‘I felt horrible’: Today host shamed for being ‘too old’ to be a mum

Kotb with her daughter.
Kotb with her daughter. Photo: Instagram

Hoda Kotb has no time for mum-shamers.

The US journalist, along with her TODAY co-host Jenna Bush Hager, opened up about being 'mum shamed' on their show.

The pair discussed the criticism they've received as parents, with Kotb revealing she's been told she's 'too old' to be a parent.

"I got a physical letter in the mail from a woman who wrote, 'who do you think you are, having kids at that age?' " the 56-year-old said. "I literally read it and thought, 'Oh my God, I can't believe someone put a stamp on it and sent it."

The TV personality, who shares daughters Hope Catherine, 17 months, and Haley Joy, three-and-a-half with fiancé Joel Schiffman, admits she "felt horrible in that moment, because there is something that bothers you inside about that."

Kotb said she  'literally tore the letter up', but  it was hard not to keep thinking about it.

"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 wondered. 



A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on


Bush Hager, defended her co-host, saying the criticism hits even harder when 'you're constantly questioning yourself as a parent anyway.'

"She's never seen you hold those little girls. That infuriates me," the 38-year-old said. 

The former first daughter, who shares three children with husband Henry Hager, revealed people constantly comment on her parenting too, sharing her own experience of mum-shaming. 

"I was on the plane coming home [from a work trip] and I felt so inspired and I just ached with the thought of missing my children," she said.


A post shared by Jenna Bush Hager (@jennabhager) on

"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.'"

"I was about to write her back and then I just thought, 'I don't want to add shame into shame,'" the mum-of-three said, admitting it made her feel like she was 'the worst mum'.

"So I feel like, let's just all let go of any of that and support each other as parents because it ain't easy," she said. "No matter where, it's not easy,"