“What in the world? Mom!”
Uh-oh. I knew what she was talking about.
“Who left all of this stuff in my room?”
I constantly hound my kids to clean up after themselves and I forget to cover my tracks when I make a mess in their rooms. I had done a photo shoot for my blog and left Barbies all over my daughter’s floor. I do it all the time. I set up a scene, take some shots, and then download them to see if I got what I wanted. I don’t clean up until I know I’m done. Most of the time, I forget. I’ve left Lego Star Wars scenes out, dolls, robots. The kids must think I secretly play with their toys when they’re at school.
The kids know I have a blog and that I write about them. I don’t think they really know what that means, that anyone in the world can read it. I’ve explained it to my son without going into much detail. Though I think he and a friend once found the post I wrote on our laptop about the boys’ bathroom, and that must have been quite confusing. “Dude, why is your mom writing about the bathroom at school? Was she there?” “I don’t know, man. Totally weird.” I told him I write about being a mom and that sometimes I write about specific things, like how we read stories together at night or how he went on an overnight trip and it made me sad. He seems OK with that.
Anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows I don’t post pictures of my kids or share their names. It’s a challenge to write a mom blog and not do those things, but I knew from the start that I just couldn’t. My blog is actually about me, being a mom. It’s not about my kids or my husband. It’s about how I react to and handle what goes on in my family. I figure my audience can picture a couple of cute kids. So I take pictures of toys and props to go with my posts, and sometimes I get caught.
I’d love to show off my kids. They’re great. But the Internet can be a dangerous place for them. Every time I check my stats, I’m sickened by the searches that brought people to my site overnight: people looking for things that shouldn’t be done with six-year-olds, people looking for things that I don’t want even pictures of my kids to be associated with.
There’s a fine line to blogging, what I can and can’t write about. I try to keep my kids’ feelings in mind as I write about them. I try to choose moments that are relatable to others, things all kids do. Sometimes things happen in my family that are just too personal. I wouldn’t want my child to read it later and be crushed or embarrassed or to feel betrayed. I wouldn’t want a parent she knows to know her secrets. And I know I’ll still have a lot to be accountable for—for what I have shared, why I have more posts of one child than the other—when the kids are old enough to read my blog. But I hope my kids know that I’m trying to share this time through my eyes. Maybe they’ll realize that I do try every day with them, that every decision is hard. They’ll understand why I yelled or melted down or made them go to bed at 8 every night. Maybe they’ll see one day that this parenting thing is much harder than it looks. Hopefully they’ll see in every post that I love them.
47 responses to “My Kids Caught Me Blogging”
How funny! I’ve never heard of anyone doing this kind of photography before, but I bet your kids will have fun telling stories on you when they’re older.
Well, I need some kind of pictures to go with my posts. 😉
Nice post! You’re right to keep your kids off the internet (judging by the search engine searches anyway). It’s really shocking that people do that. Alas, it is our reality.
Thank you. The searches alone are really sad, sickening. I’m sure I’ll have challenges when my kids want to get on Facebook and Twitter and start posting their own pictures. Technology is a scary thing.
Those little soldiers in the first pic, there is no hurt on earth worse than stepping on one of those with your bare foot in the middle of the night!
-Father of four, Grandpa to 14!—I should know!
Somehow my kids seem to avoid them when they dodge them to come into our room in the middle of the night. They must know where they left them.
Your kids will know how much you love them in this and other ways. This does, however give both sides plenty of blackmail material for years to come.
And the internet is a creepy place at times. That’s why I don’t do photos or last names
Yes, one day there will be a “Kids in the Muddle” blog about surviving a mother who blogged. Such is life.
I love that you use photos of toys. It’s a hard thing with photos, you are right… It’s a fine line. I do use a nickname for them, and have posted photos but I try to be thoughtful…
Using toys and props definitely makes me have to get creative. I’m not a photo stylist by any means.
The search engine terms are both helpful and horrifying. And sadly, social media provides opportunities for people with dishonorable intentions. I took a picture for my blog of a doll that belonged to my best friend’s little girl. Four year olds want to be in photos. This began a conversation between her and her mom about why I wasn’t going to take her picture for my post. I thought it was heartbreaking that this conversation is a part of today’s reality for children.
My kids have asked before whether their pictures are on my blog. I don’t think they’d like that. I don’t think they like that I occasionally put them on my personal Facebook page. I understand it.
The search terms bother me a great deal but are a good reminder of what’s out there, that the world is not always like the world we think we live in.
I feel exactly like you do. I don’t want my kids to be embarrassed if people they know read my blog. As a result, my daughter is one of my most faithful readers.
I have about another year left before Squish passes out of the age of implied consent. I may have to have another kid just to keep blogging.
I’m surprised my son doesn’t read it. He does know the URL. Maybe he’s afraid of what he’d find. Mostly, I think he’d be bored. He hears me talking to other moms and doesn’t understand why we talk about what we do.
There are so many things I’d love to blog about but can’t because of who reads it. Maybe I should have done an anonymous blog. 😉
this is an interesting post! I really loved it! I understand and agree with you 100%! before I posted my son’s pictures; I gave it a lot of thought but I decided to post his pictures in the end because I wanted for him, hubby and I to read these one day and look back on how we were, I also have one close cousin who lives in the states and this is how she can see what we are up to! 🙂 I think this is a personal and good decision you made.
I’ve read a post about a similar situation back in December from a blogger who decided to not post pictures of her son after the age of 2 because of all the issues we are having with “online” ! (I also thought it was a funny post, you taking pictures and then your kids catching you with barbies!) 😉
Yes, it works for some and not for others. I like the way you make it into a scrapbook for family. I think before I started blogging, I didn’t know what to expect either. I figure one day, my kids will probably tell me not to post about them at all, and that’s their right.
They seem amused that I use their toys. I can only imagine what my kids tell their friends about me leaving messes in their rooms.
I’ve had these conversations with my husband before, I was going to post about Nate’s difficulty going to sleep at night because I am exhausted but I stopped myself thinking this might be too embarrassing for him when he will be older; so I just add cute pictures of him! 🙂 You know, when I was reading your post about you getting caught, I was laughing out loud and my son and 2 dogs were staring at me! They might say “mom is so cute, she likes playing with our toys” ha!ha! 😉
It’s hard. I’m sure I’ve crossed the line at times and some decisions were hard to make. I always check with my husband to see what he thinks, and we decide yes or no for various reasons. My kids will surely let me know when they get older. 😉
So funny – if anything, they’ll be embarrassed that you play with their toys.
I once posted a photo of my children and haven’t since; it instinctively made me uncomfortable, though I hadn’t thought through all of the disgusting and truly terrifying ways it should have.
I’ve posted parts of them, but not their faces. So sometimes they’ve had to pose for me. My son playing his recorder or one of my kids reading a book. They are the worst at posing and then they keep asking whether they’re going to be in it, did I get their face?
I think it is about comfort. You just know what’s right for you and your family. I felt kind of weird when I posted a photo of myself even though my gravatar is me!
Love the Lego photo!
I post pics of my kids here and there, but try to never use their real names or my last name in posts. Facebook is something I’m already dealing with as my son wants to have an account and I told him he could use my husband’s instead so his name won’t be ‘out there’. Unfortunately he’ll eventually have that option and I can’t protect him from it forever.
Yeah, my son already wants a blog. 😉 Payback I’m sure.
I think once you become a mother you have no choice but to be considerate and protect your kids. I never use my daughters name and if I use pictures they are thoughtful ones. So i commend you on using a alterative format, your scenes they are brilliant! I particularly like the Lego scene. I do that with my daughters horses sometimes. It must be nice to have imagination like our kids do…
omg – your kids must think their toys are like toys story, alive when they’re not looking!! being respectful to our families isn’t always easy in blogging. i’m hoping some day that they see my essays us and appreciate what was going on at the time and how much i love them.
Right, I think when they are old enough, they will enjoy all the little moments captured, mom’s view of things. I tried keeping a journal but this is something that forces me to stay on track. The content is a lot different.
I look forward to each of your blogs. I remember you at about 10 saying that you were going to grow up to be a writer. Your children will so enjoy being able to read about their childhoods through your work. What a great gift to give them.
Thank you. 🙂 What will be fun is for the kids to read them when they are older and give me their perspectives of these events. I’m sure they’ll say I’m wrong.
Very true… I know I have my kids photos… But it’s for a different reason… Thanks for the thoughts… In order to educate about my son and our life with him I actually have to put us in it… Or it really doesn’t make sense… Thanks for sharing…
Sure. It’s hard to write a post about my choices without making others feel like I’m condemning theirs. I’m not. It’s just not for me. I’ve been blogging for almost two years and the opportunity presented itself to explain why I blog the way I do. I’ve never talked about it specifically before.
I’ve read your son’s story and you do an amazing job educating others!
I love your photos. (still trying to figure out the Barbie one..LOL) I post pictures of my girls but I don’t use their names. Like you I also keep an eye on the search terms and knock on wood I am so thankful there is nothing that I would deem inappropriate. I speak of myself, my husband and my children. I wish I had your talent to tell “my” story without too much personal inform. I respect your blog and how eloquently you are able to word things. I agree that everyone has to do what they feel is best for them. I speak of many personal things on my blog that involve each member of our family. I have to say that before I hit publish I have my girls read what I wrote and approve it. It sounds silly but every morning during our meeting before school I speak to them about what I would like to write my blog post on. They understand that people we don’t know can read what I have written, and with it being on the internet there are people from everywhere who can see it. With that said, at any moment my girls are uncomfortable or want me to delete it I will. The tricky part for me comes in that I am not sure it can Really” be deleted. I have tried to go about it the most respectful way I know how and still get my words out there. I think some times the line between my life and theirs blurs because of how much time we spend together. Your post gives me lots to think about as they are very valid points. They have crossed my mind the same way I have questioned whether my facebook page is really something I want to have in my “life”. Thanks for showing me another, better/ different view. It has raised the thought that even with their permission if perhaps I need to make some changes
There have been topics I’ve wanted to discuss before but that have been too personal to do so right away, so I wait and let it sit. After a while I come back to it. Eventually, it may make its way into a post in a generic way, or I may mention it once a solution has been reached. Sometimes it’s hard to announce what my kids are going through knowing their friends’ parents or their grandparents read the blog and they may not know the situation. If there are things I don’t tell the grandparents, I’m certainly not going to tell the world. 😉
I think asking your kids is great. My youngest isn’t quite old enough for that yet. My son would just roll his eyes. Every morning meeting would be another post.
Such a funny way of getting sprung!
Your tenderness, love and concern offset by humor is endearing! You have found a way to mention many of the challenges of being a parent with a unique honesty. Your children are blessed to have you as a mom. One day they will understand — until then, they will just love you because you are their mom! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, you are kind. 🙂
Every time I read your posts, I am in awe of your beautiful, relatable writing. Your children will definitely enjoy reading them some day.
You are so kind. Lately I have felt that my writing is missing something so that is nice to hear. 😉
I’m not always good at saying what I feel but I can usually write it. If the words never come out of my mouth, at least the kids have some proof somewhere, right?
That is exactly how I feel!
I’m right with you. My son, once called Monkey on the blog, is now 13. He doesn’t like me to write about him. And so I don’t. Or, if I do, it’s because something happened to me and he provided commentary or something. I don’t share his stories. Those are his. I have always had a bit of a problem with all those bloggers who tell the world: “My daughter got her period today” and the like. So nice to meet you. Thanks for visiting me at my place today. Clearly, we both LURVE Darla. 😉
I certainly write about them but I try to find a way to make it from my point of view rather than theirs. It’s getting tougher now that they are getting older, problems are getting deeper. I try to relate things to my childhood and what I went through. And also how I so often muck up this motherhood thing.
Yes, Darla is one cool gal.
This is a great post. I agree with your view on the restrictions you make to protect your kids. I too have never mentioned my girls names, or put up pics of them. In fact I don’t even put up pics of my children on facebook. I figure if my friends want to see how gorgeous my girls are they will come visit. 😉 I also let my girls read blog post that are about them. They always like that I write about them, or confess my failings to the world and my apologies. I hope they will see the same things as you hope for when they grow up and read back how hard it was somedays and yes , how very much they are loved!! Blessings to you!
I think it’s good for kids to see our failings and that we confess them. Confessing them is the most important part, and that we move on and are still happy. I don’t dwell on these little failings every day. I feel bummed about it and strive to do better next time, which is one thing I hope they learn from me.
Several people now have said they let their kids read their posts about them. What age did you start that?
I only started blogging a year ago so they were 8 and 15. I have a very open relationship with my girls. I want them to understand the mood disorder I suffer from and how they can help or dismiss my mood as not a byproduct of them or their behaviour. I agree that acknowledging the failings but still striving to better yourself is an excellent role model for them. 🙂
Yeah, I think my youngest is still too young to read it and grasp everything. She’d worry. My oldest would likely say he doesn’t care to read every post, but he may when he is older. I may just have to run things by them. Not sure what I’ll do yet. But it sounds like your system works well for your family. I’ve always thought writing was a great way to work through feelings and probably a great way for others to understand them.
LOVED this post. My kids are just babies still but I sometimes worry about them seeing my blog posts later and wondering what kind of mom I must have been. For now, I hope they just appreciate that I like playing with their toys as much as they do.
Cool pics btw lol.. my kids are now used to me snapping pics and ask me daily “mom what’s the challenge/post today?” I’m new to ‘consistent’ blogging and trying to keep up with no computer, its hard!
You make me happy I have search engines blocked. I may never remove them, even though my stats are, well, manageable double digits. My kids love my (our) blog. It’s their nature outlet!
It actually helps me keeps things in perspective. I don’t dwell on it but it’s a good reminder.