Teary-Eyed Hoda Kotb Reflects On Maternity Leave: ‘I Feel Very Clear About Life Suddenly’

Mike CoppolaGetty Images

Hoda Kotb is finally back on The Today Show following a five month maternity leave. As fans know, the talk show personality took a hiatus from the hit morning show in April after adopting her second child, Hope Catherine. The television personality is already the proud mother to Haley Joy but now that she has two kiddos to look after — her heart is absolutely bursting. On her first day back on the hit show, Kotb was feeling all the feels as co-stars and fans welcomed her back with excitement. Celebrations were definitely in order and it’s easy to see that the mother of two was missed.

During her first episode back to The Today Show, the mother of two beamed over her two kiddos and how much it meant to her to be able to spend some much time with them. And during the fourth hour of the show, Kotb sat with Jenna Bush Hager’s fill in, Maria Shriver, where she dished about how she spent her summer and how her 2-year-old daughter was able to help her transition back into work.

“I was putting Haley to bed, and it was kind of like the beginning of this new (transition) coming back to work,” Kotb explained. “Every night I read to her — and I lay in the bed with her — and she puts her arm around my neck and says, ‘Are you cozy?’ But she never lays on me. That’s not her thing.”

View this post on Instagram

Hello sisters ????‍♀️ ❤️❤️

A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on

On Monday, the television personality shared that for the very first time, Haley put her head on Kotb’s shoulder and Kotb thought of it as a sign that her daughter could feel how calm and at ease she was about returning to work. Explaining this moment to Shriver and the audience almost brought Kotb to tears as she continued to share moments from what she called the best summer of her life. As Kotb explained, she used to feel defined by what she did for work but now she feels like she’s defined by her daughters and what she carries.

“I feel very clear about life suddenly. I’m going to work as hard as I’ve ever worked — and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back — but I also know I have my world in check probably for the first time ever.”

Kotb also told the audience that she wishes that all women would get the option to take an extended maternity leave because it really helped her to re-charge her battery and get ready to come back to work and genuinely want to be there. Now, Kotb should be back on the show for the foreseeable future and fans can tune in to NBC weekday mornings to catch Kotb and company on The Today Show.