Hoda Kotb, 56, opened up about being mom-shamed for adopting her kids at an older age.
Kotb said a woman mailed her a harsh letter, and admitted that it made her feel “horrible.”
Hoda Kotb is opening up about a time she was mom-shamed for making the decision to adopt her daughters at an older age. Last week, Hoday and her Today co-host Jenna Bush Hager shared their experiences of being criticized over how they parent.
Hoda said she received a letter in the mail from a woman who wrote, “‘Who do you think you are, having kids at that age?’” The 56-year-old adopted three-year-old Haley Joy in 2017 and one-year-old Hope Catherine in 2019. “I literally read it and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe someone put a stamp on it and sent it.’”
Hoda said she immediately tore the letter up. “I felt horrible in that moment, because there is something that bothers you inside about that.”
“But then I thought, ‘Who would take a piece of paper and a pen and write that and fold it and put it in the envelope with a stamp and go to the trouble of mailing it?’ It took effort,” she added.
Jenna reminded Hoda that she is a great mom to Haley and Hope. “Anybody that would see the way you are with those two little girls ... that stranger that took the time to write something so mean when she doesn’t even know what you’re like as a mother” she said. “She never saw you hold those two little girls. That infuriates me.”
— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) September 18, 2020
“I was on the plane coming home, and I felt so inspired and I just ached with the thought of missing my children,” she said. “One person in particular wrote some really mean thing on Instagram, like, ‘How dare you leave your children, your new baby?’ And, ‘Why would you ever do that? You’d think he matters, too.’”
The Today host visited Vietnam with Michelle Obama in December 2019, just four months after her youngest son Hal was born. “I felt this stab in my stomach and I was about to write her back and then I just thought, ‘I don’t want to add shame to shame,’” she said. “I didn’t want a bunch of people piling on.”
“But I will tell you, it hurt,” she admitted. “Because, of course I miss that little boy with everything that I have, everything I am.”
Mila this morning: Mom, it doesn’t seem like Easter this year. Me: Why baby? M: well, we aren’t leaving the house. We don’t get to see Mimi and Bumpy. We are watching church instead of going.” And so we got dressed up and we cooked and prayed around the table, grateful. Thankful for a beautiful world and a God that loves us so much. Then after lunch Mila said, “Mom, this is the best Easter ever....because Hal is here.” And I thought that’s it baby girl—it isn’t about where travel , or parties full of people, it is about the greatest and most simple gifts like their baby brother on his first Easter. We are praying of those who feel alone, lonely. Those who have lost hope. May you find joy and comfort knowing you are loved.
A post shared by Jenna Bush Hager (@jennabhager) on Apr 12, 2020 at 3:18pm PDT
Jenna said comments like that make things difficult because you already constantly question yourself as a parent. “I was on that plane already thinking, ‘I’m the worst mom,’ And then somebody says it!” she recalled. “Let’s just all let go of any of that and support each other as parents. Because it ain’t easy.”
“Every parent is second guessing,” Hoda added. “Have you ever been on a plane with your kid crying? You know what that feels like. And anyone who gives you that disdained look either doesn’t have children, doesn’t understand, or forgot how hard it is to deal with.”
A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on May 27, 2019 at 10:20am PDT
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