My views on what I share about my kids on social media have evolved over time. When they were newborns, I didn’t think much about the impact sharing photos and videos had on them. Now that they are elementary aged, I want to honor their privacy.
When they were newborns and even toddlers, I was all too happy to share photos and videos on my feed and stories. Being a mother was a huge part of my identity – they were 100% of my focus. I shared the adorable photos for validation that they were in fact adorable. I also shared the moments when I was covered in spit up or they were in the midst of a tantrum because that’s real life. It was important to me to show both sides.
I wrote blog posts about how difficult it was for me to bond with my daughter when she was born, how we made it through her reflux, and potty training tips and tricks. I wanted to share those topics because one of the biggest things that helped me through those hard times was reading how others did it. If I could help one person, it made it worth it.
There were many times I shared a photo of my kids and tagged the brands they were wearing or using. There was a part of me that wanted to get noticed by those brands. Maybe it would lead to more followers for me or some sort of compensation for the kids.
As they got older, I started to feel a little uncomfortable sharing them. How would they feel when they got older? Did I truly want to be a “mommy blogger” and share their ups and downs along with the cute photos of them?
Then in the summer of 2019 I jumped on the “Amazon nightgown” craze (it really is a great dress). I had Lawson snap a photo of me wearing the dress in our front yard. That photo was picked up by a few well known online publications that wrote articles about the trend (Elle, Glamour). It was so fun for me!
But, I quickly spiraled into other thoughts about my kids. Not one of those publications asked my permission to include the photo in their articles. Instead of taking the photo, what if Lawson (or Sybil) had been in the photo? That left a big pit in my stomach and I quickly answered my own question if I wanted to be a mommy blogger. The answer was a resounding no.
Now I no longer share their photos on my feed or in blog posts. On the rare occasion that I do, I make sure their faces aren’t visible. While I do still share their photos in stories since they expire after 24 hours, I deleted any highlights in my profile with their photos/videos. If my account continues to grow, I will likely re-evaluate how I share them in stories as well.
I have not taken the extra step of deleting old photos from my feed that they are in, but it’s one that I will consider as I think about their online presence.
My profile is public because I do enjoy sharing about my life – the outfits I’m wearing, books I’m reading, small businesses I love, etc. But, I can share those moments without sharing my kids online.
I don’t judge anyone that shares their children online. Since becoming a parent, I truly understand there are many ways to raise kids and believe we’re all doing what feels right for our own situations. And I love mommy bloggers – I get some of the best advice from parents willing to share about the ups and downs of parenthood!
If you’re interested in reading more about this topic, a few resources:
Jess Kirby – What I Learned from Taking My Daughter Off the Internet
Jo Piazza – Under the Influence podcast
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash