The topic crossed my radar screen when Kat blogged about the pros and cons of being a semi-generous sharer regarding how much of her life (and her family’s images/identifying information) she shares with her followers.
The topic crosses my mind every time I am on Jess’s A Diary of a Mom page and happen across the link to the explanation of her choice to use pseudonyms for her children, in order to give them as much online anonymity as possible.
The topic crosses my mind when I am casually conversing with friends about social media; some don’t like putting pictures of their children on their blogs but don’t mind putting them on Facebook. Some people bestow pseudonyms on their children in a practice that is apparently more prevalent than I realized. The choices are numerable, and the bloggers I know cover a wide spectrum.
Liesl’s position, which I am hopefully summarizing accurately, is this: She writes. She parents. (She has a supportive spouse and a solid marriage). She infuses her experiences with her son (with his real name) throughout her blog, because to do otherwise would result in a) her losing a vital outlet that helps her figure it all out, and b) those of us who read her work losing a link in the “we’re all in this together” (apologies, High School Musical) climate that helps us stay sane.
Here’s what I said in response:
Hi Liesl, I am glad you wrote this. I had seen a bit of the “mom blogging controversy” over the last few days. When I read blogs by some moms who have thousands of followers, I do think (occasionally) about the exposure their children are getting, especially in pictures. Maybe someday I’ll be blogging for thousands -right now it’d be a banner day to blog for a hundred.
My absolute primary reason to blog is to keep my “writing muscle” fresh, and to leave my children out of THAT equation would be the most unnatural thing in the world. Therefore, when Sunday (my usual blogging day) rolls around and I search my brain for a topic, if one of my children is part of that topic, so be it. I have found that I am less inclined to write about my teenager, not because she is the less interesting of my two children, but because either she’s not involved in the “blog worthy” events about which I write or because I just don’t glean as much material from her since she’s often out of the house or behind earbuds.
My husband doesn’t read my blog. I sometimes wish he would because utter strangers know more about me (like why I stood in the middle of a major highway sweeping up glass from an auto accident) than he does, but it also gives me (and those followers) a tiny world in which I am quite independent. I can live with that for now, and it’s not like I could force him to read it, AND it’s his loss after all.
I often wonder what my children are going to take to the therapist’s couch with them as adults – I imagine in overcompensating for the things that sent me there, I am creating a bunch of new issues for them. I suppose with my blog, maybe they’ll have written backup instead of relying on their memory banks!
I want to make sure to reiterate that I respect every parent blogger’s choice about how they handle their chlid’s identity on their blogs.
I suppose if my kids don’t want to be in my blog they can behave like angels 100% of the time, make perfect grades, never get into conflict with their peers, and always make consumer choices that defer to the abject poverty in many parts of the world compared to the relative luxury we have.
Hmmm……sounds like they’re going to be here on momforlife for a long, long time!
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Susan Fields says
I love that picture of the kids! I've grappled with this same question. I don't show pictures or talk about my kids often since my blog is more about writing, but I have in the past and I would again if it fit my topic. I guess my blog isn't that well-read that I've had to worry about it yet.:)
Nothing is worse than the way this guy plasters his kids all over YouTube. These kids will live in a therapist's office.
Popular family on youtube though. Must bring in some revenue from ads I'm sure.
Paula – I'm so honoured you chose expand on your comments from my blog for this piece. I loved it – especially the last part. I did the same thing – trying to respond to your response, I ended up writing a whole piece at http://www.mamaslog.com – thanks for FBing it!