Walker Hayes Praises His 6 Children: ‘They’ve Seen Many Versions Of Their Dad’

Walker Hayes is incredibly proud of his six children. The 43-year-old, who is joined often on the road by his entire family, knows he hasn’t always been the father he wanted to be for them, but the hardships have made them stronger, together and as individuals.

“They’ve seen many versions of their dad,’ Hayes tells Yahoo. “They’ve seen poor dad, ‘I can provide for my family’ dad. They’ve seen alcoholic dad, they’ve seen sober dad, they’ve seen didn’t know Jesus to know Jesus dad. You just love someone so much, but you can’t be perfect for them. We all just need a whole lot of forgiveness.”

Hayes wishes he had been different at various stages of his life, but he can at least embrace who he is now, and focus on being the best father he can be.

“No matter how much you love your kids, you’re going to pass down baggage, and you’re going to make mistakes daily,” the “Y’all Life” singer maintains. “To me, that’s the most frustrating thing. Every day, I can say, ‘I love you,’ but every day, there’s something in my actions that say, ‘I love me more,’ and it makes me mad.”

Hayes is willing to poke fun at himself, often, a trait he hopes he passes on to his sons and daughters, more than almost anything else.

“If there’s one thing [I’d love to see] my kids leave my house doing, it’s laughing at themselves,” says the singer. “If you can do that, if you don’t take yourself too seriously, your life will be completely different. When you’re a kid, some things matter a little too much, so I try to teach my kids with the bad moments like, ‘Hey, just laugh! It is a funny-looking haircut. But it’ll be OK.’”

While Hayes doesn’t have any lofty expectations of perfection, he does work hard at being both a father and husband to his wife, Lainey.

“I’m definitely not on some pedestal to my kids, and I think that’s helpful,” Walker reflects. “To say the least, being a dad and being a husband could quite possibly be the most humbling tasks I’ve ever encountered.”

Hayes has been sober since 2015, a milestone he at one time wasn’t sure he would ever reach. Although he came precariously close to relapsing when he and Lainey lost their seventh child in 2018, the Alabama native maintained his sobriety, even in the darkest season of his life..

“I have no idea how I stayed sober through the loss of our seventh child,” Hayes tells Fox News. “But I had a best friend named Craig [Cooper] who really, really allowed the Lord through him to love on me through some nasty, nasty stuff. And I’m talking about stuff where most people would be drawn away from me.”

“There were a couple of nights during COVID where all the mechanisms that I lean on were gone, and I was like, ‘Dang, nobody would know tonight if I just did it,’ he adds. “But I had friends who supported me, and I support them as much as I can. But we’re good. Eight years, and it’s a day-to-day thing.”

Find music and tour dates at WalkerHayes.com.

Read ’12 Country Music Singers Who Are Sober’ here.