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Borrow My Babies

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Everyone's talking about the new NBC show The Baby Borrowers. We went straight to the mom who offered up her kids to teach a couple of teens a lifelong lesson.

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Can you imagine leaving your children for three days with two teens barely old enough to vote? Well, that's what one mom did to make an impact on today's teen pregnancy epidemic. Momlogic talked to Natalie Nichols, the brave mom who handed her then 6-month-old and 2-year-old over to two teens for this summer's drama-filled reality show The Baby Borrowers.

Momlogic: When did you have your first baby?
Natalie Nichols: I had my first baby when I was just shy of 18 years old. My boyfriend and I made a pact to get pregnant at the time, and then we were married when I was 8 months pregnant. One of the hardest things about being a teen mom is dealing with relationship issues--you're just not mature enough to handle everything.

ML: What did you struggle with as a pregnant teen?
Natalie: Everyone looked at me so rudely, because it wasn't as accepted then. Now it's more celebrated in the press, and there are more pregnant teens.

ML: How many children do you have now?
Natalie:I have a 13-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 3-year -old, and a17-month-old.

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ML: Which children did The Baby Borrowers use for their social experiment?
Natalie:They used Etta, who was 6 months, and Benjamin who was 2 at the time. The best thing about this was that Etta and Benjamin are so different, but from the same house. Etta was really clingy at the time, and Benjamin was going through his terrible twos. You just never know what you're going to get!

ML: Why did you allow the show to use your children?
Natalie:Well, because I have already made the mistakes in my life and we are all living with the consequences--me, the kids, my ex-husband. I wanted to make a difference and give these teens a chance to learn from my mistakes.

ML: What do you say to the people who criticize your choice to let your kids be part of the show?
Natalie: I've been beaten up in the online blogs, and I could care less. A lot of people are repulsed that I would allow my children to be used in a social experiment on TV, and I'm OK with that. I did this for teenagers to learn from the experiment, and that's my social responsibility. I don't care what anyone else has to say about it. I think this is why we have a huge teen pregnancy epidemic, because no one talks about it.

ML: Were you surprised by the teens' reactions to your kids?
Natalie: We were all very surprised. You automatically think that the girls will immediately have motherly instincts, and the boys will be turned off by fatherhood and be lazy about it, but it wasn't that way at all. The girl checked out mentally, and the boyfriend had to step up to the single parent role. The boys stepped up and grew up overnight while the girl took the backseat to parenthood. My kids stayed with them for three nights, and the boy became a father and the girl stayed a teen girl.

ML: Would you offer up your children again for an experiment like this?
Natalie: Yes, I would do this all again in a heartbeat, because kids evolve, and teens can learn about parenthood no matter how old a child is.

Who steps up to the plate, and who takes the backseat to parenthood? Find out tonight at 9/8c on NBC's Baby Borrowers.


next: When a Game Turns Deadly
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
calimom 3 June 25, 2008, 12:41 PM

What? I seriously question their parental maturity. How much were they paid to offer up their children for an experiment? The fact that its an experiment means the outcome is uncertain. What kind of parent would jeopardize their children like that? I’m sure the producer/camera person was there, but the parent was not. They cannot get those days/nights back. So unnecessary. This is not the only, or even best, way to talk to teens about the consequesces of teenage parenthood.

Jon June 25, 2008, 1:45 PM

I see it a different way being a teen parent too. And what real jeopardy were the children in? Surrounded by cameras recording every possible event and the parents staying at a house right next door…they were in better care than A LOT of child care facilities. Plus teens don’t always listen to lessons, sometimes they have to be shown the concequences of their actions before they sink it and short of letting them get pregnant in the first place I can’t see a better solution.

April June 25, 2008, 2:32 PM

I think this IS the BEST way to teach teens the “joys” of parenthood. Perhaps if the teens in Glouchester, Mass had gotten the opportunity to do this, they wouldn’t have made their little pregnancy pact.

Mom2Divas June 25, 2008, 2:35 PM

I agree. The kids were taken care of and probably better than at a daycare. Every second of the childs movement was being watched and the parent was right next door. No, you cant get that time back, but its not like it was a month or anything. I’ve lost a lot of time time with my children due to their being in the hospital. I would rather it be this way. I was a teen parent at 16 and i think this is a great idea. People talked to me all the time, but i would have learned better by actually being in that situation. I do something like this in the summer for girls i know. I invite them to my home one at a time and i sit back and relax while they do the work, i am there, but they quickly realize this is not for them. Their parents do not pay me for this, but i have had many other moms calling me asking me to have their 14-18 year old stay over for a few days. Out of the 30 or so girls i have had with me only 1 became pregnant since. She is married and living happily with her husband and her child..only a few door down from me actually. I’m not going to knock this mom for trying to help, her kids were safe…I would allow my children to be involved in this and they are both special needs children. Teens need to learn what its really like, not just be told!

Youngmom June 25, 2008, 2:48 PM

I wish someone had done this to me! I became a mom at 19, to twin boys. People could tell me until they were blue in the face, but I didn’t get it until I actually did it. Now I am 25 and have 2 year old as well, I love my children more than anything, but if I could do it over…

Amber June 25, 2008, 3:51 PM

I had my twins at 18. I had no problems with it. I was always very active with little cousins and my niece and nephew so it’s not like I had never taken care of a baby all day and over night before. My twins were even easier than my singleton I had 2 1/2 years later.

calimom 3 June 25, 2008, 3:54 PM

What a sad commentary…pimping your kids is better than day care. And really..as a teen this type of situation would as deterred you? Or would your thoughts have been along the lines of “My kids will be different.” They did not learn what it will be like if they were a teen parent. They learned what it is like to pretend to be a parent to someone else’s child. There’s a difference and My children aren’t worth it. But hey, some people think Dinah (sp?) Lohan is a pretty good mom.
PS This is not a public service broadcast on PBS. It is a tv show produced for ratings. Entertainment value is #1. Don’t be fooled.

Impressed June 25, 2008, 4:47 PM

First off, if you have been folowing this for awhile, you know none of the participants were paid. Not the parents, teens, etc.

Second, after hearing her take, I admire the parents for this. No fame, no glory, no money, but Natalie still let out all of her dirty laundry to help others. From the other articles I have read, and from watching the interview on the “Today Show”, this mom has taken herself off the pedistal to help others. And apparently, she already made a difference in the teen mom’s life (I think her name is Kelsey).

Sure, ratings have a lot to do with this show, let’s not kid ourselves. However, that does not take away that fact that something very good can come out of this, AND it is aiming at a growing problem in the US. Although there is not a perfect solution for the rising teen pregnancy rate in America, I give kudos to NBC for taking this approach, ratings or not!

calimom 3 June 25, 2008, 9:05 PM

1. For some people notariety is the payday. She has been all over tv and the internet so one can’t help but follow the story.
2. Babies are not props, (Scientific news flash. There is a programmable baby that could have been used. But why bother when someone will give you a real one?) especially a nursing co-sleeping (she said she pumped and sent over milk so some will hail her a good mother for that) baby.
3. Yeah Kudos to NBC and Ms. N


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