Raising a Son with a Special Heart: An Interview with Bret Baier

How Do You Balance Parenting with a Full-Time Job?

Bret Baier and family

Courtesy of Bret Baier

You and your wife welcomed another son, Daniel, into the family last year. How did you prepare yourself differently for your second son? Was there anything you learned the second time that you wish you had known the first time?

It was really hard for us to make the decision to have another child. We debated it for a long time. We always had the vision that we'd have at least two children. It took a while to get over the hurdle of being scared about what could happen. When Daniel was born, I was a mess because when he came out, he was not the perfect color and he had some breathing issues. I thought, "Here we go again." We had our cardiologist give him an echocardiogram after birth and everything was fine. He's been a great baby. It's a totally different experience. We weren't answering the cries of a baby who had heart surgery. We were answering the cries of a baby who was not happy in the crib. We celebrated that fact.

Do you have tips on how to give parents trying to balance parenting with a full-time work life?

That is the biggest challenge -- balance. A friend of mine, Jack McWethy, was an ABC correspondent at the Pentagon. He died tragically in a skiing accident a few years ago. I remember him telling me, "You work long hours and you put in a lot of time. It's imperative that you go home and walk through the door and put the coat on the hanger. You hang up your work there and you're now in family time." I took it to heart. After his death, I reflected on that at his memorial service. I aspire to hang up the job with the coat at the door. When you're in the house with the family, that should be family time.

Where do you find your greatest source of strength as a parent?

A source of strength is my wife and the fact that we try to be united on how we go about doing things. Our family is very supportive. My mother and Amy's mother are active grandmothers; they give bits of advice. When we were concerned that Paul wasn't talking and walking, I remember my mother-in-law saying, "Don't worry. Eventually he'll be walking and talking and you'll want him to sit down and shut up." Don't stress about those things. They're a great support system.

What values do you want to instill in both your sons as they grow up?

We're Catholic, so we rely on our faith a great deal. I'd like my kids embrace and respect that, respect their elders, respect other people. Also, communication, if there's a problem. Even though my son's 3?, I want to hear what he's thinking.

What is your greatest hope for Paul and Daniel?

My greatest hope is that Paul and Daniel become very close as brothers. My greatest hope for Paul is that he has a long, healthy life so that I can be there for his graduations, for his wedding, and also see to his kids. We have hurdles ahead. I plan on enjoying these years as much as we can as a family.

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