Jeremiah Brent Says He Knew He Wanted to Create a Family 'Within 10 Minutes' of Meeting Nate Berkus

"It was the first time that I really believed we could, and I could," Jeremiah Brent tells PEOPLE of his decision to have children with Nate Berkus

Jeremiah Brent Says He Knew He Wanted to Create a Family 'Within 10 Minutes' of Meeting Nate Berkus
Photo: Jeremiah Brent/instagram

It was love at first sight for Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus.

While speaking to PEOPLE about their collaboration with Claritin for The Outsideologist Project — a campaign that aims to foster a lifelong love of spending time outside — the pair reflected on how they decided to start a family together.

While Brent, 37, initially thought he was never going to have kids "because I'd not seen a lot of people like us and families like ours with children," he says everything changed after meeting his now-husband, Berkus, 50.

"Within 10 minutes, I wanted to create a life and a family with him," he explains. "And it was the first time that I really believed that we could and I could. He was the first person that made me feel safe enough to go, 'Okay, we can do this together.' "

Meanwhile, Berkus says he always wanted to have kids but "didn't want to do it alone."

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Jeremiah Brent Says He Knew He Wanted to Create a Family 'within 10 minutes' of Meeting Nate Berkus
Jeremiah Brent/instagram

"I felt like it was a lot to shoulder," he says. "And I hadn't been with anybody that I felt would be a great parent. It's funny before you have kids, you don't know who you're going to be, really."

"We fell into our roles really naturally. Jeremiah was in charge of researching car seats and formula, and I was in charge of health insurance," he continues. "We never even had a conversation about it, but I knew if there was a car seat in our car, it was the best car seat because he bought it and picked it. And he knew that if our kids' teeth started falling out, we would have a plan."

Less than a year after they met through Brent's former boss Rachel Zoe, Berkus proposed atop Machu Picchu in Peru, and the pair tied the knot at the New York Public Library in 2014.

Over the years, the couple has moved across the country twice, launched TV shows together (their latest is the Nate and Jeremiah Home Project on HGTV), and welcomed two children — Poppy, 7, and Oskar, 4.

Berkus says one of the reasons the couple decided to move back to New York from Los Angeles was so their "kids wouldn't be so isolated."

"They would feel like New York City was their backyard, and hear different languages, and meet different people, and be able to walk the dog, and have those casual interactions," he adds.

With that in mind, Berkus says he and Brent felt they were "the right people" to team up with Claritin for The Outsideologist Project as they spend "so much time outside with our kids."

With the launch of the project, Claritin is providing parents and kids with fun and exciting adventures to help make the outside the "unboring-est place to be." The couple is also helping one lucky family design the backyard of their dreams through a #BackyardChallege sweepstakes on Instagram with a $10,000 prize.

"We read this really devastating study from Claritin where nearly 74 percent of people believe that their child doesn't play outside as much as they did when they were kids," Brent says. "Which when you think about makes such sense, I was outside all day. I just had to be home by six o'clock."

"And for us, the outside is the birthplace of connection to people, to nature, where go out and explore and find yourself, and you can be free," he continues. "And that's really what we're here to do is just to encourage that freedom and that exploration."

Jeremiah Brent Says He Knew He Wanted to Create a Family 'within 10 minutes' of Meeting Nate Berkus
Jeremiah Brent/instagram

Elsewhere in the interview, when asked about who's more strict as a parent, Berkus names Brent without hesitation. "The kids would say you're strict," he quips.

"Well, they would because they want fudge for dinner," Brent teases.

"The only thing that I've really discovered being a parent now for seven years is that consistency goes a long way," says Brent explains. "And for me, that has been what has been great for our children, consistency with love, consistency with [the] conversation, consistency with parenting. And the children respond to that, but I'm definitely mean dad."

Despite differences in their parenting styles, the pair can't seem to get enough of their children.

"They're very different, but they're both the sweetest people we've ever met," Brent says. "We laugh, Nate and I, all the time. I'm like, 'What would it be like to grow up with two parents who tell you they love you 37 times a day?' "

"The truth is, Poppy's a born nurturer. She's done this a million times. She's an old soul," he continues. "And Oskar is just like a walking sugar bear, the cuddler. He's really empathetic and sweet, very sensitive. He's got enough ... He's a little mischievous, which is fine."

"But they're just great," adds Brent. "We got so lucky that these great kids chose us."

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