With two adorable children, a hit show on Broadway and a successful career as a professional chef under his belt, David Burtka has the ‘working dad’ lifestyle down to a fine art. Married to How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris, the loyal Childrensalon customer prides himself on his close-knit family and his twins, Harper and Gideon, who are quickly finding their fashion feet. We sat down with him to find out more about what family and fashion means to him in the lead up to Father’s Day.
What is the most rewarding part of being a parent?
Just hearing their laughter, and passing on what we know and having them grow from it. I was really proud of myself last summer when we went to the Hamptons – we were at a toy store and the owner said: “I’ve seen a lot of kids come through here and your children are the most well-behaved I’ve ever seen.” That gave me so much happiness to know we were doing something right.
We love how close your family are! With what must be a demanding lifestyle, how do you keep so close?
We try to balance family, work and our social life. We always make sure we never jeopardise waking up time or bedtime and make sure we do a lot socially as a family too.
We have a rule in our house that only one person can be on Broadway at a time, as it’s not fair on the kids. Neil hasn’t been working as much as I’ve been recently, so he’s taken the reins and become Super Dad! I’m also learning at 40 that I need to take more time for myself, as I give so much to everybody else and when I take care of myself I can take better care of them.
How will you be celebrating Father’s Day?
It’s going to be a strange Father’s Day because I don’t know what’s happening! I have time off from the show for the next week for a late birthday surprise so it’s all a big guess, but I hope I can spend some time with the family. Maybe we will have a nice lunch before my matinee or go for dinner between shows.
Could you describe your perfect day as a family?
We’d start by making or going out for breakfast – we love to cook in our family! I am a big foodie being a chef and Neil, well he just loves to eat. My son Gideon is a crazy budding chef who loves to come up with new flavours.
We would then go to the park, get some exercise, maybe some nice meditation before heading out for lunch. We’d then take the kids shopping where we can all get something nice. Or maybe we would do some fun activities in the house like watch a movie. Something simple; we live such hectic lives so the more we can rein it in the better.
How has becoming Dad’s changed you?
Well, we get less sleep! Two weeks ago Neil and I were on the couch at 9.45PM watching TV and we were like: “OH MY GOD! We’ll probably get to bed by 10.30PM tonight!” That was just a joy for us. We used to be able to party until 2AM, wake up whenever, eat bad food and it didn’t even matter! Now it’s all rush, rush, rush – every half an hour slot is booked up. We’re also growing up and getting a little wiser, realising what is important in life and that is our family.
Twins sound like double the fun, but probably double trouble too! How would you describe it?
It’s all we know. We make sure we have weekly single child play dates, so that we can have alone time with each kid. It’s definitely a lot easier when they’re not fighting for our full attention, as that’s when it gets challenging. It was harder when they were babies and would tag team us at night by waking each other up. I don’t know how people do it with different aged children, as it’s a totally separate practice for each – it just blows my mind!
Do Harper and Gideon have their own sense of style?
They’re starting to have major opinions about it, which is hilarious. We have a lot of fun with fashion and Harper will NOT let you pick her outfits any more – in a way it’s killing me but it’s also really awesome! She loves animal print and wears it all at once. I’m like: “C’mon, you’ve got to take one pattern and stick to solid colours.” And she says: “Daddy, that’s fashion!”
Gideon likes to be comfortable, so I get some really fun tracksuits for him. We wear a lot of accessories in our lives; Neil likes to wear hats to cover up his face when he goes out and we wear a lot of sunglasses, braces, bowties and ties, which has made Gideon want to wear them. If we’re going out somewhere fun I’ll give him a pocket square or lapel pin to wear!
What do you look for when choosing clothes for the kids?
Because of their age, I love being really adventurous with colours, prints and shapes. I like to dress my kids in sophisticated pieces. I love it when kids dress like adults or like a time period. There are some great 60’s mod dresses I’ve seen for Harper, and it’s so cute to see Gideon in a pair of braces, a bow tie and a fedora. C’mon, that is the cutest thing in the world!
What are your favourite childrenswear brands to shop?
There are a lot of really fun brands like Molo, which have amazing animal prints and awesome patterns for Harper. Moschino are really great at doing fun things with prints, style and colour, and I love Tommy Hilfiger’s cool American Hampton’s style. Little Marc Jacobs have some killer items – there was this pink faux fur coat that I got for Harper and it was seriously all anyone would talk about, every adult wanted it in their size!
And lastly, what is it you love about Childrensalon?
A million things! People stop me on the street to ask me where I buy their clothes from so I’m always recommending you. I don’t know anyone else who has the selection that you guys do. It has been a joy to shop on your website and my kids will thank you for it. I am so happy you guys exist!
Follow them here: @davidburtka @ActuallyNPH | Instagram: @nph
Originally published on Tiny Times