Since I started blogging, one of my favourite things to do is check out the wordpress homepage.
For those non-wordpress users and the non-bloggers, they have a section called “Freshly Pressed”.
Freshly pressed is a selection of other people’s blogs, that are selected by wordpress because the post is interesting, different or unique. They are updated regularly and it has helped me to find a number of interesting blogs that I may not have ever come across otherwise.
There are now at least 8 blogs that I have subscribed to and receive updates regularly.
Last week on freshly pressed, there was however, an article written by a woman about parents who blog.
Interestingly (or rather – not surprisingly) she doesn’t yet have any children herself.
She started the post by describing an event that occurred in her own life as a teenage girl.
The story goes that one day, she was snooping through some word documents on her mother’s computer and came across a letter that was password protected. She cracked the password and went onto describe the horror she felt as she read what her mother had penned as a spoof Christmas letter.
The letter was a tell-all account of the bratty behaviour that her daughter had been displaying and various other tidbits about the family. It described the hormonal hell that she was putting her parents through and the misdemeanours of other family members.
The writer was shocked and angry. She felt like her mother had betrayed her.
Ok, I probably would feel a certain sense of betrayal too. But ……as a mother myself now, I can see the other side of the coin.
I can see that sometimes…..mothers just reach breaking point and need to get it out!
Personally, I think that if the mother had this letter stored in a password protected file, I doubt that she really sent it out at all. I think it was intended as a tongue in cheek letter and more of a personal venting post than anything.
Even the writer says that she doesn’t know if her mother really sent it out or not.
But then she went onto compare this situation to the thousands of parents who “are going public with their children’s personal lives every single day”.
She commented on the daily updates from parents on social networking sites such as Facebook - with status updates such as “Can’t wait to get away from the kids on the weekend” and the blog posts from parents detailing the issues that their children are having at school, and writing about “the shackles of parenthood, and various online comments about how boring it is to be a stay-at-home parent… ‘
She wrote that it is wrong of these parents to put any of this out there on the world-wide-web and that one day in the future, our children may possibly stumble across one of these articles and feel the same sense of betrayal that she did when she broke into her mothers word file and read something that was never intended for her eyes.
In the last paragraph of her post, there was another line that got my back up…. ”I certainly wouldn’t tell a 4-year-old that his tantrums drive me to drink an extra glass of wine….” So…..this is the part where I give MY opinion…..
Yes, she has made some very valid points, I suppose that there is a possibility of children feeling betrayed in the future if things are read in the wrong light.
But there’s also a possibility of me saying something nasty to them in a heated moment when I don’t take control of my tongue and say something without thinking through the consequences.
Of course, I try to NOT let that happen, and take all measure to keep my cool in stressful situations and be the good example that my kids need.
But guess what? ….I’m human. And so are all of you reading this.
Sure, anyone that is a parent whether you are raising NT or special needs children ARE going to be under pressure
A LOT OF THE TIME!
It’s all part of the job description!
And now onto the blogging debate.
I can only speak for myself and MY family……..my husband and children are all aware that they are the main characters in my blog.
In fact, they all (bar Lucas) chose their own pseudonym names.
They all know that they are allowed to read my blog whenever they want to.
It’s all part of the thing called “ honesty” that I’m trying to teach my children about.
And this keeps me accountable….. Knowing that my children might read what I’ve written about them helps me to remember to choose my words carefully and to not go off on angry tangents.
At this stage, only Mr Patient and Ella CAN read but I have read posts out to Harley whenever he’s asked me to.
( N.B. I’m still being careful in the respect that I won’t be reading out the posts about the early days of diagnosis to him just yet because they are filled with raw emotion and he’s too young to take that on board, as he wouldn’t understand that it’s not his fault……)
They like being the subjects of my blog and often whenever something funny happens here – one of them inevitably asks “Is that going on your blog Mum?”
My children KNOW that underneath all the emotional writing and outbursts that I love them unconditionally.
I don’t have secrets in this house.
Of course, there are things that Mr Patient and I DO NOT tell the children because a) it’s too “grown up” for little ears or b) it is information that they don’t need to be burdened with.
But that all comes under basic common sense anyway.
Ella has had girls at school say to her “We saw your artwork on your mum’s blog and we love it!”
She got a real boost from that!
And I know there are a lot of mothers from school that read my blog because I’ve seen the changes in them since I started writing about my family and our struggles with autism.
I notice the different and more understanding looks that they give Harley when he’s pitching a fit and I notice the number of parents that go out of their way to say Hi to him…just because.
I’ve seen other the other uglier side too.
I’ve endured the stares from judgemental parents, I’ve noticed some parents purposely avoid me now and had one of them ask me how things are going in my “madhouse”……. Interesting choice of words from a mother who barely speak to me don’t you think?! :)
In conclusion……I understand the point that this writer was trying to make, but as a non-parent I think she was being a little harsh judging that which she has never walked through.
Out of all the parenting blogs that I have read , they all contain the good, the bad and the ugly.
But if you delve deeply enough into any of these blogs and read more than one post…..you will see that the underlying theme in them all is…..unconditional love.
These parents care SO MUCH about their children that they want to write about them and boast about them. But life isn’t only made up of wonderful, gooey, fuzzy moments.
And my children KNOW that all whingeing and moaning aside……they are my everything. And that’s good enough for me.