I’m totally using the “it’s the holidays, i’ve been busy” excuse. Mostly because it’s true.

by statia on December 14, 2010

I was talking to the BFF the other day, and sometimes, she’ll say something, and I realize that we’re either related or we’re the same person, because I think “Jesus Christ, get out of my brain!”   I think this falls under the reason we’re such good friends.  Or because we cannot sugarcoat it when one of us says “you’re being an asshole.”  Whatever, it’s true love.

She said to me the other day, “I swear to god, I can be doing great on time, even running early, and yet, I look up at the clock what seems like minutes later, as I’m getting the kids out the door, and a half an hour has elapsed and then I’m running late.”   I thought this shit only happened to me, so I felt better that she couldn’t pull it together, either.  Because that happens to me all the time.   One minute I’m cocky, because I have plenty of time, so I relax and I turn around and I now have 10 minutes to get the kids buckled into their car seats, and to an appointment that’s probably at least a half an hour away.   I think there are clock gnomes living in my house.  I just hope they aren’t the kind that carry rabies and bite.  Because there is NO WAY, I’ll get out the door on time to make it to my appointment to get rabies shots.

So yeah, I posted what felt like yesterday, but in reality it was really November 22nd and I turned around five minutes later and here we are, ten days before Christmas.   But hey, I’m kicking Christmas ass.  I celebrate the small accomplishments.  Especially when I have the memory of a spastic monkey.

But there’s a good reason for that.  And I know that you all really care.

Since I’ve had kids, hell, since before our kids were born, we were both very gun shy about sharing their lives.  Would I love to show you pictures of my kids?  Hell yes.  My kids are cute, and I don’t know what mother doesn’t want to brag about their offspring.  Do I want to tell you about the funny things they do?  Hell yes.    Little people, trying to act like adults is hysterical.  But there’s one thing that stands in my way, and that is my motherly instinct.

And, it makes me feel sort of out of place on the internet.  A space where “mommy blogging” and sharing our kids and their lives, has become so free flowing, and hip.  And totally, seemingly OK.  And I’m going to be hated for this, I’m sure, but my opinion on this is adamant.  It’s wrong.  You’re wrong.

I’ve tried to share snippets of their lives, but I’m very limited in what I feel comfortable sharing.  So it’s limited to things like, making people aware about Autism, or the fact that my daughter has learned to blame her farts on everyone else.

My job is to make decisions for them.  To protect them.   Parading your child around online for everyone else’s amusement is not protecting them.  They are people too.  Small people that aren’t old enough to make the bigger decisions for themselves.  They’re still learning about consequences.   They deserve as much respect as you or me.   I get it.  They do cute things.  But put yourself in their shoes.   Put yourself in their shoes now.   Would they be OK with you sharing their photos online?  Would they be OK with you telling an embarrassing story?   Now put yourself in their shoes five, maybe ten years down the road.  When they’re in school, and their friends google them and read that embarrassing story, or look at that photo of them wearing your bra over their clothing, after having gotten into your makeup, how would you feel, knowing that they were getting major hell at school, or worse, bullied?   All over something that could have easily been prevented?   You say to yourself, now, “oh, they’d probably love to read about their lives, later on.”  Is that to assauge your mind about your decision?

Don’t mistake this for me thinking I’m holier than thou.  Believe me, I’ve been passed over for mother of the year award.   I’m far from perfect.   I won’t deny my judgement of parents who parade their kids around.

If my kids decide to share their lives online, when they’re old enough to do so,  I’ll still be protective, while making them understand the consequences of “what goes online, stays online.  Forever.”  This isn’t Vegas.

I guess until then, I have no idea what the hell to say, because my life revolves around them, as it should.

{ 12 comments }

Veronica December 15, 2010 at 2:51 am

I think it’s a tricky situation to judge, because what I don’t feel comfortable with, other parents do and it’s not up to me to decide what’s right for them, you know?

I do know that as my kids get older, I’m writing about them less, because of privacy. Some things get mentioned, but they’ve become supporting cast, not the stars.

I understand entirely where you’re coming from though, and think it’s one of those things that, as parents, as ‘mummybloggers’ we need to be thinking about, all the time and rethinking what we’re comfortable with.

Shelly December 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

You’re such an asshole.

Which is why I love you so.

jenG December 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

I read “mummybloggers” in Veronica’s comment as “mummybluggers.” I think I like that word.

Write when- or whatever. I’ll still be here. Seriously, I can’t even remember anymore when I started reading you…I think it was itssonotaboutyou.

And hey, it’s still not about me/us! ;)

Shannon December 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Feels like you may be painting with a big of a big brush there, though. There’s a middle ground on this one. People who blog about their kids aren’t wrong per se, it’s just not your way of doing things perhaps. Doesn’t make it wrong, just means it’s not your cup of tea. I restrict photos of the twins on Flickr but yes, they’re on the blog about once a month. I save it up, spare the embarrassing stuff, and treat it as what it is – writing about them in a way that I read and make sure they won’t feel I’ve taken up some of their privacy on (this wasn’t always the case with the stepkids and I realize that and pulled most of the posts that have anything to do with them).

Reading this post, though, it kind of smacks a bit. It’s saying those who do put photos and stories up are flat out wrong and hinting at potentially harmful to the children later on. Are there some sites that do that? Yeah, I think a few mummbloggers go too far, but that’s their life and I hate being judged and so try not to judge others. Their life, they live it. There is a middle ground of people who write and photo their kids as a way of remembering those moments (the category I like to think I’m in, even if I get it wrong sometimes.) It doesn’t make us wrong. It’s just different. The truth is that I don’t write the posts about the twins for anyone other than them and for myself, because I flat out know that I won’t be around for a long time and I really want something that the twins can reach out to someday and read about how their life was, a place that they can direct other people that they love to in time, in a life when I am no longer around.

Morbid but true.

Siera December 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I’ve read in some articles online that kids will have their online profile carved out for which could hurt them in their adult years.

I am in the anonymous pseudonym boat. I don’t even want to post my own pic for fear it will bite me in the ass later in life.

I am also selfish, and my blog is about me. If my son is on the mind, I may write about him. If not, then I don’t. I often feel like I am not a good “mommy blogger” because I don’t write about him every time I post

I did make a blog about him for his dad to read when he is deployed as it loads faster than email and FB but I am thinking of deleting it. The only pics I post are happy smiling pics which won’t come back to bite him in the ass but I am still thinking of deleting it.

Betsy December 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I have wrestled with this and wrestled with this, and in the end, I only tell part of the story. I totally respect your position on this, but I think everyone needs to come to it themselves.

I tell only stories I would tell most people, but I leave the personal ones out of it. I’ve also stopped sharing most photos as well. Some, yes, but again, I censor myself when it comes to my kid. I do realize that everything I write will stay up there for ever so it is in my best interests to not tell stories that I think he wouldn’t want repeated some day.

The problem of course is that most people don’t know that’s not the whole story, and make assumptions… but at the moment at least, I’m ok with that.

Betty M December 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I don’t really blog about the kids, I don’t really blog at all to be honest. I’m not comfortable with photos which are identifiable being on the blog either. Except for baby photos cos frankly most babies look pretty generic. Although seeing what things teenagers put out about themselves online without a second thought the things the majority of mommybloggers have online are the least of their problems. But horses for courses. You go as far as you feel comfortable.

Yo-yo Mama December 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Thank God Shannon had the balls to say what I was thinking in my head. I blog about my kids and sometimes they are embarrassing. I share stories about my son’s ADHD because I hope to find a circle of other parents who have gone or are currently experiencing raising a child with ADHD.

I talk about my daughter’s donor conception because I need help talking to HER about her donor conception.

It’s interesting you feel this way because I know there are lots of people out there who think that people who blog about trying to get pregnant and dead babies are oversharing. I mean, who wants to hear about that kind of shit, right??

That’s why our circle of blogging friends is always fluctating and morphing because of what we are willing to write about and what we’re willing to read.

If you’re not comfortable doing more than you are, no one should ever tell you that you need to share more. And no one should tell me that I should share less.

Orodemniades December 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Can I agree with everyone?

I’d love to post pictures of the Chieftain – hell, I’d love to refer to him under his actual name, but it’s too unusual and googleable and I don’t want him to be found. Cuz I’m paranoid like that. I don’t post under my own name, or about my work colleagues because I live in a small town…

…but I do talk about the Chieftain’s language difficulties, and how difficult it is to parent such a (smart) child who is already being slotted into Special Needs. There is no one else I can discuss it with except my bloggy pals.

Lynne December 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

Hmmm – I had to give this a thought as my blog is exclusively about G. Although maybe it’s more about parenting an autistic child. I try to keep it as anonymous as possible but…

However, I believe at this point the benefits outweigh the risks. Parenting a child with a disability is incredibly isolating. The parent support group in my town consists of 4 people who are not like-minded. To find ‘my people’ I’ve had to reach out online. Without being able to read, write and comment I would have lost my mind. Seriously, I’d be an absolutely terrible mom instead of the pretty damn good mom I am now. So saying, ‘you’re wrong,’ that’s too harsh. Wrong for you has been an absolute survival technique for me.

Still, I think you make good points about creating our kids online identity without their participation and creating potential bulling situations down the road. Particularly since my son is at high risk for being bullied sometime in his school lifetime. Points I’ll definitely keep in mind as I continue to share his/our struggles and successes.

Old School/New School Mom December 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I hear what you’re saying. I think you’re absolutely right! It’s our jobs as parents to protect our kids! I guess my blog is selfish. I want to share about my failures and successes as a mom. I mean yeah, Ari is cute and irritating sometimes, and also funny, but I think my blog is more about me then him. He’s a character in it. But I think you’re right about using discretion as to what you reveal/stories you tell about your kids.

Fawn December 30, 2010 at 8:45 am

I don’t blog but I think this falls under..nobody knows better than YOU,what is best for YOUR child. I may not agree 100% with your view point on this but I think the important part is that all of us as parents owe it to our children to THINK. Think about how our actions will affect our children and make choices,accordingly. Every parent makes mistakes but the ones who are thinking of their children and trying to see things from their point of view now,in 10 yrs and in 20 are doing a pretty good job. It gets sticky sometimes because as parents,especially the mommy-type parents, we tend to put how WE would feel on our kids. We may have a lot of baggage which shapes our feelings in situations..baggage our kids dont and wont have because we are better parents than our parents were.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: