David Burtka Reveals Why It's Bittersweet to Raise Pre-Teens

David Burtka is detailing the parts of parenthood no one can prepare you for.

The Celebrity Dish host—who shares 12-year-old twins Harper and Gideon with Neil Patrick Harrisopened up about the heartbreak that comes with watching his kids grow right before his eyes.

"For me, it's really been about mourning your kids," David exclusively told E! News. "I'm in mourning of seeing them grow and seeing them clip their wings and letting them be their own people."

The Broadway star, who said he's been the primary caretaker of the twins, explained that it feels bittersweet to realize that his job "is starting to come to an end."

"No one ever tells you that as a parent but it's inevitable," he added. "It's wild to see the kids they've become. It's amazing and it's also a little sad."

And while David noted that everyone advises new parents to enjoy each and every moment with their little ones, he's proud to say he did exactly that.

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"I'm so glad that I did enjoy those times, and took work off and didn't do any Broadway shows and didn't go on location to do a movie," he shared. "I really got to spend every waking moment with these kids, and it means so much."

Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, Twins, Kids, Harper, Gideon, Father's Day 2022, Instagram
Instagram / Neil Patrick Harris

As for his words of wisdom to new parents? He kept it simple, saying, "When you're with your kids, be there 150 percent. Don't be on your phone, don't be multitasking. Be with them, it will really make a difference."

David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris

Although David's twins are becoming more independent, there's one area where they could still use his and Neil's guidance: Cleaning up.

"I'm kind of a clean freak and a little anal retentive and it's hard," David said. "My daughter is getting it, but the girls mature much faster than the boys, so he still has a lot of reminding to do."

As he put it, "You say things 150 times, and by the time they're teenagers, you gotta let it go because they're gonna learn by themselves."

David Burtka
Courtesy: David Burtka

The chef, who partnered with Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Laundry Detergent, explained how working with the brand has improved his family's home life.

"My daughter is pretty neat but my son is pretty messy," David noted. "He still has a problem eating with his hands and he gets his dirty hands all over his clothes. So I know that it's great because I don't let the stains set. I put it in the laundry and it goes away."

David summed it up best, sharing, "It never stops as a parent."

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