Jenna Bush Hager Says Daughter's Heart Was 'Broken' After Discovering Mom's Alone Time with Sister
TODAY with Hoda & Jenna/YouTube Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager
Jenna Bush Hager had a tough parenting moment on Wednesday night.
Discussing an incident that occurred with daughters Poppy, 7, and Mila, 9, after bedtime, the Today host said her day felt "bookended" after the hosts had previously discussed the struggles of middle children.
The Today book club founder, 41, said that she was watching Enola Holmes in bed with Mila after the younger kids — which also include son Hal, 3 — were already in bed. When Poppy got up and discovered the secret get-together, she felt betrayed.
"Poppy ran in and said, 'Why would you do this? Why does she get to watch it?' And her heart was broken and I did not know what to do," the mom of three admitted.
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Trying to remedy the situation, she suggested Poppy join them to watch the show, but the invitation immediately triggered a reaction from Mila.
"No, Mom! It's PG-13, and in first grade, I wasn't allowed that!" Bush Hager recalled of her oldest's objection.
Mila was further upset when Bush Hager shut the TV off and sent the girls to their room, where she then laid down with Poppy, recalling times she'd felt left out herself growing up.
"I said, 'Poppy, I know that hurt your feelings.' And she just said, 'I wish I was older. Why did I have to be the baby sister? Why can't I ever get the love? Why can't I ever be seen?' basically," she recalled.
Co-host Hoda Kotb could sympathize in the tough situation, noting that daughter Haley, 6, has had a tough time with all the attention being on her sister Hope, 4, who was recently hospitalized.
"All the attention is on Hope and Haley wonders too, like, I'm here. Here I am. See me. I need someone to carry me. Do what you're doing for Hope, you know? I feel like there is a lot of that," she said.
While both moms agreed it's hard to give everyone what they need without feeling like they "fall short," Kotb said she hopes her daughter gets something from the experience.
"It's weird, but I feel like I got most of my resilience in life because of that," she shared. "You didn't expect to always be seen and heard."