Fiercely Private: Digital Etiquette with your Kiddo


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!

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Alison Gehred
Alison is an Air Force brat, who was born in Wisconsin (and she still visits there often to see extended family) and lived all over the West before her family settled in the Dayton area. Alison received her BA from Bowling Green State University where she met her husband, best friends who are like family, and worked at her college radio station. If there was a cool band in the mid aughts, chances are Alison played them on her show "My Aim is True." Alison received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin and moved back to southwest Ohio. She reconnected with her now husband Mark and moved to Columbus a year later. Several years later, she is still working at Nationwide Children's Hospital as a medical librarian and they have a little boy named Rhys and two feisty cats. They are enjoying re-discovering Columbus as parents and enjoy what the city has to offer in the food, music, and art scene. Alison enjoys fashion, cult movies and tv shows, discovering new music and meticulously keeping track of it in various journals, BBC crime dramas, SCIENCE, reading all kinds of books, and cooking. Alison has her own personal blog about her life and things she finds interesting at She loves to write and hope you enjoy her vignettes about motherhood and this fair city.