When I was pregnant with my son, we had a baby announcement on Facebook. Then I would mention being pregnant briefly, but I didn’t post my ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, the name, the gender, pictures of my pregnant belly, or anything else until the baby was born. I personally feel like if it is the inside of my body, I don’t need friends and family seeing it. I didn’t have a gender reveal. I did let my family know in my private cousin group that I was having a boy by posting Beyonce’s Baby Boy video. I didn’t realize how private I was until I had my kid. Then there was the whole can of worms once he was born.
If you ask me in person, I will tell you pretty much anything. I work in a medical library, so I’m fascinated by the human body. In regards to myself, I’m an open book. That being said, I feel like I am the PR for my kid and while I want to keep it real about parenting (basically that it’s hard), I don’t feel the need to talk about anything other than “Rhys is cute.”
I don’t have pictures of Rhys on my personal blog. I always ask before I take pictures of people’s kids. On my Facebook page, I put pictures of Rhys because we have family all over and it’s a way to share who my son is. I do not post pictures of my son’s face on my public Instagram. My private one is just pictures of him.
I think social media is amazing because it connects us in such a cool way but it also allows us to have one-way relationships with people. For instance, I feel like I know celebrities better because I get to see their lives and inner workings. I mean I feel like if I met Chrissy Teigen she and I would get along. I refer to Karen and Georgia, from My Favorite Murder, as friends as if I know them. I always catch myself because they don’t know me. I don’t know these people but I know about their struggles, their pets, and how happy I am that Georgia finally got a house after believing her whole life that she would never be able to afford one! When there were the fires up in Northern California, I was worried about Karen’s family.
Social media has allowed anyone to become famous. My sister was explaining how Lil Nas X is famous because he knew how to use every platform at his disposal. Good for him. I’m fine with minimal fame for me. You know me as a mom blogger and you can read my bio and get an idea of who I am. We’ve all met people that we saw online first. But my kid is a kid. I don’t want strangers projecting feelings on him. Does that make sense?
My son has a right to not be slightly well known. He’s allowed to have a private life. I wrote about this on Facebook after seeing all these people say “these people have perfect kids!” No, my son is not perfect, but I don’t feel it’s my job to let people know about anything other than the best parts of him. I didn’t want anyone to think I was being fake, (that is one of my unshakeable principles-truth always) but I wanted to let my son grow on his own in “private.”
As a nosey Nelly, the advent of social media has been a blessing and a curse. I love seeing the details of other people’s lives (what they choose to share) but I also spend too much time thinking about it. I have people I love and respect who do not post pictures of their children online at all. I’m trying to find a good medium.
I’m not judging anyone who chooses to do things differently. I know so many people who share every aspect of their pregnancy. I have friends who post pictures of their kids on all platforms and I love it. I mean I love seeing pictures of their kids. In fact, I’m so excited for Halloween! I love seeing their outfits and their joys. I really do get it.
In my own experience, I had to set boundaries about how much strangers see of my son. I actually struggled with the decision to continue being a “mom blogger” because I wondered how much of my private life with my child I would be willing to share. In the end, I decided to keep on doing my blog, because we do some fun toddler things and I feel like there isn’t much out there on what it is really like to be a mom.
I will choose to mostly focus on me because I feel a lot of times people lose their identities once they are a parent. I remember reading stuff about having kids and seeing stuff about girl moms having their kids be their “minis.” My immediate thought was, “My child will have his own opinions and I won’t project what I like onto him.” Well…we basically have the same haircut. And one day I was listening to Jenny Lewis and he thought it was Baby Shark and started trying to sing along. I interpreted this as he likes Jenny Lewis, just like me. Parenthood changes you. You get more flexible, but you get more boundaries. I’m still learning mine, but I want my son to always know what those boundaries are.
How do we find balance with privacy in a not so private world? If only Google could tell us the answer!