I have been questioned by worried friends, relatives and strangers that I overshare online. I’ve grappled with this issue quite a bit. As my sweet friend said at BlissDom years ago, “I err on the side of forgiving myself when it comes to oversharing my life.”
For me, sharing who I am and my life is just part of my job and I am mindful to guard the privacy of my family. I share my work online, obviously. I share my life as a businesswoman, a woman just trying to figure out life, a mother of a small army and a wife to a man I adore and who exasperates me. The interesting part of all of this is, because I do share my photos and thoughts, it has enabled different parts of my life – the work part and the home part to see each other.
There is an interesting bonus to sharing so much of my life online for my relationship with my children. I notice my oldest son sees me in a more multidimensional way. Less of a rule enforcer and stressed out mom, and more of a whole person with different roles. He is 13 and follows me on Instagram. When I am out of town, especially when I am on longer trips, he knows exactly what I am doing because he keeps up with the pictures I post constantly.
Late Saturday night I came home from the airport, returning from Boulder, and he said, “I love that shot you took out of the airplane window” and “you looked really happy when you met that man*” or “that was a really cool light you took a picture of”. My son loves following little notes about my daily life.
*I realized that that sounds bad, but I really was thrilled to meet and interview Jim Collins.
As mothers of children who are a bit older, when we do share these different parts of ourselves they have a window into who we are that otherwise wouldn’t be there. I think my son has a better understanding of who his mother is outside of my ‘mother’ role. My mother role is the enforcer, I am very loving, but I am also very strict. The majority of the time I am laying down the law and telling my sons what they need to do, what they need to do better, and how to shape up. That is what the boys need from me. It’s a group of 5 boys, they need me to be tough and loving and to keep everyone in line.
Thanks to Instagram, the boys have a window to see their mother from a different lens. They need me to be ‘Mom’ but they love seeing more of who their mom is as an individual.
For those of you who share online (blogging, Facebook, twitter, etc..) have you found that it helps give others a more full picture of who you are?