Nikki Hussey and Heather Miinch want to show the world what their lives are really like as parents, but that doesn’t mean they’re encouraging viewers to follow in their footsteps.
The two women are new reality TV stars of MTV’s “Teen Mom: Young Moms Club,” which chronicles the lives of a close-knit group in San Diego as they navigate parenthood.
Hussey, 24, is a mom to a daughter named Alaia who wants to make it as a model while her boyfriend Ryan wants her to stay at home. Meanwhile, Miinch, also 24, endured a major health obstacle before giving birth to her second child.
Hussey and Miinch told Fox News they’re aware some critics may claim the “Teen Mom” franchise merely glamourizes motherhood to impressionable viewers, but they say that’s far from the truth.
“Teen pregnancy, of course, there are ways to prevent it, but the reality is that it does happen,” explained Hussey. “And I think when you’re young, you feel really alone in those situations. So I think a lot of young moms can really attest and really find comfort in watching the show, knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that there are people you can look up to, and know that there is always a positive outlet when being so young.”
“I wasn’t particularly a teen mom,” Hussey continued. “I know Heather was. But I was young when I had my daughter. So it’s tough, but I think our show, in particular, we’re young moms that all just try to balance everything, and we’re also just leaning on each other, which I think is really important to have a support group when you’re young and going through motherhood.”
Miinch shared she wanted to shed light on her battle with hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of morning sickness that’s so severe, it can result in hospitalization. Forbes previously reported the condition made headlines in 2017 when it was revealed that Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton was suffering from the same health woe while pregnant with her third child Prince Louis.
“It can cause malnutrition and dehydration, which caused me to get PICC lines and feeding tubes,” said Miinch about her personal experience. “But with that came some unfortunate blood clots that caused some serious complications, especially for labor… I really wanted to bring awareness to that, because there is not a lot of awareness for that case of morning sickness, which is not fun at all.”
Miinch said that despite having cameras follow her around during a time of distress, she was grateful for the opportunity.
“They’re actually capturing our real lives,” she said. “Nothing is staged or scripted. They’re really following our real lives, and what we’re going through — motherhood, friendship, relationships with our boyfriends, husbands. I didn’t find that difficult at all.”
Hussey, on the other hand, had some hesitations.
“It’s definitely hard,” she admitted. “I mean, opening yourself up is really a vulnerable state to be in. So it is nerve-racking. But I think the number one key when cameras are around you is to just be yourself. If you’re going to do a show like this, you’ve got to be open and honest.”
But for Hussey, she wanted to encourage viewers that it is possible to pursue a high-profile career like modeling, all while being a hands-on parent despite the fact that her beau greatly disagrees.
“I definitely try to be able to balance both worlds, with my career and family,” said Hussey. “My daughter is my number one priority. I also really want to be a good example to her and show her what a working mother looks like in this day and age.”
Ultimately Hussey and Miinch just want audiences to give them a chance as they try to make it through the ups and downs of being young moms.
“I really wanted to try to connect at least with one person that could watch it,” said Hussey. “I also just really wanted to have a fun time with my girlfriends… why not film it?”
"Teen Mom: Young Moms Club" airs Monday at 10 p.m. on MTV.