Tanner Tolbert grows closer with his “little dude” every day.
The Bachelor in Paradise alum recently revisited the controversy that surrounded his previous comments about struggling to bond with his then-newborn son Brooks Easton as quickly as he did with his now-2½-year-old daughter Emerson Avery. At 7 months old today, Brooks has exhibited his personality – and Tolbert says his father-son connection strengthens the more they’re together.
“As time has gone on it’s gotten easier for me,” Tolbert, who shares his two kids with wife Jade Roper Tolbert, wrote on Instagram Wednesday. “Brooks has started to show such personality and the older he’s gotten I feel more equipped to take care of him.”
He added, “I love him the exact same as I do Emmy and I’d do anything for either of my kids.”
Tolbert, 32, said he felt like a “bad dad” after his honest statements about his initial bonding with Brooks made headlines. Looking back, he said he’s “glad” he voiced his experience because “it was the truth and that’s okay.”
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“After Brooks was born I found myself comparing my bond with him to the bond I had with Emmy and I think that was unfair for me to do to myself,” he wrote in his caption, which accompanied a sweet photo of him cuddled up with little Brooks. “My relationship with Emmy had built up over a couple years whereas I had just met Brooks.”
Caring for a newborn proved to be a jarring experience for Tolbert, who admitted that he let most of Brooks’ parenting duties fall on Roper Tolbert, 33.
“Let me tell ya … babies are hard work, haha … A lot harder than I imagined (I was away at work during most of Emmys time as a newborn so in a way this is my first experience being around it 24/7),” he continued.
“So after he was born I found myself taking the easier route in parenthood, handling most of Emmys needs and letting Jade handle most of Brooks’,” Tolbert added.
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In sharing his feelings as a proud dad, Tolbert said he wants to help others going through similar experiences relate. “Everyone’s parenting journey is going to be a little different and that’s okay,” he concluded. “Just love your kids as much as you can and enjoy every moment. It’s the best job you will ever have❤️.”
On the Aug. 28 episode of The Viall Files, Tolbert said in part, “My connection with [Emerson], probably initially, was the most strong,” following up with, “but maybe it just takes time. I will love them equally, for different reasons, but I feel it right now more with Emmy and I don’t know why.”
Tolbert later addressed the backlash on his wife’s podcast Mommies Tell All, saying he was “hesitant” to express himself publicly but decided to speak his truth.
“I’ve gotten tons of messages from men and women saying their husbands or themselves have felt the same way and thank you, but I also got a lot of heat and shame from it as well,” Tolbert said, adding at the time that he was bonding at his “own pace.”