Hoda Kotb has the best advice for moms going back to work

"I love her and I love work, and I want her to know work's a good thing."

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By Kerry Breen

Hoda Kotb announced that she'll be wrapping up her maternity leave in just a few short weeks — and will return to TODAY on September 3 after maternity leave with her baby girl Hope Catherine, who arrived in April.

In a phone call to the TODAY anchor desk, she said that while her kids have loved having her home and she loved spending the summer with them, she wants them to understand that her work is also important.

"I love her and I love work, and I want her to know work's a good thing."

"[Haley]'s been dancing around in the morning, singing 'Mommy no work,'" she said. "That's literally a song she sings. But I want her to know something that I feel is important. I love work. I love her and I love work, and I want her to know work's a good thing. It's not something you're dragged off to. So I think they're getting ready."

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The good news, she said, is that her baby's sleep schedule (up at 2:30 a.m and 5:30 a.m.) has prepared her for the 3:15 a.m. wake-up required by morning television.

"I am so ready!" she said.

She announced the big news during an on-air phone call and in a sweet Instagram video. Kotb said that she loved having a full maternity leave, and she's excited to get back to work at the TODAY anchor desk.

"There hasn't been a second I haven't loved, even the worst parts of it," she said. "I've loved it all."

Kotb said she's planning to spend the last two weeks of her maternity leave with her family, and added that even though she misses her TODAY co-anchors, it's important to take time off to spend with family, not just after a baby arrives.

"I think we should all remember that we're going to take time," she said. "We're all going to take our vacations. We're all going to take the things we need, because we're all going to be back together, and it's always going to work. And we have each other! So, you know, we're in it for the long haul."

Savannah Guthrie said she is looking forward to Hoda's return, especially their early-morning preparation before the show, which frequently turns to personal conversation. "My mental health has really crashed without you!" she said. "I can't wait 'till we're reunited."