Hoda Kotb

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Image Credit: Tammie Arroyo/Shutterstock

Mom-of-two Hoda Kotb, 58, did not have children until she was in her 50s, a decision that she said she’s been criticized for. Hoda and Jenna Bush Hager, 41, were talking about Ariana Grande‘s recent message about body shaming on the April 13 episode of TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, when Hoda recalled a time that she was cruelly shamed for having kids later in life.

“I got a letter that was addressed to me in somebody’s handwriting to my house,” said Hoda, who is mom to adopted daughters Haley, 6, and Hope, 3. “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?’ ” she recalled.

Hoda told Jenna, who is also a mom, that she was so shocked by the contents of the letter. “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,” she admitted. “When I read it, I thought, ‘Someone took a pen and sat at a table and wrote that down and got a stamp and mailed it.’ Went to all that trouble to say that to me. This took care and time and research.”

The famous journalist explained that she felt better about the situation when she looked back on her Relationship with her late father A.K. Kotb, who died in 1986, when Hoda was in college. “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,’ ” Hoda said. “So I thought about that too. But it can hit you in a place where you’re the most vulnerable.”

Hoda Kotb
Hoda Kotb (Photo: Tammie Arroyo/Shutterstock)

Hoda became a mom at 52, when she adopted daughter Haley. Over two years later, Hoda adopted her second daughter Hope. At the time, Hoda was still engaged to her boyfriend Joel Schiffman. Hoda and Joel broke off their engagement in January 2022. Hoda cherishes being a mom to her two little girls and she talks about them a lot on TODAY. Earlier this year, Hoda had to miss two weeks of the morning show to deal with a “family health matter,” which turned out to be a health crisis involving one of her daughters.

“My youngest [daughter] Hope was in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for a little more than a week,” Hoda explained on the March 6 episode of TODAY. “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,” Hoda added.


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