The praise I receive most from readers of this blog is regarding my honesty. How I am not afraid to tell it like it is. And while I must confess that I have shared some nitty gritty details of motherhood and parenthood (and gotten in trouble for it in the past), I have found myself censoring my thoughts more and more lately.
A couple of months ago, The Skeptical OB wrote a blog post titled “Are the young children of mommy bloggers ‘fair game’? Their mothers think they are.” According to Dr. Amy, mommy blogs are selfish and damaging to the bloggers’ children. She asks, “How would you feel?” if your own mother had shared with the world her woes and disappointments regarding motherhood and her children? She goes on to say:
Most likely you would be embarrassed, angered and deeply hurt . . . . The internet never forgets. What a mommy blogger writes about her children today will be there for them to read when the children are older. It will be there for their children’s friends to read when they are teenagers. It will be there for their employers and professional colleagues to read when they are adults. . . . . The children of public figures are not fair game … so stop using your children to promote yourself.
What do you guys think? Do you agree with Dr. Amy that mommy bloggers should be silenced?
Personally, whenever I need to decide whether to share something regarding my children, I ask myself if I would be upset to discover that my own mother had written it about me. And as much as I can be brutally honest about some subjects (i.e., not believing my children to be the cutest babies in the world), I choose to remain mum about others.
I’ve also felt a protectiveness growing about her as she’s gotten older and knew that I’d be writing less as that feeling continued. I’ve said before that the story of most babies is pretty much just like the story of all the other babies who have ever lived in the world: pooping, crying, screaming, sleeping (and a lot of not sleeping), and then more pooping . . . . That’s why I feel like it’s okay to write so much about Marlo, because it’s the same story of a million other babies hopefully told in a way that we can all laugh about it enough to want to wake up tomorrow morning.
I too, have been writing less about Claire as she gets older and is developing her own wants, desires, and aspirations. Because as she gets older, the more complex our relationship becomes…and parts of that relationship are to be treasured and protected. Just as I do not write too much about J and my relationship here.
As for what I have already published about her and Aerin? I honestly do not believe that they will be hurt or damaged to read these thoughts. I still receive numerous comments and messages relating to what I have written about my daughters, and for the most part they are thankful. I am glad — and even a bit proud — that Claire & Aerin’s early stories can have such an impact on others.
There’s also the fact that I am not a mommy blogger, or at least I do not consider myself to be one. I am a blogger who is a mother…as well as a wife, a geek, a bibliophile, and much, much more.
So I’m not quite sure where I stand on the mommy blogger issue raised by Dr. Amy. Do mommy bloggers treat their children like commodity? I’m sure some do — but the ones that I read are anything but written out of love for the children. Additionally, there is so much I learned from mommy blogs that I wouldn’t have heard/read elsewhere.
But the ones that mother for the sake of their blogs? Yep. Those have got to go. (Or the bloggers need to reevaluate their priorities.)