Friday, November 30, 2007

When a Blog isn't Your Own...

I was talking to my best friend today about the idea of blogging, sharing with the anonymous world of the internet every little thought that breezes through your brain, and recording the experiences you share with the people in your much smaller, immediate world with the faceless blogosphere.

We were discussing how people create their own boundaries in this space and how they come to those decisions; I have seen blogs where you can learn everything there is to know about a person aside from their exact home address just by reading their profile. I have read blogs where mothers give nicknames to their children (my favorites are Manhattan Mama's "Rabbit" and Yummy London Mummy's "First Born" and "Small(er) One"--both of Mothers on the Verge) rather than sharing their given names with random strangers.

And it made me think about my own blog and the boundaries (or lack thereof) I've become comfortable with. It made me wonder just how long I will be able to maintain those particular boundaries before I am (if not already) infringing on the privacy of the little man Husband and I are raising.

When I started the blog, it was about ME. Even though I was pregnant and all of the drama that ensued in my pregnancy was about keeping Ethan healthy and safe, the blog itself was all about ME. And I was comfortable sharing a certain amount with the blogging universe. I have no problem talking about my cervix, or transvaginal ultrasounds or the emotional paralysis of post-partum depression. Because, if you know me, you know I'm a sharer. I am, I can admit it (and admitting it is half the battle, right?) an over-sharer. So it doesn't bother me if friends or strangers or family or professional colleagues read my blog--I decided long ago not to censor myself based on who may or may not tune in on any given day. I share because sometimes it just makes me feel better to get it out. And when I was sharing about just ME, that was entirely my prerogative.

But now I'm not sharing just about myself. I am constantly parading Ethan over the "pages" of this blog because I adore him to pieces and I want to plaster that adoration, through words and images, on every surface in the world. But I wonder, in 10 or 15 years, is this little blog of mine going to be a source of entertainment for my son or a source of embarrassment? I mean, I have posted naked pictures of him (just his "fresh out of the oven" shot, but still...) and discussed his bowel movements. I have gone on and on about breastfeeding and recorded his first kiss. These are not things that a teenage boy wants his mother sharing with people. Any people. And here I am, sharing them with ALL the people (at least all the people who stumble across this blog).

And, for the sake of argument, let's say I keep at this blog for years to come (thereby proving that I truly have no life whatsoever)? At what point do I decide to leave Ethan out of it? When is he old enough that, as a mother, I have to step back and say "Now I have to respect his privacy".

I mean, now I can blog about both the good and the bad as they happen, whether it be his struggles to gain weight or the look of pride and delight on his face when he learns something new. But when he's fifteen, he's going to be horrified if I'm always sitting down at the end of the day to post pictures of him in his soccer uniform and brag about his grades, and I certainly can't blog about finding cigarettes in his jacket or about not liking the girl he's taking to the sophomore formal (somebody watches too many After-School Specials...). That would be a huge violation of his privacy and I'd go from being the adoring and doting mom to the intrusive, overbearing mother he can't wait to escape from after graduation.

So what do I do? At what point do I say "enough" and move on from the blogging world? Or at least this particular blog? Do I start to censor myself with thoughts of what the future Ethan is going to think about me sharing this or that? Or do I continue to write what I want, those moments that I want to remember forever, as I want, hoping that one day, future Ethan will realize, embarrassing stories and all, this is the place where I come to gush about the light of my life, and sometimes there simply aren't any boundaries that can contain a Mama's love?

2 comments:

KMW said...

I totally struggle with this all the time....

Lindsay & Kyle Margenau said...

Hey Sarah!

Great post - something we have also been thinking about a lot. On a whim I googled Luke's full name to see if there were any other Luke's in the world - turns out, I got 118 search results, all of them to youtube video, blog entries, photobucket photos, etc of him rolling around naked, taking his first steps, playing at playgroup, etc. Made me realise that if someone ever wants to give him a job, and googles him (as I do with everyone I interview!) they will learn far more about him than just his work experience... kinda strange to be raising kids in the information age, isn't it? I'm still not sure what to do about it though...