Daniel Bryan made his return to SmackDown LIVE on Tuesday night, but the pro-wrestler-turned-General-Manager admits much of his paternity leave was spent taking care of wife Brie Bella more so than their new daughter.
“Shane has three boys, and he is so proud to be a father,” Bryan told Sports Illustrated of fellow WWE personality Shane McMahon, adding of the advice the latter has given him, “He talked to me a lot about how the most important thing as a father is to treat your wife the best you possibly can.”
Explains Bryan, 36, “Brie is taking care of the baby because I can’t breastfeed, so what can I do to take care of Brie?”
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“But our normal days are very nice, so I can’t complain,” he says. “My wife and I are very blessed. I am very grateful for the life that we lead.”
Adds Bryan of his employer, “WWE has been great about giving me paternity leave, and Brie and I are very fortunate that we’re both home to raise this baby.”
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That paternity leave has lasted Bryan eight weeks, which he told E! News Tuesday have “been a real learning experience.”
“But it’s also been really good. I didn’t know how to change a diaper until Birdie was born,” he says. “It’s really made me work on myself and it has helped Brie and [me] work on our relationship. It makes you a less selfish person.”
And what are the standout moments with his baby girl so far?
“My favorite thing ever is when she smiles and she grabs my finger,” Bryan tells E! News. “She’s not even 6 weeks yet, so she doesn’t do a whole lot. But we can kind of play and I can sing to her. That’s my favorite thing. My least favorite thing is when she poops on me.”
Bryan admits that he has “loved every moment” of fatherhood so far, and that he has so much respect for Bella, 33, now that she will be doing much more of the parenting work when he’s traveling for his job.
“I consider it a supermom role,” he tells E! News. “She’s not really concerned about it too much. I think the biggest concern is not just the baby, but our two needy little Frenchie dogs, so taking care of them as well. But I think she’s going to be able to handle it.”
“This whole process has really made me respect parents — like my own parents — a lot more,” Bryan continues. “But also single parents because Brie and I are doing a lot of this together, so for those single moms or single dads, who are raising kids on their own, I just can’t even imagine. So, my respect for them has grown infinitely.”