I think the biggest challenge for any blogger with kids is trying to decide how much is too much to share about their lives.
There is nothing more interesting to me than my children. My life is intimately wrapped up in theirs. They are my responsibility and their needs and problems shape my days and direct my thoughts and my moods.
But ultimately they are their own people with their own stories to tell, and as much as I feel as if their problems partially belong to me too, I don't really have a right to broadcast their private worlds out onto the web. They don't mind my sharing certain events and general stories of trips and basic milestones, but then most of the time those stories are really about my own reactions, and not really about them. Despite that, it means there are many things I can't say.
So I've been thinking a lot about how that relates not just to blogging, but how all of us present ourselves to the world. I read often about the impact that comes from people on social media curating an image of their lives that seems too perfect, and that it gives a false impression of things going better than the reality.
But we all do that to some degree in daily life, not just online. That's called privacy. It may seem like I'm willing to share most of the details of my life with anyone who wants to read my blog, and the truth is I don't see much worth concealing, but I don't get to decide that for others. Where my life intersects with others is where things get really interesting, and also where the lines start getting drawn.
Lately I've had to deal with some deeply challenging issues. Those issues impact my schedule and consume my thoughts and disrupt my sleep, so it feels like I should be entitled to talk about them because those things are about me. But the core issue is not about me, so I'm not at liberty to discuss any of it. As much as I want to get certain details off my chest and receive outside feedback, it's not appropriate. It's not my story to tell, even as I'm the one expected to take control of it and correct it and do everything in my power to make sure it comes out all right for everyone.
I don't think we extend enough compassion to people whose struggles we cannot see. We jump to conclusions that if the surface we are presented with looks fine that everything beneath is as well. But there are things we can't say. As much as we'd like to, as much as it would explain our pain to others who might cut us the slack we need on a hard day, we can't. We don't have the right.
It's not as simple as wanting to present a pretty image to the world. Sometimes that's the only choice we're left with.