Hoda Kotb Shares Her Devastation Over Being Criticized for Raising a Child at Her Age

The 'Today' host is the mother of two daughters, Haley and Hope.

Hoda Kotb is getting candid about an "ouch" moment.

During Wednesday's Today With Jenna and Hoda, the co-hosts discussed Ariana Grande's recent video in which the pop star addresses fans' comments about her looks, prompting Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager to reflect on moments where people's words left a mark on them.

Hager spoke about a time in 7th grade where a boy broke up with her after he saw her in the swimming pool. For Hager, she admitted that it still hurts.

Kotb shared that it wasn't one of the comments about her body that stuck with her, but a message about her choice to become a mother later in life. The host, who is the mother of Haley, 6, and Hope, 3, said that she once received a handwritten letter from a viewer who challenged her parenting timeline. 

"I opened the letter and it was something along the lines of, how dare you, bringing a child into this world at that age. Don't you know what you are doing to that child? And it went on and on and it took my breath away because that actually was my ouch," the 58-year-old said. 

"I was scared, I was like. 'Is this something that is smart for me to do? Am I helping or am I ultimately harming?' I thought about that," she added.

Kotb said that the letter wasn't like typical online comments, where someone sits and quickly writes something out.

"Someone took a pen and sat at a table and wrote that down and got a stamp and mailed it and went through all that trouble to say that to me," she said. "This took care and time and research."

However, Kotb shared that she did not let that bring her down. Instead, she thought about her late father, who died when she was in college, and the lesson she learned from that.

"I remember thinking we have our parents for a period of time," she said. "I know the foundation he left. I know it was worth every second of that time." 

Kotb didn't address the comment further, but agreed with Hager that words do hurt when they hit the most vulnerable aspects. 

In March, Kotb revealed that she had a difficult moment with Hope when she spent some time in the ICU, causing her to miss time at Today

Following her absence, Kotb returned and thanked everyone for their support.

"Little Hope had to go to the hospital and she was in the ICU for a few days and then in the hospital for another week and it was really scary," the mother of two shared. "She's vibrant and brilliant. She's home. She's home. She's home. I'm over the moon that she's home."

Kotb told her supporters, "I felt you. I heard you. I needed you."