Hoda Kotb shocked many Today Show viewers when she announced at the top of the year that she and Joel Schiffman ended their engagement after two years of hoping to make it down the aisle and several years together. Kotb explained that the breakup came over the holiday season. And though the 58-year-old never expected to be single again, especially with two young daughters her and Schiffman adopted together, she says she's in a great place. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE Magazine on co-parenting and single motherhood, Kotb insists she is "doing really well, and I feel very peaceful," she says.
"Sometimes relationships evolve. Sometimes perfectly nice people can go their separate ways. Sometimes a relationship ends on your last breath, and sometimes it ends before that, and that's okay," she said. Kotb says there are no ill feelings for her ex. "I don't regret one day, not one minute, not one second of our time together because it brought me here. I have two incredible children I share with him. And it's because of Joel that I have Haley and Hope, without question. I think I might have been too afraid to do it alone. That's not something I love to admit, but it's true."
Kotb always dreamed of being a mother, but after surviving breast cancer and a divorce, she didn't think it was in the cards for her. She adopted Haley in 2017, and Hope a few years later.
"I always imagined family as my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister," she explained. "I envisioned it that way until I was 50. Imagine someone saying, 'Hey, guess what? You're actually going to have a whole other family.' It still surprises me! It delights me to know that I have Haley and Hope. They fell asleep on me yesterday after having meltdowns, and I sang to them, and in that moment I was just thinking to myself, 'I get to feel these things. We get to have this together.' It blows my mind that I get to have this adorable little family that's just right for me."
With her busy schedule as a new anchor, it's all about prioritizing for her and the girls. By having to be up at 3:30 am, Kotb says there are some days she doesn't get home until 5 and runs a tight ship with dinner, baths, reading, singing, and bed by 7 for all of them. It's something she finds great joy in.