Transitioning from one child to two can be a big adjustment, but Hoda Kotb is embracing the chaos.
Two years after adopting her daughter Haley Joy, the “Today” host welcomed another baby girl, named Hope Catherine, in April. While appearing on the red carpet at Sesame Workshop’s 50th Anniversary Benefit Gala on Wednesday, Kotb spoke about her growing family.
“Everyone said it was going to be really tough, and it is. It’s more challenging in terms of juggling,” she said. “But I have to say watching them together kind of erases that part. There are many times when Hope needs a bottle, and Haley’s in her room saying, ‘Come get me!’ ― and I’m like, ‘How do I do this?’”
Still, Kotb is finding ways to make it work. “I say, ‘Mommy’s coming! What are you doing in your room?’ And then meanwhile I’m changing Hope, and I may say, ‘Hey, Hope needs you!’ I’m learning all the different ways to try to get them in sync with each other,” she noted.
Fortunately, Haley has been thriving in her role as a big sister and loves assisting her mom at home.
“I’ve got to tell you, I love it!” Kotb said of her fuller house. “Haley’s at that age when she wants to be a helper. ‘Can you get this for me?’ ‘Yes, I can!’ And it gives her something to do.”
She said Haley is also “obsessed” with “Sesame Street” and its cast of lovable muppets. “It’s almost a little bit weird. I’m a little concerned,” she joked. “She gets up and says, ‘Where’s Elmo?’ It’s insane to watch her crazy in love with all the characters.”
On a serious note, Kotb added that she’s a fan of the values the show emphasizes. “I never imagined all the life lessons that are being taught there, and I feel like I learn things,” she said.
Kotb hopes these lessons resonate with her daughters. “I love the basic stuff, like sharing, being kind, helping the kid who feels left out,” she explained. “I want Haley and Hope to be that kid who helps. You don’t know how that happens, but you hope that your child is that child. When they watch ‘Sesame Street,’ they see that somebody feels left out, and Big Bird brings them into the fold.”
The mom of two has definitely had her fill of “Sesame Street” as well. “I’ve memorized the episodes!” she quipped. “Now it almost has to be a reward for Haley to watch ‘Sesame Street’ because it’s become part of her breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Kids show monotony aside, Kotb is loving every minute of parenthood.
“I can’t believe I’m standing here with two children!” she remarked. “Even when I say it out loud, I’m like, ‘Oh, my god! I got to do this? It’s so cool.’”