Hoda & Jenna get real about the mom guilt we all feel when we miss our kids’ events

If there’s anything we love about Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, it’s how relatable they are as working moms. They really get the challenges and sacrifices it takes to pursue a career while also raising kids—and that’s something they talked about this week on Today with Hoda and Jenna. During a morning segment, they opened up about the guilt they sometimes grapple with when their jobs cause them to miss milestones or events in their kids’ lives, and how they deal with those negative feelings.

“My daughter had something today at school that I missed,” Kotb said at the start of the discussion. “And I was thinking about that, missing things, because I have missed things. Because our shift is so weird and they do all the things in the morning.”

Bush Hager was immediately empathetic, replying, “No, I know … I’ve missed everything.”

“We’ve all missed everything,” Kotb said, agreeing. “But then I try to remember that our parents missed many things.”

That’s a good point. Anyone who grew up with working parents knows that balancing raising a family and having a career takes sacrifice—a parent simply can’t be in two places at once. That doesn’t make it any easier to miss out on things, though, as all parents know.

Bush Hager is a mom to three kids, 11-year-old Mila, 8-year-old Poppy, and 4-year-old Hal, whom she shares with her husband Henry. Kotb and her former fiance Joel Schiffman share two daughters, 7-year-old Haley and 4-year-old Hope.

To help parents who are in this position, Bush Hager recalled some advice she’s learned from psychotherapist Esther Perel.

“You don’t need to be at every single thing. When you’re with them, make wonderful memories,” she said. “Your kids don’t remember where you’re not there — maybe y’all disagree and maybe I’m just saying this to make myself feel better — but they will remember when you make a point to be present.”

(And really, SO MANY THINGS are during the work day. SO MANY. Whyyyy?!)

Kotb loved the sentiment, saying, “Yes! I totally agree.”

It’s good advice for all parents to remember when they inevitably find themselves in this position. You probably won’t be able to be there for everything. But be there when you can — and make the most of those moments.

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