So about a week ago, Zoey and I were driving back from Lollapalooza and we had a long car ride, and at first she said she was going to sleep on the way home, but we ended up talking instead. Car rides are the absolute BEST time to talk about serious things with your kids if you ask me because it’s uninterrupted time where you don’t have to look at each other.
Anyways, I don’t exactly know how the conversation came to this, but at some point Zoey said, “There are good things about you having the blog and there are bad things.” As soon as she said it, my heart shot through my esophagus and up into my throat. Was starting the blog a big mistake? This is the question that has always haunted the back of my mind.
The thing is, when I started it I had no idea what it would become. I was a writer. Zoey was only like 18 months old. I just wrote a funny little story about a time I had to change her diaper at the local library and I put it up on wordpress. It was just me having fun, writing a story, and sharing it with like 3 people.
And over time and a few more blogs, 3 people became 6 people, and then 6 became 170, and that’s when I knew I made it. 170 people were reading my stuff!!! It felt amazing.
But I was careful. I distinctly remember a moment when Zoey said something hilarious but embarrassing. My hubby and I both looked at each other and said, “That’s NOT going on the blog.” Right then and there we had a conversation about what I would and wouldN’T share. And if you’re wondering what she said, I’ll never tell.
Anyways, if you were one of those 170 people, you might remember what happened next. I wrote a little post called “What NOT to F’ing Buy My Kids this Holiday.” I pushed publish, and then I grabbed Zoey and headed to her gymnastics class. Little did I know, that one post would change everything.
As I sat there watching Zoey tumble this way and that, I had my laptop on my lap and I saw the numbers rising and rising. I thought it was some kind of technological glitch. And then the comments started pouring in. And then my Facebook page started to grow. Insanely.
I did NOT plan this.
I just wanted to write my stories. I just wanted to be real. I didn’t want to set up beautiful pictures or sell stuff or take cute videos of my kids and share them with the world. I just loved writing.
So when Zoey told me there are good things about the blog and bad things, I had a small panic attack in my head. Was it a huge mistake? The kids have gotten so much from it—gifts, vacations, concert tickets. But they’ve also lost plenty—privacy, anonymity, a camera taking a lot of pictures and videos all the time.
Even though I was freaking out on the inside, I calmly asked Zoey to tell me some of the good things and the bad things, so I’d know what she was talking about. And she started to. She had great points. Great, honest points. And I’d be lying if I said it calmed my nerves. If anything, it made me really question what I’ve done. She didn’t sound upset or angry. In fact, she even said she was proud of me. But a lot of things came out. Some things that I’ve thought about, and some that I hadn’t thought of. She was just being honest.
She loves that we’ve gotten to go on great trips. She loves that she gets to say her mom is an influencer. She loves that we’ve done a lot of fun things. But she doesn’t love when strangers come up to her and know who she is. She doesn’t love that her friends read about her. She doesn’t love that some people know more about her life than she does.
I sat there taking it all in.
And when she was done speaking, I asked something I wasn’t planning on asking.
“Zoey, do you want me to stop the blog?”
She didn’t hesitate. “No.”
“Are you sure?”
But I wanted to make something clear to her.
“I just want you to know something. You have a red button in front of you. And anytime you want me to end it, all you have to do is push the button. Seriously, it’s entirely up to you.”
But she said she wouldn’t push it. She said she loves the blog. She loves that she can look back at all the pictures and stories and read about her life. And I made sure to remind her that it’s not her whole life, that there are plenty of things I haven’t shared. And I asked her if she wanted me to run things past her before I share them from now on. She said no, that she likes reading the posts and being surprised.
So the blog will continue just the way it is. For now. Hindsight is 20/20, and knowing what I know today, I think I would have changed a lot. But I’m just an imperfect mom, doing the best I can. Making a blog, making mistakes, but most of all, making great, creative, kind, loud and sometimes annoying, but mostly AWESOME kids.
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