I couldn’t sleep last night.
There were monsters under my bed. Ok, that’s not true. They were in my phone. Fine. More like monsters in my head only they weren’t monsters. They were people yelling at me. People named anonymous.
These people read the New York Times article, Why I Decided to Stop Writing About My Children.
I don’t know why I read the comments.
Internet rule number one: never read the comments. It takes thick skin to read what anonymous has to say.
I couldn’t sleep last night because my thin skin got a paper cut.
I read the comments because I am this article. The author admits she screwed up. She’s not writing about her kids on her blog anymore. This author’s blog is not different than the thousands of other blogs written by parents – she wrote about her children growing up for the past seven years. Parenting is and will always be a hot topic because becoming a parent is life-changing. It’s metamorphic. It’s relatable. Your life, your body, maybe even your personality can be separated into before kids and after kids.
She wrote about her son starting puberty.
“It seems an obvious line-crossing that I wrote about such an intimate detail, but I did. At the time I didn’t pause for a split second; I was more than willing to go there. I had been writing and reading extensively about parenting tweens. I knew people might be mildly shocked, but mostly interested.”
Her dad called her and said she should stop to think about respecting his grandson’s privacy. She made the decision to stop writing about her kids. Now she writes about nature and trees.
I am not the author of this New York Times article. I don’t know anything about trees. I managed to kill three of them in our backyard.
This author might as well be called a witch and burned at the stake. I’m next. The commenters, anonymous, were talking to me too –
“You’re a narcissist. This blog is all about you.”
“Your kids will hate you when they’re adults. Have fun with that.”
“You just wrote about your kids by saying you’re not going to write about them.”
“Get over yourself.”
“How would you feel if your mom wrote about your first period?”
“You have no respect for your children. You are a terrible mother for giving them no privacy.”
“These bloggers think they can call themselves writers for using their children as stories.”
“That grandpa is a hero. Hopefully, this writer listens to his advice. Shame on her.”
“I hope your kid’s friends don’t read your blog. You just caused your son to be bullied.”
Then I woke up.
I can only speak for myself.
Screw you, anonymous.
I write about my children. I tell their stories. I write down what they say for others to read. I share pictures. I use their real names. I started this blog when Kate was 6 weeks old. My first post documented Kate’s first smile – which is funny because she hates smiling for pictures now. I have been writing about Emma and Kate for 7 years. It’s the only thing they know – “my mom is a writer.” They are proud of that. They are proud of me.
My kids know I write stories about them for others to read. I think they would like their stories as adults. I would want to know what I said as a child. Everyone loves to hear stories of an early childhood they don’t remember.
My kids have never read my blog in its entirety. I’m not sure they would want to read about my bikini wax or my advice to men on how to get laid. Maybe one day, they’ll appreciate my writing as a woman. Or not. I am not the first mother to publicly write about adult topics. I do not write about Emma and Kate’s changing bodies or their drama at school. I don’t write about their insecurities. I do not write about them as much as I used to but that is just because of their ages. That is life. They are becoming independent. My life – my blog – is opening up to more than just my kids.
This little blog – yeah, it’s about me. I’m the main character. It’s my perspective on life as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. I know my kids because I raised them. They are two of the funniest people I know. And they know it. I want the world to laugh with them.
If you think I’m taking away their privacy then don’t read it.
Oh, and make sure you tell Mark Zuckerberg that because, to me, a blog post about my kids is just a long caption to a photo. I wouldn’t post a picture of them naked much like I wouldn’t write about which future boyfriend makes them cry.
I can sleep tonight because I know I am doing the best I can. As for my future adult children – I hope they write. For damn sure, I hope they read and write. I hope they write stories about their crazy mother in the nursing home.
I hope they write better than I.