Sarah and Anne

photo by Tina Francis Mutungu

In the fading of the day, Anne was curled up against me in our beat-up old leather chair. I was reading, and she was just resting, watching me. We were rather quiet because the other two were watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood together. I had my hand in her blonde hair, slowly running my fingers through, she was precariously balanced, a noodle of a girl. Then we had a lovely conversation.

Maybe you’ve noticed or maybe you haven’t, I don’t know, but Anne and Joe have steadily been disappearing from my blog for a while now. I used to tell a lot more stories about them – their spirituality, their daily lives, their quirks, their new experiences, their wisdom, their frustrations – but the “mum-blog” aspect of my writing has wound down.

(It’s likely I’m the only one who misses it – the world hardly needs another over-sharing mother with a blog.)

I made a conscious decision to stop blogging about the tinies when they started kindergarten.Β I figured at that point – when they had friends at school, a presence in our community, a life of their own beginning to emerge – that they needed to know that their life was their own. So when they headed off to school, they headed away from my blog, too.

It’s been hard sometimes because, well, I’m a writer. It’s hard not to write about the most precious part of my life, the most inspiring, most rich and challenging part of my days. But I don’t write about the intricacies of their lives anymore – at least not publicly. (Babies and toddlers are fair game, so Evelynn still shows up a lot, particularly on Instagram since we’re together all day while the older tinies are at school. I tend to treat that medium as a her baby book (poor little third baby). But even with her young age, I try to be respectful with an eye on her future life.)

The tinies all know about my blog, of course. Before I post a picture of the older tinies, I ask if it’s okay with them. “Is it okay if I share this on Facebook? on my blog?” Most of the time they say yes, they get a kick out of it. Sometimes they say no, and then it’s just our moment. Sometimes I don’t even ask, I just know: it’s not for anyone else but us.

I do write about motherhood still, of course but now it’s more about Me As A Mother, my own journey. Details are obscured. No one is named if a particular situation warrants a mention. A couple of years ago, right about the time I was having these realizations about “war photographers” that I eventually wrote about for D.L Mayfield, I was having very similar thoughts about my own tinies.

And I’ll be honest with you: there are a few posts back in my archives that I wish now that I had not written about the tiniesΒ – I feel sad that I took a private moment and made it public, let other people weigh in on their lives. I was learning, and I get that, but still I have regrets. I have deleted them. I will make apologies when they are older: “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have written about that. Will you forgive me?”Β I’m trying to figure out a way to keep writing about mothering without using my children as fodder – and until I do, I’ll just keep erring on the side of silence and protection.

So that moment on the chair earlier today with Anne, it was ours alone. Even though the Writer-Me wants to capture the narrative and make some art, some connection, out of it, the Mama-Me is holding it close to the heart, protecting them. The days are moving too quickly sometimes. Anne is seven and a half, Joe is five and a half, Evelynn is nearly three. We have a lot of laughter, a lot of mess, a lot of frustrations, challenges, victories, and sacred moments. We have conversations that end well and other ones that end in eyes-rolling or yelling. There are things about the tinies and about this new season of our lives that are so incredible. But most of those moments will go unblogged. Those moments, those conversations, they’re ours alone now. I’ll jot them down in a journal, maybe someday they’ll show up in my writing but that day won’t come for a while – if ever.

I need my children to know that they aren’t blog fodder. I need them to know that they can grow up without an audience being privy to their sacred moments.

I need them to know that when they curl up around me in that old leather chair that their secrets are safe with me.

 

 

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  • Vicki Judd

    Treasures to be hidden away. Wise choice, Mama.

  • My friend of my eldest Facebook friend requested me the other day. I am not ready to share that part of my life with my kids or their friends. To have to censor my words for kid sensibilities. It also made me think about what and how I post about my kids. Love this post. Holding the moments close. But I will miss having all my memories in one place.

    • Oh, yikes. Me either! I can’t imagine being FB friends with my kids friends.

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  • Dang. These are important words we could all learn something from. Sometimes I think we lose sight of kiddos’ humanity in our own desperation to be seen.
    I love the last line. Honestly, if the innocent secrets of their childhood aren’t safe with us now, how can our kids possibly trust us later on down the road with the big, tough secrets of adolescence and adulthood?

    • I love when I make Luke Harms say “dang.” It makes me so happy. πŸ™‚

      • “Sometimes I think we lose sight of kiddos’ humanity in our own desperation to be seen.”

        What a succinct, spot on, painful truth.

  • Thank you for sharing your discernment process with this. I’ve started having similar thoughts. Mine are only 3 now, but I think I will begin to ease off (especially) the pictures as they get a little older. The writing part, is hard. Motherhood, and my children, are so much my muse and where I find so much beauty and grace and grit, but I always need to balance that with a respect for their lives and privacy, as you mention here. Thanks again for sharing your perspective.

    • I know, that’s my tension, too. As a writer, this is your biggest “thing” right now! It’s hard not to write about it. But I try to write about my own story as a mum, instead of theirs. It’s a subtle shift but I’m trying to steer myself that way.

  • Beautiful.

  • Beth Anne

    Yep. I started stepping away about a year ago to respect my son’s privacy after regretting posts that I wrote. I altered them, deleted them, but I vow to not make the same mistakes again.

  • You are a wise women. One day they will be good women and a good man who bless their mama. They will tell their own amazing stories.

  • I think it’s about being wise in the moment, as you say. I did exactly the same as you, in the early days of my blog: shared difficult moments (to off load and to find empathy mostly) and I have since deleted those posts. The sad bit is, they have more than likely left a lasting memory on some who have read them, i realise now that wasn’t fair. I ask my children (now 13, 12 and 9) if they are ok for me to share something on my blog. My eldest is fine with it, my middle one not so much, so I tend to be a little more obscure now. It’s a difficult path to walk and I’m trying to read it with their eyes, before hitting ‘publish’. I would hate for them to say to me one day: “why did you share everything about our life?” I hope that they will understand but I need to be ready to answer that one.

    • Exactly – I think asking for permission and using wisdom is the thing here. Good points.

  • “I need my children to know that they aren’t blog fodder. I need them to know that they can grow up without an audience being privy to their sacred moments.”

    Oh Sarah. There are blogs I used to read, bloggers with slightly older children than yours, and I’ve found myself unfollowing them, not wanting to read anymore for that exact reason; it begins to feel like they use their children for profit, exhibit them like zoo animals, tell stories that aren’t the mom’s story to tell. It’s tough to see that and to remember how fiercely private I was at 11 or 12 years old, how much having moments-of-our-own that weren’t shared with the world was so so so important to me… especially as the youngest child, when there aren’t very many moments where it’s just you and your parents, you already treasure them so much. To have them shared with all and sundry would be… I don’t know how I would have handled it, but even now it makes me so uneasy to even think about.

    I think this is just the best decision; kids as they grow out of toddlerhood start to really find their own identities in thew orld, and I think living forever on the internet as So-and-So’s Kid can really hurt them. This is just such a good choice, and I applaud you for making it, I really do.

    On a more personal note, I am expecting my first kid right now and one of the things I’ve been ruminating on, as a blogger, is how much to share, when, and when to wind it down. How much even to share about this time now, before the baby’s anything more than an expectation, how much about my child’s existence I want the world to have access to before the child itself is even here to say hello. I think you’ve really answered my question. I’m bookmarking this post to reference whenever the thought comes into my mind again. In short, thank you for writing this πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for this, Katie. I’m always thankful I wrote through motherhood in those early years even now (with a few exceptions as I mentioned above) but yes, those stories aren’t always ours to tell. They’re not our property. I remember being so self-conscious when I was in my late childhood, too. Good point.

  • Good for you!

  • wordofawoman.com

    I have been saying this for a long time. Protecting our children’s stories is a sacred trust. Much of what I see people write about their kiddos borders on gossip. I wholeheartedly back you on this one.

  • Sarah I’m so glad you wrote about this. Luke Harms and Brenna D’Ambrosio and I were talking about this on Facebook the other day after I linked to that article Ruth Graham wrote for Slate.com (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/02/what_s_it_really_like_to_be_a_parent_please_don_t_tell_me.html). It was kind of secondary to the main point of Ruth’s article, but after looking at the links she posted in the beginning of her piece, I was struck with the notion that if we’re not careful about we share about our children online, that they’ll have an internet history before they even learn how to use it. I’m not a parent yet, but I’ve read plenty of “mum blogs” and it’s made me realize how important it is to protect children’s identities and not appropriate their childhood experiences for our own entertainment or platform-boosting.

    • Yes! I wish now that I had even obscured their names. Of course that horse has long left the barn so it’s no use shutting the door but yes. I feel that.

  • Allyn

    Amen! I see family/friends/strangers who blog about their children constantly, and I wonder what it will mean for these children. If we caution teens that what they post of themselves can be seen by anyone, including future schools and employers, shouldn’t we be thinking along the same lines, only even more so, to protect them in all of these stages of life that are dedicated to growth and hard lessons? Also, I think it will be interesting to see how these children, especially those of mega bloggers who often say not very nice things about them, grow up and behave. When the whole world has seen you grow up at your best and worst without your permission for years, where do you go from there?
    I don’t even have children yet, but these are the things my husband and I discuss. What does it mean to protect children these days and maintain innocence?

    • Love your comment, Allyn. I was thinking of that comparison between teens that overshare and parents that overshare as well. I think there’s a big double standard there. And I’m also very interested to see how these kids of mega-bloggers grow up, too. I wonder if they’ll reject using the internet, knowing that they already have this profile and history and audience that they had no choice or say in creating.

    • That’s a great perspective – we hassle teens for over-sharing on social media but we do the same thing. Yuck. So glad you’re already talking through these things. So much of this is learning on the fly when it comes to social media – and in my case, by making mistakes.

  • Mia

    Thank you for being so thoughtful of your children’s hearts. It makes me want to cry when parents use social media to broadcast their children’s private moments (I’m guilty of it too!) and especially their failures. Facebook (or Twitter, or whatever) should never be a tool for discipline.

  • Too often I read a post detailing an experience with children, and I can’t help but think about the shame they might feel someday over what was said about them. I applaud your decision.

    • Thanks, Natalie. I wonder that, too. And then I thought, “yuck, I’ve done that. I am doing that. I need to stop it.”

  • “I’m trying to figure out a way to keep writing about mothering without using my children as fodder – and until I do, I’ll just keep erring on the side of silence and protection.” Yes, this. I too have phased my children out of my blog, writing about mothering in how it relates to me without going into specifics about my girls. It’s a hard choice in some ways, but your post and others in D.L. Mayfield’s series really confirmed for me that the only person I have full license to write about is myself. If I want to tell someone else’s story, I need their permission (as well as hefty doses of thoughtfulness and foresight). Period. I miss your Anne and Joe stories, of course, but I know they will grow up grateful that you valued their privacy more than extra blog material.

    • Well, I love you for missing their stories, Bethany. πŸ™‚ At least I’m not the only one. xo And yes, I picked that up from D.L.’s series as well – the only person I have license to write about is myself. Otherwise: write fiction. πŸ˜‰

  • Early on, my mother-in-law warned me not to write publicly about my kids (she knew from personal experience, having frustrated and hurt one of her kids because she told a mildly embarrassing childhood story in a widely distributed family newsletter). Her caution put me in a quandary, as my blog and books were written with parents in mind as primary readers. I severely limited my stories, though I told a few. When the kids were old enough, I would gain their permission before publishing any carefully selected interaction or story. If they did not approve, I deleted the post and it never saw the light of day.

    Boy, was that hard! When so many other bloggers were gaining fans because of this point of connection and commiseration with readers, I remained almost completely silent on anything relating to my kids. One of those kids is now in college, the next is a senior, the third a teen and the fourth a tween. I’m so glad we can enjoy big laughs or big mistakes without anyone asking, “Are you going to blog about this, Mom?”

    I’m glad I erred in this direction, Sarah, and hope that you look back with relief that you chose to, as well. They’ll be able to write and publish their side of things soon enough, and at that point, you’ll be even more glad they don’t feel the urge to get even. πŸ™‚

    • Ha! Now THAT is food for thought, Ann! Love that. Thanks for setting such a good example for us as we navigate social media as parents. Such a new world.

  • Thank you for this, Sarah. The disappearance of “private” space is one that’s so important to talk about, think about, not just as parents, but as those who care for the souls and stories of others. Remembering the humanity of our kids is so important, and treasuring their own ability to tell their own stories. It’s hard enough to find our identity (and our identity in Christ) in the midst of all the world throws at us, it’s harder still when we have to combat an identity established online for us by our parents.

    As we hope for a child of our own, holding that story as sacred is something that’s very important to me. It ties in, I think, with the idea of “beautiful obscurity” that you’ve spoken so eloquently aboutβ€”letting stories be witnessed by an audience of One, rather than needing more eyes that Christ’s on them.

    • I sometimes think about that story of Jesus who talks about the rich man in the temple who gives in front of everyone and says, ‘He’s had his reward.” and then comes the widow with her mite, right? I sometimes worry that by writing about certain moments that that is all the reward of it. Keeping secrets has become a spiritual discipline for me.

  • Thanks for being so honest Sarah – and I think you’ve been very wise. Getting the boundary of what’s private and public nowadays is getting much more difficult, you’ve stood for something important here. Thanks Sarah.

  • Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    Hmmmm . . . I don’t know, maybe I just am feeling contrary, but I think there are ways to write respectfully , lovingly about our families without using them as “fodder.” Wisdom is essential and I try to lean toward writing about my perspective and experience, not theirs and never to embarrass. Our kids are about the same age as yours and I write much less about the older two (7 and 5). I also always check with my husband when a post involves him. To me it seems very similar to preaching – I always cringe a little when a pastor tells a story about an older child and am grateful when a pastor mentions having “cleared” a story with a family member. I guess I’m just feeling a little dinged here, since much of my most fruitful writing comes from my connections with others. Good food for thought, Sarah, and it seems like a “moving line in the sand” that I will need to discern post by post.

    • I’m sorry if you felt “dinged” by my decision – it was a personal one. It’s such a tricky thing to write through your life when you want to write about the intersections with others, particularly relationships. I love how you put that – a moving line in the sand. That’s a great way to understand it and helps me, too.

  • “I need them to know that when they curl up around me in that old leather chair that their secrets are safe with me.”

    eyes and heart running over here. me too. me too.

  • I love you so much for this.

    I’ve been worried about what to do with Marian as she grows older. I don’t blog about motherhood too much anymore, but I’m wondering if I should, if I shouldn’t. She’s still so small…but this, this is a powerful thing to hold onto for me for down the road moments.

    • It’s always so subjective, isn’t it? And messier because now we’re not just writing our own truth but imposing our own narratives on another person’s life. Gah.

  • This is good. It makes me wonder about how many photos I share of my kids (and wonder even more about the IG photo of Joe last night). While I don’t post anything that might embarrass them (I think), it might be time to go even further. Thanks for the insight.

    • It’s hard because we’re navigating a whole new world. I don’t want to over-correct either and disengage from these mediums where I find a lot of life and relationship either. So tricky….

  • SortaCrunchy

    I also have posts in the archives that i need to delete, stories I am confident my girls would not want shared. Thank you for this guidance, so honest and compassionate toward our children.

    • I know. I finally deleted the ones that had been bothering me in particular this past weekend and wrote this post then. I originally called it “why I’m deleting posts” but decided to go this way instead. It’s so tricky, a whole new world.

  • This is so important. I’m sure I’ve overshared some aspect of my kids’ lives in the past, but lately, I’ve been feeling the same way. I’ve never even felt right about sharing too many pictures of them & their goings-on–though I will from time to time. No matter what, it’s always about respecting others. I just finished watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on youtube, and I kept thinking “if this were real, it would be wildly inappropriate.” Because there was just so much personal stuff being shared. I use the simple “if my ____ (parents, pastor, kids, siblings) saw this, would I be ashamed of sharing it with the whole world?” If there’s even a twinge of doubt, I won’t.

    • Yes, that’s my guiding question now, too. Sadly because I’ve made mistakes and hurt people – including family – with my indiscrete blogging at times.

  • As a former pastor’s kid, I relate to this from the child’s perspective. I never knew what “adorable teaching moment” about me would end up in a sermon. When I tell a story about a person that focuses much more on them than on me (it’s hard to tell a story in a vacuum, and, in my experience, much less fun) I ask permission to use the story, or, in the case of someone gone (either dead or no longer in my life) I think long and hard about the story, and try to be as honest and gracious as possible.
    I also have a rule that I don’t write about dating, at least not until long after the relationship is over, and obscuring many details.
    Love the way you’re walking through this, dear Sarah.

    • Yes, I often think of that with preacher’s kids! So true. I have learned to ask for permission as well. I never want my friends to feel that fear either – “would this show up in the blog or her book?!”

  • Jess Fick

    so true! it’s easy as a blogger and writer to want to share all of those things with readers. But children are given to us to be loved and treasured. not just blogged about for the funny things they say and do. I often wrestle with this as well.

  • I hear you. I keep a little notebook for each of my girls, where I write little letters to them and try to capture those ordinary and (and occasionally extraordinary) days. I’ll give them to the notebooks when they’re not so tiny.

  • I tell my four big kids regularly that whatever they put on the internet is a cyber tattoo for the world to see which means whatever I put out there about them I’m the one holding the tattoo gun. I certainly don’t want God to tell others about the conversations I have with him, and I so want my kids to see my love for them is a small glimpse of the way Jesus loves them. Thanks for your caution and wise words, Sarah.

  • I just started a new blog and gave my children made-up names. Even so I want to be careful how many details I include about them. But I still like using the computer to write about what I want to remember about my kids and share pictures with family and friends. I just try to keep that separate from a more public offering. I wrote this about why we blog. I may have remembered the “in which” title from a post I read here. Please consider it a form of flattery. http://leakingmommybrains.blogspot.com/2014/02/in-which-i-solve-mystery-of-mommy.html

  • interesting. I’ve never thought of it this way before. i guess it depends on the purpose of your blog, right? i write about the sacred mom moments with my kids as an invitation to other moms to open to the work of God in the midst of struggle, joy, and pain. is it possible to write about the personal moments in a non- fodder (is that a word- non-fodder??) way. fodder makes me think that i am using my kids as opposed to entering a community that supports and encourages moms in the hard and good times. it gives me something to think about though. thanks.

  • Allison

    I don’t blog…yet. This is absolutely one of the reasons. Not in judgment, but in asking myself the question, “How much is too much?” Since I have not been able to answer, I wait until the Lord speaks. Now, I feel like He has. I think it is a challenge when the child’s story is also your story, just from a different perspective. So many things you know would help others who are walking through the same thing, but the damage it would do to your precious child often far outweighs the perceived help. Funny thing, I can’t recall Jesus ever telling stories about his disciples, mainly it seemed to be “The story you are about to see is a parable. The names have been changed to protect…”!

  • Francie

    You are one of the most thoughtful (both being kind and thinking about things carefully) people around. I regularly cringe at some of the things people write about their children online. Your children will enjoy reading this post someday.

  • Briana Meade

    My kids are little now, but I can see this being an eventual choice for me. Right now I’m enjoying transcribing the moments they won’t remember, because when I got a little bigger, I was constantly asking my mom “What was it like when I was…” Later on, I valued my privacy, but I appreciate the stories from my little-hood. πŸ™‚

  • I don’t think you can know just how wise this choice is, but it’s important and right and good.

  • Jackie

    I feel the same – you say it much better though πŸ™‚ I used to blog only about my kids… Now it’s more about my journey… Though I still have a tendency to throw them in there. I’ll be keeping this post in mind as I continue to write. Thanks!

  • Jenny Lyn Harwood

    Thank you for this. I read it and it so resonates with my heart. I have just really recently started blogging myself, and desire to have good boundaries when it comes to my littles. I commend you on your decision and the discipline it takes and will continue to take to distinguish and separate what you will share versus what is just your moment to treasure and keep for yourselves.

    I was introduced to your blog after I heard you speak at the IF Conference. Your love for the Lord, and apparent knowledge of the Lord’s love for you, was so apparent and so attractive to me. I walked away from that session praying that I would find what you have found – what a testimony! I’ve enjoyed your posts thus far (what little I have been able to devour so far), and just appreciate your candor and authenticity. Thanks for taking the time to share, for time is precious, especially with three little one of your own.

  • Anne

    This makes sense and is wise…but is it ok to say I’ll miss them? Your tinies are lovely little people. They are lucky to have you for their mama to protect them.
    I hope I still get to read about your mama heart and soul while still protecting their privacy. I just love that part of your writing especially.

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  • fiona lynne

    Thank you for this. If all goes well, our first child will arrive in June and I’m already trying to figure this out – what to share and what to treasure up just for us.

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  • pastordt

    Good choice, friend. I don’t blog about my kids or grandkids at all – a few stories about exhaustion in myself when I was a mom of active little ones, but not about them personally. Pictures? I do use them, but I’m beginning to be more careful about those, too.The blog is my place, not theirs. Writing about my mom has been the tenderest piece for me. I want to chronicle our journey, but I also don’t want to invade. She knows I do it – though how much she understands what that means, I have no clue. It’s a hard line to find sometimes, isn’t it?

  • I join the others in applauding and supporting your decision. And I would like to encourage you, though, to continue to tell the stories, just in a different genre. Blogging can be memoir. It can also be creative non-fiction or even extended metaphor. Change the names, alter the circumstances a little, blur the personal details bringing what really matters into sharp focus highlighted against a different background.

    Tell the same story only from the child’s point of view, or (as in the case which follows) from the point of view of a third, fictitious observer. The story of the child in this case was actually me, but it could have been one of my daughters and the “mom” in the story could have been me. The “who” is irrelevant. The “what” and “how” and “why” is what matters. The storyline is “true” regardless of who the players are portrayed to be.

    Our stories, your stories, yearn and plead to be told. They have significance. Sometimes eternal. We often never know. They create change in our souls and in the souls of the ones we tell them to. I pray you find ways to express your love, your tenderness, your strength and convictions without compromising or violating a confidence in new and creative ways.

    e.g. In which I yearn for the eager anticipation of a child: https://sites.google.com/site/holyhugs/ants

  • Amen. This is something I’ve been thinking about more and more as my own children grow older… I plan a thorough comb of my archives, and a shift in my own writing focus. Thank you, thank you for this vulnerable and honest wake up call to mommy bloggers.

  • thanks for this reminder. I guess I’m sometimes a little overzealous in my pursuits to share the funny moments. It’s hard to strike a balance.

  • Elin

    Thanks for this. Very powerful. Something I’ve already started to watch with what I share on Facebook (mostly re. my older son, who is quite introverted). I posted a wonderful pic of him reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (at 6!) and he told me he didn’t want it on Facebook…. so I apologized and took it down.

  • Beth

    Quite right. I, too, blabbed endlessly about my babies, but as soon as they started talking to me, and showing their very distinct personalities, it just kind of stopped. My babies were almost an extension of me. But, my little girls are VERY DEFINITELY THEIR VERY OWN (crazy) PEOPLE! Of course, I’m also the full-time breadwinner, so I only had time to chatter about what absorbed every hour of my day back when they weren’t yet weaned. I don’t think I get to claim any carefully thought out decision on this one.

  • Yes. You can’t go wrong in protecting their hearts and privacy. Beautiful decision, friend. (And can I just say here, because I’ve been meaning to email and haven’t), that I am sad I didn’t get to meet you at IF in Austin. Every time I went to find you, you had slipped off somewhere. It was a joy and blessing to hear you speak there.

  • I’ve had this open on my desktop for days now, because it is a topic I’ve very much been thinking about. I haven’t had a strict cut-off date, but I certainly write less and less about my kids the older they get. Some of it is because the stories are less straightforward and more messy. Some of it is because I don’t want real-life friends to have such a window into my kids. Most of it is because I am hyper sensitive to each person “owning their own story,” in the verbiage of the world of orphan care. I see how powerful that is, and how necessary.

    At the same time, I see so many wise, treasured mom bloggers shutting down or going silent once their kids near older elementary, and I’m sad about that. These women mentored me through the baby years, the toddler years. They are authentic and wise and they walk with God in grace and truth. I wish they could call back now, when I need them more then ever.

    • Map Forward

      This will be the real test of the mommy blog generation…will they have something to say beyond posting lovely photos and cute anecdotes of their small children? I hope they do. My generation didn’t have mommy bloggers so we certainly have few blogs about parenting older children and other mid life transitions. It would be nice if those voices were heard.

  • smoothstones

    I’m glad you wrote about this because I’d noticed the shift. I think it’s so important to go with one’s Jesus-loving gut and heart in these matters. I think I’ll probably always write about my kids because my purpose in blogging is to write myself down for the kids, and so much of what I’m learning and thinking pertains to them. I exercise care in what I share and print and bind my posts regularly. My 14yo is my biggest supporter and devours each book when it arrives. Interestingly, I’d started to shift and blog about controversial topics here and there, and while those posts were among my most popular, I knew they were all wrong for me; I don’t want to think about those things, let alone write about them! I write all over my other (less angry) places, and my lack of niche has hurt me, I know, in terms of a following. But I think best to be small since I’m fairly wide open. All of this to say: I’m at peace with what I do, even if it’s not what you do. πŸ™‚ Each of us has to make choices as a mommy (or mummy) and hold her head up high! Blessings on you as you continue blogging your heart. I read and reviewed your book, recently, and enjoyed it very much (even though, again, my deal is somewhat different).

  • Simone Dankenbring

    Yes!!!! You struck a chord in this heart of mine. I have a desire to be real but I’m learning that unless I’m given permission to share, then it’s best to keep it close to my heart. Just happened on your blog from Faith and Culture conference. I’m so excited that I’m going to get a chance to hear you speak. So excited to find you!!!

  • Erica {let why lead}

    Love this so much. I write plenty about my experience as a mother, but it’s more about my honest journey and less about them. And I think I’ve been noticing it taper off kind of naturally, interestingly enough, with my oldest being in kindergarten. I’m happy for him to make his own story. I’ll still be writing away (tastefully, I hope) about motherhood and raising children, but I hope to do it in a way that leaves them still feeling like their secrets are safe with me.

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  • Dawn@ TalesFromTheMotherland

    This is just lovely. My kids are much older, and while they support my journey as a writer, they do not want me sharing their lives in my blog posts. My oldest, my daughter, is quite firm about it. She prefers I don’t put current photos of her, and that I not write about specifics of her life. My middle son, is quite supportive of my writing, but it is understood that I would never write about truly personal things in his life. My youngest will clearly say: “this is off the record,” or “you can’t use this in your blog.” I use code names, and I speak in generalities. I wrote a post last weekend that was about having them grow older, but as you note in this piece, it was more about my journey, than anything they say/do, in particular. It’s a balancing act… the sacred of our relationship, and those precious moments, and my personal journey as a writer. Loved this post! So glad I found it on Lillian’s page.

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  • Handsfull

    I’ve just read this post now, and wanted to say I’ve been missing hearing about your lovelies… but I completely understand and respect why you have chosen not to. I’m a new blogger myself, and have had several discussions with my husband about what levels of privacy were acceptable to both of us. His ‘privacy setting’ is higher than mine, so I’m going with what makes him comfortable, just to be on the safe side. I’m sure this will be an ongoing discussion with us!

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  • Normel Smith

    definitely wise choice. sometimes its just about enjoying the moment and being in the moment.

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