"Tequila," Savannah Guthrie joked to PEOPLE when asked her one product she can't live without as a mom of two before clarifying, "No, I'm just kidding"
Guthrie, 47, attended the fundraiser, which was hosted by The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering for the Department of Pediatrics at MSK in New York City, alongside her son Charles “Charley” Max, 2, and 4½-year-old daughter Vale. She and Bush Hager, 37, were the honorary chairs at the event, supporting a mutual friend and cancer survivor who had undergone treatment at MSK.
Bush Hager, her close friend and fellow mom of two, told Guthrie she needed a glass of wine to celebrate — but Guthrie seemed to be a fan of something a little stronger to help get through the chaos that parenting can be.
“Tequila,” she joked to PEOPLE when asked her one product she can’t live without as a mom. “No, I’m just kidding.”
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Her actual go-to mom-saver products are the audio books that she downloads from Spotify.
“A lot of us don’t want to have our kids in front of the screen all the time but if you want to get anything done around the house you sometimes have to,” Guthrie told PEOPLE. “A good middle ground is you can find children’s audio stories on Spotify, and it’s great!”
“They can listen to Peter Pan, Cinderella, and you can do the dishes or whatever you gotta do but they still have to use their imaginations,” explained the Princesses Wear Pants author.
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In the same vein, avid reader Bush Hager — mom to daughters Poppy Louise, 3½, and Margaret “Mila” Laura, 6 next month — loves using the Calm app to meditate and also listen to stories with her girls before bed.
“I started meditating with my girls and listen, I need to meditate for myself, but it’s a really fun way to calm down,” Hager told PEOPLE. “[The Calm app] also has these kids’ stories so I’ll let them listen to a little bit … [but] then they’re going straight to bed.”
She doesn’t just love using books for bedtime, though. In the spirit of philanthropy, Bush Hager added to PEOPLE that there’s no better way to teach her children the importance of giving back than with books.
“I think it’s important to read to your kids about different cultures and ways they can help. I have a 3-year-old so she might be a little small, but I don’t think it’s ever too small to start a conversation,” she explained. “One really important way is to read about different situations and different stories so that they can understand that the world is a big place and there’s a place for them to help.”
For Guthrie, as well, it’s about finding ways to introduce the notion of empathy to her children, whether that be through books she reads with them or in other everyday moments.
“When they’re little, it’s kind of a balancing act because on the one hand you want to set that foundation, caring for others, but also let it be age appropriate,” she explained to PEOPLE. “I don’t want to introduce concepts that are too much for them. I look for opportunities in everyday life.”
Bringing her children to the annual Bunny Hop was one such opportunity. All proceeds from the event help fund new approaches, including genetic testing, at MSK, according to Dr. Neerav Shukla, Director of the Pediatric Translational Medicine Program — which allows them to treat cancer in their patients with more precision.