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I’ve been considering this for months, perhaps even longer by now.
This question, “How do I go about protecting my children online?”
What should be shared? How much is too much? What right do they have to their own stories? Could I be causing damage to their future lives and careers? Am I endangering their safety?
I’m sure at some point, the books will be written and people will be able to see the long-term effects of mommy blogging on children. But we aren’t there yet.
I’m just a mom who has to fumble through this and find my way just like all of the other mommy bloggers I know. I don’t think there’s a right and wrong answer…black and white on this issue.
I do know that I have been contemplating making changes for long enough and discussed it enough with my husband that we both feel it’s time.
It’s hard though. This is a lifestyle blog – journal, a baby book, an autobiography. How do I talk about my life without talking about my children? It’s impossible really.
Ezra turns five in September. And I think that that’s a good time to put his story back into his hands for him to tell when he chooses. I have no regrets about recording the first five years of his life here. But I don’t know if I can, in good conscience, continue to do so carte blanche.
Decision one: Come Ezra’s 5th birthday, I will be much more guarded about what I share about Ezra here on my blog and my Beautiful In His Time social media pages.
This doesn’t mean I won’t talk about him. It doesn’t mean you won’t know I have a son. It doesn’t mean that photos of him won’t appear. It’s just slow steps toward making his life more private.
Decision two: Baby #2’s name will not be revealed on the blog or my Beautiful In His Time social media pages. Instead, he will be lovingly referred to as “Little Brother.”
If I could go back 5 years, I probably would have and should have done this with Ezra – given him a nickname for the blog to offer him some added protection. But, as I told my husband who suggested I nickname him now, “That ship sailed a long time ago…”
With Little Brother, I can do better. I also have a much bigger following that I did five years ago, so I feel that makes it even more important.
Decision three: As I shift away from telling Ezra’s story when he turns 5, it’s time to chronicle Little Brother’s story for a while.
He’s a second child. So naturally, it’s going to be different. But this is still the closest he will get to a baby book, and I’m okay with that. Within reason. When he turns five, well, then, all bets are off.
Decision four: I will continue to use my blog’s private email newsletter to share family updates, photos, and reveal Little Brother’s name (hint hint, SUBSCRIBE).
My monthly newsletter has always been more personal; I feel much more comfortable sharing more private things with a more private audience rather than knowing any random Google searcher can find stuff about my kids. If you want this from me, please subscribe and be a part.
A few final notes:
Big, dramatic, bolded decisions aside – these are simply my best intentions. I reserve the right to fail. I reserve the right to be inconsistent. I reserve the right to change my mind completely.
Over-sharing comes naturally to me, so doing anything but is going to strange, weird, and I am not going to like it. (Which is part of the reason that I’m giving myself another 4 months before I have to really make changes.)
Can you grant me some grace in the future? Can you not nit-pick if (when) I fail? And can you understand, above all, that I’m doing this for my kids’ safety – and that’s it?
Thanks. No really. Thank you.
Bloggers? How do you do it? What choices have you made to protect your kids online?