to scrutinize, but Brady focused on steering his family furthest away from the media as possible.
Third Time's a Charm
Brady and Bündchen were going from strength to strength. They had this co-parenting thing under control, but they were about to be tested like never before. In December 2012, the Brady bunch welcomed their second child, Vivian Lake Brady. She was a blessing in their life, surrounded by a whole lot of love.
If co-parenting was Brady's first rodeo, he soon discovered he was a real girl dad. All odds were off when it came to Vivian, with Tom admitting he was harder on his sons and pretty much let his little angel do anything. That little baby above is nine years old now and is her dad's "Number One Cheerleader," according to People.
By 2015, #deflategate was still on everyone's minds. Brady was in hot water, with his football career dangling by a thread. And just like that, endearing emails between him and his ex, Moynahan, leaked. The back-and-forth messages solely revolved around their son's school credit.
Moynahan wrote, "Isn't it cool that Jack got a reading award!? He gets to wear a reading star pin now too. So proud." The athlete responded, "He is such a smart boy. And he is a hard worker. I'm so proud of him." While this is something any parent should be proud of, it was refreshing seeing Brady being painted in a positive light again.
Much Needed R&R
But while Brady was still waiting for his latest scandal to blow over, his clan jetted off on family vacations for some quality time. With a supermodel mom and quarterback dad, schedules can get pretty hectic. So, if there was any opportunity for a well-deserved break, they took it.
When it came to spending quality time, everyone was included. Tom's eldest son joined all family vacations and loved spending time with his dad doing the hobbies they had a joint interest in. They made sure he knew his half-siblings and was never out of the picture. It was clear Gisele had a special connection with Tom's eldest.
A Special Connection
In 2018, Gisele communicated how much she appreciated Moynahan, "I'm so grateful for (Bridget). I know this was hard, but I couldn't imagine my life without (Jack). I call him my bonus child. He opened my heart in ways I didn't even know my heart could expand… I fell in love with him."
Gisele and Bridget set a standard for all those future stepmothers. They proved there is faith in a happy and healthy co-parenting relationship. Hopefully, this reminded anyone going through the same thing that there is hope. Most importantly, both mother figures provided an abundance of love.
Always on the Sidelines
We're sure Tom feels lucky to have the mothers of his children feel mutually positive about each other. Considering their endless outings together, something tells us they're getting along just fine. Not to mention they have provided a natural environment for their kids to be a part of, to witness.
Bridget and Gisele also like to rely on each other, especially when it comes to being soccer moms. They don't take it in turns - instead, they pull up to the sidelines together as a team. It is clear there is no jealousy in the air. At the end of the day, teamwork is installed in their family's nature.
Like Father, Like Son
With a dad like Brady, there's got to be talent in the family's blood. As for his eldest, Jack, his dad sees a lot of potential in him. Tom has often witnessed his firstborn throw a few winning forward passes, especially when he's watching his pops on the sidelines before a big game.
Jack is almost a mini Tom. When it comes down to the facial expression, the haircut, and the perfect arm and hand form, he might just follow in his dad's footsteps one day. Still, though Brady has made it clear there is no pressure to continue the NFL legacy, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.
Juggling a football in one arm and a baby in the other is not the easiest for anyone. However, leave it to Brady to make it clear there is plenty of room for family time in his playbook. In a CBS 2019 interview, he expressed his thoughts about choosing his priorities and making things work.
While fans might think he is, Brady claimed he is "certainly not perfect." He continued to reference his wife and children, "I try to keep my priorities in line, you know?…. all those things have their nuances and challenges… But if you're committed to em' and you prioritize em,' then you figure out how to make em' work."
Divorce can have heavy effects on anyone at any time, especially from such a young age. However, the Brady-Bündchen gang has done everything possible to make things as amicable as possible. Nevertheless, they have definitely succeeded in making things easier for their children.
Though, even adults can let their egos get the best of them. In fact, being in the public eye is a recipe for manipulative press releases, but this trio doesn't care. They gather to watch the kids' sports games, and now with an extra parent, there is an overload of love and support.
Both Brady and Moynahan have a 50/50 split custody over their son. However, with football game commutes, Jack prioritizes time with his dad when he has the chance to relocate back to LA. When they're together, it's all about football. We're not surprised considering Jack grew up watching more touchdowns than cartoons.
The pair have a special bond. Still, there is an undoubted passion for the game. Jack will cheer on his dad, praise him for the big wins, and even has a cheeky side when it comes to telling him how he could have played better. Perhaps there's a new Buccaneer boss in the league?
“Never Wants To Disappoint His Dad”
It seems we've got a mini Brady on our hands. The dad of three confessed to Men's Health magazine in 2019, "Jack is just like me – he holds a lot in," while his half-brother Ben is the complete opposite. He continued to explain Jack's love for sports, but also how he prioritized family over the stereotypical quarterback party lifestyle.
"He wants to try hard, and he never wants to disappoint his dad. That was me. I'd wake up early on weekends to do stuff with my dad. That's why I didn't party a lot. If Dad wanted to golf, I wanted to be there with him. And if I ever missed those things, it would crush me." It sounds like Jack really is a mini Patriot.
NFL's Little Angel
When it comes to Tom's only daughter, Vivian is as much of his anchor as she is his. They keep each other grounded - and when it comes to creating a relationship, Tom ventures into other activities than football for some father-daughter bonding. When it comes to attending to different needs, Brady seems a little lost without his ball.
Tom will do anything to make his daughter happy. He has already admitted to saying yes to almost everything she asks. Even on Vivian's birthday, he turned to his fellow followers, asking them where he could buy a unicorn for his daughter's birthday. Go big or go home. But as his message explained, "you are a gift to all of us."
For a dad with a combined 281 wins, it's evident practice makes perfect. That means his ball typically goes everywhere he goes and is incorporated into a daily lifestyle. Even when it's time for some downtime by the shore, Brady can be found with his beloved gear, helmet, and favorite teammates.
An NFL player like Brady tends to never take a break. It's not that he has to have his head in the game at all times, but he wants to - and so do the kids! When the clan kicks back, the Bradys can be found playing a family-friendly game anywhere, at any time. Particularly, Brady loves to play on the beach with his children.
More Love To Go Around
As for Bridget? Aside from co-parenting, she was also trying to carve a new life for herself. While Gisele was fitting in quite nicely, Moynahan also moved on to find a new love interest. In 2010, a love story between the actress and the director came to life. However, just like the movies, it was perhaps too good to be true.
Moynahan had a short fling with the director McG, famous for his blockbusters like Charlie's Angels and Terminator Salvation. Things were going well for a few months, but unfortunately, things didn't work out for the pair as well as they did for her ex. And after things ended, Moynahan was back in Tom and Gisele's inner circle.
A Fairytale Ending
But don't worry - Moynahan eventually found her soulmate. And this time, he was out of the spotlight. The actress linked up with Andrew Frankel (right), a successful businessman. The couple tied the knot on October 17th, 2015, at Wolffer Estate Vineyards in the Hamptons. But, some special guests were missing.
Bridget opted for a small and sentimental ceremony, without Brady and Bündchen. Only close family and friends attended, including her son Jack. In fact, the event was so low-key that the entire guestlist was shocked to discover Bridget walking down the aisle in white.
But despite the latest additions to the growing family, their three dogs, Fluffy, Sccoba, and Lua, are also their prized possessions. They are a part of the family - and no family members get left behind in this household. But why don't we let this snap do all the talking here?
The Brady bunch are often seen on family walks with their dogs, while the kids have morning chores to feed the pups every morning before they venture into the day. These dogs definitely are the lights of their lives - even Brady takes time to praise them over the 'gram, with one photo captioned, "Our oldest boy and our oldest girl."
Celebrations All Around
Whether it's a football game, another wedding, or a new dog in the house, there's always something to celebrate with the Brady family. Particularly when a birthday comes rolling around. Safe to say, we wish we were a fly on those Brady-Bündchen walls.
Every year, for every child, Tom dedicates an Instagram post for a birthday. A wholesome picture with a classic dad caption is always the way forward. For Ben's 10th birthday, he posted, "Happy Birthday Benny! 10 years old, and I couldn't be any more blessed to be your Dad!" Brady wrote. "We love you so much! This smile makes my day!"
The Feeling's Mutual
Don't think the kids don't celebrate their dad as much as he celebrates them. In between birthdays, father's day always comes around. Gisele always ensures the kids praise their all-star dad for everything he does for the family. Plus, this is also a photo opportunity to share the love.
Gisele shared a special photo with all three kids hugging their no. 1 fan. She wrote the caption, "Happy Father's Day, my love. (There are) no words to describe how much you mean to us. There's nothing that we love more than being with you… You are the best dad!" We guess this is a way to thank him for the 50-yard line seats.
It's no surprise Brady has been dubbed the G.O.A.T. Throughout his career, he has succeeded as the player with the most Super Bowl appearances and wins in history, the most touchdown passes, and the only quarterback with 600 touchdown passes. The list could go on. But, his game wins mean nothing when the final whistle blows.
In 2018, the Patriots had one of their most memorable wins. Gisele and the gang rushed onto the pitch to congratulate the win. She recalled in a post, "What a special night. Congratulations Patriots! Congratulations, my love! Your tireless commitment, discipline, and hard work never cease to amaze me. We love you!"
No matter how bruised Brady might be, he is always checking on his family after any given game. In fact, Tom is always seen cheering his children on at their own sports events. Though they might be used to their dad winning, he has made it a mission to teach them that losing is a part of reality.
And while he and Gisele may have recently called it quits, this game plan hasn't seemed to change. "We are blessed with beautiful and wonderful children who will continue to be the center of our world," he noted. "We will continue to work together as parents to always ensure they receive the love and attention they deserve."