'I was scared': Hoda Kotb opens up about harassment she faced for being an older mother
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Hoda Kotb, a mother of two, has been criticized for her decision to have children later in life. During a recent episode of 'TODAY with Hoda and Jenna', Hoda and co-host Jenna Bush Hager discussed Ariana Grande's message about body shaming. This led Hoda to recall a time when she was subjected to cruel shaming for her choice to have children in her 50s.
Hoda shared the details of the incident, saying, "I got a letter that was addressed to me in somebody’s handwriting to my house. I opened the letter and it was something along the lines of ‘how dare you bring a child into this world at your age? Don’t you know what you’re doing to that child?’"
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'It took my breath away'
Kotb shared with her co-host and fellow mom, Hager, how deeply affected she was by the shaming letter she received for having children later in life. Hoda also revealed, "It took my breath away because that actually was my ‘ouch.’ I was scared, like, ‘Is this something that is smart for me to do, and am I helping or am I ultimately going to be harming?’ I’ve thought about that", reported by Hollywood Life.
Hoda's honesty about her concerns reflects the pressure that many women face when making decisions about parenthood. Jenna empathized with her co-host, saying, "It’s hard when you’re told that you’re doing something wrong, especially when you know in the depths of your soul that you’re doing something right for you and for your family." Reflecting on her experience of receiving shaming comments for having children later in life, Hoda Kotb shared a valuable lesson she learned from her late father. Speaking to her co-host Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, Hoda explained, "I remember thinking, ‘We have our parents for a period of time. I know the foundation he left. I know if was worth every second of that time.' So I thought about that too. But it can hit you in a place where you’re the most vulnerable."
A mother's unwavering love
Kotb's journey as a mother has had its share of challenges and triumphs. After adopting her second daughter Hope, Hoda's engagement with Joel Schiffman ended in January 2022. Despite this, Hoda's love for her daughters remains constant and evident, as per TODAY.
Earlier this year, Hoda faced a difficult time when her youngest daughter, Hope, had a health crisis that required hospitalization. Speaking about the experience on the March 6 episode of TODAY, Hoda shared, “My youngest [daughter] Hope was in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for a little more than a week. I’m grateful she’s home. She is back home. I was waiting for that day to come. We are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.”