Gisele Bundchen: “I don’t like the word ‘stepmom.’ I like the word ‘bonus mom’”

Earlier this week, I saw a headline about Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s wedding anniversary and I had this weird gossip sixth-sense feeling that their split was imminent. It was the strangest thing! But this is not an announcement of their split. If anything, they seem very happy at the moment? Or performatively happy. Gisele decided to do an Instagram Q&A with fans yesterday and she was asked about Tom, her kids, her stepchild and where she and Tom are going to live now that they’ve sold their Brookline mansion and will likely be moving to another state. Some highlights:

How it feels being a “stepmom” to Jack, Tom’s son with Bridget Moynahan: “I don’t like the word ‘stepmom’. I like the word ‘bonus mom’ because I feel like it’s a blessing in my life. I feel so lucky that I got to have an extra wonderful little angel in my life.”

On spending time with the kids: “I think we just try our best to be present with the kids when we are with the kids,” she shared, stressing the importance of being “fully there with them” and “really listening to them…I think it’s not so much [about] the amount of time. I think it’s the quality of time. I think what’s really important as well is the energy that is around the children,” she said, explaining how she and Brady are “constantly giving them kisses and hugs” to ensure that they feel appreciated. “I think they really see how much we love each other and how much we support each other.”

On communication with Tom: “We never raise our voices. We never have arguments. We just talk things over if we have any issues.”

Where will she & the family live this year? “I would love to know where I’m going to be living this year but I don’t know that yet. But hopefully somewhere nice. And wherever my husband is happy playing, so we will see.”

[From People & WEEI]

Tom is moving into free agency at the moment, so he’ll be able to sign with any NFL team who wants him, although there are currently some issues with everybody’s contracts because the Players’ Union and the NFL are, like, renegotiating terms currently? But once the union issue is completed, Tom will be able to sign to a different team. And it will probably need to be a different team, because no one in Boston seems to think the Patriots Organization wants him back. But who knows.

As for what she says about being a bonus mom… I find it creepy when it’s LeAnn Rimes, but at this point, with Gisle specifically, I think everyone is used to it. Bridget was probably peeved about it in the beginning, but I totally buy that Bridget, her husband, Tom and Gisele have all found a way to successfully co-parent and provide two really loving homes for Jack.

Photos courtesy of Instagram.

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59 Responses to “Gisele Bundchen: “I don’t like the word ‘stepmom.’ I like the word ‘bonus mom’””

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  1. Guest with Cat says:

    I’m not particularly fond of either of them for a lot of reasons. But apparently they’re all parenting Jack as well as they can, and Gisele is good to him. So they can refer to themselves however they want. Not my business. And Gisele can stay out of the business of other moms and their decisions.

  2. Ali says:

    I know people have an issue with Giselle but I love how much she loves Jack.

  3. Mumbles says:

    I can understand the dislike of the word “stepmom”; the word unfortunately has unfairly earned that “wicked” connotation from fairy tales etc. “Bonus mom” sounds dumb but she has a sweet reason for it. She does seem to love the kid, not only in the answer, but when you see them all in public.

    • Vizia says:

      I am fortunate to have a great relationship with my step-daughter and her mom. She refers to me as “Evil Stepmother” in the most loving way imaginable, and I love it! My husband made a point of writing his ex when we got engaged (Jes was 8 at the time) to say that we were clear about my role as step-mom and that she would always be Jes’s mother, and that set the tone for the next 26 years. I feel so incredibly lucky to have her in my life, and even more lucky and grateful that her mom has always been so welcoming and gracious to me, given that this is absolutely not the norm! I know I won the lottery on this one.

      • carey says:

        @Vizia…Your comment was so lovely. How lucky the child involved was to have adults behave so thoughtfully and allowing her to benifit from extra love!

    • Mustlovedogs says:

      “Bonus mum” ( bonus mamma) and also “bonus child” (bonus barn) come from the Swedish language is where it is an accepted term used instead of “step”. It’s a nice sentiment I think.

    • Super says:

      Why pretend you birthed & raised a child? You’re not a “bonus” mom. Step mom can have positive or neg connotations. It makes it worse when the new wife plans a takeover. This claim is particularly insensitive given the timeline. She needs to get over this self proclaimed “bonus-ness”.

      • carey says:

        @Super, this is really such an overly-heated response. No one is pretending anything, and I can tell you from personal experience how much it would have meant to me as a child to be loved enough to be called a bonus. “Step” was a very painful way of looking through the family lens.

  4. Erinn says:

    I think that photo of the two of them with the cake is the most attractive I’ve ever found Tom Brady.

    I wonder what kind of cake that was… isn’t he notoriously strict with his diet? But it looks really good – maybe they made an exception for the wedding.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Pretty sure they took the day off from their diets for their wedding. And they both have said they love chocolate. She also has said she can’t be around Dunkin Munchkins because she’ll scarf down a whole box if other people don’t eat them first.

      • Erinn says:

        I actually appreciate her more for that admission ahhaa. I kind of think of these two as militant with their diets, so it’s nice to hear that they have some vices like the rest of us. But I also don’t blame them for being obsessive considering their lines of work.

  5. Writermarie says:

    Not really a fan of Giselle, but I’m glad she seems to love Jack the way she does. As for Tom, I hope he stays in Boston. Or retires lol. Don’t be like Brett Favre.

  6. Whatabout says:

    Just a heads up, their Boston home hasn’t sold yet. It’s still on the market. But they have moved out and purchased a home in Connecticut, which I think is closer to Jack.

  7. James says:

    I find her obnoxious and annoying.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I also find her obnoxious & annoying. When she & her sister dressed in Complete birkas in France (where it is illegal) to hide themselves entering a Plastic Surgeons office was it for me. Although I did enjoy all the running back to Leo while dating Tom. I can’t stand Tom but that goes all the way back to his college days

    • Lee says:

      Me too honestly. Always found her a bit overrated too.

    • josephine says:

      I find that declaring herself to be “bonus mom” makes it all about her (of course). why can’t she just say that she loves that she gets to have him in her life without creating a title for herself.

  8. Originaltessa says:

    She seems to really love Jack, so yeah, she’s a bonus mom probably. But my best friend’s “bonus mom” tortured her as a child with verbal abuse. So, she’s just the step bitch.

  9. girl_ninja says:

    They’re a handsome couple. The Patriots are my team and have been waaaay before they were winning. He disappointed me for not renouncing the Orange Blob. You know she cannot stand that awful fake president.

  10. KBeth says:

    I don’t like either of them but I respect all parties involved, they seem to work hard at co-parenting. They all clearly love the kids.

  11. Other Renee says:

    I find her presentation of her perfect marriage and perfect life annoying and smug. Plus I don’t believe anything is perfect.

    My husband and daughter have been referring to each other as Bonus Dad and Bonus Daughter since the day we got married seven years ago. I think it’s very sweet.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, when someone says that they and their SO “never argue” I call BS.

      looking more and more likely that Brady’s time with the Pats is over. and, like WriterMarie above, I hope he retires and doesn’t become a punchline like Favre did. but I don’t think his ego will let him.

      • Jules says:

        if both people are conflict-avoidant that is what happens. it doesn’t mean they don’t have issues, more like they both sweep issues under the rug and pretend not there.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        and THAT never ends well. sweeping issues under the rug and pretending they’re not there only leads to resentment. ongoing resentment will poison a relationship.

        and I would venture to say that Giz is NOT “conflict avoidant”, based on how she yelled at Pats fans when the Giants beat them in the SB (the first time).

  12. DS9 says:

    I despise the term bonus mom in some contexts. I feel like it suggests an equality between the mothers, which is fine if it’s there. But if it’s not, if stepmom is married to the disney dad for instance, I feel ways.

    My daughter sees her step mother three times a year, max. They have no involvement in her life when she’s with me, barely do anything with her when she’s there so bonus mom wut?

  13. naomipaige99 says:

    Hey Just remember that Leann Rimes calls herself a bonus mom as well. Hopefully Gisele isn’t as crazy and delusional as LR.

  14. Suzieq359 says:

    They are over the top with the kisses. Tom’s son is what 12 and there was a documentary last year and if I remember correctly Tom was getting a massage. He insisted that the boy come give him a kiss on the lips and his son wiped it off. He clearly wasn’t comfortable with it but Tom insisted. That may have been their expression of love before but at the tween years his son is over it. Respect the child and how they want to receive expressions of love from you.

    • Shirleygailgal says:

      I did that and now I only get to hug my son on special, momentous occasions cause when he was a teen he was uncomfortable and I respected that but we lost something precious. As a kid he was the cuddliest of cuddly kids. Whilst Tom’s thing seemed forced, and the kid was uncomfortable (so was I)…hug your kids, even the teenaged ones, EVERY chance you get,

  15. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    So what happens if Giselle and Brady divorce: Jack loses his bonus?
    It bothers me when celebrity women are so peeved by the term “step-mom”. She is just not a permanent fixture in her step-son’s life the way his mother and father are. That’s just the long and short of it. It doesn’t give her license to mistreat or not be emotionally engaged with her step-son or not love him, but her relationship is just different and not at equal footing with Jack’s relationship with his mother.
    She can always leave: Tom and Bridgette cannot.

    • Lightpurple says:

      If she hadn’t had kids, sure, but her children will always be Jack’s siblings so there will always be connections and involvement.

    • sassafras says:

      First, there are lots of non-celebs who have done the hard work of raising non-biological kids who wouldn’t appreciate being called a step- anything. To some of us, names aren’t important and to some people they are.

      And second, your argument is harmful. Yes, Giselle could leave Jack, she could also leave her bio kids. Are you saying that would hurt Jack less than her bio-kids? Are you saying that a relationship with a non-biological parent is always less meaningful? A lot of step, adoptive and gay parents out there (and custodial grandparents) would disagree heartily with the premise of your argument.

    • McMom says:

      Queen Meghan’s Hand – I am a very hands on step mom and if anything should happen to my husband and me, I will still be in that little girl’s life. I made a commitment to her when I married her father. My step daughter is also step siblings to my kids and they will always have that connection.

      • Alissa says:

        I’m a stepmom of three and I absolutely would not just ditch out on them if my husband and I split.

        I also bristle at the suggestion that biological parents can’t ditch out on their kids. it happens all the time. my dad did it, and my oldest stepkids mom did it a few times.

        you’re either committed to parenting and putting your kids first, or you’re not. the biological connection isn’t as important as people make it out to be.

    • Ky says:

      @Queen Meghan’s Hand That’s not how families work.

  16. Kateeee says:

    Is it weird that I think she is a hands-on mom to all the kids? Am I just being duped by good branding? Regardless, I give her a pass on “bonus mom” because she has been in Jack’s life since he was born, and married to Tom since Jack was like 2 or 3. So for him, she has always been a second mom at Tom’s house.

    • sassafras says:

      This. If Tom was as involved in Jack’s childhood as he seemed to be, she was right there too. If Bridget’s okay with “bonus mom” and Jack’s okay with it (and we have no indication that they aren’t) then who am I to judge? Why do we get tacky when we see parents who actually seem to be co-parenting?

    • Lightpurple says:

      She goes to hockey practice, not just the games but the practices. Sitting in a cold, smelly rink at odd hours is definitely something that would get delegated to a nanny, so, she does seem to be hands on.

      • Hoot says:

        Ahhh, I remember those days fondly. Cold, smelly ice rink is right! I used to stay warm by doing whatever standing leg workouts (lunges, squats, wall sits, etc.) because that was a couple of lost hours in my life (x2). But good on Giselle for supporting him and not having a nanny there. I’m impressed.

  17. Kateeee says:

    Is it weird that I think she is a hands-on mom to all the kids? Am I just being duped by good branding? Regardless, I give her a pass on “bonus mom” because she has been in Jack’s life since he was born, and married to Tom since Jack was like 2 or 3. So for him, she has always been a second mom at Tom’s house.

  18. Sup says:

    Bring back the Leanne Rimes gossip!

  19. Riley says:

    I remember when this was all going on and her insecurity about Bridget was legendary. She really wanted to edge her out of the picture. It was way creepy! Glad they all worked it out.

    • Mumbles says:

      I don’t remember it that way at all. If anyone was insecure it was the older, less attractive, less famous Bridget.

  20. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    If you become a party of our family, there’s no steps or in-laws lol. Tacking those designations at the end of introductions sound diminishing in some way to me. I don’t want anyone to think they’re part of my family in some adjacent capacity and not ‘really” a true member lol. I like what she’s saying here. And I’m almost envious of the no arguments or raised voices, because at the house O’Mabs, things can get… I’ll just say passionate. Wink wink.

    • Arb says:

      We are the opposite. I’m not trying to pretend I’m as close to my partner’s family as he is and he knows my family’s first loyalty is to me. My partner is a step parent. He’s a great step parent but it’s a different relationship than he has to his biological son.

  21. Texas says:

    I was prepared to really be irritated by bonus mom phrase. But the way she said it was sweet. I still don’t like her. But she doesn’t really need me to.

  22. HeyThere! says:

    My husband and I are happily married but if anything ever happened and we were not together I would really hope that our kids would have a bonus mom that genuinely loved them as she loves her bonus son! I think it’s beautiful.

  23. Anne says:

    If I didn’t know the context the use of the words ‘bonus’ and ‘extra’ would be off putting but it’s fine here. She’s still insufferable.

  24. Flamingo says:

    My husband and I have a big age difference and my oldest stepdaughter is only 12 years younger than me. We went tailgating with her when she was in undergrad and after a few cocktails, her new boyfriend came to join us and she introduced us as her parents. If she were sober, she wouldn’t have introduced me as her parent, but a few cocktails in, she must have thought it was funny. The boyfriend’s eyes got really big and he whispered to her, “was she a teenage bride?” She thought it was just hilarious and from then on we’ve been introduced everywhere as “This is my Dad and his teenage bride”. There are worse names out there than stepmom. 😂

  25. Mia LeTendre says:

    Do we really think they ate that cake??

  26. holly hobby says:

    What he’s letting himself eat cake? I thought they don’t do sweets.

  27. Izzy says:

    There are worse things in life than being called stepmom, and it’s only a negative if you’re a lousy stepparent. I’ve been blessed with two great bio parents and three great steps in my lifetime (one passed away and then my parent remarried to another great one), and none of them have ever minded the term “step.” We treat each other like family and it shows to everyone who meets us. As long as we know how important we are to each other, the terminology doesn’t really matter to us.

  28. BeanieBean says:

    They ate a real cake?

  29. Rashida says:

    I’ve never found her ‘that’ attractive. She seems very overrated to me.

  30. Shirleygailgal says:

    My parents divorced. They re-married. My step-mum’s name is Eleanor, so she became Mum Eleanor. My step-father was Daddy John. To John’s kids, my dad was Daddy Mike. I don’t remember what my step-sisters called my mom to her face (mom I think?) but she was a selfish, egocentric woman. When she died…my step-mum (who is still adored) became MumE, which became plain old ‘mum’ very quickly. We adore her and when my dad passed 15 years ago and she is the only living one of the lot, she parents us all (including my two step-brothers, her bio-kids) with grace and love and wisdom. So yes, she’s a bonus in my life. Daddy John was very distant, cold man who held himself a ‘step’ away from us…I get both terms actually, but one only really knows which term applies once one has lived in the situation. John was no bonus in my life, but he was my step-father. MumE is a glorious bonus to my life and she is my step-mother.

  31. Sass says:

    Nah, I still get LeeAnn vibes from her. The way she behaved early on was really off putting to me.

    Brady is a POS too. I could elaborate but hey, we all know what I mean.

    I think Bridget is counting the days until Jack is 18 so she only has to see these fools at special events involving him. No more custody BS.

  32. Tuntmore says:

    “Bonus mom” is not a word; it is a two-word phrase. Come on, Giselle, get it together.