November 07, 2010 05:00 PM

Courtesy Working Mother

When her marriage to ex-husband Garth Fisher drew to a close, Brooke Burke wasn’t finished saying goodbye.

The Dancing With the Stars co-host, 39, reveals to Working Mother that the one-time couple began a two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off schedule for daughters Neriah Shae, 10½, and Sierra Sky, 8½, last summer as part of a shared custody agreement.

“I’d never been away from them for that long,” she muses.

“That’s something I really struggle with — not being with them every day. I think shared custody can be harder on the parents than it is on the children.”

Explaining divorce to the girls was no small feat, either, and Burke calls the conversation “the hardest thing” she’s ever had to do.

To that end, she suggests parents seek outside help from professionals because “it’s really important … to find the right words that your children can understand at their age.”

Although she has since moved on and welcomed two new children with fiancé David CharvetHeaven Rain, 3½, and Shaya Braven, 2½ — Burke says that managing her nuclear family is “ongoing” and “never easy.”

“I have a great relationship with my ex, and we’re committed to raising our family together, so it’s kind of a best-case scenario,” she says, “But it’s still difficult. And I also deal with my girls separating from their younger siblings.”

Neriah and Sierra are old enough to “know their schedule and that it’s the best routine for them,” however, according to Burke — who also works hard to make Rain and Shaya feel secure.

“Their younger brother and sister know that they’re always coming back,” she says. “It is what it is.”

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