show that bears her name, and mom of one is sharing the birth story of the child she never thought she’d be able to have.
To back up a bit: Hall has been open about her unlikely journey to motherhood; how, in 2019, at nearly 48, she and her new husband, music manager Steven Greener, had a “heartfelt conversation and a lot of deep thought” about becoming parents and exploring IVF — a successful exploration, as it turned out, and one she kept under wraps until she was 32 weeks along.
Hall has made a career out of being curious, open, and authentic — traits that the Emmy Award-winning talk show host puts on display daily on Tamron Hall, and traits that make her the perfect person to talk about the early years of parenting, so full of wonder and worry. Being a later-in-life first-time mom? A work-outside-the-home mom? A talk-show-host-documentarian-author-mom? Hall (who, yes, in addition to her regular day job is also a novelist and has a documentary about the teen mental health crisis in the works) is willing to talk about it all.
But she hasn’t shared all the details of the day that delivered her miracle baby, Moses, later that same year, she explains as we talk over Zoom on a November afternoon. “I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this whole story,” she says. “I had a scheduled C-section but went into labor at my home.” Like many first-time moms, Hall wasn’t exactly sure what was going on that April day as she was lying in bed and starting to feel contractions. “I remember thinking, ‘There's no way this is happening. What's going on? Are you kidding me?!’”
The day began uneventfully; Hall had a routine OB-GYN visit, worked on her baby’s nursery, took a full-length selfie (“I thought I looked different,” she says), and then settled into bed to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Cue the contractions — or what Hall describes as a “distinct tightening.” “All of a sudden, this change in my body started to take place. And then I stood up to go to the bathroom, and I fell to the ground,” she says. Greener guessed that she was in labor, but Hall had no interest in rushing to the hospital only to be told it was a false alarm. At his insistence, she called an OB-GYN friend who suggested she might be dehydrated. But when she stood up again, she fell down again. “And the next thing I know we were in an Uber on our way,” she says. Moses was delivered by C-section “not even 45 minutes later,” she says — decidedly not according to schedule.
Thus, in the age of Instagram, Hall’s labor and delivery were not perfectly staged. “I just thought I was going to stroll out of my home in this cute outfit,” she admits. In reality, there was no special clothing. She didn't do her hair. Hall didn’t even take a hospital bag with her. She did take a video, telling her future child, “‘I'm sorry, I look a mess.’ [When] My doctor came in and said, ‘I think we're having a baby today,’ I thought, ‘I'm not ready.’ It just did not play out the way I thought it would. But it was remarkable.”
Tamron Hall was supposed to have a scheduled C-section.
The talk show host and mom of one opens up about the joys and juggling of the early years, the mantra that gets her through tough days, and the parenting advice she got from First Lady Michelle Obama.
written by erika janes | photographs by george chinsee
THE DISCOVERY STAGE
. . . Moses gave her something she didn't know she needed.
Quiana Burns, Executive Producer, Tamron Hall
I want the show to be a destination where, whether you're a mom or not a mom — and I was a non-mom for 48 years — whether you're single or married, whatever your background,
That baby is now almost 4. As we talk, Hall, 52, is in her Manhattan home, describing an idyllic afternoon. It’s Wednesday, and Wednesdays are the day when she picks up Moses from his Threes program and takes him out to lunch because there’s just one Tamron Hall show to tape. “He’s all about the restaurant scene,” she says, laughing. Today, they went to one of their favorite West Village spots, where Moses ate French fries and they simply hung out and enjoyed each other’s company. “That’s pretty much what our Wednesdays look like,” she explains, “and now he’s downstairs playing with our dog, Exodus.”
The relief that her baby is thriving in school is fueled by a certain amount of mom guilt, given that Moses is a child of the pandemic and has been raised in a family that kept strict COVID protocols in order to keep Tamron Hall taping. (“I was responsible for 200-plus employees,” she says.) So of course Hall worries about the isolation of her son’s earliest years. “But he’s proven to be quite resilient,” she says.
“She's gonna kill me if I say this, but [motherhood] brought out this softer side,” she says. “You know, as journalists, we're taught to be objective and serious. But she has now grown in a way where she can show her emotions on her sleeve.”
That, in turn, helps her connect in an authentic way with her guests. Burns shares the example of Coco Austin, who was on the show recently talking about her experiences with mom-shaming. “She cried. She showed us her vulnerable side. She felt like it was a safe space. And the reason . . . is because Tamron provides that,” Burns says. “When she interviews people, she listens to what they say. She's authentic, she cares, and people can pick up on that. The fact that Tamron has tapped into her emotions allows her to tap into other people's emotions. And they just feel it.”
Whether Hall is showing Burns a video of Moses dancing in his classroom or showing former first lady Michelle Obama a video of her son saying hello to her, “she lights up whenever she talks about him,” Burns says. “The way she talks about him, it's a pure joy that she has now. And I'm happy for her because I think Moses gave her something she didn't know she needed.”
Shortly after our interview, the Tamron Hall team traveled to Philadelphia — the city where Hall got her start as a broadcast journalism student at Temple University — for an interview with Obama. Burns recalls the former first lady pulling her aside and saying, ‘This is the best interview, you know?’ “And I said, ‘Tamron does her homework.’ There are people who are really passionate and engrossed in what they do, and she's that person. She loves what she does. And she's spot on with her judgment about what makes good TV.”
Tamron Hall is evolving; for its host, the current season of the show is all about creating a “golden hour” of community where guests and viewers alike can be transparent. “We can be vulnerable, we can be resilient, we can have joy in that hour,” Hall says. “I want the show to be a destination where, whether you're a mom or not a mom — and I was a non-mom for 48 years — whether you're single or married, whatever your background, you feel that you can come to this show and have a conversation with friends.” Hall is also dedicated to having her show “reflect where we are, and the conversations that we are having.” That’s where guests like Austin — and the relatable topic of mom-shaming — come in. It’s where Obama comes in. And it’s where a show dedicated to discussing menopause comes in. “The show is evolving with the times,” Hall says, “and now authenticity, more than ever before, is the hot ticket.”
Tamron Hall is evolving, too. She added author to her bio when her thriller As the Wicked Watch, the first book in a planned series, came out in 2021. She also hosts a second TV show, the Court TV true crime series Someone They Knew, which returned for its second season earlier in February. Beyond that, Hall’s documentary about the mental health crisis among teenagers is in the works. “This is something that is front of mind for me,” she says. “I've had two friends lose their teenage children to suicide. It's personal, it's professional, and it's part of what I'm supposed to do as a journalist — bringing things to light. And with the perspective that I have, as a talk show host, as a mom, and also a friend of people who've gone through this, it is one of the most important things for me as a body of work.”
It’s evident, on the December day of Hall’s SheKnows cover photoshoot, just how many plates she keeps spinning. It’s Friday, and she’s so close to the end of a long week. Hall arrives for her 10 a.m. call time in a comfy, caramel-colored velour tracksuit, having already had a full morning. Her family recently moved into a new home, and she was busy directing which boxes go where before dropping off Moses at school. Earlier in the week, she attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 2022 gala, where she was the evening’s honorary chair. And immediately following the shoot, she’ll head off to keynote the Center for Communication’s 6th Annual Women + Media Career Summit with Burns.
Moses is deep in the discovery phase of his young life. In addition to navigating the New York City restaurant scene, he’s navigating preschool, and while Hall took to Instagram to describe herself as an emotional wreck on his first day, she’s found the overall experience a joyful thing to witness — to see her son, as she sneaks a peek through the window of his school, making friends.
If at this point you’re thinking Hall is basically a superhero, a one-woman do-it-all dynamo who has been able to nurture a new marriage, parent a toddler through a pandemic, write a book for fun, lead not one but two TV shows and win an Emmy in the process? Well, you’re not wrong, but Hall is the first to disabuse you of the notion that she does it without help. The “Tam Fam” community that makes her show tick applies to her own life as well, and she gives credit to the village that makes it all possible.
Hall’s mother visits from Texas every other month, and she and Greener have a network of close friends they can count on for support, including her best friend (a mom of three) and her longtime friend and hairstylist, who — fun fact — once gave
Hall an IVF injection in the back of an Uber. Crucially, Hall also has a live-in caregiver. “I’ve talked about the fact that our nanny lives with us,” she says frankly. “It's impossible to do it without her; my nearest family members are 2,000 miles away. And I made a very conscious and deliberate decision to make sure people knew this about my life. I wasn't going to pretend and I also felt that [to do so] was diminishing this great woman who chose a career to care for my son when I'm not able to be there.”
To Burns, it’s more proof that the hallmark authenticity of Hall’s show starts with her as a person. “I think that's probably why people connect to her,” she says, “because she’s real, and she’s real about what life is really like. No one is superhuman. She doesn't expect that of her guests and doesn't want people to expect that of her.”
. . . She’s real, and she’s real about what life is really like. No one is superhuman. She doesn't expect that of her guests and doesn't want people to expect that of her.
It’s a reminder to herself to slow down and appreciate the journey. Even with Moses not yet 4, she admits she’s scared to run out of time. “I want to be there for every moment. If I could hide behind a cubby in his classroom . . . ” she trails off. “I just want to watch him every minute of the day. That's the biggest challenge; having to work, not having enough time, and not being able to hide in his backpack every single second to watch my little bird grow.”
When Moses was born, there was concern about his hearing. Hall remembers those early, stressful days, rushing her tiny baby to a specialist, and also remembers the advice the doctor gave her: Enjoy him. Enjoy him.
“I reflect on that often — enjoy him, and let him enjoy me,” she says. “With all of the mistakes and the missteps. Let him laugh with me. Let him have fun with me. Let him see me panic when he throws a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the dog, who manages to catch it in mid-air. It's miraculous.”
More than ever, that help has been crucial as Hall navigates her thriving career — and as she navigates the inevitable mom guilt that comes with being a work-outside-the-home mom. Hall remembers when the show was launching and she spent five days away from home, taping episodes in Anaheim. It was unexpectedly tough. “You believe that you’re prepared for it; you believe that you've accepted that you're a working parent and these are the realities of being a working parent,” she says. But it got to the point where Hall didn’t even want to FaceTime with Moses because she felt like he was just looking around and trying to process where she was. “The third day, he said, ‘Mommy's in a car, in a car.’ And I lost it,” she says, choking up even now recalling the experience. “I wanted to come home. I didn't want to be there.”
And yet, when she was on set, she says, “I felt energized. I felt this was my calling. I'm interviewing people, and I'm being Tamron the journalist, the talk show host, and I loved every minute of it.” Hall walked away from the experience with the knowledge that being a career woman and a mom means being pulled in two directions, and that as challenging as the experience was, it’s OK to accept that while your heart is with your child, you can also love what you do away from your child.
“I’m not throwing a pity party, because I know that everybody experiences it,” she says. “It just happened to be my first time on the dance floor that so many people dance on every single day.”
THE CURIOUS age
Back on Zoom, Hall is talking about the terrible twos. “I am stunned that people refer to the twos as the complicated age — we'll call it that,” she says. It’s not that she finds the threes harder, she clarifies, it’s just that the challenges of the twos don’t evaporate on a kid’s third birthday. Still, it’s an age where the agency, decision-making, and determination of her child have been a joy to witness — even on the recent night when Moses refused to wear any clothes while Hall’s team was at her home, helping her dress for an event.
Hall is happy to take advice, from strangers — like her show’s Tam Fam, who were happy to weigh in on potty training (“Y’all, we survived it,” she says) — to celebrities like Obama, who shared her advice on picky eating. “She said you had to put it in front of him, tell him to eat it or not,” she reveals, adding with a laugh, “Well, that didn't work, Mrs. Obama! Thank you very much, but listen, when you have kids in their 20s, like Sasha and Malia . . . I think she's forgotten the two-and-three stage, right? I'm gonna have to remind her that it didn't quite work out that way for me.”
Moses, like most kids, can be a bit of a picky eater. He’s learning to ride a bike. He’s having real conversations, which the interviewer in Hall loves. He adores imaginative play and pours a mean cup of pretend coffee. But Hall is in no way a wooden-toys-only kind of mom. She unapologetically admits she brings an iPad to their lunch dates and doesn’t care if anyone judges her for it. “It's a weapon in my arsenal of entertainment,” she says simply.
Hall has long lived by the mantra, “I was a success the day I was born,” and while it’s a good attitude to carry through life, it also helps guide her through the inevitable crises of confidence that every parent has. “It helps me because my son doesn't know the mistakes I'm making,” she says. “He doesn't know that I had to reread the potty training book 17 times and still didn't get it right.”
Mostly, Hall tries to see the world through her curious son’s eyes, willingly walking through every open doorway on a New York City street that her son wants to explore. “I underestimated the weight and responsibility of leading someone, you know? Just all of these things that you’re able to share with them for the first time. I often remind myself, ‘he's never seen this before. He's never seen this day before in this way.’”
I'm scared to run out of time. I want to be there for every moment. If I could hide behind a cubby in his classroom . . .
Resilient is an apt word to describe Hall, too. In fact, she could teach a masterclass on how to thrive when things don’t play out the way you expect. In February 2017, she endured a very public departure from NBC after she lost her co-hosting job on the third hour of Today when the network hired Megyn Kelly. (“I was heartbroken,” she told USA Today of the decision to opt out of her contract and leave the network that had been her professional home for a decade. Hall joined MSNBC in 2007 before moving to Today in 2014.) Classy in the face of disappointment, she released a simple statement: "The last 10 years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful. I’m also very excited about the next chapter. To all my great colleagues, I will miss you and I will be rooting for you.”
Hall’s next chapter was huge: Just over two years later, she had a new husband, a new baby, and a new job helming Tamron Hall. The syndicated daytime talk show premiered on Sept. 9, 2019. It has been renewed for a fifth season, through 2024.
Tamron Hall, the show, was nominated for three Daytime Emmy awards in 2020, with Tamron Hall the woman taking home the statuette for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host that same year. To Quiana Burns, Hall’s longtime friend and executive producer, the confluence of Hall’s parenthood status and professional recognition is not surprising.
The journalist, host of the daytime talk
you feel that you can come to this show and have a conversation with friends.
your background, you feel that you can come to this show and have a conversation with friends.
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