Monday was a big day for Hoda Kotb - it was her first day back at work after maternity leave, a major (and often rough) event in the life of any new mom. The TODAY show anchor adopted her daughter Haley Joy in February after keeping the adoption process under wraps for months. During her first day back on the job, Kotb opened up about what the first few months of motherhood have been like for her - and her first-time mom struggles are relatable AF.
Kotb revealed on SiriusXM's TODAY Show Radio that, before she took home her baby girl, the adoption agency gave her a quick tutorial on how to be a parent. Part of the tutorial included invaluable basics (like the delicate balancing act of holding a baby and eating a sandwich at once), and the less-glamorous aspects of parenting, like changing a diaper (though, even then, Kotb said she had "never been happier"). But afterwards, "I was literally YouTubing how to change a diaper, how to give a bath, how to burp. How do you know? I didn't know," Kotb admitted.
Clearly, the 52-year-old TV personality, who recently shared the fact that her battle with cancer left her unable to conceive, figured it all out. She's completely in love with her new little girl, and their bond was instantaneous. "If anything is a perfect fit, this is. [...] Nothing felt more right than her in my arms," she said. "I must have had a tiny hole in my heart that Haley filled perfectly."
Like most new parents heading back to work after spending practically all of their time with their new baby, the transition wasn't effortless. "I've been a mess," the anchor said during her first segment back on-air. "I'm scared to be sitting here. I'm a little afraid that I might explode into tears." And tear up she did. Understandably.
Despite being sad about leaving her daughter at home, she was happy to be back at TODAY. "There's something about when you look into the eyes of people who are just happy for you that makes me explode," she said. "I feel so blessed to be able to have this great family and a little girl at home waiting for me." That family includes her longtime boyfriend, Joel Schiffman, who will raise baby Haley alongside Kotb and be called "Dad" by her.
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