Hoda Kotb's Sweetest Quotes About Motherhood

The Today host — who welcomed daughters Haley Joy and Hope Catherine via adoption in 2017 and 2019 — is one proud mama 

01 of 19

On Becoming a Mother

Hoda Kotb/Instagram.

"It's one of those things where you think you've done it all, you think you've felt it all. But I just didn't know that this kind of love existed."

to PEOPLE in March 2017

02 of 19

On Treasuring Every Single Second

"It's funny because I thought I had the most perfect life, and then I realized after her I didn't. I realized that this is infinitely better. Every single day is infinitely better than before she came.

"I can't believe it happened to me, so I treasure every single second. Not every minute, every second."

to PEOPLE in June 2017

03 of 19

On Nothing Being 'More Real' Than Motherhood

"I wake up sometimes and go, 'Oh my God, I have a baby!' But it feels totally real. I guess if you've been waiting this long for something, and you wish for it, pray for it, hope for it, wonder if it will ever be, and then it happens, nothing's more real. Nothing."

to PEOPLE in March 2017

04 of 19

On Holding Daughter Haley for the First Time

"It was like a puzzle piece that just snapped in. I felt it. It was as if she had been with me forever."

to PEOPLE in March 2017

05 of 19

On Getting Emotional When She Met Her Daughter, Haley

"You're standing in a room waiting, and somebody walks in holding your daughter. I was exploding in tears. I thought they were going to take her away and say, 'No, we have a hysterical freak here, get that baby back!'"

to PEOPLE in March 2017

06 of 19

On Seeing Forever

"When I look at her, I see forever — I see past me. I see the future … which I guess I never saw [before]."

on the Today show in April 2017

07 of 19

On Having Her Girls' Backs

"Some thoughts about the perfectly put together you. Your eyes, use them to see the good in people and in each day. Your smile, share it often. Your belly, it will be tickled by the pom poms I will be shaking for you constantly. Your heart, listen to it. Follow it. Figure out what and who makes it beat faster. Your skin, strive to be comfortable in it your whole life. Your back, I've got it; always."

— in a sweet message to her girls on Today in 2017

08 of 19

On Believing She Could Be a Mom

Hoda Kotb/Instagram

"As I was waiting and hoping and wishing for Haley, when I started to believe that maybe I could be a mom too, maybe I didn't miss my window, maybe there's still hope here … It was that kind of revival."

to PEOPLE in 2018

09 of 19

On Knowing Who She Is

"I know who I am now. I'm Haley's mom, and I think I always was. But if you would have asked me years ago, 'What are you?' I probably would have said journalist, first. But now I know who I am.

"And I know who we are as a family and I think that means everything to me. She defines who I am and she also defines priorities and things that matter.

"She also reminded me that delight comes in small, tiny moments. You don't have to plan a big trip to have a good time. You can have it on the living room floor."

— to PEOPLE in May 2018

10 of 19

On Renewed Faith After Becoming a Mom

hoda kotb family moments

"We were just brought up to believe in God. We were all about that, and I feel like when you have a relationship with God, and I feel like I've had endless, countless, abundant conversations about it. Sometimes you think, can he hear me? Does he hear me? Am I just talking to myself? Is it for real?

"But, I think when Haley arrived, I didn't have any doubt in that belief, but when Haley arrived, it was personified. Literally when I watch her now, I just feel like she's proof of everything. Like, everything ... She's the best."

on the Thrive Global Podcast in 2018

11 of 19

On Becoming a New Mom at 52

"When you're a mom late in life, you realize the gift it is. I'm not saying I wouldn't have realized it when I was younger, but trust me, when you're a new mom for the first time at 52, you get on your knees and say thank you. Because you get to do something you didn't think you had a shot at.

"It's like the tectonic plates have shifted. I have a crystal-clear understanding about my purpose in life, which I didn't before, and it's to love her all the days I'm allowed to.

"I think it is the greatest way to instantly prioritize your life and realize what matters."

to PEOPLE in March 2018

12 of 19

On How Motherhood Has Changed Her

"I am the most impatient person on the planet — I have no patience. I think [Haley has] taught me patience, and she's taught me that no dream's too big. If you believe in something, it may actually come true."

on Today in May 2018

13 of 19

On Love Beyond Her Imagination

"I remember thinking, 'I've loved something for so long that I never saw, that I never felt, that I never touched — that I could only imagine.' "

on Today in May 2018

14 of 19

On Becoming a Mother of Two

hoda kotb family moments

"My first time around, I spent my whole time going, 'I got it! I got it!' I didn't know what to expect with two. All of a sudden, with two kids, you're like, 'Wait, baby one is crying, baby two needs to be put down. Hope is hungry, Haley needs me.'

"I was always like, 'I have to fix it! Here I come.' Now I'm just like, 'Haley's safe. She's good. The baby's going to eat in a minute. She'll be okay.' "

to PEOPLE in May 2019

15 of 19

On Raising Tough but Empathetic Girls

Hoda Kotb Instagram
Hoda Kotb Instagram

"I had all the things in school that a lot of kids have. You get picked on, you're weird, you have a funky name, crazy glasses. People want to beat you up for no reason. But I know that all of those life experiences turned me into a stronger human. I want [Haley] to be tough, too. I want her to be tough, but I also want her to be gentle. I want all those things for her.

"I don't want them to only be strong, though. I want a strong daughter who has a soft center. I want a tough young girl who also is the most empathetic one in the room."

to PEOPLE in May 2019

16 of 19

On Raising Her Daughters to Be Vulnerable

Hoda Kotb Instagram
Hoda Kotb Instagram

"I don't want to prepare her with a coat of armor to go out into the world. I want her to be open and vulnerable because, look, it is that whole thing about courage does come from vulnerability."

to PEOPLE in May 2019

17 of 19

On Being a Parent Later in Life

"When you're parents later in life … watching Haley and Hope together, all I really want is for them to have someone to hold their hand forever, and that's it. That's all I want. I was scared, because we're older, like maybe [it's too late]. But then I realized they'll have each other."

to Ellen DeGeneres in January 2020

18 of 19

On Families of All Shapes and Sizes

"I feel like families come in so many different shapes and sizes and as long as there's lots of love, I think they'll endure."

to PEOPLE in October 2020

19 of 19

On How She Talks to Her Kids About Being Adopted

Hoda Kotb
Hoda Kotb/Instagram

"I tell them they were adopted, and I'm not sure if they 100 percent know what that means. I always say, 'You didn't come from Mommy's tummy, you came from my heart.' And they understand that."

— on PEOPLE's Me Becoming Mom podcast in October 2021

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