When you stop writing about your kids

by singlemomseeking on February 23, 2010

Almost one year ago, I wrote about Censoring my Blog — and your comments made me think hard (as usual).

In that post, I wrote about my blogging struggle: it was time for me to stop writing about my kid. This all started when I was having a heart-to-heart one evening with my tween, and she said, “Mom, you’re not going to blog about this, are you?”

No

Let me tell you, this hasn’t been an easy decision. Because when you’re a single mom whose blog revolves around relationships and family, how can you NOT write about your own kid?

Still, it was time for me to face the facts: I’m not an anonymous blogger. (These days, however, I do wonder what being an anonymous blogger really means. It’s not that hard to do the research and find out someone’s identity, thanks to Facebook and Google.)

So, a year ago, I asked how other bloggers deal with writing about their kids as they get older. It was Kat from My Single Mom Life — who has been blogging since 1997 (!), when her boys where eight and six — who said that whenever she blogs about her sons, “it is written entirely with their permission:”

“It is my blog about my life as a single parent. They are central figures in that life and blog, but they are also their own people and I must respect them and their decisions to not discuss certain things that go on in their lives.”

Don’t get me wrong: I applaud the parent bloggers out there who write about their tweens and teens under their real names. And I follow a few juicy favorites to soak up everything I can, such as:

Bacon Is My Enemy

Would Coulda Shoulda

Kat Wilder (who blogs anonymously about her teen)

And my latest love? This Full House, mom of teens who wrote this great post about how her four kids asked her to please use their real names – because their blogging acronyms were “stupid” (I love it! Although her hubby still wants to remain anonymous. Ha!)

Yeah, I’m still struggling with this one. If you have more thoughts about bloggers who write about their kids, I’d love to hear them.

Do you think that blogging about your kids as they get older is only acceptable if you blog anonymously?

Or, it’s all good as long as you get your kids’ permission first?

I’d love to know if any of you follow any bloggers who write about their older kids. Please share their URLs here. Thanks!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Travis February 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm

This would have to be tough. I blogged a couple of times and talked about them indirectly. But I didn’t give up names, I didn’t call them nicknames but I didn’t call them out by their names either.

I just don’t think I’m going to call them out by name. I can get my story across without bringing them directly into it. Only if they specifically came to me and asked, and after giving it some good thought, then maybe I would.
.-= Travis´s last blog ..What’s The Altitude… And I Said… =-.

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Clarity February 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Hi Travis,

I too agree that we can get a point across w/o having to give names or any incriminating information that could hurt our children. Unfortunately, I am out “there” seeking advice, much needed advice, regarding rasing my children, and sometimes to get a point across, a story must be told!

Loved your blog!
.-= Clarity´s last blog ..We will overcome… =-.

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Kat Wilder February 24, 2010 at 12:12 am

Thanks, Rachel, for linking to me. But, I’m not sure if what I’m doing is the “right” thing.

I have tried to protect those near and dear to me as much as possible because it isn’t so much what my kid’s going through so much as the bigger issues that most of us divorced/single parents of kids experience. So the exact details don’t seem as important to me. (Plus, some friends have gotten pissed at me for sharing things).

My blog is more about themes than a real memoir; I just try to filter it all through the lens of my experience. But, if I were writing a more blow-by-blow portrayal of my life (which would be much more boring, BTW), I would hesitate to write anything about my kid without his approval. Which means I wouldn’t be writing very much.

And so it goes …
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..Dating, unplugged =-.

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Nicki February 24, 2010 at 3:58 am

Yeah…um…it never occurred to me not to write about my kids and to use pseudonyms. (And I thought I was creative!) They are now 15 & 12. They don’t mind when I write about them, although I do read it to them before I post and get their approval. Mostly, the kids feel honored to be a part of my writing.

And, as you mentioned, since they are such a huge part of my life, it only makes sense that they appear in the blog periodically. (Just like everyone else in my life…)
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..My first giveaway! =-.

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Heather {Desperately Seeking} February 24, 2010 at 6:57 am

I stopped blogging about my kids and the things they do to annoy me or how proud I am of them sometime last year. It wasn’t intentional, but one day I realized that I just wasn’t talking about them as much…that and my 13 year old asked me not to blog about it…

reason being?

my blog is connected to facebook and alot of their friends are my friends on face book. Having a 10 and 13 year old, I didn’t want them teased because I was boasting on them or because I mentioned something funny that they said… funny to me, but embarrassing to someone else.

I still talk about them… and because of the baby mama drama i have with his ex, they are all now called things 1 through 4… but not in a personal kind of way…

but i do ask permission now to blog if it’s something personal.

my post about this is here.. http://desperatelyseekingsanity.com/2010/01/25/and-so-i-dont-talk-about-them-much-anymore
.-= Heather {Desperately Seeking}´s last blog ..There’s No Way That He’s a Pastor… =-.

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Pippi February 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

I write about my kids but I do use pseudonyms. They are too young to read my blog because of some of the adult and very personal content. And, as far as bloggers who do right about their kids without using pseudonyms, I was going to say Nicki of Suddenly SIngle Journey, but she beat me to the punch. Best, P
.-= Pippi´s last blog ..I lost my virginity when I was 14 years old… =-.

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BigLittleWolf February 24, 2010 at 11:48 am

I certainly talk about my kids, and single parenting. But I talk about a lot of things. My role as parent is only one of them. I try to maintain a certain amount of distance (and as much anonymity as possible) from certain details of my life for many reasons, including my own privacy. My kids are teens, so there are many things I would never write that have to do with them, and they know I’m careful to respect their privacy.

I use the same principle relative to any relationships.

I guess it’s whatever feels right to each writer, and her/his kids.

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Swati Bharteey February 25, 2010 at 9:17 am

I’ll probably have to gain some sort of agreement with my daughter once she gets older. Right now I write about her in the context of single parenting and the after-effects of my divorce (I feel like I’ve just been “caught” by the way – my latest post:”I feel sad when my dad lies to me”) . She’s not in every post or anything – but to leave her totally out in a single mom blog seems kind of funny too! But I don’t mention her name and I only use pictures that are over 6-7 years old (if any)try to imagine her reading it later in life…and that usually helps me decide.
Hmm.
Swati
.-= Swati Bharteey´s last blog ..I Feel Sad When My Dad Lies to Me =-.

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Clarity February 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm

You are SO right; blogging about your kids is part of the therapy that comes with blogging for us single-parents! I’ve heard it over and over, “It takes a village to rasie a child,” but not until I became a single parent, did I realize my need for a village! I find it through blogging. Take care – nice blog.
.-= Clarity´s last blog ..We will overcome… =-.

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Avigail74 February 26, 2010 at 7:07 am

I come from a family full of writers—-and when writers write about their life, how is it possible not to write about those close to you? Everyone in my family writes openly about their children, parents, and spouses. They even include some of the challenges they’ve faced with their close ones. And, how they solved it to. Readers enjoy that—it makes them feel that they are not alone or so glad that they don’t face challenges on whatever the writer faces.

However, when writing about children of a certain age—it may not be a bad idea to ask the child how s/he wants to be portrayed. Every child is different—some may want their whole life exposed—or some get embarrassed when in the limelight—some might want a balance.

But, to have you, Rachel, stop sharing with us your humanly ways as a single parent—would cut out a large part of blog. The way you write is very nonjudgemental, makes us take a step back and re-evaluate a situation, allows readers to support us on issues–to take away parts of the real everyday dilemma as a mother with a daughter would be sorely missed.

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CafeCupid February 27, 2010 at 2:44 am

There is nothing wrong about writing about your kids. You have them and you like to talk about them which is normal. I had a request from my members to put a topic in my forum at cafecupid.com about the single parents and most of them just discus about there kids which is naturally normal.

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Jen March 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I don’t not blog about my kids (does that make sense?) but when I do blog about them it is with love and the knowledge that they rarely read it. I don’t use their names for the most part but if you look you can find them. As a single mom I wouldn’t have much to write about if I didn’t write about them. Not that my blog is all about my kids, it’s not, but the shenanigans they pull are always great blogging fodder. And I think they know when they pull something outrageous they will get blogged about and maybe not punished.
.-= Jen´s last blog ..Happy Goats Soap Contest Rule Changes =-.

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WineCountryMom May 18, 2010 at 11:10 am

I found this post of yours when doing a search on blogging about kids. (by the way, I do lurk yours and Kat’s blogs occasionally). I was recently left a comment on a blog about my tween’s misbehavior, questioning the reason I would write about it and urging me to seek professional help and advice for what I was doing to my kids. I want to be angry about someone being so judgmental when they only read about 10% of our lives. And I want to point out to them that I write about these instances to help another tween’s parent know they aren’t alone in the battle of the wills. But I also feel that they are right. It’s one thing to write about the cute little things your toddler does. But as they get older, their antics aren’t as cute, and the stories shared probably highlight their bad behavior more than their good. It’s tough, when your life revolves around your kids, to not write about them. But maybe it’s time to stop when they reach the age when they’re aware of what we’re writing about.

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Liz October 27, 2011 at 5:05 am

Well, it’s very, very nice to meet you Rachel! You know I totally get what you’re saying, here. Also, my kids now read my blog. So, yes, I am very careful about the stories I share and believe that is the crux of the issue, here.

Although, my writing style hasn’t changed much since 2003 (I’m old, I know, shuddup) my blog was never really about my kids, but, rather about me, being their mom and the lessons they’ve taught me, along the way.

On the other hand, I am more careful about what I write and, if unsure, try to think of it in very simple terms: would I feel comfortable sharing this story with friends, IRL?

Aaaand, if that doesn’t work: would I feel comfortable sharing this story, with friends, in front of my kids, their friends, their school principals, the PTO and the entire student body?

UGH! Then again, maybe it’s easier if I just keep asking my kids, right?!?
.-= Liz´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Kaleidoscope Eyes (and a spooky-looking arm, too!) =-.

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