Apr
18

Blogged About With Love

By

I write this mommy blog, and on this space I share my world. I started this blog, in part, to keep my family (who, at the time I started, lived on the opposite coast) updated on the goings on of my Muffin. I obviously know that what I write here is on the Internet, and in theory, anyone can find and read it. But knowing that theoretical possibility and facing the reality of it actually happening are two different things entirely. Trust me. I learned that the hard way. So now I am a bit more guarded when I write here, especially about certain topics.

Oh, I still get very personal on this space, and I’m still very honest in my writing. This blog wouldn’t mean anything to me and I wouldn’t write at all if I could not be personal and honest and genuine. But now I just think a little harder when I’m contemplating topics or when I’m hitting that “publish” button.

Ironically enough, one of the topics I’m not too guarded about when I write is my daughter. I know Charlie will grow up and read this. I wrote and continue to write posts thinking that she’ll be happy to read what I write here—to have a record of her childhood through her mother’s eyes.

I don’t remember where, but I read a blog comment once that said, “Blogging is the new scrapbooking.” It made me chuckle because it rang so true for me. I have all sorts of photos and scrapbooking supplies, and I keep meaning to put together actual scrapbooks so that I can have memories of my girl, but she is now three and I have yet to put together one dang page!

But I do have this blog. And as my memories fade, I’ve been thankful that I’ve written here. I can do more than look at pictures. I (and she!) can go back and read about her Halloween, or a trip home for Christmas, or her recent obsessions, or just random posts that bring me back to points in her childhood that otherwise might have been forgotten. (I’d still love to have the scrapbooks though—which I’ll get to someday, I swear!)

So yes, I’ve thought about my daughter reading my blog. And I’ve read other blog posts and conversations in which mommy bloggers have been accused of exploiting their kids by writing about them (often for income). I’ve wondered how much of Muffin’s life I’ll feel comfortable sharing as she gets older. Right now she is three and adorable and sometimes frustrating, and I am writing the stories of my motherhood. But I know that we will reach a point when her stories will no longer be mine to tell.

I can say I’ve thought of those things—but only on a cursory level. Until now.

A recent post written by Katie Granju got me to thinking about my mommy blogging in a different way (and I love when blog posts do that for me—get me thinking! It’s the best part of the blog world for me, really). It was a cautionary post about oversharing.  It wasn’t the idea of oversharing that got my attention (sadly, I’m all too familiar with that).  But she talked about this upcoming “blogged about generation” and what the oversharing could mean for them. For some reason—just phrasing it that way kind of blew my mind.

While I had thought about the children of various individual bloggers and wondered what they think and will think of their moms’ blogs, I never thought of them collectively. I never thought of them in the frame of a generation. Wow. I suddenly started picturing future eight graders and their schoolyard conversations:

“So what’s the name of your mom’s blog?”

“God, my mom is so lame. I can’t even believe she wrote three posts about my poop. Seriously. How embarrassing.”

“Your mom? I can’t even count the number of times my mom talked about her chin whiskers.”

“Dude, at least yours didn’t post pictures of you half naked with a pirate hat and eye patch.”

“Man, they must have had no life.”

I can chuckle as I write that imagined conversation. I can handle (I think) being the uncool mom. I know I have plenty of days ahead of me in which I am the cause of eye rolling and embarrassed sighs. But again, that’s about me. What about her? My daughter. The ‘blogged about.’ The more serious undertones started to sneak their way under my skin.

As I said, I wrote and continue to write on this space thinking Muffin will be happy to have this record. But what if she’s not? What if she’s embarrassed by having my motherhood—her childhood—on display for the world to read? And more importantly, why hadn’t I really given that too much thought before now? It’s social media, and I had never thought of the social ramifications for my daughter.

What if it’s worse than just embarrassment? Do the ‘blogged about’ kids risk being teased and tormented by the bullies and mean girls with ammunition gained from online pasts? What if there’s actual hatred or resentment?

Now I know those are worst-case scenarios and I don’t think I need to worry. I write about my daughter with love—always love—and I hope that comes through in my writing. I hope to raise my daughter so that she knows me and understands the respect I have for writing. I hope she will know that I pour my heart onto this Internet space with good intentions and reasons. I want her to know how much she is loved and thought about. Yes, there’s selfishness in this too, and I know that. It fulfills a need for me that has nothing to do with her. I can only do my best to make sure my selfishness is not harmful.

These social media waters can sometimes be tricky to navigate. I need to pay attention. You can be sure that I will be reading and watching other bloggers who will be forging the way and facing these struggles ahead of me.  I will count on their guidance. And as my Muffin grows, I will think harder about each post I write. Because I realize that I can overshare about my daughter too—even without knowing it. Even with love.

 

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Comments

  1. Helene says:

    Somehow, in my heart, I know that you will not be raising a daughter who grows up to think you are LAME… for any reason!
    xoxoxox

    [Reply]

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