TODAY

TODAY   |  March 21, 2013

Jenna Bush Hager receives some parenting wisdom

As TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager prepares for first-time motherhood, the TODAY anchors and her mom, Laura Bush, offer her their best words of parenting wisdom and share touching childhood memories of their own mothers.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 8:10 with "today's" baby bump and words of wisdom for all the moms to be including our own contributing correspondent jenna bush -hager. welcome back. good to see you.

>> good to see you.

>> feeling good?

>> hanging in there. as i prepare for one of life's greatest journeys, mother hood, i asked some people i love to tell me what they learned from their moms.

>> tell me what type of mom you had growing up.

>> i had a mom who gave us a lot of slack. i think she had faith in us or at least she pretended she had faith in us. as a result, we never wanted to disappoint her.

>> she was always the person at the door that greeted you and made you feel great. no matter how hard your day was, she, you know, wrapped her arms around you and made you feel like, you know, that life and everything was going to be okay.

>> she was very empathetic. she's very generous, full of charity. so i think the one thing i got from her was to always think of other people before you do something.

>> my mom was the mom with two pom-poms in hand. she thought it was the best no matter what i did. i drew a line on the paper, i was like, i want to be an astronaut, of course you can.

>> all my life, i just watched her. and i think tried to be like her. she has seen a lot of hard stuff in her life. and my dad passed away when i was a teenager. there were moments in her life that i think must have been so terrifying and yet she handled with everything with just such strength.

>> even the most mild mannered person, i think, becomes a lion or lioness if their child was threatened. i went to a catholic school in queens. and i know the worst sight for any of the nuns was seeing isabelle roker coming up with head of steam because of some perceived slight to one of her children.

>> what are some of your favorite memories growing up with her?

>> i'll never forget one time she found a gray hair and i said do you want me to pluck it? and she said, no, i earned this. she just has taught me so much about how to handle life with grace.

>> my parents divorced when i was 8, my sister was 12 or 13. so i think my favorite memories of my mom after that time were about how she made sure we were okay. she made us feel secure and safe and sure of the future. and i thought that was an extraordinary gift she gave us.

>> you have such an amazing disposition on life. and in hard times you got through with beating cancer.

>> yes.

>> do you think you get that strength from her?

>> everything. everything from her. every single -- i think good thing about me is from her.

>> what's the best part of being a dad?

>> experiencing the world through their eyes. little things . fourth of july fireworks. and instead of looking up at the sky like everybody else, you look down at your kids and look at their faces.

>> nothing in life actually prepares you for how much you're going to like them as people. i would rather be with my children than any human beings on the planet. people always say you'll never experience a greater love in your life than the love of your children and that is so true.

>> what's it like watching your wife transform from your wife to a mother?

>> it's a wonderful experience to watch transforming to this super mom. and i honestly think she may be the best mom i've ever seen tied with my own mom and your mom.

>> so, mom, what did you learn from grammy about being a mom?

>> well, my mother was really perfect as a mother. my mother loved to read and she read to me all the time and stories became a big part of my life, my whole life. i mean, i made my career out of it and became a librarian really.

>> what's the best part of being a mom?

>> daddy and i brought home you and barbara two itty bitty premature babies , didn't know anything about children had this idealized view of the four of us sitting on the couch. instead you all cried and daddy would say, what's the matter with them? and i would say i don't know what's the matter with them. and time does pass so quickly. really take advantage of every moment and try to remember those special moments that you have with your children. because before you know it, they're 31 and having children of their own.

>> i cry at everything.

>> i know.

>> you were crying too.

>> oh, stop it. we're all crying.

>> we can't even do the tag. but i learned so many beautiful things from you guys and i'm sure every mom watching did too. and it's amazing how our moms and our dads are our first teachers. thank you.