Nicole Nafziger gets trolled left and right by 90 Day Fiance fans, unfortunately.
Sometimes she is judged for her engagement to Azan.
Other times, she's mom-shamed for everything under the sun.
Now, fans are accusing her of "leaving" her daughter, as if she had just abandoned her 6-year-old.
That's not what happened.
But in her replies, Nicole is being nicer than she needs to -- and also revealing what she would have done differently if she had known when the COVID-19 pandemic would hit.
It's not a perfect answer, but it's an honest one.
Nicole is a devoted mom
She is not single -- since she is engaged to Azan Tefou (whose real name is Hassan M'Raouni), but she is effectively a "single" parent to May since she and Azan have a long-distance relationship.
Nicole left in March for a two-week vacation, with May in the loving care of her grandmother, Robbalee. Then the pandemic hit and Morocco shut down. Amidst the chaos and fear brought on by this deadly virus, Nicole was not able to return until early August -- a full five months later. Now, she and May are together (and COVID-free!).
Now, haters are coming out of the woodwork
They can no longer whine about Nicole being away from May and they can no longer spin absurd conspiracy theories that Nicole isn't really in Morocco, either. So they've changed tactics.
One mom-shamer hopes she never "leaves" May again
"I never left her," Nicole clarifies, with a heart emoji -- a soft gesture but also an unspoken plea for strangers to be nice to her. A plea that fell on deaf ears with this troll.
And if she had KNOWN what would happen
While the wiser answer would have been "I'd have literally scheduled the vacation for February and kept it to two weeks," Nicole affirms that she wanted to be with her daughter no matter what. But, as she points out, there's no winning with trolls. They'd hate her for a two-week vacation, they'd hate her for a 5 month one, they'd hate her if she brought May on either. That's because this mom-shaming isn't really about Nicole's actions, it's about who the trolls are as people.
Is she delusional
No, Nicole says, and she points out that fans have had very few glimpses into her life and relationship with Azan. Just because they don't see him gush over her doesn't mean that he doesn't, right?
The same troll kept coming back
Finally, Nicole put her foot down -- for her, this is confrontational. This person had clearly set out to dislike her, and no amount of reasoning or explanations were going to change their mind.
Another, softer suggestion came along
Nicole shut down, very gently, the suggestion that she should find someone more convenient. Unlike the mom-shamers, we think that this comment came from a good place.
Bringing May for an unplanned 5-month stay in Morocco probably wouldn't have gone over well with mom-shamers. We don't mean that because "oh no, foreign country bad!" like some 90 Day Fiance fans tragically feel, but because it would be more secure for Nicole and May to be together at home in Florida. We're sure that Nicole was thinking of how much she'd have liked to spend lockdown with May, and how Morocco fared far better than the US -- the COVID-19 death capital of the world.
But yeah ...
It might have been more diplomatic and wiser if she had said that she'd have just scheduled the vacation for February and spent the planned two weeks with Azan and then been back weeks before the pandemic hit. But of course, it's not like she had magical knowledge of how bad the pandemic would be or when it would put Morocco on lockdown.
Other than that
Nicole is absolutely, 100% right. She left May with her mom. What grandmother DOESN'T want to spend time with her precious grandchild? Grandparents have been providing childcare since time immemorial, and Nicole knew that May was in good hands.
In fact ...
You know, some kids live with their grandparents for years, or even their entire childhoods, because their parent is unable or unwilling to care for their own kids. That's not what happened here -- Nicole went on vacation, as parents often do, and her mom stepped in as planned. It just went on longer than anyone expected.
Nicole left in early March. Early March was mostly normal. At the time, Italy was the hot topic when it came to COVID-19. Nicole had already touched down in Morocco before I, personally, began social distancing here in the US, and that was a full two weeks before state governments began announcing lockdown orders. Nicole had planned the trip well in advance. She didn't do anything wrong.
And she got to see Azan
Their long distance relationship had not seen a face-to-face meeting in way too long. It was overdue.
They had fun!
The lockdown wasn't announced until Nicole had been there for nearly a week, remember. They got to see the sights.
There was a lot of fun to have
Nicole had been looking to Moroccan tea and tajine the whole time, and she got to enjoy herself while restaurants were still open.
Don't get us wrong
Nicole is a public figure, and fans are certainly "allowed" to have questions about her life, her choices, and her relationship.
Some people would have dumped Azan ages ago
Lost in translation or not, his statements about Nicole's body on 90 Day Fiance were body-shaming.
Plenty of fans think that she should have dumped him then
Others think that he stays with her for "money." We can see why -- Nicole has admitted to sending him money without being paid back -- but at this point, that's just a conspiracy theory.
Others think that it's too much work
Even if they support Nicole's quest for love and believe that she and Azan are 100% in love, they see all of the obstacles that they have to overcome before they can be together and don't think that it's worth it.
She and Azan don't have an easy path ahead of them
I'll admit, I have the romantic soul of a Disney villain, so I don't understand -- but Nicole, it seems, has the heart of a Disney princess. She'll keep trying in the name of love.
So yeah, question away
But the right to ask questions and have opinions is not the same as it being acceptable to harass someone, public figure or not. Some of the Instagram comments that Nicole gets are totally out of control. She's a real champ for putting up with them.
And she's NOT a bad mom
It is normal and healthy for parents to go on short vacations. That doesn't mean that she's not putting May first. In fact, a couple of weeks with grandma and away from mom are good for May's development.
The pandemic was a wild card
Nicole did not cause it. No one did. (Literally, sorry to burst any conspiracy theory bubbles, but the virus is too complex to be engineered by humans)
Nicole is a devoted mother
And she says herself that she would have preferred to have May by her side throughout this crisis. And she and May will be together for the rest of it. How long the pandemic lasts may depend upon election results this November, as at present, the government is showing no signs of acting responsibly to slow the spread -- and even the opposite.