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Mom Talk

What Hoda Kotb’s Mom Taught Her Is the Same Thing She Wants to Pass on to Daughter Haley Joy

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The Today show’s journalist mommies recently enjoyed some quality time together, swapping their NBC studio seats for wicker garden chairs, where Hoda Kotb opened up about advice she’s ready to give 3-month-old daughter Haley Joy.

In honor of Mother’s Day, the NBC morning show’s unofficial “moms club” — Kotb, Kathie Lee GiffordSavannah Guthrie, Jenna Bush Hager, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones — got together for the latest edition of PEOPLE’s Mom Talk video series, live now on PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network, to chat kids, careers and everything in between.

Bush Hager — mom to daughters Poppy Louise, 21 months, and Margaret “Mila” Laura, 4 — asked Kotb, “What would you hope to pass on to Haley?”

Kotb, whose breast cancer treatment left her unable to conceive (she adopted Haley in February), then recalled her own mother’s ability to make her feel confident and beautiful.

“My mom loved me no matter what. I would walk out the door wearing a hideous outfit and she’d say, ‘Oh, look at you, how beautiful you look today.’ I honestly believed her,” said the host, 52. “I wondered in seventh grade, ‘Why is no boy asking me to do anything? I’m so beautiful!’ ”

She continues, “I had stop-sign glasses and frizzy hair, yet no one. But I believed her, and when she said, ‘You can do anything,’ I swear to you, I believed it was true.”

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Zach Pagano/NBC

RELATED VIDEO: Today‘s Hoda Kotb Opens Up About Emotional Adoption at 52 After Cancer Left Her Unable to Conceive

 

Co-host Gifford, 63 — who is mom to daughter Cassidy, 23, and son Cody, 27 — adds, “You still do.”

Kotb agrees, and said her mom still roots her on. “Even today she’s like, ‘Oh! What an amazing interview you did with that celebrity whoever. Anyway, Kathie Lee was so funny, and you were good too,’ ” she recalls.

“It’s like someone with two pom-poms, and all I want to do is say, ‘You can do it.’ That’s it. I want Haley to know she can do it.”

  • Watch Mom Talk: Today Show Edition, streaming now on People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.

Guthrie — mom to son Charles “Charley” Max, 5 months, and daughter Vale, 2 — chimes in with a general reflection about motherhood.

“I think you said something so important. It’s like you realize how much power you have as a mom,” she emphasizes, to which Gifford replies, “Our words are so powerful.”

Happy Mother's Day! May u spend yours in your jammies like My mom and my little girl. ❤️❤️

A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on

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“Whatever we tell our kids, they will believe. Tell them something good, or tell them something bad, they’ll believe it 100 percent,” continues Guthrie, 45.

“So if your mom says you’re beautiful, or your mom says you’re smart, you’re this, you’re that, you believed it.”

For more on the Today show moms, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.