In the digital era of parent shaming, gaslighting, and social media hate, people are pouring out thousands of blog posts, news articles, and social media comments about why we shouldn’t be posting about our kids online. And I disagree.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying: I completely understand where they are coming from.
I understand that people will think that posting about my kids on social media is selfish. I understand the scary, terrible things that people do out there on the internet. I am aware of the dangers that lurk behind the dark corners of the web, and the people that target our kids every day.
However, I believe knowledge is power, and I won’t let that knowledge scare me into living in a bubble because I’m scared. That’s how they win.
Needless to say though, like any intelligent, millennial, responsible (and terrified) mother, I have very mixed feelings about the kids and their involvement/presence in both my social media and eventually their own social media.
I would love to raise them in a 100% safe online world and omit any modern technology and electronics from their future to keep them safe. But that is not the world we live in.
Thankfully I’m several years, if not over a decade away, from having to have this conversation with them. But the irony of the situation is, I am in marketing where social media is my actual job. Also, I am an Instagram patient advocate for other people with chronic illnesses, and this requires me to be super active online.
But why do I have to share photos of my children online? Here are a couple reasons:
My social media documents my story, and my kids are the biggest part of it.
I have a hard time doing almost anything without thinking about my boys. They are the center of my life, without a doubt. They have been my priority, my job, and my joy for the past three years. And if you have been following along since the days of pregnancy and my stay-at-home mom blog, I am an avid fan of keeping humanity in motherhood and having raw conversations about how hard it can be.
My blogging and Instagram have changed throughout the years, but the core remains the same – sharing my story so that others can relate and maybe even find a little hope. I have the same struggles, joys, challenges, tantrums, and milestones that you do, but the difference is I share them online. I don’t think that I could share my story and leave out pictures of the boys, because they are two of the biggest parts of my story. By completely omitting my boys from my social media, I would be doing a disservice to my followers and now friends by being what would make me feel inauthentic.
And because one day, this will be all they have.
I’ve written a ton about my kids online. I’ve posted about how frustrating kids can be, what it’s like being a mother to twins, and how much I adore them. For me, blogging and Instablogging are my way of journaling.
And like most things on the internet, now that it’s out there, I know it will outlive me. And that’s kinda the idea.
In case you missed it, I have a chronic illness called pulmonary hypertension, and it’s a progressive disease. So as morbid as it may sound, this disease is going to only get worse as I get older. I know that one day, whenever that might be, all the boys will have left of me are photos and my blogs. They will also have my words, written down and filed. They will know that I shouted from the rooftops how much they meant to me. They will see videos and photos of us together, and know how I was feeling that day. They will have memories of us. And most importantly, they will look back and see that I loved them with every ounce of my being, and I didn’t care who knew it.
So my reasons and motivations for posting pictures of my kids on social media are more personal.
You may disagree with me. That’s OK. Every parent has to make their own choices and do their best for their child. In my world and my situation, social media is a large part of my life and my story. And I want my kids to be a part of that.
I hope that one day my kids will appreciate what I have preserved for them. They will be able to read my blogs, see the pictures, and understand how I felt. I hope that one day they will understand my story and how much I fought for them. And they will know without a doubt that their mom really loved being their mom.