15 July 2010


How much is too much? I feel like this is a constant dilemma for MommyBloggers. While much material that is labeled "mommyblog" is so much more, any time you write about personal experience, the fact that you are a mom will come into play. This also means that your family will inevitably get drawn into the fray too. Just how to handle that divide can be a bit of a delicate situation.

For me it is easy to keep the blogging and the family stuff comfortably separate. Part of this is because I "maintain" 3 blogs, each with relatively discrete spheres of discussion. I run a family blog where I try to post as often as possible about what we are doing. This is where I post tons of pictures of the girls and wax nostalgic about our daily comings and goings. While this blog sits out in the public domain of the internet, I don't publicize it. I started it for the family to be able to keep up with us even though we are often far away and really, family and friends are my only readership. Others may find it, but nothing there will hold any interest for you unless you know us.

As for the other blogs, they are a bit more "out there" for the world to see and I do handle the family stuff a bit differently. Full of Knit does not create too much of an issue. While the girls are often mentioned since my crafts are often for them, the blog is not about much family or personal stuff. Only the anecdote required to present the project at hand is written. Since this blog basically serves as a journal for my projects, the personal involvement is fairly limited and it hardly becomes an issue.

Here at The Well-Read Mom I do find it a bit harder to decide just how to approach the family stuff. While I do want this blog to be about more than parenting stuff, since it is personal in nature and my personal life is at least 85% being a wife and mother, I am going to talk about them eventually. I find that that maintaining a level of privacy is pretty easy and just how to handle it can change from day-to-day, or post-to-post. I use nicknames here as a matter of convention, you can probably guess my kids' "real" names if you give it two seconds of thought. These are also nicknames we use around the house, so it is not like I am employing some kind of elaborate ruse. I think DH can now be called by his real name: Chris. It is pretty generic and well, he is a big boy so no worries there. I do put pictures of them here, though I am not too squeamish about that in general. If you really wanted to stalk me you probably could, but I am not too worried about it. To presume I garner enough attention to earn a stalker would be pure self-flattery and not much more. I also enjoy a certain level of anonymity since I do not share a last name with Chris or my girls. To track me down would lead to little since none of our junk is listed under my name, a common military phenomenon.

I guess I have found some kind of comfortable middle-ground. I am really not too stressed about my personal life being out there, but there does seem to be some instinctual divisions that help keep the family details relatively incognito. I realize that this line is not drawn at the same place for everyone. Some may read here and think I need more transparency while others may never dream of disclosing anything other than a carefully constructed cover story to the world at large. A curious phenomenon all together….

Does anyone out there have firm "rules" for this or is it generally an instinctual thing where your "spidey-sense" guides you as to what is okay and what is not? I am curious as to the process others use to make those choices. For me it feels clear as I write each post how far it should (or should not) go, but this may not be the case for everyone. In the great quest to experience the whole blogging process I am interested to see what others do and how they chose to do so.




Ginger said...

I'm kind of weird I guess, because I don't sensor a ton about the kid. I mean, there are some photos I won't put up (no nekkid babies here), but I'm pretty transparent. I totally understand why people have varying levels of transparency though, and would never grudge them their choices.
Of course, part of that is because I don't really write about Jackson. I write about being his mom, and how that affects me (among other things). So I'm not talking about his experiences very often, just mine. Yes they intersect, but it's not about what he's doing or not doing, but how I'm reacting.
Hey, it makes sense in my head :-)

Alicen said...

Funny you should write this today of all days. While writing my post earlier I kept thinking about the topic, I feel a bit like a retard saying DD this, DS did that! I am with you in not very sure where it all should lie. It seems to be pretty split 50/50 and seems merely like a personal decision.

I am not too concerned about disclosing their names (especially since the ones reading are people I know anyway except someone in TX and CA but I digress). Add to that the fact they both are very generic and I do mention them on the craft blog anyway. I don't debate about it on a privacy issue standpoint but more of a I don't want to bore them with little details since they don't know any of us anyway standpoint. I'm not sure if people would like reading it better knowing names or not.

In the end this is your space so do what you want and are comfortable with. If it's disclosing names do it, if it's using nicknames then do it. If people don't like it then they don't have to read.

Alexis said...

Good points!

Ginger- I see how we talk not so much about the kids, but how their activities become foils for our personal lives. When you frame it that way, the hows and whys these systems work becomes clear.

Alicen-You get it exactly, it is not so much if we should expose them, it is about what role they play on each blog.

Thanks guys!