Laura Jarrett tells PEOPLE she's excited to share her family as new co-anchor of 'Saturday TODAY' and discusses talking about her career with her young kids
Laura Jarrett is ready to share more of her mom life.
Speaking with PEOPLE about her new role as co-anchor of Saturday TODAY, the mom of two, 39, says she's been thrilled by this "whirlwind" year in her life.
Just last summer, the mom of two welcomed her daughter, June Tahay, just months before joining the network in January as NBC News’ Senior Legal Correspondent. Between the "busy news cycle" and raising her two kids — daughter June, 13, months, and son James, 4 — Jarrett is looking forward to a "totally different change of pace on Saturdays."
"I'm so excited that I get to work with Peter Alexander, and we can have fun and have conversations. I'm excited for them to get to know my family," she tells PEOPLE.
"I'm excited for the audience to get to know that side of me which is different than what they've seen me before, covering murder trials and impeachments and indictments."
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When it comes to the idea of work-life balance, Jarrett says, "My position is there is no balance."
"Instead, you do the best you can every single day, and make sure you hug your kids and they know that you love them dearly," she says, recalling a sweet moment with James.
"My son said to me the other day as I was heading out the door, 'Mommy, are you going to work?', and I said, 'Yes, James.'"
"And he said, 'Do a great job!'" she remembers him saying. "He was giving me an inspirational chat as we headed out the door because he knows I'd love to play with him and go to the park. There are plenty of times we do that, and sometimes he asks when I can't. I try to be really honest with him about where I'm going and that I actually enjoy work, and that's okay too."
Jarrett cherishes the time she and husband Tony Balkissoon share with kids "together on the weekends."
"And when I do TODAY during the week, it's early enough that I can actually jet back home and have breakfast with the kids, get them started on their day, and then I go back to work," she adds.
"That's a privilege when a lot of parents are scrambling to have the time to take their kids to school. But I get to come back and see them and have that special time in the day. I do nightly news, which means I don't get to put them to bed, but having that time with them in the mornings is really special."
That time is special as she sees the new developments in each of her little ones. "James just turned 4 and June just turned 1, and they are so funny," she says. "Every day is something different and it cracks me up."
"James is in a very intense puzzle and Sudoku phase. The other day, I was trying to help him with one and he was like, 'That's okay, Mom. I don't think you get it,'" she laughs.
"And June is just, from the moment she wakes up in the morning to when we put her down at night, she's laughing, she's smiling," the proud mom shares. "She's now in this space where the moment I walk in the door, she starts squealing and I just want to squeeze her up all day. She's a joy."
"I'm trying to enjoy them where they are right now and now that I'm a mom of two, I know how fast it goes. And so I'm trying to just enjoy the moment," she says.
"They are exhausting little people and they require a level of patience I didn't know I had until I became a mom. I'd say the challenges are immense, but I try to take it all in stride and remember, as my mom always tells me, this too shall pass."
The busy days are "really special" to Jarrett, who found herself coming back from vacation "a couple of times" to cover breaking news.
"I have a front seat to history. It's a privilege that I get to be part of this. So even though the days are long, and there isn't a lot of sleep happening right now, it's not always gonna be this way. When it stops, I think I'm gonna miss it."
Jarrett is also looking forward to showing viewers "a different side of me," adding, "Obviously, a lot of our viewers get to see me during the week covering really intense legal stories and a lot of really heavy stuff, but I'm excited for them to be a lighter side on the weekends."
"I'm excited for them to see me, have fun and laugh, and talk about my crazy kids."
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