Father of twins Neil Patrick Harris on juggling parenthood with his busy career

'They’ll do something that blows your mind and then they’ll spit all their food out on the carpet'

Father of twins Neil Patrick Harris on juggling parenthood with his busy career
29 July 2013

Neil Patrick Harris has his movie star hat on this week with the release on Wednesday (1 August) of his new film Smurfs 2.

But he will soon be putting back on his TV star hat when his CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother begins production of its ninth and final season. Then in September, his awards show hat goes back on when he hosts the Primetime Emmys.

But amid it all, the 40-year-old Harris is wearing the hat of parent to nearly 3-year-old twins who he is raising with fiance David Burtka.

It’s been an adjustment.

‘For the better part of 20 years, I was a solo practitioner,’ he tells USA Weekend. ‘Then I got David, and that changed my dynamic. I had to be very conscious of another person, but we were still able to jump into a car and go to Vegas or spend three weeks in Italy. Although we were a unit, we were still very free.’

The births of son Gideon and daughter Harper have changed all of that.

‘When you have kids, everything anchors to their wants and needs, so you get less sleep and have to be more aware all the time,’ Harris says. ‘You have to be adaptable because they constantly keep changing. They’ll do something that blows your mind and then they’ll spit all their food out on the carpet. The first year with them was complicated. They were twins, and they were crying a lot. Thank God for David. He is so good at differentiating cries.’

But he has grown into the role.

‘The older they get, the more I love being a dad,’ the actor says. ‘Now that they’re talking, I’m really loving the camp counselor end of parenting. I think that’s where my strengths lie.’

‘I’m all about reasoning. If they fall and are OK but crying, David will be the hugger, and I’ll be the "Show me where it hurts; let’s talk about it" one. I come from a family of lawyers, so explanation is crucial.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Lily Savage reborn: There's nothing like a panto dame

Paul O'Grady brings his acerbic alter-ego back to life with a festive twist in Aladdin: A Dream Come True at London's O2
No thumbnail available

Pentagon announces spousal benefits for gay US service members

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: 'It is now the department’s policy to treat all married military personnel equally'
No thumbnail available

Canada: Alberta gov't makes gay-straight alliances mandatory after year of fighting them

Education minister changes mind after speaking to LGBTI students
No thumbnail available

Matthew McConaughey on gay fans, gay rumors and playing a male stripper

Hopes gays will flock to new film Magic Mike: 'I think they’ll come out more excited then they came in'
No thumbnail available

US Senator: Critics of religious freedom laws need 'perspective' - at least gays aren't executed

Tom Cotton of Arkansas: 'In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay'
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay bishop calls on Christians to ‘steal back the rainbow’

Maryland pastor is convinced gay rights advocates recruit young people 'like in the time of Hitler'
No thumbnail available

Rupert Everett swears live on daytime TV

British openly gay actor was talking on Loose Women about thinking he had contracted HIV after he got bitten by a mosquito
No thumbnail available

Tom of Finland gay erotic stamps are the biggest sellers in Finland’s postal service history

A commemorative set of stamps honoring Finnish gay erotic artist Touko Laaksonen, AKA Tom of Finland, have been pre-ordered by people in 178 countries – busting all sales records for the country’s postal service
No thumbnail available

The National Football League culture is slowly becoming more inclusive

National Football League starts it season with players supporting gay marriage
No thumbnail available

How the Right are the grinches trying to steal Christmas

From the battle over whether Jesus and Santa are white, to the surprising truth about the only religion who has ever banned Christmas