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

Anderson Cooper has an awful lot of trouble talking about being a dummy

Stumbles so badly on saying word ventriloquism, segment on eBay doll of CNN anchor takes hilarious turn
No thumbnail available

One Direction reveal their 'gay crushes'

Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan tell people struggling with their sexuality 'just be yourself'
No thumbnail available

Isn’t this some of the cutest children's wear you’ve ever seen?

Launched by a pair of gay moms, clothing label Little Figs offers kid's wear that celebrates alternative families
Circuit party Ascension boycotts Fire Island Pines and relocates to Greece

Circuit party Ascension boycotts Fire Island Pines and relocates to Greece

Party's producer says he was influenced by calls to boycott properties owned by gay hotelier Ian Reisner after he hosted party for GOP senator Ted Cruz
No thumbnail available

Ethics complaint filed against Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore

Moore had vowed not to succumb to the 'tyranny' of the federal court that struck down state's gay marriage ban
No thumbnail available

Why we must stop sex-shaming gay men who want to take PrEP medication

Matthew Hodson, of UK-based gay men’s health charity, GMFA, explains why those who condemn PrEP medication need to appreciate the valuable role it can play in preventing HIV infections
No thumbnail available

Miss Singapore 2012 contestants debate transgender competition

All Miss Universe beauty contests will have to accept transgender women from 2013, following Jenna Talackova’s successful campaign earlier this year
One Direction is now the gayest band in the UK

One Direction is now the gayest band in the UK

Where does your favorite act land on the national UK gay men's playlist?
No thumbnail available

Scottish footballer fined £800 for calling bouncers 'poofs'

Derek Riordan, former player for Scotland's national football team, hurled homophobic abuse at nightclub staff in Edinburgh
No thumbnail available

Jerusalem pride goes ahead despite delays

Numbers were down but there were no anti-gay protests