Gisele Bündchen Talks Tom Brady's NFL Return as She Says She Stepped Back in Career to Raise Kids

·3 min read

Gisele Bündchen is opening up about her decision to take a break from her runway career to focus on family.

In a wide-ranging cover interview for ELLE's October issue, Bündchen, 42, shares her feelings on husband's Tom Brady return to the NFL as she continues to raise son Benjamin, 12, daughter Vivian, 9 and stepson Jack, 15.

"I've done my part, which is [to] be there for [Brady]. I moved to Boston, and I focused on creating a cocoon and a loving environment for my children to grow up in and to be there supporting him and his dreams," she explained.

"Seeing my children succeed and become the beautiful little humans that they are, seeing [Brady] succeed, and being fulfilled in his career—it makes me happy," she continued. "At this point in my life, I feel like I've done a good job on that."

Moving forward, however, Bündchen is ready to act on her own dreams for the future.

"I have a huge list of things that I have to do, that I want to do. At 42, I feel more connected with my purpose," she said.

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Gisele Bündchen Elle Magazine
Gisele Bündchen Elle Magazine

Inez & Vinoodh/Elle

RELATED: Tom Brady Says Family and Football Are the 'Most Important' Things to Him After Return to the NFL

Speaking of her decision to step back from her career, Bündchen said she's "so grateful" to have been a part of "really shaping who [her children] are as people."

"I feel very fulfilled in that way, as a mother and as a wife," she said. "And now it's going to be my turn. It's not like I'm going to be in the valley forever."

Still, the Brazilian model said she would like for Brady, 45, to "be more present" amid his busy football career.

"Obviously, I have my concerns—this is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present," she said of her husband. "I have definitely had those conversations with him over and over again. But ultimately, I feel that everybody has to make a decision that works for [them]. He needs to follow his joy, too."

Gisele Bündchen Elle Magazine
Gisele Bündchen Elle Magazine

Inez & Vinoodh/Elle

Rumors of a rift between Brady and Bündchen increased last month after Brady was excused from practicing with the Buccaneers "to deal with some personal things," head coach Todd Bowles said at the time.

When Brady returned to practice 11 days later, the father of three said he needed the time away.

"Everyone has different situations they're dealing with, and we all have unique challenges to our lives," Brady told reporters. "I'm 45 years old, man."

"There's a lot of s--- going on, so you just have to try and figure out life the best you can. You know, it's a continuous process," he continued.

On Monday, multiple sources told PEOPLE that Bündchen is "frustrated" with Brady's decision to unretire.

"Going back to Tampa after the retirement put a strain on the personal side of his life," a source said. "Gisele is frustrated and sick of his career coming before their family, who has always supported him."

The couple spending time apart from one another "has happened before," the source explained, adding that "they are trying" to make the relationship work.