Natalie Morales is a co-anchor on NBC's TODAY Show and is a student of the world. From her international living experiences as a child to the global exposure her career provides her, Natalie has witnessed and reported on things that very few people are privy to. As such, she has developed an appreciation for life, her career, family, two beautiful boys, Josh and Luke, and the fact that it's OK to be imperfect. Natalie Morales recently talked to contributor Jeana Lee Tahnk on how she juggles her busy work schedule for TODAY, involvement with important charities, being a mom, oh, and somehow manages to run marathons in her free time.
You are clearly a woman of the world, not only from your experiences as a TODAY Show anchor, but from your upbringing. You were born in Taiwan and spent your entire childhood living overseas. How did that shape your childhood?
I am who I am because of the wonderful childhood which I spent much of overseas. I lived in Panama, Brazil, Spain and on a few military bases in the U.S. too, but being exposed to so many cultures and languages early on opened my eyes to the world. It made me a more curious person and shaped my points of view. It is the reason I chose to go into Journalism, to continue to see the world, report on major events and experience cultures outside our own.
This exposure at such an early age must have had such an incredible effect on your understanding of the world. How do you try to impart that world view onto your children?
We have so much in this country we take for granted, to be able to have just about anything you could want or need available. I try to teach my kids not to take it for granted. From the freedoms we enjoy to the food we eat, we are so blessed to live in this country where everything is in abundance. We also have traveled a lot with the kids because I feel it's important they see the rest of the world and are exposed to other cultures, as I did at a young age.
Being an anchor on the TODAY Show obviously requires a constant awareness of current news and events. Since the news never stops, how do you make the mental shift to separate work from family life when you are at home with your kids?
It's a difficult juggling act for sure, and sometimes my kids have to remind me to put the Blackberry away, but I try to carve out an hour during the afternoon where I answer work emails and calls, but once I'm home, I try to give my time to my family. Once the kids are asleep and before I go to bed, I do have to check in one last time to make sure nothing has changed and to prepare for the next day, (my homework) but I do all the things working moms have to do - food shop, cook, clean, etc. - around my work life too.