Something to Think About

Jane, 7, was angry --VERY angry --with her parents today and posted the above sign on her bedroom door. It says (mostly), "I am staying in my room forever. You can pass me food, day after day after day. Including desserts." (Note how she spelled 'desserts' correctly --I love that kid so much.)

So, Mrs. G. from Derfwad Manor has a very thought provoking post up about how she is pretty horrified by bloggers who discuss their children's very private lives on their blogs. (Click here to read it.)

I got that kind of uncomfortable, might have been sent to the Principal's office feeling.

I've been going through and re-reading my blog because I'm trying to find a post without pictures to submit to Sue's book project. I, um, use a lot of pictures as illustrations of whatever my particular point is. (Well, you know, when I have one.) And I don't know if you've noticed, but I talk a LOT about my kids.

I don't THINK I'm violating their privacy but I just don't know. It's a fine line. Like, I think that note by Jane posted above is HILARIOUS but will there be a point at which she's embarrassed that I posted it? I'm so proud of my kids and I just adore their decided personalities and the fact that they are so creative and such WRITERS but am I stepping over the bounds? I would never want to use my blog (or any of my writing, for that matter) to hurt ANYONE, but especially not my children, whom I love more than anything or anyone in this world.

My husband hates being anywhere near the blog and I try to tread lightly there but, honestly, I don't think he'd be happy unless I left him out completely. It's not the content to which he objects so much as it is the fact that he appears here at all. But I don't know how to write about my life without involving him since he's about 90% of my adult interaction since we moved to New York. So, I do write about him and he does appear here and I've told him that it's part of the heavy, heavy price he pays for having linked his life to mine.

I asked Ana (10) if I've ever embarrassed her and if she'd prefer not to be written about. She said, "No, I like being written about." I said, "What do you like about it?" And she said, "I don't know. I just do."

Mrs. G. made me think, though, especially now that I've sort of developed a little following. I'm not sure what I'd write about if I didn't write about my kids and husband. I guess it'd be another knitting/weight loss blog--assuming there ever WAS any weight loss (not that I'm bitter.)

Maybe I need to get a life.


A lot of soul-searching happening in Derfwad-land today, I'm sure - you're not the only one. Perhaps we should have a buddy system where we alert each other if we feel the other has stepped over the line.

I think you're okay, though.
hokgardner said…
One thing my husband said about my blog that really struck a cord with me was that he liked what I wrote because years from now, the kids will be able to read it and learn more about what they were like when they were little. Your girls will be able to read your posts and laugh about the notes they left and the things they said - I'm talking years from now, after they're done being teenagers.

I don't think you've ever crossed a line with your writing, and I've been reading it for a long time.
Hannah said…
I don't think you over-share at all; in fact I think one reason I like reading your blog is that you present a very balanced view of your kids -- they're great, obviously, but not perfect cherubs. Violating their privacy would be, say, sharing details of an intimate conversation about their fears or dreams, or sharing specifics about friendships or crushes.
When I'm writing about my kids, I've started asking myself whether I'd be OK with them reading this one day. Since it sounds like Ana already reads yours, you have a built-in censor right there. :-)
Miri said…
I swear I could have just cut and paste your whole post (minus the super cute note from Jane -- love the spelling!). I wondered the same thing. Bless Mrs. G for bringing this up.

From my perspective, your blog shows very clearly how great your kids are. Nothing to use against them later. And your husband? Didn't even know you had one ;)

(My husband fiercely wants blogging to be strictly compartmentalized too.)
Annabanana said…
You know, I've kind of gotten to this place where I don't EXPECT my life to be private, really, or at least not much of it. And I live in a very open way, always have - always sharing tibdits of my life. In a blog, I'd use the same content that I would in a conversation at the park - sharing personal stuff with my friends, but if other moms or people who I don't know overhear, I'm cool with that, too. That's sort of my barometer, if that helps at all. I think it's the type of content you use, too, fwiw...and my husband doesn't understand at all - he thinks online social networking is crap. Of course, he gets to talk to grownups all day at work, so he wouldn't understand.
DK said…
I don't remember a time when I felt like you'd really crossed a line talking about the girls. And believe me, I'd let you know. I've had much the same thought lately regarding my friends whom I talk about regularly that don't read my blog, but, aside from poor disguised pseudonyms, I don't think I've really revealed much about them that isn't directly related to me...I don't know, sometimes it's a fine line, particularly when people assume you're being all free and open about everything (a well-crafted facade, if an inaccurate one. At least in my world).
Lisa McIlvride said…
Just what you needed -- another source of Mommy Guilt!!! Don't worry, they can attend group therapy with my girls!
Ann in NJ said…
I always write my blog with the awareness that not only the public but the subject person may perhaps read it someday. So I feel like that filters it sufficiently. And if my kids need therapy eventually? Probably not just because of my blog.
Ann in NJ said…
Oh, and my husband gives me a hard time when I DON'T update. He travels enough that it gives him a way to keep up with what's going on with the kids. And he doesn't seem to mind when he's the subject.

And perhaps it helps him to understand my perspective? Maybe?
Mrs. G. said…
Always take everything I say with a grain of salt-after all, I'm just a mom with an opinion just like all other moms with opinions.

I really was addressing mothers writing about hugely intimate, hurtful and potentially embarrassing subjects. Stories that most parents wouldn't tell in mixed company in front of their children.

I would have posted that adorable, fiery note in a second.
Unknown said…
her post made me think too. my rule is, I don't write anything I would not want him to read when he is 14, or anything I would not write in my journal to him. But that doesn't mean it might not still embarrass him. I just don't know.
I think I kinda agree with kohgardner on this one
I've rightly or wrongly felt quite free to rule from on high about other people's exercise habits and calorie ingestion and ecological soundness but I'm much less comfortable when it comes to kids. Kids are all so different, you have to let the parents who know them be the judges of what they can handle. Anyway, I like reading about your kids!
Candy said…
I think there's a difference between posting stuff about your kids and POSTING STUFF ABOUT YOUR KIDS. Mine think the blog is cool. I'll take a picture and they'll tell me "Oh, can we put that on the blog?!?! Or Jamie will get me to video him and "put it on the blog". Hell, I hope one day they will post their own posts on the blog. Yeah, sometimes they see I put something up (our blog is bookmarked on their computer) and they are like "mommmm!!!" but mostly, it's all in good fun.