Being a Mommy Blogger

102 Comments

By now, you’ve probably seen the post, “My Son is Gay” by a mommy blogger writing at Nerdy Apple Bottom. It’s a terrific post. In it, the author stands up for her five year old son’s right to dress as he pleases, specifically as Daphne from Scooby Doo this past Halloween. The post has been met with tremendous support and that’s awesome. I feel the exact same way Sarah, the author, does– should my sons want to dress as female characters on Halloween? More power to them. Screw the other mothers who might judge them. Should my sons choose to love a man instead of a woman? Fine by me. They are my children and I’ll love and support them no matter what. Period. Just like her.

The post did raise some questions, for me, though. How will that son feel about the post when he’s an adolescent or a teenager? Could his “friends” find and use the picture as ammunition? It’s there, forever, for anyone and everyone to see and unfortunately, bullies do exist. Will he feel embarrassed and ashamed of it? Or will he feel proud of his mom and empowered by her actions?

How will my Lily feel about the posts I write on her raging mood swings? On her relationship with food? Will Ben be upset by the video I posted of him whining for grilled cheese yet again for dinner? Will Evan appreciate the pictures I posted when his hair was so long it bordered on abusive? Have I ever crossed the line?

It’s a strange road that we mommy bloggers navigate. Are these stories of our children ours to tell? We put them in the public eye, through no choice of their own and it’s something I’m starting to struggle with more and more. Our children are the guinea pigs; the first generation of children belonging to bloggers and all we can do is wait and see how they all turn out. I find myself holding back on stories more and more that might someday embarrass Lily and imagine that as the boys get older, their tales might become less personal as well. What on earth will I write about in 5 years?!

It is my hope that my children are able to see my blog as the love letter it is to them. They are the reason I started it, after all, and my love for them is my main focus day after day. I love that they will be able to get to know me as a person, not just their mother. I love that we have a written record of their early days, not just an album filled with photos. I love it. I imagine the author of the other post feels the same way. We are all just trying to do the best we can for our children. All we can do is hope that they recognize that.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Devan @ Accustomed Chaos says

    This is something i am very mindful about whether i am blogging, twittering or sharing pictures. I don’t want anything I write or post to upset my kids now or later in life – they are young now (4, 3 & 2) but before i set my blog public I put some ground rules in place.

    I can still share our life and our stories with these ‘rules’ and i dont think it hinders my readers too much. I don’t share their names, i blur their photos (unless they are tiny new) and i don’t share anything that i feel might be too personal. This is my decision.

    I think every “mommy blogger” who wishes to be on a public platform needs to make these decisions on their own … and if their child confronts them about it when they are older – they need to be able to address why they choose what they did.

    * i LOVED that post from Nerdy Apple Bottoms too!! *

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  2. 2

    Andrea says

    These are really great questions to think about. I have found myself becoming less and less private as time as gone on and I think as my daughter (and any more that come along) get older I, like you, may start holding back again. It’s a slippery slope because we want to tell stories that others can relate to. I definitely don’t have the answers.

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  3. 3

    Truthful Mommy says

    I agree. I am more concerned about some of the stuff I write about my husband…but he knows what i write and its all true! But my girls are fully aware that they make daily appearances on my blog.I think in their teens they may be embarrassed that we wrote about them but when they become adults they will see it fro what it is, a testament and a love letter to them!

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  4. 4

    The Domestic Goddess says

    Fair? Hmmm…tough one. It’s for that reason that many Mom Bloggers I know stop writing about their children after a certain age. And my husband doesn’t like me blogging about him. So there’s that.

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  5. 5

    Carolyn (temysmom) says

    I have really wrestled with this whole idea about publicly writing about my children. I’m usually very careful to make sure I do it from a place of great love, not when I’m completely ticked off about something they did. I learned my lesson… I used to keep a written journal and my 10 yr old daughter found it and read something less than flattering I had said about her. Never again! I would never want her to feel ashamed of me or doubt my love for her again. Blogging is always walking that fine line between telling the truth and telling a story. If everyone would just sit back and think how other people might react, there probably wouldn’t be as many hurt feelings going around.

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    • 6

      Scary Mommy says

      How did your 10 year old react? It is a fine line- I do always try and keep a good balance of positive and negative posts, but maybe I’m not trying hard enough.

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  6. 7

    Corine ComplicatedMama says

    I thought the same exact thing when I read that post. It was a GREAT post, but with all the stuff we read about bullying- I’m not sure a 12 yr old who may dig up the post years from now will even read beyond the headline and picture.

    Mommy blogging is tough and honestly I find myself shying away from talking about my family more and more… which is definitely making me lose perspective of my blog all together.

    I don’t have answers. Just echoing that it is definitely something to think about.

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    • 8

      Scary Mommy says

      Exactly. The picture could not be cuter, but is that what you want in some punk’s hands? I don’t know. And, of course, she had NO IDEA how huge the post would become. It’s such a hard thing about this world.

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  7. 9

    amber says

    I struggle with that—and my audience is nowhere near the size of yours. I’m hoping that mine sees it not just as a love letter, but the ultimate scrapbook – a treasure trove of memories to dig through long after I’m gone.

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  8. 10

    Miss Rebecca says

    I’ve often thought about this…
    And I don’t know that there is an answer…
    So, it keeps me honest. I encourages a lack of drama, and it helps me to dial down the exaggerations and absolutes that sometimes look better in print, than they do in real life.
    But, it also reminds me, that when I’m reading blogs by other moms, that there is a vast world beyond the screen. It’s filled with diversity and emotion. It’s a changing and growing thing. Life. I can’t possibly write about every action, feeling or event in my life, so I try to remember that other moms blogs, are merely a snap shot, and invitation to contemplation, and an offering of understanding…as I hope mine is to them.
    Thanks for writing! <3

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  9. 11

    Abby says

    It is a tough call, for sure. It’s one of the reasons I started out blogging anonymously, but it’s hard to stay truly anonymous, especially when you’re posting pictures. Since I’ve always been a writer, I don’t see blogging as drastically different from old-fashioned newspaper columns. Dave Barry and Erma Bombeck used to write about their kids. Of course, everyone’s judgment about what’s acceptable and what’s not is different.

    There’s a great essay by Jacqueline Mitchard from the now-defunct Wondertime that I give to my essay-writing students. After years & years of writing about her kids, she said the only time one got embarrassed was when she claimed he didn’t know how to ride a bike at age 9.

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    • 12

      Scary Mommy says

      Erma Bombeck’s kids seem to talk so lovingly about her columns– that does make me feel better. And, noted- if I have late bike riders I won’t blog about it. :)

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  10. 13

    Grace {formerly gracie} says

    I recently changed my kids’ names on my blog to avoid them being so readily google-able, but I still hold back on post and photos for the exact same reason. On the other hand, I wish my mom had documented my childhood more– especially the bad times. It would have been a tremendous comfort, particularly as I was going through PPD . My family was so quick to judge and ridicule, and if it wasn’t for blogs, I don’t think I would have ever gotten the support I needed. We need true stories of real life.

    Also, we are hardly the first generation documenting our lives and kids in detail. I point to the best of them, Erma Bombeck, and the worst, Kathie Lee Gifford.

    http://www.parentdish.com/2008/05/11/kathie-lee-gifford-uncomfortable-with-mommyblogging-but-tmi-in/

    Maybe we should ask Cody how he feels about the world knowing of his nose picking bedtime routine. :-P

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