Saturday, July 24, 2010


I fuss to myself about blogging sometimes.  I wonder if it is fair to reveal things about the kids publicly.  Does it invade their privacy?  Is it disrespectful?  I started my blog on the pattern of Smiles and Trials, and Christine is both pretty open about their family life, and she uses real names places and lots of photos.   She was my inspiration so I did likewise.

Since then, I've run across blogs that are real in terms of what is written about, but the blogger uses made-up names.....and there are also blogs that use obvious "pet names".  For some reason I have the hardest time reading is some sort of disability of mine. If someone calls their youngest child "Alice" I can easily envision the child.... BUT, if they refer to her as "Little Bit" or some other non-name, I can't seem to envision a human being at all, or distinguish "Little Bit" from "Poopsie"; thus if they have several children I get completely lost.  That makes me nearly unable to follow what is being said or to take it seriously.  Again, it must be some sort of disability; I'm sure other people can, but I can't seem to.

And there are bloggers who tend to just share the cute and the sweet and the latest holiday photos.  I respect that choice, but as I read those blogs I can sometimes feel like I am rubbing my face in the dreariness of my life.  Though, there are certainly IRL people with whom I have that same sort of relationship! Our conversation centers on my ooohing and aaahing about their vacation cottage, their latest trip....or worse yet, being asked to commiserate about how hard it is to get ready to go on long vacations!  Or, how disruptive it is to have major home improvements done! [Darn; if I could just afford to get someone in to fix that broken window!]

Anyway, Tina wondered, after my last post, how Anastasia would feel to know I shared her wish list on my blog.  I don't know!  She probably wouldn't like it, anymore than she'd like it if I shared it with other friends IRL.  But Anastasia "doesn't like" much of anything - ever.  That makes deferring to her wishes difficult. 

The boys know about the blog, apparently, and are savvy enough to realize that it is not a lot different than me talking to my friends.... They don't like it, but it is "what moms do".   They may even feel that the blog beats my going out to coffee with people they may see and sharing stuff there!

I do think/hope that few, if any, people the kids know in real life are aware of the blog....the exception being big brother Aidan, who reads it occasionally, another blogger in the parish whom they do not know, and one or two other adult acquaintances of mine.

I suppose that with all the interesting people and fascinating things "out there" in the world.....just my little circle of blogging friends are going to be interested in our family....I think of my blog as the e-parallel of the conversations over coffee which my mom would have with the neighbors, or her other friends.  What would my mom have had to talk about if it wasn't me and my brother? (I would egocentrically think)....   And her doing so seemed only natural.    I suppose if I'd thought about it, I would have figured that I better only do those things that I'd want talked about!


Mike and Christie said...

Annie, I worried about the same things. (sharing personal things about the kids, and we do use real names)
What we decided was to ask permission. There is a fine line between respecting privacy and revealing personal information.

If I post about something like behavior.... I always ask permission.
I even asked permission to post the fun pictures of the girls "stumpy family".... (remind me I owe Erika 2 dollars) LOL

The way we present it, is that many people can be helped by sharing information. They don't know who you are personally and you most likely will not run into them, but the information we share can help us and them.

Typically our Anna will say, "just don't use my name this time. So if I say, a certain little girl..... then it means, she asked for her name not to be used. LOL

As they are getting older, my guess is, they will either remain comfortable with how things are, or I will have to adjust according to privacy wishes. I find that to be important.

MyGirlElena said...

Hmmm... I never thought of that, but of course my girl is much younger and really doesn't make any regretful decisions yet.
I, too, can not stand blog names such as "Itsy Bitsy" or whatever else. I'm okay with fake names, just make them acceptable names.
I love that you made A's room cooler, instead of "cooler." You are too funny, Annie :-)

kim said...

oh my I totally laughed at that when you say those made-up names! me too! i can never seem to keep them straight either and they usually have more than one child so I am constantly confused! (I hope this doesn't offend anyone) But yeah..i think made up names are too difficult for me but I am fine with real names in place of real names...but even still i prefer real names, real people, real places. I draw the line at real schools though. I would never write down my kids real school name in blogdom.

my kids don't know what i say about them and would probably be bothered if i said anything embarrassing but they don't know yet.

blogs with all happy happy happy stuff annoy the heck out of me since my life is not happy happy happy all the time. I don't think thats real either. but I have been reluctant to write too much bad stuff on my blog since i don't want ppl to think I am a whiner.

Rachael said...

I completely agree on the made up names thing! I get totally confused reading those blogs because I just can't picture the child without a "people" name. One blog I sometimes read has pseudonyms that are made up AND gender neutral!

I think your sharing is totally appropriate in your blog circle. I made a fatal error in starting my blog in inviting too many people I know in real life to read it. Now, I feel a little relegated to the positive spin stories at times. (Though I do "try" to keep it real.) Sometimes I would like to be able to discuss things with my blog circle and get their input and support and I hold back for fear of protecting my children's privacy around people who know them in real life, who may or may not be reading.

Hevel said...

The made up names drive me crazy! I can never remember which kid is Little Cowboy and which one is the Adorable Mermaid!

I feel like there is a great big difference between our parents' chat over coffee and our blogging: the blogs will never truly be gone. They will be out there, in some shape and form, years and years afte we think we deleted all contents.

I used to post pictures of the kids on my first blog. Then my then 15-year-old brother remarked that it's all nice and shiny that Craig okays me posting stories and photos now, but am I sure he'd be just as happy with the content I post when his prospective prom date/future in-laws/future employers google him?

I have to admit that our life is pretty boring and simple compared to some other families. We have easy going, mostly problem free children, and so that is what I tend to blog about.

Diana said...

Ditto on the made up names. I can't keep them straight either. If you're going to be real, be all the way real! I do try very hard not to post identifying information about any of our family members, though. Just first names (though I do realize that many have now figured out our last name as well from other sources.)

Before we moved, there were quite a few IRL people we saw regularly who read our blog. I deliberately didn't share the URL with people in our new town after we moved. It was a great opportunity to make the break. I'm sure there are still a few people I know IRL who read it, and I'm grateful for them. I've had many tell me my blog and life are just too intense for them to follow. HA! Try living it!! The ones who have stuck with me, though, especially the ones who knew me pre-adoption and they still love me enough to follow along this crazy ride...they are my REAL friends.

I, too, generally ask permission now of my older kids before I post stuff specifically about them. Most of the time they are fine with it. They know I share it because I think they are awesome and/or because it helps other people, including other kids. As for the old stuff, I've told them it is still on our blog and a lot of people still read it. They weren't too sure about that at first, but then we talked a lot more about how much they have grown and changed and healed since then. The reason I leave that on there is so people can see that even really tough kids CAN and DO get better if their families are willing to keep on loving them and stick it out with them.

In reality, though, my kids are not even close to the same kids they were back then. RAD is still RAD and we still have "stuff" that comes with it, but for the most part, my kids are light years from where they were when we first adopted them. They are not even close to the same kids they were 3 years ago.

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

Sooo agree on the names, just thought it was me being ADHD or something and couldn't follow a story!!
My girlz are young yet, so when I post there is no wondering what they will think..THey love seeing themselves on the blog..Now when they are older, hmmmm.?
I found some paper today and thought about doing a "primary" post about what my girlz write and draw..

BUt something is up with my computer and I am having trouble doing much of anything!

Tina in CT said...

I have trouble keeping kids straight even with the real names. I also like the real life blogs better than the ones with nothing but Brady Bunch lives. Come on, kids are not always perfect (nor are the adults either).

I try very hard not to give out any location information except the state I live in.

marythemom said...

I'm a parent who uses "cutesy" nicknames for my kids (Bear, Kitty, Bob (daughter) and Ponito). It makes me feel better about using pictures and not just telling sweetness and light stories (I don't bother to read blogs that are all sweetness - I want blogs that help me).

NOwhere in my blog do I use last names or anything more identifying than that we live mid-state. My IRL friends and family read my blog and if they see something they don't like... sorry. They can stop reading it.

I do not ask my kids' permission to blog about them (I wouldn't get it). I also don't ask their permission to talk to my friends and family about them. I risk that they may find it someday and be furious with me, but truthfully my RAD son feels that way anyway.

Mary in TX

marythemom said...

By the way, this was a good topic. Thanks. I blogged about your post here:

Mary in TX