When Bella was tiny and I started a blog, I shared every last detail of her life. From her insane reflux that landed us in Children’s Hospital time and again, to washing her cloth diapers, and everything she ate and did.
Like most new moms, I was sure everyone loved reading it all.
As my daughter grows into her own little person, more and more independent of me, I find myself walking a thin line between honesty and over-sharing her life. I want to connect with other parents who struggle with the same problems I find myself facing with Bella. Yet I wonder how much of that I can post publicly, or even speak to my friends about, without betraying her feelings as she gets older?
I grew up without my mom using Facebook or having a public life outside of our friends, family, and church. There wasn’t instant access to hundreds of eyes and opinions each time one of us four did something. We did have a lot of feedback from the church, and I distinctly remember being very displeased with that as I rebelled.
In this age of social media, how much is too much? When you live a fairly public online life, where does honesty end and disregard for your child begin?
I’m working on that. I know I share more about our lives in general than many people do about theirs, but I also know that I share less in many ways because of how many people read it. I don’t know, nor do many others, what the ramifications will be (and beautiful words) of sharing our kid’s lives publicly, before they even knew about it. Now may be the time for us to start asking some questions before we lay it out there:
– Is this something that we’d be comfortable with our parents blogging about us right now?
– Can we explain this to our children as they grow older in a way that they see it was done out of love for their lives and not selfish acts?
– Is there a need for this to be talked about online — and what happens if your child becomes the symbol for that need?
– Is this something we’d share with our family and friends? Often we spill more online than we do with someone who knows our child — and that shouldn’t be.
This is a fairly new work in progress for me, and I’m sure as Bella grows and I write, there will be things we have to sit down, talk about, and probably apologize for. The important thing for me is that I start to become aware of them now.
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post, with smaller glimpses into her day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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