The Rule Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent Follow to Keep the Peace in Their Household
The Nate and Jeremiah by Design stars share parenting strategies, acknowledge how much they still have to learn about raising children, and discuss how life with the addition of a second child has changed.
Designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have had a lot to celebrate in the last few months.
The last episode of the second season of their eponymous TLC show, Nate & Jeremiah by Design, premiered June 2; just a few months before that, the couple welcomed their second child, a boy named Oskar, March 26.
Now fathers to two children, Nate and Jeremiah recently celebrated the launch of Huggies Made by You, the diaper brand’s first-ever foray into personalized diapers. Real Simple caught up with the pair at the celebration, where they discussed parenting Oskar and their three-year-old daughter, Poppy, and how life has changed since the arrival of their son.
Real Simple: Do you think your family dynamic will change with the addition of a second child?
Jeremiah: There’s definitely a shift in the rhythm of the household. Oskar brought his own unique energy into the house. We’ve learned how to manage multiple things simultaneously, but it’s a really great shift, and we’re having a really good time.
Nate: We’re obviously enormous advocates of surrogacy, and we’ve had a really special process having both of our kids, and we’re grateful to have children in that way, as a decision. So we’ve welcomed everything that Oskar’s added to our little tribe. We were three and now we’re four.
RS: What have you learned, working together on the show and at home as a family?
J: To practice patience. You really have to like your spouse if you’re going to do a show with them, because you’re with them constantly, but it’s actually made our relationship stronger, and I think it can go one of two ways. The communication has shifted. We have a really good time creating together, we have an amazing time raising a family together, and at the base level, we just love being together. So it’s just been really fun. It’s definitely never dull.
N: No. We’ve made certain decisions about how we want to behave as a household, and as a family, and one of those is that we won’t contradict each other in front of the kids, and now that Poppy’s three, I think that’s been put to the test. A lot.
J: Just walk away. Walk away!
N: Just bury your head and keep moving. But you didn’t see that, you didn’t hear that, everything’s fine. I think that we’re learning. We don’t pretend to be experts in anything, we really don’t, and we certainly have a difficult time giving parenting advice in any way because—
J: We’ve been doing it for three years.
N: Yes, we don’t know anything. But we’re trying to do the best we can.
RS: What goals do you have for your children?
J: Fundamentally, we want the kids to have a deep respect for the life that we work hard for, for them. We want them to feel connected. We want them to feel part of the household, part of life. We believe in really taking stock of the things that are beautiful around you. [But] right now it’s really about just adjusting.
RS: We need to know—do you have a diaper genie?
J: Yes! Yes, of course.
N: Totally, are you kidding? Several.
J: I don’t know how that thing keeps the smell in, but it does.
N: We have three. Because we have three—well, we have two. Because Poppy doesn’t have a changing table anymore.
J: Yeah, two. One upstairs and one downstairs.
N: Absolutely. The diaper genie is like … it’s a genie. It’s aptly named.
RS: What must-have item do you try to keep with you at all times?
J: For kids, I think the coloring book is always the one thing we need to have wherever we go, no matter what we do. With Poppy, especially—she always loves to paint or color, and it’s nice to have something for her to engage in.
RS: Now that she’s three, does Poppy get a say in the design of her space?
N: Yes, she’s super opinionated. And very vocal about it. Listen, [Jeremiah and I] both consider ourselves artistic, and we both grew up with mothers, strong women, who allowed us to express that in whatever way we were doing at the time. We’re paving the way for our kids, hopefully, to be able to express themselves and their tastes and their style.
To learn more about Huggies Made by You’s DIY (design-it-yourself) diapers, visit huggiesmadebyyou.com.