Today's Hoda Kotb Shares Deeply Personal Response to Being Mom-Shamed

Hoda Kotb recalled how a person wrote her a nasty letter in which she was criticized for becoming a mom later in life. Find out what the Today co-anchor said about the hate mail.

By Corinne Heller Apr 13, 2023 8:36 PMTags
Watch: Hoda Kotb Reveals She Was Mom-Shamed in Hate Mail

Hoda Kotb is opening up about a horrific piece of hate mail she once received.

The Today co-anchor, who is mom to daughters Haley, 6, and Hope, 3, recently recalled receiving a handwritten note at her home criticizing her for starting a family later in life.

"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?' Like, it went on and on," Hoda, 58, recalled on the NBC morning show. "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? Am I helping or am I going to ultimately be harming? Like, I've thought about that."

Hoda, who adopted Haley and Hope with now-ex Joel Schiffman and co-parents them with him, continued, "And when I read it, I thought, someone took a pen and sat at a table and put it and wrote that down and got a stamp and mailed it. Like, went to all that trouble to say that to me."

Hoda Kotb's Sweetest Moments With Her Kids

She explained that the letter made her reflect on her experience with losing a parent following the death of her dad, Abdel Kader Kotb, in 1981 when she was in college.

"I remember thinking, we have our parents for a period of time," Hoda noted. "I know the foundation he left. I know it was worth every second of that time. So I thought about that too. It can hit you in a place where you're the most vulnerable."

Since getting candid about that mom-shaming letter, the journalist has received a slew of supportive messages on the social media.

"That's just shameful!" one person wrote on Today With Hoda & Jenna's Instagram page about the letter author. "You're doing a great job with your precious babies and no one knows how much time any of us have."


Another user commented, "It's better to be cared for and loved for any amount of time than to never be loved at all."

Since adopting Haley in 2017, Hoda has often opened up about her parenting journey on Today.

Earlier this year, she took some time off from the show to care for Hope after she was hospitalized for an undisclosed health issue. In March, just after the journalist returned to work, she thanked fans for their support.

"Thank you …for all of your beautiful words and prayers," she wrote on Instagram. "I have read them all. You have no idea how much it means to me and my family. I am so profoundly touched."

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