Monday, April 21, 2014

A case of mothers guilt




As a mum I think its natural to want to show off your kids as often as possible. To share cute pictures and talk about what they're up to. Sometimes to the point where people are sick of it, but they'll still indulge you by pretending to be entertained by your latest poo explosion story. I'm no exception to this - I share and sometimes over share about my life everyday. I guess its a requirement of a personal blogger.

Every now and then though I second guess myself. I don't mind sharing my life story. It doesn't bother me if people know about my childhood or my inner thoughts. If it did, I wouldn't have a blog at all. What I do think about though is whether I'm doing the right thing putting photos of my daughter on my blog.

The whole purpose of my blog is to record my memories. To have a place to look back on everything that's happened. A place where I can go to re-live the important times of my life later on, when the memories have succumb to time and faded away. More importantly its a place where she can go and know for certain how much I love her and how much I care about her (if she should ever doubt it). I wish I had that now, I wish I could have an insight into what my mum was thinking when I was a baby. I wish I had our time together written down because I only remember being at school, babysitters and grandparents. While that won't be the case for my daughter, I still want to create a place for her where she can access these special moments whenever she wants to. In doing that it's unavoidable that I will share photos of her and in essence I don't have a problem with that. 

I have an innate desire to create a strong memory base for her that will live on. I didn't have many photos from when I was younger so I aim to take as many of her as possible. I know the sadness felt as an adult when there is hardly anything to look back on. My father also died when I was young and over time my memories have faded. His legacy is a cluster of faint memories that live inside my head and a few low quality photos I have on display in my house. I am desperate to leave my own footprint, heaven forbid anything should ever happen to me. I don't want my children to have to go on wondering like I did.

On the flip side, I worry about the internet. I worry about the unsavoury people on the internet. I worry that once photos are on the net anyone has access to them. I worry what they can or might do with my photos, especially the ones of my baby. I worry about whether she will be annoyed at me in the future because I put her face on the internet. I worry that it could somehow come back to haunt her in the future (although I don't really know how). I worry that me sharing our life together will be seen as a negative thing by people. Yes, I am more than likely over thinking it all as usual. I'd like to think people who would do anything like that aren't actually reading my blog.

Whilst I have these worries, my desire to create memories with her and for her outweighs the 'what ifs' of the future. Instead of worrying about what may happen, I'm putting all my energy into the here and now. I still have guilt about it, but in my heart I'm doing what I think is best for my baby. I hope she sees it that way.

Do you ever worry about photos of your children online?

Toni x


Linking up with Eva, Kirsty and Alicia

34 comments:

  1. As a blogger myself, I know where your coming from although unlike you, I didn't quite start my blog to record my memories, it is more of an outlet to share my experiences with others. I do share photos of my son every now and then but I'm pretty selective on how much I do share and what it is, I prefer to keep many of our special moments to ourselves. This is the same with my personal Facebook account. One way I like to make sure I record all of these photos is to create photo books which are relatively inexpensive and I'm starting to use a program called smile box which is private and you can save your own photo slide shows. It's a very personal thing, sharing photos on social media, and I think it all comes down to how you feel inside and your reasons for doing it.

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    1. I pondered it so much when I was pregnant and I made sure her dad was ok with it and I continuously ask him if its ok. I won't ever put up any nude or inappropriate ones that could be used in the wrong way, but at the moment I'm ok with sharing the photos. I really need to get onto putting up some more photos around the house too.

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  2. I choose not to share photos of my kids and I don't use their real names either, mainly as I don't want people to be able to search for them and find my blog later on. It's a very personal decision and everyone has their own comfort point when it comes to sharing their kids online. Love the reasoning behind your blog - she will definitely thank you for having made these memories one day x

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    1. I don't use her name on here either because I don't want people to be able to google her and find the images or vice versa.

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  3. I think I'm glad I didn't have to deal with this dilemma when my kids were small! Miss 17 enjoys appearing on my blog every now and then. I have tried to protect my kids' privacy by using their ages as names, but Miss 17 in particular doesn't mind and I'm sure my followers can easily work out her real name on my instagram and other accounts ...

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    1. I think that's where most of my guilt comes from Janet, because back when I was younger the internet didn't even exist so compared to today everything was so private and it wasn't even an issue. I have a feeling by the time she gets to school age and certainly a teenager sharing selfies and having online profiles will be the done thing rather than the exception so it probably won't be as big a deal to the next generation.

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  4. It's hard to know what is the right path sometimes. I think just do what makes you happy and what is right for you right now. Mummy guilt and worry will come later on no matter what you do. I find myself worrying about things that haven't even happened yet, things that go on in my brain that I tell myself off for all the time xx

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    1. I do the same thing Alicia! I am constantly telling myself to stop worrying about things that haven't even happened yet.

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  5. I love that you are creating this space for your daughter. I don't have a lot of photos of myself over the age of about 8 so I understand the desire to capture everything. Like Kirsty said, it is such a personal thing about how much you feel comfortable sharing online about your children. I don't share my son's name on my blog, but I do share his pictures.

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    1. Same Tegan, I don't want her name on here.

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  6. I don't share many photos of my boys, mostly because I'm a crap photographer! Also I'm quite introverted and I think my boys err towards being introverted too so they may or may not like me over sharing photos and information about them. Personally I do like seeing photos of little ones from various bloggers. It always puts a smile on my face, probably because I'm past the baby stage so it's nice to remember and melt over a little cherub without having to worry about the 2am feeds anymore! I'm sure your daughter will appreciate the memories you are creating for her.

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    1. I really hope she doesn't mind when shes older. If she ever gets to a point where she doesn't want her photos or stories about her shared then I'll stop and maybe make the old posts private.

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  7. It is an interesting topic and a very personal decision. I did read a post on FB shared my Emma @FiveDegreesof Chaos basically saying what is the world coming to if we are looking at pictures with these sinister thoughts in our minds that most people are decent and most are not bothered by your particular child's photo there are so many pictures on the internet. I choose not to use my two boys real names. I do not really put up pictures of their faces, if you can see their face I usually choose a pictures where they are looking down. These memories you are creating will be so precious in future.

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    1. I was going to use only photos of her looking down or when her eyes are closed, but I think I relaxed a bit more after I started sharing her photos. I guess because I've never had any negative backlash.

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  8. Yup. I get you. I share about my kids a lot on my blog. I think it is by in large safe, but then things happen like I found out a South African had taken pictures from my blog, set up a fake Facebook profile and were claiming my triplets were her own. And then I feel sick and wonder if I should shut it all down. But for the most part I think my blog does more good and I really don't think they will be harmed by this, as much of a violation it is, but there is always that niggling doubt.

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    1. Wow there really are some crazy people out there. I try to watermark my photos now when I remember, but its so easy for people to cut them off and edit them. I'd say as long as the photos are totally innocent everyday things then they cant cause much harm.

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  9. I'm a chronic oversharer, my twins have been public property since they were fetuses as I had a regular parenting column for several years, and I do worry about what they'll think about that when they get older, but for the most part I think it's just a sign of the times. It's not something our parents had to worry about, and by the time our kids are parents, they'll have a whole new set of worries about their own children!

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    1. That's what I figure Emma. Shes going to grow up with the internet, Facebook and Instagram being normal to her so I don't think it'll be too much of an issue. I think I have more guilt about it because the whole internet didn't even exist when I was born so it was a foreign thing growing up.

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  10. I like the words on the picture, and I think that you elaborate on that feeling and make your intention clear. You are a good mother. I'm sure your daughter is aware of that now, and in the future when her thoughts become clouded on this, your words here make your love for her obvious. It is pointless to say, don't worry about it, but I will. Don't worry about it. You are doing a brilliant job, xS.

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  11. I actually think about the same thing too on sharing all these photos and anecdotes of my kids on my blog. I do try to take the necessary precautions by never mentioning our specific locations, or too many detailed photos of our surroundings etc. just to be safe. But I do agree that what I'm doing now, capturing these moments of my children's childhood, is something I wish I had of my own childhood. My parents did take photos and put together in photo albums, but I can only rely on asking them to tell me about the photo and what we were doing then... and often their memory sometimes fails them and I simply get a "oh, I don't remember that!". My prediction is that one day in the future, these kids of blogger mums will have their own community to relate to each other on the trials and tribulations faced as a child of chronic over-sharing mum!

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    1. Haha Serene, they probably will have a community (or therapy group).

      Yes I should've clarified in my post that I choose blogging as a way of sharing the photos because I can also share the story attached to the photos so she understands completely what was going on at the time. I also have photos in my house and albums, but as you say she won't know what was happening other than the exact image that's in the photo. I have a photo of me on a horse (I look about 3 or 4) with my dad next to me and I have no recollection of that day and when I ask mum about it she can't remember where it was or what we were doing. Its such a nice photo, I wish I knew when it was taken and what we were doing that day.

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  12. I worry about these things too. I try to post photos that barely show my kid's faces but not always.

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    1. I started out doing that Kaz, but then I kind of forgot about it and started sharing all kinds of photos.

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  13. It's a hard one and a very personal decision. My husband and I talk about this all the time. The answer we always seem to come back to is the ultimate benefit. Is it for some greater good? These days with so many cameras around just taking children out in public means that their images could be used for something sinister, so I'm not sure there is much we can do to stop that. However, never taking them outside where there might be cameras would be ridiculous. Unfortunately images posted on facebook aren't very secure so for me the choice to upload to facebook is the same as uploading to the blog. I find blogging makes me a better mum, so there is a benefit for my family. I'm not sure if things are worse now or if we're just more aware of them x

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    1. I think maybe we're just more aware of them.

      So true that anyone could really take a photo of your kids anywhere these days with smartphones. My friend had tourists taking photos of her baby at a public pool because she had blonde hair and blue eyes and they were from Singapore and thought her hair was amazing.

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  14. Firstly, I reckon that quote is a load of old bollocks - why is guilt "inevitable" just 'cos we're mums?? Blah to that.

    But, more importantly, I think our fears about putting our kids on the internet will be seen as rather quaint one day. Our kids are internet babies and the world is changing faster than perceptions of morality and privacy can keep up. x

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    1. Ah the internet is full of so many quotes we don't all agree on, isn't it awesome that we have blogs where we can discuss it ;)

      I totally agree with you about our fears being quaint. By the time she's in grade one she'll probably want her own mobile and instagram account. I'm sure this generation won't have a problem with over sharing, social media or internet presence. I just hope by the time she's going out drinking she's got enough sense not to be putting it on the internet as it happens like most teenagers do these days.

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  15. My blog is a record of our life out here, so I'm happy to put photos of my kids on the internet. Of course I am careful about what I write about them, and what photos I share. If my kids don't like a particular photo they ask me not to blog it, and of course, I follow their wishes. That really love my blog, because they can look back and see what we have done, and how things have changed.

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    1. Me too Jo. I'm glad to hear your kids love looking back through your blog. Hopefully that happens with mine too.

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  16. I hear ya. I worry about the same things. Initially when we had our first child my husband wouldn't let me put any photos up of him on the net. This annoyed me but he strongly wanted to protect him but over time he has relented and of course now there are pictures of him and his brother all over Facebook and my blog.
    I get concerned about how it might effect them in the future too. Will my words and images somehow be traced back to them and be used against them??? Gahhhh.... I dunno.
    For the most part I'm happy knowing my blog is an honest record of my life with my kids and it wouldn't be as true or rich without those images. The concerns are all just part of that inevitable Mummy guilt I guess!

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  17. I do use photos of Bell on my blog, but only if she's OK with it. She's 11, so I get that sometimes she like it and sometimes she doesn't. I also don't use that many of her. I think in years to come, it will just be a normal thing for kids to be on their mum's blogs, and no one will think twice about it.
    It just baffles me that there are sick people out there who take advantage of the fact that we are able to share our images.

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  18. Such lovely reasons for why you blog Toni, and it hasn't been until recently that I've worried about digital footprints and all that, but I like to think that their lives will be so digital that my little bloggy space won't have that much of an impact! It's more myself and if I apply for jobs - I'm pretty much an open book, no secrets here! Love the new header!

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  19. It's an ongoing discussion whether to have photos of your children on the internet. As Cybele said, it's a very personal decision because people have different ideas on what is suitable and what isn't. I'm more concerned about the content. I don't use the twins' real names nor do I talk about specifics about their personalities. I regularly check on Google whether their photos come up and they don't. But there will be a point where as they get older, the less I will post photos of them or write about them.

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