“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.