Jenna Bush Hager has defended Meghan Markle against online trolls, saying she is ‘irritated’ the new mom faced harsh criticism for the way she was holding her son, Archie, in his baby carrier earlier this week.
The 38-year-old Today host, who has three children of her own, took a stand against mom-shaming culture on Wednesday’s show while discussing the recent photos of the Duchess of Sussex taking a walk with her eight-month-old son and two dogs at a park on Canada’s Vancouver Island.
‘The one thing that I noticed that irritated me was that there was a lot of mom-shaming around it,’ Jenna told Hoda Kotb, her fourth-hour co-host. ‘Like tons of people piled on. It just brought up things in me.’
Hitting back: Jenna Bush Hager took a stand against mom-shaming on Wednesday’s episode of the Today show, saying she was ‘irritated’ by the recent treatment of Meghan Markle
Criticism: The Duchess of Sussex, 38, was mom-shamed by social media users after pictures showed her awkwardly handling Archie in his baby carrier earlier this week
Meghan, 38, was criticized by social media users after pictures showed her awkwardly handling Archie while walking with her two dogs on Monday.
Some eagle-eyed Twitter users claimed the baby boy looked uncomfortable against his mother’s chest while harnessed in a sporty $180 Ergo 360 Omni Baby Carrier.
However, parenting experts spoke out to defend the Duchess and said Archie appeared to be perfectly safe and well.
They noted the right shoulder strap seemed to have momentarily slipped down in the photos — a moment familiar to busy parents everywhere.
Goal: Jenna, 38, vowed to stop mentally criticizing other mothers, insisting women should be lifting each other up instead
Memories: The Today star said the unwarranted backlash reminded her of the criticism she faced last month when she traveled to Vietnam with Michelle Obama
The unwarranted backlash reminded Jenna of the criticism she received last month when she traveled to Vietnam with Michelle Obama and left her children — Mila, six, Poppy, four, and Hal, five months — home with their father, Henry Hager.
‘Did people say things?’ asked Hoda, who also has two young daughters.
‘Oh yeah. I mean, I got people writing things on my social media, and I was going to respond and then I was too tired,’ Jenna said. ‘But here’s the thing, as mothers we’re constantly questioning ourselves.
‘I mean, every day you and I say to each other, like, “I failed again.” Leaving my little people broke my heart. Let’s lift each other up.
Hard to handle: Even though Jenna made it clear on social media that she missed her kids (pictured), she said she received messages online criticizing her for leaving her baby boy
Double standard: Jenna and her husband, Henry Hager, have three children: Mila, six, Poppy, four, and Hal, five months. She noted he doesn’t face the same type of parenting criticism
‘We don’t know what her circumstances are,’ she added of Meghan.
Hoda, 55, agreed that it is a ‘huge ouch’ to see those types of comments, and she shared that something similar had happened to her when she co-hosted the Rose Bowl with Al Roker on New Year’s Day.
The anchor and her fiancé, Joel Schiffman, had traveled to Pasadena, California, without their daughters Haley Joy, two, and Hope Catherine, nine months.
‘We were with the Rokers, and it was one comment, but I remember I read it and it struck me. It’s like, “Oh, great. Another day away from your kids. You must be loving it,”‘ she recalled. ‘I was like, actually I don’t love it.
Shamed: Hoda Kotb, 55, said the same thing happened to her when she and her fiancé, Joel Schiffman, traveled to California without their daughters so she could co-host the Rose Bowl
Harsh: Hoda, who was away for New Year’s Eve, said she received a comment about how she ‘must be loving’ having another day away from her kids, Haley, two, and Hope, nine months
‘And I think people don’t realize, whether you do it on social media or whisper to your friend or some people even say things, they’re bold … like, give everybody a little bit of a break.’
Jenna stressed that there is a double standard for mothers, explaining that fathers don’t face the same type of judgment.
‘Joel and Henry aren’t sitting around being shamed about their dad-ing. They’re just dads, and they’re free,’ she said. ‘I am going to challenge myself when I have thoughts like that to put them out of my head.
‘When I want to say something to somebody that’s none of my business — stop. Let’s lift women up,’ she continued. ‘Like, being a woman is awesome, and our generation has to stop this so my girls aren’t worried about it.
So sweet: On the same day she condemned mom-shaming, Jenna took to Instagram to share a series of heartwarming photos of herself cuddling baby Hal
Mommy and me: The sweet portraits were taken by Today photographer Nathan Congleton a.k.a ‘Photo Nate’
Look of love: ‘I’m in Love with my little man,’ she captioned the images. ‘Woke up today early just to watch him sleep…still can’t believe he is mine’
‘Can you imagine when your girls grow up if someone is wagging their finger at them saying, “Why are you doing it this way?”‘ Hoda said.
Jenna was proud to say that she is surrounded by supportive women, including Hoda, noting that when she was being shamed online, her co-host was sending her texts with pictures pf Poppy and Haley together.
‘That is more important than what anybody is going to write anywhere else,’ she said.
On the same day she condemned mom-shaming, Jenna took to Instagram to share a series of heartwarming portraits of herself cuddling baby Hal, which were taken by Today photographer Nathan Congleton a.k.a ‘Photo Nate.’
‘I’m in Love with my little man,’ she captioned the images. ‘Woke up today early just to watch him sleep…still can’t believe he is mine.’