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Hoda on the 'secret fears' of being an older mom — and the thought that always helps

The TODAY co-anchor was 52 when she became a mom in 2017.
/ Source: TODAY

Hoda Kotb is getting candid about becoming a mother later in life to daughters Haley and Hope.

“They’re going to have each other forever, and that’s what really fills me to the top. Because any older parent knows one of our secret fears is that we won’t be there for milestones,” Hoda, 58, told People magazine’s “Family Issue,” on newsstands Aug 19.  

It's that kind of honesty that makes Hoda so appealing, according to People editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello.

"Our readers love Hoda," Vaccariello told TODAY Parents. "She's all of us because she just wears that emotion. And yet, she doesn't overshare, so I think readers treasured this opportunity to see her having a fun, big photoshoot with her children. And to hear about what it's like co-parenting."

Hoda shares kids, Haley, 5, and Hope, 3, with her former partner Joel Schiffman. Haley is entering kindergarten and Hope is starting pre-K. The siblings, who are close in age, share a special bond.

Hoda and her daughters, Hale and Hope, posed on the cover of People.
Hoda and her daughters, Hale and Hope, posed on the cover of People.People

On Tuesday’s show, Hoda spoke more about the comfort she feels when she watches Haley and Hope interact with each other.

“When I look at them, I think of them together forever. I picture them at their weddings. I picture them when they’re old in rocking chairs sitting with their families,” Hoda said. “I won’t be witnessing that — but I’ll be able to know for sure that they’ll have one another.”

Earlier this month, Hoda told TODAY Parents that she tries not to dwell on her age, noting that “no one knows” when their time is up.  Hoda's father, A.J., died when he was 51, which has taught her to celebrate each day.

“Do I want to see my daughters get married? Yes. Do I want to see them graduate? Absolutely. I remain optimistic that all these things will be ahead,” she explained. “But I’m not going to try and game out what I may or may not witness. I’m just glad that I have two girls who will have each other forever. So I try to keep that in my back pocket.”

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