Being a Mommy Blogger

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.

About the writer

What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill's stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Learn more here.


ykelly 2 years ago

This is a worthy discussion for sure. I understand all the positions I’ve read here. I’m not adamant about any single one. My feeling is that I refuse to live in this world scared. I’m not naive and also recognize the kind of world we’re living in. I post for my readers and myself and that includes sprinkles of my life which most definitely centers around my kids at this age. Names and select photos are public when I choose to publish them, but obviously I keep private their birth dates, ssn’s, dental records…you get the picture. :-) As for my girls’ feelings about mommy occasionally blogging about them, it’s always all positive and they love it!

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Chris 5 years ago

I struggle with the same issues – whether it’s Facebook or my little blog that I seldom have time to write on. My oldest is 12, so he has a FB page and has requested that I don’t ‘tag’ him in any photos – not sure why he didn’t like that picture of him picking his nose – haha just kidding. Sometimes venting online can only bring happiness back to the home – and when others agree with you, tell their stories, it makes us feel less like crazy lunatics, and more like regular moms sharing the same story in many different ways.

Coco of 5 years ago

I don’t blog specifically about my children that often, but when I do, I think it’s a great way for my readers to relate to me and for me to connect with other mommy bloggers because I know that they likely have similar stories about their own kids. By sharing stories about my children, I believe my readers can get to know me on a more personal level. I try to share what I’ve learned and continue to learn about trying to balance living a healthy green lifestyle while raising 3 (almost 4!) children, and it is my hope that blogging about my personal experiences with my kids will help and inspire others!

I think that blogging about your children encourages discussion and creates a sense of community among parents and mommy bloggers. The dialogue that is created as a result allows for parents to learn helpful information and tips from one another and also solicit advice.

I love to scrapbook to capture my kids’ milestones and my blog is my online (and cheaper and faster!) version that I can easily share with my family who live across the country. I think that my kids will appreciate the fact that they’ll be able to look back on great memories and experiences that I shared with my readers when they’re older.

Twenty Four At Heart 5 years ago

And this is why I don’t blog about my kids. They’re older and once they hit pre-teen age they didn’t want mom on the Internet sharing their stories. I figure my stories are mine to share and if they ever want to share their stories they can in their own words and in the manner they want to.

MacDougal Street Baby 5 years ago

I’ve just started blogging. I thought about it for many years but wasn’t ready until now. I think watching my friends navigate the blogosphere helped me to figure out what exactly I wanted/needed to do. One thing was clear from the get go. I knew I had to be anonymous. There are so many anecdotes I want to tell about my experience as a parent but my children have a right to their privacy. Perhaps I’m naive but I do believe I can tell those stories without interfering with that right.

TripleZmom 5 years ago

I have definitely struggled with this myself and it’s one of the reasons I don’t use their real names on my blog. Of course, somewhere down the road some punk could Google my name, but I’m not that popular. :) When I first read Nerdy Apple Bottom’s post I was mainly impressed, but the picture bothered me. Just the idea that some jerk in middle school could find it someday. . .I don’t know. Even though my oldest is not quite 6, I find myself blogging about her life less and less.

Barnmaven 5 years ago

A lot of times I blog about the struggles I have as a parent trying to raise two children with ADHD/Bipolar. I’ve written in stark terms about what its like to live through a bipolar rage, to have a day when I’m so exhausted from the behaviors we sometimes deal with that I feel like giving up. I also write about how deeply I love my children, how much I enjoy them, how proud I am of them. I hope that someday they will read my words and see that their mom was a real person struggling with real issues — single parenting, divorce, dating, work, finances — the whole shebang of life, and see the love I have for them shining through every word I write.

I used to use their names in my blog, back when I had two readers. Once I started having more page hits I went through and redacted their names, now I only use initials and nicknames.

I also have a rule to not blog about their father and my relationship with him. Despite my own issues with him, I don’t think its fair to them to speak ill of the dad they love. If their relationship with him is good or is not so good, it should be on the merits of their interactions with him, not on anything I’ve written.

Mandy 5 years ago

I was telling my MIL the other day that I’m a very private blogger. She laughed and said that’s an oxymoron, but the truth is, I only write about 3% of what happens in our world.

My blog is a record of who I am, how I feel about my children, how I feel about my husband, how I feel about the Twilight phenomena. And, to be honest, though they drive me bonkers on an almost daily basis, they also make me laugh. I choose to write mostly about the laughing part. And I hope that when I write about the bonkers portion, they’ll understand.

Although I doubt my son will ever forgive me for sharing how he…um…let’s just say My Most Embarassing Mommy Moment consisted of him, Wal Mart and our first trip without a pull-up while potty training.

It’s a fine line. I try to tread it carefully. 😀

Jack 5 years ago

This isn’t a mom blog issue- it is a parent blog issue. There are lots of stories about my kids but you won’t find their names located there. As they have gotten older I have become more circumspect in what stories I share.

Kate Coveny Hood 5 years ago

I often think about this when I write about special needs and delays… It’s an important thing to keep in mind since, yes – everything that is written can be misunderstood, misconstrued, skewed and generally used for evil. But again – yes, as you say, we do the best we can. And maybe all of the writing now will make the world a kinder and more accepting place then. We have to try, right?

Brittany at Mommy Words 5 years ago

So funny I was thinking about all these things after I read her post (when it only had 100 comments – crazy she is at 40,000!) and thought that she had no idea it would go this big. There have been so many posts about this recently and no one could know when their post would go viral and take over the media world.

I too write with love for my children and hope that they will be able to hear my voice and know me as a woman, a friend and as their mommy. I do keep some things private but so many topics I really feel are shared by so many of us as parents that I am okay touching on some more sensitive subjects.

And on some subjects – why is it so sensitive? I posted more than a year ago about Miles learning to walk in high heels and now, to show Boo some support, I have posted him as the fabulous princess he dresses up as all.the.time. I think there are much more serious issues than dress-up and Halloween and the problem is that this had to be a big deal at all.

I do think that the title of the post got a LOT of mouths wagging and I probably would have chosen a different title to show that it is not really about beging gay or not gay or a ninja or a fairy or anything. It’s about him being who he wants to be.
Now the whole media is tossing around the title My Son is Gay and people are mistakenly thinking she is outing her 5 year old son or something. I think the message about parents thinking they can judge was right on. They are the ones projecting any stereotypes and negative associations onto this precious little boy -not his mamma. And that is not okay. But the title just heated a lot of people up.

That’s all just my opinion and I still love the post and love kids being able to be kids and hope I am able to share my voice on motherhood with stories about my children without hurting them. I am careful, and I think they will see my love.

Great post Jill. Thanks.

Jennifer M 5 years ago

Let me tell you a story, when I was five I got the chicken pox. Being five and curious I went to my father and asked him why they call them chicken pox. And with a completely straight face, my father, my hero, informed me I was going to turn into a chicken. All the bumps were where the feathers were coming in. I, predictably, freaked out and ran to my mom who yelled at my dad. Flash forward nine years and I am 14, in the grocery store with my dad, when he proceeds to tell EVERYONE in the store the chicken pox story. Never in my life have I wanted sooo much for the ground to open up and swallow me. He then proceeds to re tell the story everywhere, to the waitress at the diner we are at, people in line at the bank. And you know what? I eventually learned to laugh with it. I would fire back with ,”yeah see the mental abuse I was subjected to. It amazing I havent killed him in his sleep…..YET.” and I now, obviously, tell the story with pride and laughter. So dont worry about it to much, they may be mortified at first, but they will eventually see the humor in it.

Mommyfriend Lori 5 years ago

Thank you so much for writing this. It is a strange place we find ourselves. I find sharing even the embarrassing or hilarious stories to be endearing but will they see it that way? Have their lives become too public? Am I respecting their privacy? We navigate through it using our best judgment but it’s a tough call so much of the time.

Glamamom 5 years ago

This is what comes up when you Google my son’s name:

He clearly has bigger Web concerns than being the son of Glamamom.

But I completely agree with the above responses, it’s a fine line. And if it ever does become an issue, blogs can be password protected and posts/pictures can be deleted. GASP.

Jennifer 5 years ago

oooo…there is a fine line between entertaining and dirty laundry; a tight rope walk where the audiences perspective is directly proportionate to the direction of the wind gusts.
Maybe he’s not gay? Who says he can’t find girls tantalizing sexually someday, and still enjoy a great pedicure and a pink kimono!! HUH, who says! LOL I’d hate the assumption alone to bite her in the A@s!

Dayna 5 years ago

The part of that post about the Daphne costume that hit me a little bit wrong was that the child was apprehensive about wearing it to school. He had a sense of forbearing about how folks at school might react, and his mom overrode it. I might be completely wrong (and I am on the same page as far as the costume goes… I don’t care what they wear or if they grow up gay or loving Celine Dion music… no matter, they’re mine) but I think that I would have picked up on that cue from the child and maybe offered him the opportunity to wear a different costume to school. He didn’t seem as intent on the idea as the mom did, and honestly I can’t believe she was shocked by the reactions. I’m also a little wide-eyed at the title of the post “My Son is Gay”. That’s all well and good, provided your son has actually come out. At five, your son is pre-pubescent and maybe just in touch with his feminine side. Drawn to redheads in purple dresses for one reason or another. I think it’s kind of a shame to throw labels at a guy so little because.. well, maybe he’s not?

Alissa 5 years ago

I think these are great questions to ask and ones that I have been thinking about myself. I have asked myself if using a pseudonym would make things less easy for others to search for him later on?? Interesting and thought provoking stuff.

I do love having the journal of his toddlerhood though. I really do.

Denise 5 years ago

I’m pretty new to blogging and I’ve been a little reserved thus far. My husband asked me to be a bit more anonymous when I started so I use initials instead of names and such. But I do post photos and tell stories that may not paint everyone in the greatest light. I figure I’ll change my perspective over time as I become more comfortable writing. I just hope that my kids will know that I simply love writing about our lives and no matter what, I love them to pieces.

Aging Mommy 5 years ago

I am very mindful of this with my blogging with respect to my daughter. Yes, I talk about things we do, funny things she says, a disaster play date etc but there is a line I do not cross, which is I do not talk about anything that I feel might come back to hurt her in later life and would not put out there anything that is not ordinary day to day anecdotal material.

But I have talked about myself on a more personal level, about struggling with PPD and I do wonder if even that was crossing a line I should not have done – whether some day my daughter will wish I had not written such things.

Brianne 5 years ago

I was terrified of putting true information about me or my kids on the Internet. Then I joined Facebook, after months of resistance. I did end up posting pictures because I figured that only my “friends” would be able to see them. Then I started a blog with a friend of mine and I guess it is somewhat anonymous because last names are not used. Still debating posting photos. Because as you said, they are there forever. Kind of scary.

Ellen 5 years ago

As you are raising them, teach them to live & look at life with an open mind. Sure you cannot be 100% sure that it’ll work BUT you would have planted the seed of conscience so they will at least think… 😉

zeemaid 5 years ago

You raise a lot of good points in this post and many of them reconfirmed my original intentions of keeping my blog as anonymous as possible. Sure I get caught up with the story telling and have shown the odd up to date photo (I only used to show obscure baby photos) because let’s face it we moms love to show off our cute kids. Still with the village like atmosphere of the internet, who knows when someone may wander across my blog and put the clues together. (I just hope it’s not my inlaws) 😉

Stephanie N 5 years ago

I am not a mommy blogger so I have not really given this issue much thought. I can see how it would be difficult to know when to draw the line, and while some things may be funny when children are young, I can definitely see how it could be embarrassing when they are teenagers, a group I teach. I have a book blog which sometimes features other product reviews as well as things that are close to my heart or that I personally take an interest and while I do discuss my family, I have always valued my privacy. I have never listed my hubby’s name on my blog, only my children’s, and will never post a picture of them. I have always enjoyed many of the mommy blogs, however, and identify with many of the adventures of young parenthood. I guess the question it sometimes comes down to, are you willing to give up some of your privacy to become more personal, or how much do you value your privacy in order to gain followers? For me, what I write on my blog has always been more important, not the amount of followers. But as Karen put it so well, it is such a fine line and hard to know where to draw it.

Happy blogging everyone!!!

Lisa 5 years ago

I struggled with that question as well, when I published a very emotional and personal story about my son’s autism diagnosis and his struggles and triumphs. I asked his permission first, and he was actually proud of the article. However, our last name is not associated with the article or our website, so it will not be easily found. I also do not identify where we are from, or identify the names of other family members. So even though his story is out there, it can’t easily be traced back to him. His story has been shared with many other parents with special needs children and with autism websites, and has been working as it was intended – to be an informational and inspirational story for families. It’s here if anyone is interested:

I do think some caution needs to be used over the internet. There is a (now almost famous) mommy blogger who posts beautiful photographs of her daughters, their full names, her full name, and the city and state they live in. She has also posted photographs of the outside of their home. I enjoy her posts very much, but I am very concerned about the lack of privacy. She has thousands of followers, and I think it’s only a matter of time before someone shows up on her doorstep. That would scare the hell out of me.

Ally 5 years ago

Such a good post. Definitely something to think about when hitting that submit button. I think there’s very few of us that post with anything less than love, but to consider how those posts will be looked at 5-10 years from now is something we don’t give much thought to.

St. Louis Smart Mama 5 years ago

Interesting post. It’s nice to read about this issue from a mom who blogs about her children a lot and also has a large following. I do think that bloggers who reveal more tend to be more popular with followers because they’re easier to relate to. That’s what I really like about mommy bogging — that women are talking about personal stuff that doesn’t usually come up on the playground.

But in the long run, I don’t know . . . I have yet to post any pictures or mention anything specific about my children on my blog because I’m just not sure if I’m comfortable with it or where it might lead. I tend to be a very private person, though, and everybody’s different.

Tracie 5 years ago

I completely get what you are saying. I read that post and had the same thoughts.

My blog is kind of different. It is more of a half-a-mommy blog. I write about motherhood and family life, with pictures and cute stories. I also write about being a childhood sexual abuse survivor, and my healing journey.

When I look back over my blog, I have shared extremely personal things about myself. Things that many people never speak about-but that is what awareness is all about. When I look at the posts about my family, they are all very tame. I have always had the thought in the back of my mind that one day someone would google my husband and daughter and be able to find everything I have written about them.

I do struggle with pictures. Even though I post them, and I love them, every couple of weeks I almost go through and delete every one I have published (and there isn’t a single embarrassing photo on there!)

As it stands now, my daughter knows all about the blog. She is seven. She loves reading the posts about family stuff, or humor stuff (for obvious reasons I do not let her read about the abuse issues) and she is always thinking of “pictures we can take for the blog”. She also wants one of her own, which I have said absolutely no to, until she is older.

Barbara Hammond 5 years ago

I’m sure my kids are thrilled that I didn’t have this format when they were little. Now that they have kids of their own I think they can see how easy it is to relay stories about them. My youngest son used to tell his friends, and dates too, all the stories that I thought were so cute and funny before he brought them to our house. He figured if he put his own spin on it he wouldn’t be embarrassed. Not that I ever tried to embarrass him, but you know what I mean.
I do think this tech age can be scary and we don’t know what’s next. It’s better to be protective, I think. You don’t want them talking to strangers and yet you are telling strangers about them. Seems a bit unfair.

Denise 5 years ago

This week’s issue of People magazine has an article about a woman’s 5 y/o son who likes to dress like a girl. The mom has even written a book called, My Princess Boy. You should check it out.

Jennifer James 5 years ago

I very rarely talk about my children for a variety of reasons. I just want them to have a private life. The same is true for my husband. I talk about them so rarely that everywhere I go — events, meetings, conferences — people ask me if I even have kids. Maybe I should, at least, drop a hint every now and then that I do have children and that, yes, I am a mother and don’t just play one on the Internet.

McMommy 5 years ago

I think about shutting down my blog every single day for many of the reasons you spoke about here. Sometimes I think about making it private. I don’t know what the answer is…and like you said, our kids will be the first generation who has to deal with this. Of course, then there’s a big part of me that thinks by the time our kids are old enough to REALLY care, they are going to think of blogs like we think of VHS tapes….SO OUTDATED. Who would actually take the time to go pour through all that OLD stuff??? Our kids will probably be onto a bigger, faster, stronger technological medium and you and I will be sitting here with our old fashioned blogs, just trying to “remember when”…. :)

Allison @ Motherhood, WTF? 5 years ago

This is something I think about too. So many of my posts are about my struggles with my 3 year old and I often write while I’m mad. This is part of my blog’s personality, but is it fair to my son? Probably not. I try to balance it with funny and sweet posts, but he might not want anything about him out there. Even the good stuff. My blog is pretty anonymous, so maybe he could just never know about it? Unlikely.

Michele 5 years ago

I learned the hard way when my teen stepson read something I had written about him. I just won’t do it any more. Also I posted a picture of my son once he was around 5-6 playing a guitar. We followed a link one day when I notice I was getting massive hits on his picture. It was posted on a twinks site. Gay men were fawning over my young son. So that was that, never again will I post pictures of my kids. Not worth it.

I too wondered about what the son in the blog entry, what will think when he comes across that entry in years to come.

Lastly I always find it interesting that some people will say some not so flattering things , share private and sometimes embarrassing stories about their children but their spouses are off limits?
I’m assuming because their relationship with their husband is private and sacred, so why isn’t the relationship with their children the same?

Dolli-Mama 5 years ago

That is some serious food for thought. Thank you for posting this.

Karen MEG 5 years ago

A hot topic, and I’ve gone back and forth with this over time. I really cut back on my posts this year because of changes in my life, and as a result don’t post nearly as much about the kids – at least not so much about them specifically (more my reactions to what they do…). My boy is now double digits and he – occasionally even read my blog, especially particular posts that I poitn out. When he was younger he did enjoy seeing himself on there. The girlie just likes the pictures – but I’ve also cut back on a lot of the (although she’s still up there, I don’t know how much longer I will continue with the pix of them)… for exactly those reasons. But then again the boy has Facebook too, so it does become a slippery slope.

But when I check my past posts over the last 5 years of me being home with them, though, the memories, the moments that I captured are just irreplaceable, honestly. It’s a real tough call, but I know that as they get older, it will continue to be less about them, and more about me. And that just gets boring!

OHmommy 5 years ago

I don’t blog as much as I used to because I find that the stories aren’t always mine. I think long and hard about what I write and the future impacts any post will make on my children.

Anthony 5 years ago

Thinking we should ask the kid if they think it’s a good idea for their pictures to be on the internet. Helpless in this situation. Feel like they need to have a say. Then I think it’s fine.

    Michele 5 years ago

    Children are just that, children. They don’t fully comprehend what they may say yes or no too. Think about it, would you agree to the same things at 27 that you did at 9?
    So asking an 8yr old if she/he minds that you talk or post pictures about them really isn’t going to address the problem.

Anthony 5 years ago

Good topic.

Emma 5 years ago

I’ve also started to question this just recently, as more and more when stuff happens Chick expressly asks me not to post about it on my blog and she’s only 7. I try really heard to respect her privacy and not post embarrassing stuff but I may need to go through when she’s older and delete stuff!!!! I wish though that I would’ve started this when she was younger just to preserve my own memories!!

Yuliya 5 years ago

It’s my life and my blog and my kid should be so lucky to have a supporting actress credit every once in a while!

Okay kidding. Obviously this is a serious issue and I struggle with it as well. Have you seen Maggie from Okay Fine Dammit on Listen to Your Mother?
That sums up how I feel, one day I will put down the laptop and let my daughter tell her own story, until then I will try to do right by her.

Amber 5 years ago

I try not to post anything that might embarrass my kids. But I’m sure I do occasionally. I suppose I’ll stop when they start saying something. As of right now, they think it’s cool that I write about them. My son is 8 and if he spots his name he rolls his eyes and goes, “What are you writing about now?” Granted, if he ever starts to be teased then I would stop in a heartbeat. But right now his friends seem more into Bakugan than blogs.

Laura {A(n) (un)Common Family} 5 years ago

It’s a fine line to walk. I tend to overshare and I know that. However, my *extreme* oversharing is limited to my own douchebagery and stupidity, pain, struggles, triumphs, etc. I’m a very open person in “real life” and everything on my blog is me. I’d share it with you in person if you were interested because that’s how I am. I’m me and if somebody doesn’t like that or wants to use that against me (even with employment), then it is what it is. I can’t hide or change who I am. Sure, I’m not going to walk into an office and let loose with the F bomb like I do on my blog b/c I have a sense of social norms, but if someone is too dumb to know the difference, then the situation is not right for me.

When it comes to my kids, I share a lot. We have big senses of humor in our house. If my parents had not been the same way and instilled a wicked sense of humor and sarcasm in me, I’d probably have went and laid in traffic years ago. I learned to get through the hard parts of life — and I’ve had my due share — by laughing. I’m forever grateful for the sarcasm and ability to laugh at myself that I gained from my parents. I want my kids to feel that way, too, if they’re so inclined. At two and three, they’re already funny little people who make jokes and mess with me.

So, do I share funny things that *could* embarass them later? Sure. I mean, I put up pictures of the set of knockers my three year old drew and turned it into a whole post the other day. But I think that when he’s older, he’ll laugh at that. ‘Cause it’s funny. And because kids do funny shit.

I share serious things, too, but I’m more careful. My children were adopted internationally and I protect their original family/birth history (at lest what we have). That’s their story to tell one day if they want. But I share about their experiences in their respective orphanages — how opposite they were — and how hard it was once they were each home. Because, one, I’m not sure I would have made it through those early months if not for the people who reached out to me because of my blog to tell me I wasn’t alone and two, because of the people who reached out to me 9because of my blog) to tell me thank you b/c they had felt so alone and isolated and suddenly realized that they were not alone AND they were all going to be okay. Life is all about connectedness. Without it, it’s lonely and hard.

I want my kids to know ME and to know how much I love them. If they gain a greater insight into that through my blog, then I’ll feel good about it in the end.

As for the mom blogger you’re talking about, I think she’s a great mom. I understand what you’re saying about the dilemma. IF her son is gay, then how wonderful that he won’t have to struggle with who he really is as much as some people do and worry about acceptance and love from his family – it’s obvious. And if he’s not, then hopefully he’ll know that he has a cool mom that lets him do his thing. I get the bully concern and other kids finding it one day. I totally get that. It’s hard…and I don’t have an answer. I can only hope that he’ll be a self-confident, great kid because of how is mom is raising him. And what I hope even more is that by the time he’s 12, society as a whole will move from being assholes to being accepting of differences so that it’d be a non-issue. But I dream big.

(Sorry for length.)

    Anthony 5 years ago

    Did I just see a mom say the word, “Douchebagery?” Ur cool in my book, toots.

Krystal 5 years ago

Hi, Iam currently 38 weeks pregnant and started a blog last month just to be able to deal with all the drama’s from my partner’s and my family, i would love for you to check it out and give me some pointers on it as i follow you on twitter and love it

Thanks Krystal

Kim 5 years ago

The first thing I thought when I read this post was that I remember how embarrassed and upset I would get at my mother at times when she told people things about me. This was mainly when I was a teenager but sometimes also when I was younger. Something my mother thought might have been cute or funny was a total embarrassment to me. And this was not even information conveyed on the internet. So, I would say that when you write about your children it may be good to pause, more than once, before hitting the publish button. I’ve no doubt it is a difficult issue and sometimes you will just have to trust yourself and what you know about the relationship with your children. I think this particular post is one that you definitely should share with them – it might be very helpful if the day ever comes where they are truly upset about something you’ve written. Love is very powerful.

Karen 5 years ago

I am not a mommy blogger. I would love to have had this outlet when my kids were young. I suppose I might have posted tons of pictures and said way more about them than I should have. When I started blogging, as a healthy living blogger, less than a year ago, I made a decision not to put my family out there in any significant way. I did write a post about my son on his birthday that is really a love letter, but the only photo was of him as a baby. And I have mentioned my husband now and then but not even his name. I think it is different since my topic is not related to my family and my kids are of the age where I am cautioning THEM to not put to much out here. Such a fine line we all walk.

Aimee @ Ain’t Yo Mama’s Blog 5 years ago

I have strong personal boundaries when it comes to blogging about my son (and my family, in general). I post very little about them, I do not use their real names, and I do not post face-forward pictures.

As much as I love being online and having a blog devoted to parenting, I really value my family’s privacy. I also don’t want anything to come back to embarrass my child or my family. I have very strong opinions on many different issues, including highly controversial subjects, and do not feel it’s right to subject my family to anything negative that may arise because of it.

I’ve been told that my blog following would increase exponentially if I became more “personal” but those numbers aren’t worth it to me. Keeping my personal life as private as possible is a good choice for me and one that I made before I started blogging. As much as I love visiting other blogs (especially this one!) and reading hilarious stories and looking at adorable pictures, it’s just not something that I like to do on my own blog very often. I save the funny stories and pics for Facebook.


Marinka 5 years ago

I think about it too. The other day I came thisclose to tweeting “Is it possible that my son is a fucking moron?!” but I held back. Because that may hurt his feelings some day and his bitch of a future wife will probably use it in her case to have me placed in a dry nursing home.

Megan R @ Newly Wed, Newly Bred 5 years ago

I see that I am by far in the minority. I have thought about this, but I have a hard time thinking that in 5, 6, 7 years (or more, it depends on the age of your child) that my blog would really be very much ammunition. 5 years from now, it may be hard to even find some of these blog posts. Or to match the pics of little kids up with the older kids they have become. EVERYTHING is so focused on social media these days (twitter, facebook, blogs, chat boards) that their is just info overload for practically anybody you’d choose to search.

I would rather focus my energy on writing a factual, accurate blog on my family and what we go through, than play the “what if” game. I mean, in 2003, I was on AOL. I frequented chat rooms, had online profiles with pictures, etc. And now you can’t even access those profiles any longer.

Who knows. That’s just it, none of us do. I could be very very wrong, and my son COULD end up being bullied. But, I could also never have started a blog, and he could STILL be bullied. So, Im choosing to focus on the now!

Kadie 5 years ago

It’s the same as those old photo albums with the naked bath tub pictures our mothers had. The embarrassing stories they told our friends and boyfriends when they were at our houses….same package. Mothers “cross the line’ all the time, and I firmly believe if we didn’t…if we did not share the craziness that is raising our kids, we would all be basketcases!

Allison @ Alli n Son 5 years ago

You bring up a very good point. I’ve briefly wondered the same thing when I post naked pics if my son, but I do it anyway. To preserve the moment. It’s a fine line between telling a story and eternally embarrassing you kids. I think that we often don’t know that we’ve crossed it years later, when it’s too late.

Jennifer D 5 years ago

A friend e-mailed me that post and my first thought was “I would NOT post that about my son.” Not because gay is wrong (not that dressing as a girl at 5 means that of course,) but because of how he might feel down the line. I wonder how her husband feels about the attention?

Jen @ Heavenly Mommy 5 years ago

I think there is a fine line as mommy bloggers. We want to entertain our readers, but share REAL stories that happen in our lives at the same time. I think we should think consider what we’re writing before we hit “submit.”

Mama Kat 5 years ago

I think we all struggle with this to some extent. I just hope we can raise our kids to see the harmlessness in some silly posts and focus more on the heart that was poured into them.

Jennifer 5 years ago

My daughter (almost six) knows that I write stories about her on the computer and she loves it… when it is something good. The other day in the doctor’s office she was being super annoying and I told her that I was going to tell “my friends in the computer” and she totally straightened right up. She thinks it is alright to act up for me, but she doesn’t want anyone else to know she behaves that way. Neither of my children are at the age yet where I ask their permission about what stories I write about them, but I can see how I would definitely do that in the future.

I think the transition from “mommy” blogger to “life” blogger will be a natural one. In a way that is what we are doing now. It is just that right now our lives are so absorbed in our kids that it is what we write about. As they grow and don’t need us as much this will change, and then we will all be writing about whatever is going on in our lives then.

sarah 5 years ago

I used to be mummy blogger, but stopped when my daughter was about eight or nine. I became more and more uncomfortable with invading her privacy like I was doing. It did make blogging difficult, as I then had nothing really specific to write about, and I lost readers. But I realised it wasn’t my right to share about her daily life, her feelings, her anxieties and wishes, to strangers in that way. But that’s just me. Everyone has a different perspective and different ideas for their family, and that’s okay.

Stephanie@Geezees 5 years ago

I am one of the most non judgmental people you could ever meet. I loved what nerdy apple bottoms wrote and agreed with her completely.
I also wonder what kind of effect our blogging will have on our children. I think all we mommy blogger’s do is write love letter to our children when we blog and i like the fact that when I’m really old and can’t remember i can go back to my blog and see i wrote about and go, “oh yeah remember when you did this?” and i hope they do too.

S Club Mama 5 years ago

What an interesting topic, Jill. I do try to not put really embarrassing pictures of my children (or husband) online or tell really embarrassing stories about them.

jessica 5 years ago

I once read a post about this very topic and the author said that we need to remember that one day their friends will google my kid’s name and I have to remember that whatever I write about her will appear. Since then I am very careful with what I write about my daughter. I write very little and nothing that I feel would embarass her in any way. I am sure this mom did what she thought was right. I back her all the way but it does raise a very serious question. HOw much is too much to reveal? I don’t have the answer. I just go with my gut on this one.

Melissa S 5 years ago

I have stuggled with this just today. I posted a picture of my bare-bottom three year old last night and received an e-mail from my mother in law stating how innappropriate it was. I was angry. I would never post anything about my children I thought was crude or offensive. But the email did have me thinking about where I should draw the line. This post really does relate to what so many of us struggle with and what can be misconstrued by others or considered embarrassing to our children 5, 10, 15 years from now. To think of it as a modern day “love letter” is perfect.

    Jennifer 5 years ago

    You should probably talk to Heather Sphor about why this isn’t such a great idea.

      Melissa S 5 years ago

      Thank you Jennifer. I read the post. I will be more cautious in the future.

        Scary Mommy 5 years ago

        I once posted a tush shot of Evan because it was the cutest thing ever. I took it down an hour later– the idea of it getting into the wrong hands freaked me out.

Jen 5 years ago

My oldest son knows all about my web site. He is six. He likes to see himself and all the funny/silly things that he does on there. Now maybe when he gets older, things will change but I intend to still write about my struggles and joys of being a parent for years to come. I guess I will just have to change some of the more embarrassing details and what not.

But I also think that putting the stories out there of our kids for all too see is a good way to teach them to laugh at themselves and not take themselves so seriously. Those teen years are going to be so much easier if they can laugh at all the stupid things that they do rather than getting up tight and depressed.

Interesting post, very thought provoking.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Lily loves the blog, too. At almost seven, she thinks it’s cool and loves showing the book I made off to her friends. It’s 5 years from now that I worry about…

Grateful Twin Mom 5 years ago

This is such a difficult dilemma. How much is too much? I think you pose a mindful question, and for each mom blogger, it’s going to be her choice. I highly relate to your statement about how our children are the guinea pigs. They are the first generation of children whose lives will be recorded online. There’s a great essay called, “The Whole World is Watching” by Thomas L. Friedman that argues for personal responsibility in the realm of social networking. While my blog is a testament of my life as a mom in a precarious balancing act, I do still owe it to myself and my family to maintain our dignity. Sometimes I do think I fail at this. I’m human, and I’m trying. Thanks for bringing it to my attention so I can be mindful. BTW, love what Nerdy Apple Bottoms wrote about her son.

Tricia 5 years ago

Such a great point to raise. I tend to forget that someday, my son WILL be reading and he may not appreciate being the frequent subject of my rantings. Awesome points, great post!

The Flying Chalupa 5 years ago

I struggle with the privacy issue every time I write a post. My husband is VERY private and didn’t even fully support the idea of a blog. So I write about the light, the funny. Sometimes I’ll tackle a deeper family issue because it’s cathartic for me. But yeah, I guess that would be for – and about – me. Which is slowly what my blog trends more toward: MY struggles and embarrassments and successes.

But I think you write about your kids in a wonderful and loving way. Most of the blogs I read do.

Beside, the alternate option would be to have a crazy, resentful mom who feels trapped and intellectually unstimulated. Maybe the Real Housewives of NJ ARE right! Happy wife, happy life. It’s sick that I’m taking this from the mouth of Theresa, but there a ring of truth to it.

Love it when you ask the deeper questions, Jill.

Monika 5 years ago

To be honest I wouldn’t worry about it. By the time our kids have grown up they will have posted worse things (and pictures) about themselves on whichever social media site is flavour of the month.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Oy. That’s an even scarier thought!!

Faiqa 5 years ago

I try to be very mindful of how I present my children on my blog. Actually, I’m mindful how I present them in general. I don’t necessarily think my way is right, but I try to empathize how I would feel if someone were talking about me the way I’m talking about them. I know I’m their mother and not their *friend*, but I think keeping that perspective in mind ensures that I view them not just as my children, but as human beings that deserve the same respect and boundaries that adults do.

I will, however, complain to my husband about them when they’ve went to bed. 😉

Sarah Hoffman 5 years ago

I agree with you that it’s a thorny issue–both privacy and safety are serious concerns. For this reason I use a pen name, give my children pseudonyms, and will never put an image of my children out in the public realm.

I have always felt that while our children’s stories are in fact theirs to tell, our own stories change and develop because of who we are raising–and that makes aspects of our children’s lives (and their effects on us) our stories, too. If we focus on our own experiences raising our kids, and we make our stories love letters in the way that you have described, we have the best possible chance that we will do more good than harm. And we’ll also have the best chance that our kids will know, when they’re old enough to read what we write, that we are writing about them because we love them and want to build acceptance for them in the world.

Heidi 5 years ago

Ugh, I just struggled with this once again over the weekend…my daughter, although only 15 months, is quite moody and I have a hard time capturing her smile in pictures. So I’ve posted some pretty funny crying pictures and my MIL asked, “Why is she always crying?” Well, she just is! That’s who she is, was my initial response. But then I started thinking, will she always be a cryer because that’s how I’ve pegged her, not just in my head, but for all the world to see? There have been many things that I have refrained from including in my blog because I’m not sure it needs to be shared.

But, like you, my blog is first and foremost the story our life. It’s for me and my husband and our daughter and I hope she will appreciate my words and the pictures some day.

Jessica 5 years ago

These are great questions! I think about when I was a kid and how mortified I was when my mom shared stories about me. Actually, to this day I still get annoyed when she talks about things I used to do as a kid (picking my nose, habits, potty training, breast feeding, etc.).

Now that I sit back and think more about it, I am going to be a LOT more sensitive with what I share with the world! I would never want to humiliate my kid in any way shape or form, but he gives me some good blogging material. :)

Oh and for the record, I loved the post from Nerdy Apple Bottoms!

WebSavvyMom 5 years ago

–>I’ve more or less avoided posting anything that would embarass my son as he got older because although it’s my blog, it’s his life. My focus is to chronicle our life and outtings with pictures and stories. If nothing else, when he’s a teenager I can say, SEE, we used to do FUN things and were SO COOL when you were little. 😉

liz 5 years ago

I think every parent should decide where to draw the line with each child. All parents share stories of their kids that could be considered embarrassing on some level, but I think it depends the degree of embarrassment, and that long-term possible “damage” that could be done.

Specifically a story about a boy dressing up like a girl is something I would never share. Up to a certain point, little kids don’t necessarily distinguish what is a “girl” toy/outfit/whatnot from a “boy” one, so that little boy may grow up, not be gay, and be very embarrassed by the story his mom told.

    Jennifer 5 years ago

    OR, he could think, “man my mom was so cool. I’m glad she stood up for me.”

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Of course there is nothing wrong with it. And, he’s five! My daughter dresses my sons up as girls almost nightly and I have never once thought that there was any correlation between that and their future sexual preference. But, people do. People are also idiots.

      Renee 5 years ago

      You know what, people ARE idiots, but that mom was an idiot too! Children aren’t there for moms or dads to prove a point or get more readers on their blog. She could have made the same message without posting his picture which will, undoutedly, embarrass him in the future, regardless of sexual orientation. I’m embarrassed of when I used to dress up like Wonder Woman and am pretty happy my mom didn’t have blog to post it on so that my future employers could take a nice, hard look at their next senior VP. By all means, write what your heart desires (after all, I really do enjoy reading it), but keep your kids’ identities more private. (Anyway, I know you wrote this post ages ago, but that whole thing just annoys me.)

Diane 5 years ago

I’m constantly catching myself about to write something about one my boys that I know would be a hilarious post but then I’ll rein myself back in and decide that I’d better not and end up writing about my new paint color in my living room. Riveting stuff.
I have been guilty of it though…maybe they’ll find it amusing one day and won’t hold it against me!

Lynn MacDonald 5 years ago

Interesting that you bring this up. This morning I wrote a post about being bitches. My girls are 19 and 21. I sent them both a draft along with my husband. Haven’t heard from them yet as they’re in college but my husband responded with “they’re going to be pissed”. If they’re upset about the post, I usually edit it. But, they get mad at my take on their behavior…for sure!

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

Exactly what my husband and I were talking about last night! Slippery slope.

Grace {formerly gracie} 5 years ago

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.

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

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    I hadn’t seen that! I find Kathie Lee to be as bad as it gets. Interesting.

Abby 5 years ago

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.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    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. :)

Miss Rebecca 5 years ago

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

amber 5 years ago

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.

Corine ComplicatedMama 5 years ago

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.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    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.

Carolyn (temysmom) 5 years ago

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.

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    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.

The Domestic Goddess 5 years ago

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.

Truthful Mommy 5 years ago

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!

Andrea 5 years ago

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.

Devan @ Accustomed Chaos 5 years ago

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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