‘Today Show’s’ Jenna Bush Hager Talks About Parenting During Quarantine

Jenna Bush Hager of the Today Show juggles a hectic schedule with her gig on the NBC morning news show and as the mom of three to daughters Mila, 6, Poppy, 4, and son Henry ‘Hal,’ 7 months. Taking spring break this past week with her kids, Hager had already planned on having some time off with her children yet never imagined it would be in quarantine.

Jenna Bush Hager on "Watch What Happens Live"
Jenna Bush Hager of the “Today Show” | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Family time

Sharing a video on Instagram, Hager explained why she was missing on the show. “I have been taking some pre-planned time off for my kids’ spring break, and now we are staying at home,” she said in a video, according to Prevention. “I miss you. I miss my colleagues. I miss the show, and I hope to be back soon, whether from here or from the studio, but I just wanted to let you know we’re doing great—as great as can be.”

The Today Show star appeared on the program via video earlier this week and discussed with co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie how she and her husband Henry have been navigating their unprecedented amount of family time.

“We’ve been staying home, and I have to say, it’s been a journey,” Hager revealed. “It really has because at the beginning, we weren’t used to seeing each other for this much time. Last night, Henry said, ‘We’re a team now,’ and I feel like that.”

Hager praises teachers

The NBC co-host admitted that there have been some bumps in the road, but she’s making a point of focusing on the positive aspects of the situation. “There’s been moments that are messy, quite literally, like tons of laundry but really beautiful moments, too,” Hager said.

Calling upon her former career as a teacher, Hager is homeschooling her daughters while schools are closed. The responsibility of educating her Mila and Poppy prompted her to give a shout out to one of their teachers.

“I emailed Poppy’s teacher, and I just said … ‘I don’t know how you did it, how you keep this child entertained,’” Hager said.

Apparently, Mila and Poppy have given their parents new monikers for when they don their teacher hats.

“They call me Miss Jenna,” she revealed. “I’m Principal Lemon, too, and Henry’s Assistant Principal Lime, and we’re just hanging in there!”

Managing ups and downs

While trying to have her kids stay productive, Hager sometimes gets critical of herself when all does not go smoothly.

“Yesterday, I have to say we put on more screen time than I’ve ever allowed myself,” she shared. “And you know what’s so funny, there was this one day I raised my voice, I was down on myself for the way I was acting towards Henry, honestly, the way I was acting towards the kids.”

Hager revealed that her kids helped her get over the hump and realize that they’d rather have her company than perfection.“They were like, ‘This is the best! We get Mommy and Daddy at home for dinner every night!'” the Today star shared. “And I was so hard on myself … I just thought, our kids just want us and even not in our perfect ways.”

Words of wisdom from Hager’s grandmother, Barbara Bush, have been a comfort to her through this time and are helping her keep a healthy perspective.

“I thought about my grandma a lot, and she says humor helps,” she said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do, laugh with my girlfriends on Zoom, and laugh with Henry over the funny things that happen on a daily basis and trying not to cry over dirty dishes and spilled milk because life is just too short.”