My mum asked me this week if she thought I would ever regret putting so much of my children’s lives online, if i thought there was the possibility that they might feel offended by having so much revealed to strangers. It’s a very good question.
My immediate answer was no. Firstly, I don’t see what I do on my blog as being hugely different from what others do on Facebook or parenting forums; it’s a modern-day photo album but with the added bonus of text, and perhaps to a larger audience. It means I will never forget these very precious early moment of my kids lives.
Secondly, I’m a bit of a show off, an over sharer (well, duh). I’m happy to be writing all these things about me and will always be 100% honest in my blog, but believe it or not there are things I hold back on and don’t write about. My husband, for one. Although I’m happy to share snippets of our life together I’m not sure how happy he’d be if I shared things about his life, too, so I leave him and our marriage out for the most part (nobody wants to read about the 2 hour bickering row we had in Madrid about directions. Nobody. Not even me).
I’m also careful to never blog about specifics of Elfie’s illness. I’ll talk about it to some degree but I really think its up to her to share the details if she ever wants to, and I made a vow to myself to always respect her enough to give her that privacy. I think it’s important to share the impact it has on our life as a family but the intricacies will remain unspoken.
Did I say ME ME ME?!
All this deep thinking got me pondering the reasons why I blog and I re-visited a post I made about this way back in 2010. My reasons for blogging haven’t really changed since then – I like to share, hear what others have to say about my thoughts, get things off my chest. Nothing means more to me than the emails I get from pregnant women, or women with young children, saying that I’ve helped them or inspired them in some way. Every time I get one of these emails I feel happy that I have shared.
I also love to write and have blogged in one form or another since about 1999. I found my old online journals this week and goodness, all I cared about back then in the teenage years were boys, schoolwork (how to do as little as possible) and talking about myself. But that was when I first got into writing down my thoughts once a day and I haven’t stopped since. My writing’s evolved a little – its less self-obsessed and there are fewer emoticons – but I still get a lot of enjoyment out of it and I remember all those nuances of being a teenager because I blogged about it.
Those are the reasons I blog: memories, community and enjoyment. I hope that in years to come my kids will understand that and will look back on my blog as a wonderful record of our lives.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have moments of self-doubt about blogging. What about our safety? Am I releasing too much information online? Will Elfie and Huxley hate me for it when they’re older? When I started blogging all those years ago I hated telling my real-life friends about my site because it seemed so terribly self-indulgent; is that how I should feel now? Am I selfish for thinking ME ME ME so much?
This is a time when I’d like to open it up to you: why do you blog? Do you worry about how your children will feel about your blog? Do you consider those who blog just slightly self-obesessed? I would love to hear your thoughts.
(NB: this week I imported some of my more relevant posts from my old blog, www.the-alice.co.uk… it seems that if you subscribe via RSS you’re safe, but so sorry to anyone who received hundreds of email subscription notifications!)