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Meredith Vieira’s Decision to Step Back from ’60 Minutes’ to Raise Kids Wasn’t Treated Kindly by Fans

Women can’t make a decision for themselves and their families without inviting judgement. In light of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade today, reversing the legal protection of abortion in the United States, the decision to become a mother weighs even more heavily. So it’s particularly disheartening that even when women become mothers and want to step back from their careers to raise their children, they are attacked. Meredith Vieira shared her story on Thursday’s episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna, when she explained her decision to leave 60 Minutes to raise her three kids.

The 68-year-old journalist is mom to Benjamin, 33, Gabriel, 31, and Lily, 29, with husband Richard Cohen. But when she was pregnant with her second and taking care of a toddler, she decided to take a break to focus on her kids.

“When you started out in the business, you played by your own rules,” Hoda Kotb told Vieira. “You were one of the first women at 60 Minutes and they were grinding at that point, especially the women in that group. And you did what was right for you. You told [creator] Don Hewitt that this might not be working for me.”

“But my back was up against the wall, literally,” Vieira explained. “I was picking between my family and my job at that point, so it was an easy call the minute that it happened. And Don’s baby, to be honest, and fair to him, was 60 Minutes. So we both were taking care of our kids.”

After asking if Vieira was “terrified” to quit the show, she responded, “No, it was the next morning that I thought ‘Oh my god.’ I slept like a baby that night because I knew it was the right decision, but the next morning, I had a few second thoughts,” Vieira admitted.

“And then I went to a party a few days later, and a woman literally backed me up against a wall and she said, ‘You have set us back. You were a poster child for doing it all and now you do this. And it’s such a negative message,’” Vieira recalls.

She responds, saying she wants to be “true” to herself. “And I said, ‘Wait a minute, first of all, I don’t want to be a poster child for anybody. Secondly, if I wasn’t true to myself, doesn’t that send a worse message?’ But that really threw me, and it came from a woman. And I get where she was coming from, but it was sort of like, ‘Whoa.’ But I am living my life the way I want to.”

“And now I look back because my kids are grown, and I think ‘why?’ Vieira adds, while laughing.

The TV personality also opened up about her choices to leave The View and Today. “It wasn’t the right job for me at that time,” she said.

“I was lucky that I had a certain amount of money in the bank and I had a secure lifestyle and all that. It’s easier to make choices when you’re in that situation,” she adds.

No matter what a woman decides to do with her family, her career, and her life, can we please all agree that it should be her choice?

These celeb parents have gotten very real about their kids growing up.

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