It turns out I have boundaries. I know that’s surprising, given the gratuitous photos of my giant pregnant belly and explicit details of my son’s birth story that appeared on this blog. But when it comes to posting his vital stats and even any photos, I hesitate. It’s tough, because everybody’s doing it. Mommy blogs everywhere are filled with photos, video, real names and info about every detail of their kids’ lives. I read them, and enjoy them immensely, and am tempted to post my own because surely he’s the most beautiful baby there is and his life just as entertaining, but I can’t help but wonder what the backlash will be.
I have vague, ominous fears about internet boogeymen trolling for kidnapping victims or turning innocent videos or photos into ugly things or stealing identities that won’t be discovered ’til your kid turns 18 and applies for their first credit card and finds out someone has racked up huge debt in their name. The latter is a true story that helped me decide to not even post his name or birthday, though I’m sure if you dug deep enough, you could find it. I’ve shared it all on Facebook with nearly 200 of my closest friends (I said I had boundaries, I didn’t say they were particularly stringent ones). What made me really stop and think about all this was when we were posting videos of our baby on Motionbox for my in-laws who live in Taiwan. They miss him terribly and this is a great way to keep them updated, but when my husband was about to upload a video of our 6-month-old happily splashing in the bathtub, I thought about the Demarees, and made him stop. Yes, our account is password-protected, but it still didn’t feel right. If this family could get arrested and separated from their children over printing a couple naked baby pics at Walmart, why even risk it?
Above all, my decision to keep his life private is based on how he will feel when he’s old enough to decide for himself. I remember being annoyed that all my mom’s friends knew all about what was going on in my life, and can’t even imagine how upset I would’ve been if she’d had a blog at her disposal and typed to millions of strangers, “Guess what, Internet? Cassy started her period today.” Argh. The humiliation. I feel for all these kids who I know by name and how many bowel movements they’ve had in the past week and I vow to not embarrass my son. As much as I’d love to share his antics and expressions, big moments and small ones, this is not the best forum to do so. I respect his privacy too much. This is my blog, so I will make it about me which will occasionally include my experience with motherhood because that’s where I am right now, but not be so focused on him. So, sorry, all six of you who read this regularly, there won’t be any chubby baby pics here, but I’m sure Little Man will thank me someday (though I’m sure I’ll give him plenty to be embarrassed about regardless).