The Evolution of the Blog

I’m facing a conundrum that haunts mom bloggers as their babies age, and that is what to write about when the kids get old enough to care what is said about them in a public forum.

More and more, the things I would like to say and the things that weigh heavy on my heart are not matters for public discussion, and I’m afraid that renders my blog a rather empty and superficial place.  While the smiling vacation photos and pots of herbs growing on the deck are certainly authentic, they only tell part of the story.

I don’t want to give up the heart and soul of my blog, and yet I cannot sacrifice my children’s right to privacy.  As it is, my 6-year-old daughter said to me recently, “Mom, don’t put this on your blog.”  I forget what she was referring to, but I managed to gulp back the snort of laughter that threatened to erupt, and I assured her that whatever it was would most certainly NOT go on my blog.

And I hate it when people are purposefully vague, so I find myself annoyed even with this post.

Moms of older children, how do YOU handle this quandry?  Do you feel that you have given up some of what made your blog personal and interesting as your kids got older?  How do you keep it real?

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16 thoughts on “The Evolution of the Blog

  1. I would think to some extent you can still be vague in your references and not name a particular child. I think you can still address larger topics that probably have a common them. Avoiding specific incidents that are potentially embarrassing to the child would be the key theme here.

  2. My kids are only 3 and 5 and I already struggle with this. And with a hubby who is MUCH more private than I am. I think you are exactly right in trusting your gut. If something doesn’t sit right with you it probably isn’t something to blog. Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer spoke about this at Blissdom and I thought she was incredibly wise. WEre you in that session?

  3. I wonder about that even now. There are certain things in my life – certain struggles – that I just can’t seem to blog about. I enjoy your vacation photos and herbs and fashion wisdom 🙂
    In many ways, your blog is a great place to record your memories – your recent golf outing is a good example. I think that someday your kids will be glad that you wrote down that memory when it was still fresh. You are creating a medium of memories for them too…

  4. If it’s an embarrassing situation I usually will ask them if it’s okay. Other than that it’s no holds barred. Usually the silly stuff happens to me anyway so I don’t have to worry about it too much. Of course my blog is usually about silly stuff any way. No one is really coming to my blog to hear about potty training and canning veggies! LOL.
    I think what you do here is great. Be as vague as you want. We’ll still come back.

  5. I struggled heavily with the same thing. I did the same type posts as you with the pics of projects done around the house without the backstory due to that very reason. It became like work to me and that was definitely no fun.

    Good luck figuring it out – I hope you can. 🙂

  6. I’m SO glad you brought this up because I was just having a conversation with someone last week about the fact that most “mom” blogs are written by moms who have young children. Hardly anyone in my stage of life is writing about it . . . except me, so feel free to stop on by sometime! 🙂

    My kids are 11, 15, and 17–we’re in a much different stage of life than most blogs I read. I’ve learned a lot in the past year about respecting their privacy, boundaries, etc. which is especially tricky with teenagers. I NEVER want to embarrass them, but that seems to be what I’m especially good at these days.

    My middle daughter is extremely (EXTREMELY!!) private, and we’ve kind of come to an understanding that I just won’t write about her anymore. (I also use a pseudonym for her and my youngest.) It really bothers her when I write about her, and no relationship is worth a blog post. (I wrote about that a couple of weeks ago.)

    My oldest actually has her own blog and doesn’t care if I write about her or use her name. So she’s o.k. with me, although I do still try to respect her privacy and honor.

    I try to approach blog posts about my teenagers as “this is what I’m learning”–focusing on me and my journey rather than on them. Sure, they are definite characters in my story, but ultimately it’s my story.

    I could say a lot more, but I won’t. Sorry this got so long!

  7. I don’t think my kids have any idea what I put in my blog. I’ve made it a point to not share with them what I post. For me, the blog is a place to write (within reason) my thoughts. So, while I’d never share something extremely personal, I do write about the family. When it comes time for me to ease up on the amount that I post about my kids, then I guess I’ll focus more on my own personal thoughts!

  8. I’m dealing with this as well, because its not just about what I say about them, but also what I say about the things we do that concern them…

    And the other part of the problem is that they are getting to the age that they (and their friends) are reading blogs (mine included) and that adds to the quandry.

    It’s not like I am writing deep and controversial things, but my kiddos do have the right to keep their lives private.

    At the end of the day, I would hate to write anything that would bring them embarassment in the face of the peers; I would hate to write something that would wound them (especially since I wound them in many other ways as I swim through the murky waters of parenthood!). So, for know, the muzzle stays.

    The good news? If I see this as a “limitation” to my writing style…my writing will be limited. But if I view it as a means to improve my writing, then I think it will be so….I guess we’ll see!

  9. I think this is EXACTLY why I’m in a blogging “rut”- my oldest is 21 and doesn’t live with us, and my very soon to be 13 year old says those same words to me “don’t put this on your blog”

    We no longer spend many afternoons at the park, or backyard together any more – she’s with her friends, at the movies, playing basketball or sleeping! – doesn’t make for too much entertaining blogging LOL

    She gets embarrassed if we eat out somewhere and I want to take pictures (seriously, she got mad at me when we took my mom to an old fashioned soda fountain for her birthday lunch)

    Being in my mid 40’s and married 23 years, we aren’t doing much home decorating, so I don’t have tons of posts about that either.

    My recipes have seem to take over my blog lately.

    Well, I’ve rambled and have not answered your question. LOL……I got with my gut – sometimes I know there is something silly, that she says “don’t put this on your blog” and I know she wont mind, but other things I know are just off limits, and I try and respect that. (right now I’m debating about posting the pictures of us putting tomato paste in her hair and wrapping in saranwrap and duct tape trying to get the GREEN out of her hair from the pool LOL – she says NO WAY!)


  10. I think you can write more about your side of the experiences y’all go through. Without revealing which child you are talking about, or embarrassing them, you can tell us what is challenging you, what is helping you to grow as you go through life.

  11. My kids frequently say when something happens “Mum, you must put that on your blog!”.

    I am aware that this might change, and there is lots of stuff I don’t put on there.

    I suppose it is a balance, but we are the adults, and the primary responsibility to protect our kids is ours – whether we protecting them from us or our blog!

  12. I’m definitely in the same boat. My oldest is 7 and my youngest is 4. I’m finding that I want to write less and less about my older daughter because she is very sensitive and private and, frankly, I wouldn’t want my mom writing my every funny little quip once I hit elementary school!

    I am “trying” to write just more generally about parenting lately. I also do find myself posting more about my younger daughter. I’m no Martha Stewart so I don’t really do the crafty/decorating/recipe type stuff. I do have my review blog to post that type of thing but my “mommy blog” is having to grow up a little!

    Any way, I have thought about posting about this very same issue! I feel your blog pain!

  13. My kids have said before, don’t put that on the blog mom and I’ve refrained myself, but more often than not they will tell me to make sure TO put something on the blog. Dyl is quieter so I could see as he gets older he may want me to blog less about him, but Zoe is all about attention and I don’t think she is going to mind a bit.

    My suggestion would be that if you are going to write something about them maybe ask them if it is ok. Give them a reason why you are writing it…to remember the times, to make other moms laugh because it probably happens in their house too, to ask for advice…If they realize there is more to your post than embarrassing them then they may be okay with it. Discussing the post with them also tells them that you aren’t there to make fun of them and care what they have to say. Of course I wouldn’t do that for all of the posts, but if you think it may potentially embarrass.

    I’ll be learning through your experience so when my kids get there I’ll know what to do!!

  14. I didn’t start my blog until Shortman was 15, so it was kind of a moot point by then. Plus, other than him and my husband, no one in my family knows about it. (And the two of them don’t read it…)

    But here’s a story for you.

    Saturday, my gorgeous 17-year-old son decided to cut off all of his hair. His beautiful hair that was down to his shoulders – amazingly healthy and strong and thick – the kind most women would LOVE to have. I took pictures. Then I took pictures AFTER shaving it all off. His dad said to him, “You know, she may post these on her blog.” He said, “I don’t care – I like it when she talks about me.”

    So, I’m going with the flow. I let my heart tell me, and if there’s any kind of doubt at all, I ask him.

  15. I am dealing with this already too. Hunter is at that age where vague is okay, but details not really. He doesn’t mind that I write about it, but not bare-bones specific. I respect that in him, he has always been a very private person.

    Boo loves doing stuff so I will write about it, but I am sure that it will stop.

    I think that as my kids grow, it will become more a “what we are going through” than a “guess what Boo did!”. Somethings are just not anyone else’s business.

  16. Oh, my B says all the time, “Mom, don’t you dare put this on your blog!” She’s 8. BUT only if it is something that would embarrass her. If it is something that shows her in a good light, she is all for me writing about it to the world! I still have my 5 year old to write about, though.

    I have no answers to this – it’s good to read others comments on this.

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