“Sometimes, I have to go away on assignment,” the Today host, 43, tells PEOPLE, “and I really don’t like being gone from her. It can be a struggle.”
Take Friday, for instance.
Guthrie was a long way from her New York home, filming Today at Universal Orlando Resort. As part of Universal Orlando’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series, Pitbull performed several songs on the show — and returned for a full concert the next day. Chatting backstage with PEOPLE, Guthrie and co-host Al Roker talked about balancing parenthood with their high-pressure jobs.
Courtesy Savannah Guthrie
As a new mom, Guthrie often finds herself getting advice from her cohosts, all of whom have older children.
“Natalie [Morales] has given me a lot of advice about being a working mom,” Guthrie says. “I recently said to her, ‘I feel so bad. Every time I’m away from her, I feel worried.’ And Natalie said, ‘I went through that.’ She actually wrote a blog post about it and sent it to me. I get great advice from my co-workers.”
One thing that makes the separation bearable: technology. “We have a camera set up right in her nursery, so I can get a live shot,” she says. “When I wake up in the morning and she’s still sleeping, I can see her.”
And when they’re in the studio, Guthrie can’t help but show off a bit. “We get a Vale update every day,” says Roker. “She shows us the Vale cam on her phone. It has made our set that much more beautiful. Since she has been a mom, the smile on Savannah’s face has become a permanent feature.”
“I FaceTime from the set, so she gets to see Uncle Al, Aunt Natalie and Uncle Matt [Lauer],” Guthrie adds. “So basically, during commercials of the Today show, we’re all saying ‘Goo goo ga ga’ into my phone.”
And which cohost is the best with baby talk? “Matt’s really, really good at it,” says Guthrie with a laugh. “He’s probably the best.”
Things will likely change as Vale gets older. “She’ll be able to come with me on some assignments,” says Guthrie, noting that Universal Orlando’s two theme parks would probably keep Vale happy. “I’m really looking forward to that day.”
— Steve Helling