Hoda Kotb ‘Felt Horrible’ After Being Mom-Shamed for Having Kids in Her 50s

No time for trolls! Hoda Kotb “literally tore … up” the first mom-shaming note she received in the mail.

“I got a physical letter … from a woman who wrote, ‘Who do you think you are, having kids at that age?’” the journalist, 56, recalled during a Friday, September 18, Today show appearance. “I literally read it and thought, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe someone put a stamp on it and sent it.’ 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.”

The Oklahoma native native “felt horrible in that moment,” telling cohost Jenna Bush Hager: “It hurts.”

Hoda Kotb Felt Horrible After Being Mom-Shamed For Having Kids in Her 50s
Hoda Kotb NBC

The Everything Beautiful in Its Time author, 38, defended Kotb, saying, “She’s never seen you hold those little girls. That infuriates me. And I think why it’s so hard is that, as parents, we’re already questioning ourselves constantly.”

In October 2019, Kotb explained that she is a “better parent” to her and fiancé Joel Schiffman’s kids — Haley, 3, and Hope, 17 months — in her 50s than she would have been earlier in life, thanks to “wisdom, patience, stuff we’ve learned along the way.”

As for Hager, the Texas native went on to share her own experience with mom-shamers, which happened after her son Hal’s birth when she was returning from a business trip with former first lady Michelle Obama.

“I just ached with the thought of missing my children,” the former first daughter, who also shares daughters Margaret, 7, and Poppy, 5, with husband Henry Hager, 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.’ And 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 into shame.’ I didn’t want a bunch of people piling on.”

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