While Hoda Kotb returned to her gig at Today after being five months away due to maternity leave, she wasn’t exactly all about getting back to work at first — but something changed.

“There was probably a minute there where I was thinking to myself, ‘I’ve worked for, like, 30-plus years of my life and now I get this. Do I really want to be working while I’m doing this?’” the 55-year-old told Us Weekly at the 23rd annual Turn 2 Foundation Dinner on Monday, October 7. “But I think at the end of the day I realized I actually love work, and I want my kids to know that work is an awesome thing.”

Hoda Kotb
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The TV personality shares two daughters — Haley, and Hope, 6 months — with her boyfriend Joel Schiffman. “Haley said to me when I was leaving for work, ‘Don’t go, stay home.’ But I said, ‘Mommy loves work,’” Hoda recalled. “I want her to be a worker.” However, while the broadcaster finds herself at her desk a lot, that does not mean that she is not all about her children.

“I am not picking up my phone,” she told the outlet. “I am not going to do that. … I try and live that way and I feel that it’s important for me.” Although, when Hoda is on the small screen, her eldest child does watch her, but that wasn’t the case at first.

“Not much in the beginning because I don’t want her to be grossed out [by the news] or anything,” Hoda explained, adding that when she does watch, Haley has a small request. [She wants me to wear] a solid color that is a Sesame [Street] character, like red for Elmo or blue for Cookie Monster.” Cute!

Even though she is back at Today, before she made her permanent return, Hoda did stop by to check in with her cohosts, and revealed just how in love she is with motherhood. “I feel like I’ve lived 54 years, and I’ve loved every minute of it, but if there’s a window or a moment in my life that has mattered more than anything, it’s right now,” the You Are My Happy author told Savannah Guthrie on August 2.

We can’t wait to hear more about how head over heels Hoda is about her children!