Recently, BritMums produced a blogging survey and one of the boxes to tick in agreement was (approximately) “I feel some of my blogging peers glamorize the day to day experiences and challenges of parenting”. Interesting, I thought. Has blogging become a more ‘romantic’ view? It is definitely more visual, we share more photos. As a viewer, I’m drawn to the stylish, the beautiful. Who doesn’t love ‘feel good’ escapism, some aspirational living. I wondered if blogging is becoming less inclined to the frank sharing of the grim and the good.
I’ve had several conversations with blogging peers, who like me are 3 or 4 years established, whose writing focus has shifted from parenting. I write less about parenting now, even when I do have challenges, because my son is 7 he could read my blog. His classmates could read my blog. Parenting older children is less all-consuming.
When my son was a toddler I wrote a series of posts roughly entitled “I don’t want to go to nursery”, which he didn’t. The blogging community left me lots of useful and supportive comments. The process was cathartic and it was a relief to know that I wasn’t alone.
Toddlers are ego-centric, often challenging, funny and cute. A whole walking package of blogging material. Most can tap in a pass code, swipe away at games on a phone or iPad with more panache than many Grandparents and there ends their access to technology. Their digital footprint, that is another thing altogether. Our children’s generation will have a digital foot print that spans their whole lives via the social media platforms of their parents, before they’ve even logged on for themselves.
Ever winced when your own parent has shared a chubby cheek-ed photo of you as baby? As a toddler, I was (allegedly) “a nightmare”, my mother used to enjoy telling stories of my antics; the cat, the fairy liquid and the kitchen cupboard incident. The creosote incident (pet lovers be reassured the cat was not involved). They were, her version of events. Sometimes, it was funny. Other times, I’d roll my eyes and attempt to change the subject, but on she’d go. Delighted in the sharing, urged on by her audiences giggles. Thankfully, her audience was small, mostly restricted to new boyfriends.
The thing with putting things on line, is you can’t change the subject. The subject is writ large in digital form. Of course, you can pull posts, take blogs down. Is that adequately closing the lid? Bloggers have had their posts lifted and presented elsewhere as someone else’s work. Can you actually put a lid on the internet? Close every hatch.
In presenting a prettier version are we actually doing our children a service. Or should we be true to ourselves, give the challenges of parenting a voice, recording a previously un-recorded history, particularly of motherhood. Is it ok to over-share a toddler’s tantrum?
Where do you draw your blogging line in the sand; plain truth or sanitized version?