Happy Mother’s Day, CB moms. If I don’t get a chance to say it tomorrow, I’ll say it now because that’s the inspiration for this post. (If I do get a chance to say it tomorrow, I’ll do it in a different language or something.) Anyway, in honor of Mothers’ Day, which is on Sunday in the US, People rounded up all the Today’s resident moms for their latest Mom Talk video. So Savannah Guthrie, Kathie Lee Gifford, Jenna Bush Hager, Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones and newest mom club member, Hoda Kotb, were sent out to a picnic table where, instead of eating the lovely spread, they lamented that they should be home with their kids instead. Except for Hoda and Kathie Lee who were all, “Nope! Pass the wine.” But not Today co-anchor Savannah. Savannah has two kids, aged two years and five months, and although she spends all her free time with her family, she cannot cope with the guilt of being away from them while she is at work. Her mom guilt is so bad, she said, it makes her sick.
“I have terrible mom guilt,” admits Guthrie, 45, who is mom to daughter Vale, 2, and son Charles Max, 5 months. “It is so real. I’m hardly ever away from my kids. I mean, hardly ever. I feel sick inside when I’m not with them — I really do feel almost physically ill.”
“Is it because you miss them so much? Or you feel like you’re letting them down somehow?” asks Gifford, 63, who is mom to son Cody, 27, and daughter Cassidy, 23.
“All of the above,” says Guthrie. “I miss them, I feel I’m letting them down. Even if I’m with them all day, all weekend long, and I want to go take a bath or something — I feel bad if they’re in the other side of the apartment.”
“I’m telling you, I have it bad,” she adds. “Mom guilt is real.”
Bush Hager, 35, mom to daughters Mila, 4, and Poppy, 20 months, says she can completely relate — in fact, she recently missed her elder daughter’s art show because of work commitments.
“My flight was delayed,” she explains. “Mila said, ‘But Mommy, you weren’t there.’ … Mila went by herself without a parent, and that was the worst, really the worst I’ve ever felt — when she went, ‘Where were you?’ ”
The one new mom who doesn’t let the guilt get to her? Kotb, 52, who recently surprised the world by adopting daughter Haley Joy, 12 weeks.
“I go to work and I sort of feel like I miss Haley, but I don’t ache,” she says. “I remember my mom going to work and saying, ‘I love you and I’m going to work, and when I come home I’m going to love you here.’ ”
“[My parents] missed things, but it didn’t scar me — I knew they loved me,” she adds. “I also knew they loved what they did. We are all workers in a way — we love what we do.”
Later in the video, Jenna said that Kathie Lee’s daughter said that her mom was always there throughout their childhood. Kathie Lee said that’s how they remember it, but it wasn’t true – she had her career and other interests that took her away from time to time. Be present when you are there, that’s what matters. However, then there are those times like Jenna described when poor little Mila had to go to her art show all by herself. Even I felt guilty on Jenna’s behalf. These stories will happen too. And although we will remember them to our grave, we’ll likely have to retell them to our kids who will still shrug and shake their heads. Parents are their own worst enemies.
But poor Savannah sounds tortured. She said that she’d just been in Washington and FaceTimed with her kids “like 18 times” while she was there. Sheinelle said that coming to work and finding out that everyone else had mom guilt helped her with hers. So it’s good that it’s being discussed because parents need to hear how wide spread this feeling is. I hope Savannah can find a balance that lets her take a bath without wanting to vomit. Maybe it’s because her son is so young but I’m sure her children are in very caring hands, even when she’s not there. Like Sheinelle said at one point, “they’re being enriched, right now, somewhere.” Beside, if Savannah was home all the time, who would watch Matt Lauer and Al Roker?
And please, Today Moms, don’t let all that lovely food go to waste – mangia!
Photo credit: WENN Photos and Getty Images