A video about how Nicole Hennessy found out her 17-year-old daughter is going viral on TikTok for all the right reasons.
Nicole Hennessy is a TikTok mom. By that, we mean she's a mother of three and a viral internet sensation. When she uploaded a TikTok about supporting her 17-year-old daughter Angelina through a teen pregnancy (an experience she was all too familiar with herself), she was the target of some major backlash. However, she didn't let that get her down. Nicole has stood by her daughter all while sharing the journey with her followers on the video-sharing platform. In an interview, she revealed what it was like to be there for her daughter while navigating the journey of being, well, just a stand-up momma.
Nicole has uploaded several videos about what it was like to find out Angelina was pregnant at 17. Most, if not all of them, are incredibly positive. She is reassuring, supportive, and encouraging in all her videos, but particularly the one where she reveals what it was like to wait outside the bathroom as her daughter completed a pregnancy test (which eventually came out positive). In the viral TikTok, the mother offers the pregnant teen three different options. Reactions to the video were pretty mixed. While some folks condemned Nicole for not being a good parent, others congratulated her on supporting her daughter no matter what. Other teens found solace in the fact that they were learning how to think through their own teen pregnancies using her videos.
A TikTok mom is going viral for her reaction to her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancyhttps://t.co/XuW0qkBhL9— Yahoo India (@YahooIndia) July 26, 2020
Discussing what it was like to first find out about Angelina's pregnancy, Nicole shared, "The moment I saw the pregnancy test wrapper, I knew it was my daughter's. My immediate reaction was, 'Angelina needs me, so don’t react!' I said, 'Do you need a hug?' And I hugged her tight and told her I would help her figure this out." She, herself, had her daughter (the first of three kids) at the age of 17 so she wanted to make sure she was kind to her. "I was terrified and sad but, if I felt that way, imagine how Angelina was feeling!" The mother said. "It wasn’t about me or how I felt, my daughter needed me in that moment to be her person." Then, she sought out support for herself as well by talking to friends and crying a lot.
This Mom Explained How She Handled Her Teenage Daughter’s Pregnancy And TikTok Users Are Applauding Her https://t.co/gfNxole3bT— Goodful (@goodful) July 28, 2020
Many users online thought giving her daughter options regarding her pregnancy was really great parenting. Nicole stated of her choice to do so, "Angelina is the one who has to live with whatever decision she makes. Our life is like our own personal story, her next chapter should not be up to me. My job is to educate her and give her facts so she can think for herself. I told her I would support whatever she decides and I told her I’m sorry that the first real adult decision you will ever make is one of the hardest." The process wasn't easy (as you would expect) and proved to be quite tedious. "Her dad and I discussed the pros and cons of each option," Nicole explained. "I told her to make a list of what she wanted from life and how her choices will fit in to that. I found her professionals to discuss and work through her options with. I told her my personal opinion was not important because it’s her life, not mine. We also discussed that no matter what she decided, people will judge, so ignore it all and listen to herself." This was particularly important to Angelina; without her mom's support, she knew "that this story would be a little different" and that she would "feel a lot more afraid" than she is now.
The 17-year-old said, "When my mom gave me all of my choices, I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know what the right decision was for me. As I gave myself a while to think and talk with my mom, I felt that keeping the baby was the right choice for me, knowing how supportive my family is, especially my mom." Nicole also added that she had had the "sex talk" with her daughter before, but that for many reasons (such as the failure of Angelina's birth control), pregnancy was still possible. She recommended doubling on contraception methods in order to avoid pregnancy. Ultimately, however, it's on parents to make sure their kids feel comfortable enough to talk to them about anything. Nicole had one piece of advice for parents: "The bottom line is: Do not be afraid to talk to your kids. Do not make it uncomfortable—just be honest and discuss facts. Teens want to be able to openly have serious conversations with their parents, so stop putting up walls. Put in the work and control your emotions to build that trust."