What Happens to the Mommy Blogger when the Kids Grow Up

I’ve often thought about what would happen to my blog if I died tomorrow. NO I don’t plan on dying tomorrow but… you never know. Who would know my passwords and logins? Would there be a “now that I’m gone” post or a “We’re sorry to inform you that Nikki has died” post? Who would write that? Would my husband, the ever private and never seen, come out of hiding and blog for me? Would my kids take over? Would a friend?

But I never really gave much thought as to what would happen to this blog once my kids grew up.

This is what goes through a diehard blogger’s head. You’re welcome.

The kids, 15, 12 (or will be 5 days from now), 10, and 5. They are the reason I write. I often say that if I didn’t write, I’d go insane. I’ve always kept a journal and my stories, my frustrations, my fears and hopes intertwine with the snippets of their lives that I put to paper.

Like Bebe’s first word: chocolate. I kid you not. She said chocolate before anything else. How Bug used to sing to my growing belly with Bebe inside “you are my sunshine” because it was one of the songs I sang to him. And Shorty’s and Bebe’s schemes of raiding the fridge and cupboards together, one climbing the counter and one acting as a look out.

These are my stories. But are they really mine? Are these memories and snippets and pieces of their lives and mine destined to separate one day? Will there come a day when the stories I share won’t be only for me to tell?

This is a problem that I think a lot of bloggers who have children face; when do we stop telling our stories and let them be someone else’s to tell? Do we have to stop telling them? Those questions are as emotional as they are ethical.

Mommy Blogging for a Larger Audience

Certainly when you’re blogging for yourself, you don’t imagine that anyone will read let alone care what was going on in your crazy life. Yet, an audience still comes, reads, and shows up regularly like television viewers waiting for their favorite sitcom to start. You roll with that audience and begin to think of them as extended family and some become close friends brought together by the power of the interwebs.

Are you willing to share all with the public as your kids grow up?

But what happens when the audience grows or you take those personal stories and begin writing them for other publications? Is there a point at which you pull back and censor your lives? And even if you’re not writing for other publications, does there come a point where you think about the implications of sharing so openly?

Privacy. We aren’t edited. Many of us write, skim, edit for grammar or spelling and then hit publish. Very little goes through a filter or past an editor. We expose it all for whoever Googles, subscribes, or tweets it to see. Even if it does go through an editor, the blogs of moms are fodder. The more personal, the more outrageous or intense or intimate the more page views it drives and online publications and communities love the page views and the conversation your personal lives bring them.

Thinking About What’s Best For All

Regardless of if you’re writing for another publication or if you’re writing for yourself, you need to examine what’s going to work for your family. Ask yourself these questions:

1.       Is what I’m writing going to hurt my kids down the road? Think about it, you can barely afford to feed them all now, why would you want to add a therapy bill on top of it? This is especially important if you’re blogging for other publications. Sometimes the topic of the day isn’t one you want to touch or the post could come back to haunt you… It might not be the personal story at first but the personal cost that comes later that you have to consider.

 2.       Can I take what is old and re-purpose it in some way or make it less personal and more informational? Maybe you have a really good story about potty training your 3 year old or your child still wet the bed at 5 years old. Can you take that story and honor your child’s privacy and make it more informational? How did you potty train? What method worked? How did you get your child to stop wetting the bed? The point is to make it less about THEIR PERSONAL LIFE and more about a way to help others.

3.       How much of what I am writing about is really relevant? Do you find yourself struggling for things to blog about when it comes to your kids? Odds are if you find that you’re writing more about “you” and less about the kids, it might be time to make a switch. Maybe you’ve already started to self-censor and didn’t even realize it.

Moms who blog about their kids are the modern day Erma Bombecks. Even though that might make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, consider the struggles Erma must have had when it came to figuring out how much to tell and not to tell. (And she didn’t even have Google!)

The good news is that we moms are a resourceful bunch of women; full of creativity and naturally the mothers of invention. So it goes without saying that we have options when it comes to blogging about the kids as they grow up.

We Have Options

Keep on keeping on. Continue to write about your children with the reckless (or not so) reckless abandon that you already do. If for nothing else than to have that blog (provided you keep up on the hosting and domain renewal fee), live as an expression of your love for your kids long after you’re gone.

Start Something Else. Seriously the kids can’t be the only thing you’ve ever written about on your blog. (Oh they are? Oh shit. I’m sorry… ) Now that they’re growing up it might be a good time to maybe start something else, create another section of your blog to talk about other passions you have or goals that you want to accomplish. It’s important to have other intersts, seriously and why shouldn’t you be writing about those too? You are more than just a mom.

Keep on Keeping On, but with Permission. There’s nothing that says you can’t write about your kids once they hit the tween or teen age (or younger if they protest you blogging about them). The best way to keep writing about them if you want is to ask them first. Get their permission to talk about the driver’s training test they took (and failed. Two times. Like I did. True Story). Set limits on what you will and won’t talk about. Cut back on your child’s intimate details.

My kids are used to me having a big mouth and spilling everything to everyone but you might be surprised to know that I really don’t tell you everything. If something has happened and the kids see that look in my eye… they ask, “Are you going to blog about this?” and if they tell me No, then I won’t, unless I feel it’s relevant or going to add value somewhere, and even then we discuss it.

The teenage boy said I’m not allowed to talk about the birds and the bees here so we will never discuss winged flying things. Ever. Promise.

I’m sure that I’m going to struggle with a balance as the kids continue to grow (though I’ve tried to stop them from growing, nothing really works) but knowing that I have options and that my communication with the kids is pretty open makes me secure in knowing that whatever we do; it will be the right one for us.

Do you think that blogging about your kids is acceptable? Would you ever stop blogging about them? What questions do you have about maintaining your blog as the kids get older?

 

*This post has been a part of the Blog Hop Conference at home. It has been a sincere pleasure to share some of my knowledge and discuss what matters to me as a blogger with you. To see the full schedule of Blog Hop Conference sessions, visit BlogConferencenewbie.com http://blogconferencenewbie.com/blog-education/expert-advice/bloghop-blog-conference-at-home/

image credit: stock.xchng

About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 759 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.

Comments

  1. Really love this post. This is a conversation my husband and I have often. We haven’t drawn a line yet as our kids are still so young, but I have already found myself starting to self-censor and add in less personal topics that still pertain to my audience. Thanks for posting!

  2. Really love this post. This is a conversation my husband and I have often. We haven’t drawn a line yet as our kids are still so young, but I have already found myself starting to self-censor and add in less personal topics that still pertain to my audience. Thanks for posting!

  3. What great points to ponder. I have found, as my kids have gotten older (the oldest will be 20 in October and the youngest turns 10 next month…oh..my…I am so old…but I digress) that I have probably actually blogged less and less about them and more about the variety of crazy things that run through my head (and about more books because, well frankly, I read more now!)

    My oldest actually has her own blog these days so I don’t want to pilfer stories from her either LOL.

    Have a super Weekend!!!!!

  4. What great points to ponder. I have found, as my kids have gotten older (the oldest will be 20 in October and the youngest turns 10 next month…oh..my…I am so old…but I digress) that I have probably actually blogged less and less about them and more about the variety of crazy things that run through my head (and about more books because, well frankly, I read more now!)

    My oldest actually has her own blog these days so I don’t want to pilfer stories from her either LOL.

    Have a super Weekend!!!!!

  5. Thank you for this. Now that my son is 6 and 1/2, I wonder often what next?

  6. Thank you for this. Now that my son is 6 and 1/2, I wonder often what next?

  7. I can totally relate to this. My boys are 15, 12, 9 and 7.

    the teen has FORBIDDEN me to write about him anymore, except very surfacy and general things. And I can’t blame him. We live in a small city and I have a very local readership. His friend’s moms don’t need to know that he has acne on his nose. . .

    BUT I CAN write about parenting a teen in very general terms, and still help my readers.

    Recently my blog is less about my kids and more about me (except the baby twins…they are still stars). I changed my header, took the boys and the shy husband out and put up a big picture of ME!

    And do you know what? It feels good. Because I am a mom, and a blogger, but I am also a woman, a wife and friend. I have a lot to write about!

    Thanks for the great ideas! and thanks for helping me think through a lot of this!

  8. I can totally relate to this. My boys are 15, 12, 9 and 7.

    the teen has FORBIDDEN me to write about him anymore, except very surfacy and general things. And I can’t blame him. We live in a small city and I have a very local readership. His friend’s moms don’t need to know that he has acne on his nose. . .

    BUT I CAN write about parenting a teen in very general terms, and still help my readers.

    Recently my blog is less about my kids and more about me (except the baby twins…they are still stars). I changed my header, took the boys and the shy husband out and put up a big picture of ME!

    And do you know what? It feels good. Because I am a mom, and a blogger, but I am also a woman, a wife and friend. I have a lot to write about!

    Thanks for the great ideas! and thanks for helping me think through a lot of this!

  9. My hubs and I haven’t talked about it much except where it concerns what I might be writing for others. I think this is kind of like every other parenting thing where we have to trust our instincts. :) So glad you’re already discovering that you self censor, if it works for you I say go for it. :)

  10. My hubs and I haven’t talked about it much except where it concerns what I might be writing for others. I think this is kind of like every other parenting thing where we have to trust our instincts. :) So glad you’re already discovering that you self censor, if it works for you I say go for it. :)

  11. Aaah to have a kid follow in your footsteps, how wonderful! My daughter has talked about her taking over this blog one day (*if only*) I would be so proud. As we age I think we discover we have so much more to talk about than just our kids that it’s a natural progression. I’ll be stopping by to check out your book posts! I’m a huge reader. :)

  12. Aaah to have a kid follow in your footsteps, how wonderful! My daughter has talked about her taking over this blog one day (*if only*) I would be so proud. As we age I think we discover we have so much more to talk about than just our kids that it’s a natural progression. I’ll be stopping by to check out your book posts! I’m a huge reader. :)

  13. What’s next is whatever you want, ya know? That’s the beauty of it being your blog… whatever you want is next. I do have to say though that I have another blog that I’m revamping to be more about country life and the shock that it’s been to this city girl. :)

  14. What’s next is whatever you want, ya know? That’s the beauty of it being your blog… whatever you want is next. I do have to say though that I have another blog that I’m revamping to be more about country life and the shock that it’s been to this city girl. :)

  15. We’re in a small town as well but I don’t really think anyone hyper-local knows what I do and that’s fine. So far the kids have been pretty okay. They are starting to put some limits and when I say “oooh that would make a good blog post” they are very open about telling me if I can’t write about it.

    I am loving the fact that though that as the kids grow and change, I too am able to adapt and change to fit those changes. What other career or job really lets you do that on your own terms?

    And my husband is very private and reserved. So far he’s never said that I couldn’t write about him or things but I’m also very mindful of him and that privacy… not to mention, I don’t even think he has ever been to my blog to read it! If I asked him today what the name of it was, he probably wouldn’t know :)

  16. I am smack dab in the middle of this – four years in and my kids can both read now, and the stakes are much higher now that they are in school. I’m re-tooling and having a hard time with the fact that my blog is simply less personal (it’s a local events/community involvement blog, but my kids have been the stars since day 1) and also am starting something new which I am REALLY excited about. I am glad to hear I am on the right track :)

  17. I really enjoyed reading this post because I think we’ve picked up where “mommy bloggers” typically stop… at the teen years. My daughter and I started a website for teens — not for moms, but I think mom bloggers should do exactly as you say — keep on blogging. The questions get even more difficult as toddlers turn into teens and that sense of community is still vital. Love what you are doing!!!

  18. I was thinking the same exact thing I been looking for an outlet for the past two weeks in how to stay away from anything under 13. I have one that is 10 and like to focus on him also but combine with my older two.

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