Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on being older moms

Today show hosts Hoda Kotb, 57, and Savannah Guthrie, 50, opened up about their nonlinear journeys to motherhood and what they have learned as “old moms.”

In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, the co-hosts were honest and candid about the struggles and rewards of becoming mothers later in life.

Both women became parents after the age of 40 due to a series of complications that had them each doubting if they would ever have children at all.

“I stopped even letting myself hope or believe I could [get pregnant], because the years were getting on,” said Guthrie.

Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie open up about becoming moms later in life. (Photo: Mike Garten/Good Housekeeping)

At one point she even resigned herself to the fact that she was not “entitled” to having a baby.

“I just tried to tell myself that it would be OK if it didn’t happen: ‘Maybe it’s not meant for me, and that’s OK because I’ve already been blessed so much in my life. I’m not entitled to have a baby too.’ Looking back, that mindset was probably a self-defense mechanism,” she said.

After her first child, Guthrie suffered a miscarriage at 41 and underwent two rounds of IVF in hopes of conceiving again.

She now has two children with husband Michael Feldman, 53: 7-year-old Vale and 5-year-old Charley.

Following a battle with breast cancer in 2007, Kotb was told she would be unable to conceive and remembers feeling devastated.

“I was in my room and I just sobbed. I thought, ‘Well, that’s that, isn’t it? Like, you almost blame yourself. Why didn’t I do this? Why didn’t I do that?’ So I just pushed it away, because the reality seemed impossible to bear,” she said.

After she recovered, Kotb and ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman adopted Haley, now 5, in 2017 and adopted Hope, now 3, two years later.

Having children later in life presents its own unique set of challenges, but as the co-hosts-turned-friends have discovered, it also comes with its perks.

“By this time in life you’ve seen a few things and you know how to weather the ups and downs,” said Guthrie.

Story continues

She expressed gratitude for the stability that comes with age and being able to offer the best version of herself thus far to her kids.

“I’m glad my kids don’t have the stressed, anxious and insecure 30-year-old version of me. The peace and calmness that comes with age is a great thing for kids to see in action,” said Guthrie.

Kotb also appreciates the perspective that comes with being an older mom and acknowledges how her parenting style might have been different if she had been a mom while she was younger.

“All of a sudden all the things about having little kids that seem like a problem, you see in a whole different way. And I find myself being so much more patient and calm than I ever would have been at a younger age,” she said.

While their respective journeys to motherhood have been different, the women are glad they can confide in each other as moms and professionals.

“I have some nights where I really messed up and I know I did, and I come in the next morning [thinking], ‘I feel terrible for what I did. What was I thinking? Why did I think that was going to work? They went to bed crying.’ Like, I don’t want that to be me. But then I talk to Savannah. [She’ll say], ‘That was my Wednesday.’ It makes you feel less alone,” said Kotb.

She also has a more refined approach to cynics who have negative things to say about her having children later in life, with one going as far as sending a handwritten letter to her home.

“I got a letter at my house from some lady, and she said, ‘Who do you think you are, having those kids at this age?'” Kotb shared.

This letter is an example of the boundless opinions people have concerning “old moms,” and Kotb refuses to live anymore of her life worried about the perceptions of others.

“You can live your life worrying about what people think of your life, or you can live your life. And I realized that sometimes I was living my life being concerned about the perceptions of it. I sort of had this epiphany: I have a choice,” she said.

Having such a public-facing career definitely invites more scrutiny but the co-hosts are happy to have each other to lean on through it all.

“It’s amazing to be in a very high-pressure job but also have someone who understands the other high-pressure job you have and can carry it with you. They’re not going to judge if you are bringing some of that to work,” said Guthrie.

Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.