16 Jan 2014

Guilt of a Blogger Mother

Should I let my passion for blogging become a nightmare for my child? Will it become a nightmare for him growing up? Questions that have been tormenting me for a while now.

Am I justified in sharing my child's most personal thoughts and actions, our private moments, our intimate memories with the whole wide world?

Guilt of a Blogger Mother

What will he make of my blog when he is a teen? When he is an adult? Will he take kindly to it? Will he understand why I did it? Or will he begrudge me this forever?

Can there be a greater guilt for a mother than this feeling that she is exposing her child to an unknown world?

Is this not akin to stopping a stranger in the street and revealing your most private thoughts to them? Would I do that with a stranger I had just met? Than how can I justify disclosing intimate details about our lives to people all over the world, a large majority of whom I don't even know exist?

Am I not guilty of writing these words, words that will resonate through the depths of the world wide web, there for everybody to read?

Am I the only parent blogger to be filled with these doubts? Or do most of us feel it, but we let those feelings pass unheeded?
Are there any parent bloggers out there who have lived through this, through  teenage years and beyond?

Isn't being a parent hard enough, guilt-ridden enough, without having to shoulder this added burden of being a blogger parent?

And where do we draw the line? When do we say this is too personal for me to put on my blog? Or do I just carry on pretending it is my little online journal, my own private space in the online world, to air my feelings as a mother, hoping that nothing there is ever misused by the vast multitudes of unknown, unseen, unfamiliars?

Should I just keep my parent blog strictly private? Or give it up altogether?

Am I infringing on my child's rights when I blog about us? Is this, or is this not akin to the controversy surrounding #oneborneveryminute?

Isn't this the same with other social media too? Are we, as parents, justified in using social media to share anything to do with our children? Privacy settings notwithstanding?
And in a day and age when internet safety is of paramount importance? Shouldn't we be worried about who is out there trying to glean details about our children?

Then how do we to function as parent bloggers?

Is this a real conundrum? Or just my paranoia? Or guilt?
Any answers? Please!



mumturnedmomPost Comment Love


45 comments:

  1. I'm very new to this blogging lark and it's a question that has been in the front of my mind. It's what had stopped me from writing before now. I'm not sure what the answer is, I hope that if we write truthfully, from the heart they'll get the full picture of why we do it. #ThePrompt

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  2. It's a tricky one, but I blog for sanity and also as away of documenting my children growing up, and I hope that they'll be grateful for it when they're looking back. I am selective about what I blog about.... I guess I'm taking the risk!

    #pocolo

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  3. Oh my goodness, these thoughts whirl around my head every single day! I wrote a post on it about a year or so ago, and changed my habits slightly (http://www.3childrenandit.com/2013/02/blogging-is-it-betrayal-of-our.html) I still do question it though and wonder how much longer I have left before my kids but a stop to it :(

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    1. Thanks Suzanne. Have had a look at your post. It is a real dilemma, as to where you draw the line. I too think some things need to stay private.

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  4. Very thought-provoking! I really don't think you are alone with these ideas and feelings of guilt though. Sometimes I worry I am misusing my kids as 'funny little anecdote' machines on Facebook (though my privacy settings are high)! And with my blog too, although it's not all about them. I made the decision not to use their names or photos of them on my blog so that they have at least some privacy, but there's no escaping the fact that their childhood is far more 'on show' than mine ever was.

    Mind you, my 6yo quite often asks me to take a photo of him with his brothers to put on FB! I did once have to remove a post though where I'd mentioned something he said and he didn't want people to know, even though it was just something cute he'd said!

    But the world they are growing up in is such a social-media obsessed one. Maybe it will be odd when they are teenagers if their parents didn't blog!? I guess it's up to each of us where we would draw the line. There are some things I wouldn't put 'out there' and would only trust to friends (real life 'in front of me' friends, that is) Hmmm. interesting. #PoCoLo

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  5. I've been through this and I have a few ground rules which I stick to. My children are not named and there are no recognisable photos of them. You won't find my full name on my blog, nor will you find me telling the world where I live - beyond which county I live in. My kids are 12, 10 and 7 and I've been blogging for 2 1/2 years. My aim is that none of their friends can read the blog and know it's my kids. My blog is warts and all - sometimes I'm bursting with pride at my kids, but sometimes I will be honest about things which I am finding challenging or worrying. It all comes from a place of love, but if the kids were to read that now, they wouldn't understand. When they are adults and particularly parents, they can read it and feel happy to know that I loved them so much and cared enough to worry. They will also have an incredible record of the minutiae of our lives.
    I don't usually leave my URL because I think it's spammy behaviour, but as it might help you I'm http://www.mumofthreeworld.com and @sarahMo3W on Twitter.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I have popped over and had a look at your blog. x

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  6. I TOTALLY understand this and often feel the same. The whole purpose of my blog was to document memories for my children - but should I be sharing them with the world?
    I think the world is a very different place for our children than it was for us .

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  7. I tend to be cautious about what I write about and I don't post pics of my children. I keep their names to myself and anything I think they may not want me to write about, well, I don't. Yes this is a thing that plagues us all but with a touch of common sense and a healthy amount of caution I think it's still possible to have a readable parent blog. Hope this helps - stopping by from #PoCoLo

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  8. I think most people will have felt like this at one time or another. There are certain things that I would not put on my blog because I would hate for my children to be embarrased as they get older. When they are old enough to fully understand it I will sit down with them and go through my blog and, if there is anything they don't want the world to see we can remove it! I hope you find a good compromise.

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  9. To be honest this is partly why I blog anonymously, and am not 100% sure how I feel about it yet. Then again my posts are (at points) much more personal than most you will read. I currently share more than a lot of other people are willing to, and often wonder if I still would if it wasn't anon? Probably not.

    You need to find what works for you and if that makes you happy then great. If you are riddled with guilt and insecurity over your blog, then it might be time to give it a rethink #PoCoLo

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  10. It's really tricky isn't it. I started blogging when my kids were already older and aware of what I was doing so for that reason I've never named them on the blog or mentioned anything that would embarrass them if their friends happened to read it. #pocolo

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  11. I have no answers, alas. As my children are only two and four and can't yet read (phew). They are all valid questions though, that I will be forced to ponder one day too. For now, I can say that I only share what I choose to share. And that is certainly not everything, by any means. I got asked the other day (by a non-blogger) whether it ever gets tiring living my life so publicly. I found this rather interesting - the assumption that this person thought they knew EVERYTHING about my life because I choose to blog about SOME aspects of it. I am very clear about my own boundaries and what, for me, is inappropriate to share. So far, I feel that my blog is a nice journal, something that one day my children might like to read. And hopefully laugh at. An opportunity to understand a little of what our early years were like, the bits they won't remember. But will I blog about them so readily when they are teenage and hormonal and deserved keepers of their own privacy? Probably not. I guess I'll have to find something else to blog about! Great, thought provoking post. Popping over from PoCoLo.

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  12. I decided that I am going to share less and less of the boys lives on my blog. As they are getting older they let me know what they want me to share and what not too

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  13. Thanks for sharing your views, everyone. Like most of us here, I too am very careful about what and how much I share on my blog. My little one is too little to understand any of it at the moment. The biggest worry is if any, however little. of what is up there can be misused by unsavoury characters.

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  14. Sorry typo in last comment - I keep my blog free from personal stuff, but then it's not a mummy blog, if you're doing a mummy blog it's fairly impossible not to include family in it.

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  15. I am very careful and respect one chip who asked me to largely leave him out of it. Luckily my blog is rarely about the children although it obviously mentions them in passing. I don;t name them but I do use photos of the ones who agree to it.

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  16. I think this is something all bloggers would have had to consider at some point. I thought about this really hard before starting mine, and that is what had held me back for a long time - if not I would have started a couple of years before, i was just really unsure whether to go for it or not. I use initial only not my kids names, but I do use pictures. In future if they are uncomfortable we will have to re-evaluate it. I weighed up both sides of it and for us at the moment it's working out okay, the children do benefit from a lot of experiences and review etc through blogging which I couldnt have given to them, and I never write anything tooo personal on there, and would never write anything negative about them. I do see people writing that they are struggling with their child, or child is playing up or whatever else.. and i think that may be horrible for them to read when they are older, and see its been shared with the world

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  17. Oh, this is such an interesting question! I view my blog as an online journal and although I post photos of my kids, I don't name them and I am conscious of what I choose to share. My blog is a largely happy place, if it gets very personal then it's generally about me - and I choose to share that! As my kids get older I will let them decide how much I share of them, but for the moment I'm okay with the balance I have chosen. Thank you so much for linking up such a thought provoking post with #ThePrompt xx

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  18. I can answer this as I have 18 year old twins, now going back a few years for my blogging I was already very careful about what I said or did, to a ceratin extent I felt it was a bit unfair to document all the occurrences. Like you I questioned it.

    My daughter still has no issue with it, she cringes at a few photos, but loves to look at old posts. My son hates it now, I mean posting about him or if I have a review, he said he is OK with older posts I do not have to remove, but he does not really want any more, this I hope is an age thing. If he asked I would edit all of it to respect his feelings.

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  19. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I am not a parent, but I too can relate to this guilt. Like, back in like 2004, I used to share details about arguments with my parents, and my parents were not amused at me having violated their privacy. Now I mostly experience it in relation to my husband. If I write about a personal situation in my life that involves him, I need to be extremely careful, and even then I have gotten in trouble for disclosing stuff about my life that could lead people to conclude stuff about his. My husband doesn't care as much about random strangers finding out as he cares about his family and friends finding out about details of his life (I post most of my blog posts to Facebook). It is truly a hard balancing act.

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  20. It's a real dilemma. My blog is less personal in many ways as it's ust about our travels but I still often struggle with having it all out there in the world. No one knows what the future holds in terms of information that's out there and that's what's difficult but as long as it's done with the best of intentions then I think it's fine, that's what I tell myself anyway :)

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  21. This is also on my mind A LOT. The important thing though to remember is that to NEVER post something you will regret later on, especially photos. When I have doubts about a post, I usually end up hitting the delete button. It also helps if you have a husband/partner who is supportive and sort of reminds you about not going over-board about certain things. It's always a good idea to leave important things about your life private :) #PoCoLo

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  22. It is conundrum how much to share when we blog about kids and how personal we become.

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  23. This is something I'm CONSTANTLY thinking about. I couldn't be as open as some bloggers whose posts I read and enjoy. I'm too worried about what my two children would make of me writing in a way that could be construed as negative by them when they're older. So I always try to be positive (unless I'm trying to be funny and make light of difficult situations). Forcing myself to write positively helps me see the plus side of difficult situations - so I actually find it quite therapeutic. I save my rants for my partner (much to his horror :-)

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  24. I had this conversation with myself several times when I started blogging. Initially my children weren't named but then I decided to dispense with that as I felt it came across as too impersonal. My hope is that as my children get older, I will be able to explain why I write my blog. I do go in to personal details but nothing that I feel will negatively impact my children when they are older. No advice other than to say, you aren't alone in thinking this. #theprompt

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  25. It's perfectly normal for you to have these doubts. We all do. Before I publish a post, I ask these very questions to myself - am I okay with my son seeing this some time in the future?

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  26. http://musingssahm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/just-me.html#.Utmc2Xk4nUY Why I blog... I try not to name names and am always conscious of audience, beyond that I think it's legit! If you wouldn't want your neighbours and friends reading it, don't post it?

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  27. As everyone else has said, this is a question that all parent bloggers must ask themselves at some time or another. Although I chose to use my son's name and photos on the blog (he's only 6 months) I haven't put our surname anywhere on the blog or social media so or said exactly where we live. I wrote a post about this exact thing a while ago if you'd like to read it... http://tobygoesbananas.co.uk/2013/10/23/a-baby-in-a-digital-age/

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  28. Ohhh I have no answers on this. I think it's just like all parenting things - only you can choose what is right for your family and you. Fo rme I am still debating, and I just started to take off my sons name off the blog as I got some nasty hate mail about how his name was 'fugli'. Figured better to scale back a little. Good luck deciding.

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  29. It is a very difficult question, one that I think every blogger faces and has to find an answer he or she can live with. For me, the truth is that I debated this question and decided that I want to put my kids names and faces and everything. I have my rules about what I write and I let my eldest read what I write about him. But because I use my blog to raise awareness to Ocular Albinism and to the needs of Gifted Kids, I feel it needs to be this way.

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  30. I know that people judge us as bloggers. I have had friends telling me that they don't add pictures of their children on Facebook because they don't want to expose them so what we do as bloggers can be called overexposure. But I say as long as your child's identity, location and personal details are kept away, no harm can be done from outside.

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  31. Ohhh, I'm going to be really unhelpful and simply say, each to their own. Sorry!

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  32. I stooped mentioning my kids by name a little while ago and I'm trying to have less and less of them in my blog. That said, they are cute and a lot of the time I can't resist it...

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  33. I think there is just so much personal information in the public domain now anyway that blogs are often covering the things that have already been, or will be, talked about on Twitter and Facebook - just all in one place. For now I'm happy talking about and sharing photos of my children online but I'll review it as they get older - I think a lot of the 'personal' things to do with my children will stop being posted as they get older anyway - after potty training there isn't much else 'that' personal to write about! :) #PoCoLo

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  34. It's a super tricky one! I've blogged about it a few times on my blog actually (here if you fancy a peek http://www.tigerlillyquinn.com/2013/10/pictures-privacy-and-social-media.html ) I once found an Instagram user had used one of my pictures of Wilf! that freaked me out but generally I think it is a good thing. If he ever asked not to be on the blog I would totally respect that xx

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  35. This is a tricky one! My thought is if I can talk to friends about something it's an ok subject to put it on my blog....I tried being cautious not naming my girls but I found it hard just to use their initials....As for having no photos I couldn't make my point sometimes without photos....For example when my youngest got all my make up and covered herself in it...lol At the moment my girls love my blog and love to read the posts about them....When they stop loving it I will stop featuring them as much #PoCoLo

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  36. A really thought-provoking post. I have to say that these thoughts cross my mind every day but also I think I am down with the fact that no ones life if private anymore. What I have is a great way to document the life of your children and I believe that as long as I don't surpass the realms of TMI then all is well. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

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  37. It does make you think sometimes.
    i think as mine get older then I'll share less and less and they can choose whether to be involves or not

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  38. My children's lives have been enhanced by blogging - they've had so many opportunities that they would have never had otherwise and they're so lucky. I wouldn't write something that will embarrass my children (much) when they're older and I don't name them on the blog but I'm proud of the opportunities that my blogging has given them x x

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  39. I find blogging cathartic and sometimes trying to laugh about the frustrating things my children do helps me to put it in perspective which I think is good for all of us in the long run. I just draw the line at blogging about anything that they've been really upset, embarrassed or hurt about. Some stuff should just stay private in my opinion. I don't know about teenagers' feelings, my boys are only 8, 5 and 3. Good luck whatever you decide x

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  40. I reckon this is something parent bloggers all question at some point. Time will tell but for me my decision is to not blog about my kids openly when they get to a school age. I may be different kind of blogger by then. I feel they do deserve a level of privacy.

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  41. It's definitely a hard one. When I started I wasn't aware of the blogging world being so huge. I was just recording us for us. Then obviously it's out there. I try not to put anything embarrassing, and as N grows I'll need to check what he wants up there or not. My plan is to move more towards what I'm about rather than him, but tbh it's not as interesting.

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    1. I made that decision a while ago. It's more about my parenting journey rather than a record of my son's life. And although I might never make it big, because there are no cute kiddie photos or videos on here any more, I feel a lot more comfortable in my skin.

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