‘Today Show:’ Natalie Morales Talks About ‘Mom Guilt’ and Shares a Superpower She Earned After Having Kids
Natalie Morales of the Today Show continues to report from both coasts for the NBC morning news program. Joining the show in 2006, Morales left her New York location in 2016 to become co-host of Access Hollywood while remaining on Today as their West Coast anchor and moved to Los Angeles with her family.
Though she’s no longer at Access Hollywood, Morales maintains a hectic schedule as a Today correspondent while juggling her personal life with her husband and two kids. The journalist has commented in the past on the role of motherhood and some of the surprises it brings.
Mom of two boys
Married to Joe Rhodes since 1998, the couple welcomed son Josh in 2004, and son Luke in 2008. That year, she talked about wanting to have another baby after her first son was born. “When I found out I was pregnant, it was the best news I’d gotten all year,” the Today star said, according to People. “We had been trying for a long time. … Most people think you can just decide to have a child, but it just doesn’t work that way.”
Morales found she preferred the four-year age difference between her sons, especially for big brother Josh. “I think the age difference has actually worked to my benefit, because from day one Josh was so excited,” she said, according to Heavy. “He always wants to kiss and hold the baby.”
Morales on ‘mom guilt’
When talking to Today about parenting, Morales shared that like most mothers, she struggled with guilt when it came to parenting.
“If you are not spending every waking moment thinking about, worrying about or with your kids… you are feeling guilty,” she told Today.com in 2014. “You’re thinking, ‘instead of (getting this pedicure/solving world hunger/exercising), I’m supposed to be (picking up/playing with/spending time with my kids).’ And that’s always followed by thoughts of, ‘I am the worst mom ever.’”
Yet the NBC star also realizes the magic that moms can work with the simplest of gestures. “A hug from mom can heal anything,” Morales shared. “Got a boo-boo; someone made fun of you at school; or you had a bad day? There’s nothing like cuddling with mom.”
Morales acknowledged that those hugs serve both parties. “Even when you think you are the worst mom ever…the power of hugs works both ways,” she revealed. “The other day, I had a bad day and was a bit short tempered with the kids and even the dog. As I was putting the kids to bed they both gave me a big hug and said, ‘We love you mom, you’re the best mom ever.’ Bonus when the dog also kissed me.”
The former Access Hollywood co-host also discovered that motherhood brought her some impressive skills she didn’t possess before having children.
“Reflexes improve with mothering. Seriously,” Morales said. “I can pick up a falling glass of milk before it even hits the table without a drop spilled and sometimes even before it’s even going down… it’s like I see it happening before it happens. It’s my superhero power. Take that Amazing Spider Man, you got nothing on this working mom of two.”
Though she was aware of the emotions involved in parenting, Morales admitted the bond between herself and her kids is even stronger than she could have imagined.
“It’s a cliché, of course, but there is no greater love. Everyone tells you that from the moment you are pregnant,” she explained. “I believed them, but now I really know what that love feels like. It’s literally this pulling and tugging sensation at the heart.
While the news woman clearly loves her career, Morales’ favorite role is on the home front as the mother to her boys. “I understand now why moms would do anything for their kids… anything and everything,” she shared. “There is no better job in the world than being a mom.”