Reggie Bush Reflects on Stepping Back from the NFL and Keeping His 'Focus' on 'Family'

Reggie Bush announced his retirement from the NFL in December 2017

Reggie Bush family
Reggie Bush and family. Photo: Reggie Bush

Two and a half years after announcing his retirement from the NFL after more than a decade with the organization, father of three Reggie Bush says he has taken the time to focus on his family life.

The former football star and dad of three tells PEOPLE that since retiring, he has been able to have new experiences with his wife Lilit and their children: sons Agyemang, 2½, and Uriah, 4½, plus daughter Briseis, 7.

"I've been able to enjoy more time with our family and just being able to do things that I normally wouldn't be able to be here for," says Bush, 35. "For 20-plus years, most of my time was devoted to a single sport. Now I get an opportunity to be home, and to find a new passion and keep my focus on top of my family."

Bush adds that social distancing together during the current coronavirus pandemic has also forced his brood to focus on quality time.

"We've been really focusing on this time with our family and trying to better ourselves," he says. "It's definitely been a challenge for us to homeschool but together we feel like we've been learning in this process a lot about ourselves, and we're making it work."

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Reggie Bush family
Reggie Bush and family. Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush family
Reggie Bush and family. Reggie Bush

Both Bush and Lilit, a dancer, have been helping out to homeschool the children, as learning institutions remain closed through the end of the academic year — and even their toddler has had to participate.

"It doesn't matter what age you are in this house," Bush jokes of Agyemang. "He's got to work."

Lilit tells PEOPLE that during the pandemic, she and Bush have had to adjust their parenting styles to prevent their stress levels from affecting their kids.

"Our patience had to develop a lot more than it was. We have to learn how to be a lot more patient with each other and with the kids, because being with them all day long can push you to another level, stress wise," she says. "We just simply cannot allow that to translate to the kids."

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To combat that, she says she and Bush both give each other time off to step away and decompress. "Then when we come back to the kids, we're at our best level," Lilit adds.

The mom of three says that though each child is very different, their one common thread is that they take after their athlete dad — especially while cooped up in the house all day.

"They're all active," she says. "They're all athletic, obviously — that's a mandatory in the house. Everybody's got to stretch, everybody's got to exercise. That helps a lot to kill that energy during the day so they're good to go to sleep."

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