I don’t talk about my kids a lot anymore. I used to when their problems were small and the solutions were simple. When the biggest struggle I had was finding the balance between their need for snuggle time and my need for down time or how to juggle their nap time with my needing to vacuum time.
As the years have gone on it has gotten harder to tell our stories. Mostly because I find myself teetering the line between telling my story as a parent and telling their story as a human.
As they get older, the challenges get bigger. While I would love to share for those struggling how we are navigating these treacherous waters I find myself falling silent.
Believe it or not I do have some boundaries when it comes to what I’ll write about on the world wide web and I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain myself .
In fact, there are two things I don’t really talk about in my rebel adventures and those two things are:
my kids and my marriage.
Now let me go ahead and just say a disclaimer to the effect of: this is just my opinion and I’m not judging anyone who has different boundaries than I do.
For someone who shares such deep dark personal information you would think that my parenting journey (more realistically struggles) and my marriage ups and downs (because all marriages have ups and downs) would be fair fodder.
Let’s start with why the kids aren’t and then I’ll do a spin off edition on my thoughts of blogging about my marriage.
But if we’re paying attention, the whole point is: No. It’s not juicy.
Let me tell you a quick back story that will circle into my point.
Last night I had the best time with my #1. We made dinner and talked.
That’s it and I loved every moment of it. I looked at his eyes and his expressions and listened to his changing voice and thought,
“This is the good stuff.”
But during our converstaion he told me aout a YouTube video (fucking YouTube amiright) he watched in which the creators were doing some sort of hot and spicy chicken wing challenge. One of them ate a wing so spicy it made his mouth bleed.
I said, “Did you say bleed?!!”
Guys. I’m not lying. He confirmed that he did indeed say bleed.
I looked at him with sincere shock and said, “Why on earth would anyone do that?”
You know what he said with an ever so casual shrug? He said: “Content.”
And there you have it.
After I made him swear up and down that he would never do anything for the sake of “content” or views or popuarity, and gave a pretty lengthy speech on where we can find fulfillment and spoiler alert it’s not on mindless YouTube videos, I decided that’s everything that is wrong in this world.
In a nutshell, that’s why I won’t write about my kids.
They aren’t content.
But I’m a wordy blogger so I’m going to go out of the nutshell and elaborate.
I think this is something all creators struggle with. Finding the line between privacy and authenticity. I think that privacy might be a combination of respect and fear.
Now you are probably thinking that I must not respect myself because I don’t keep many personal trials and tribulations private. But if we’re gonna play that game then I guess I would say that actually I’m fearless when it comes to sharing my story.
When it comes to my kids it’s different. Because it’s not just my story. Its not just about me. It’s me intersected with them.
Maybe they don’t want to share their stories and also they’re not old enough to know what the consequences of sharing online could actually mean so I don’t ask them for their permission to alleviate my conscience.
Instead, I just take it off the table.
I usually ask myself if the story I’m about to tell is something I would have wanted my mom to share about me with strangers when I was that age and usually the answer is no.
I don’t expect my kids to have a different emotional response to sharing their struggles which is basically what sharing my parenting struggles equates to (in my mind).
It’s how I’m helping them navigate their deep waters.
And then the fear aspect.
If I say someting completely generic like:
“All parents struggle.”
I feel like I’d hear a resounding YES from the rooftops.
If I gave a specific example of how I struggle as a parent I feel lke I’d hear a slew of unsolicited advice along with opinions and feedack that would clutter my already loud thoughts.
When I would tell the stories of breast versus bottle or cry it out versus co-sleeping it was easy to read through everyone’s thoughts and even manage the criticism because in the end we all knew that fed was best and that as long as our babies were sleeping everything was okay.
Their most basic needs were being met and at the end of the day we were all getting them where they needed to be.
But kids don’t stay basic for long.
In fact they become complex human beings with complicated questions that become harder to answer.
With needs that become harder to meet.
It stops being about meeting needs and becomes about also meeting values.
And we all have different values. I mean I think if we actually all looked at the core of our value system we would realize they are actually very similar.
We want our kids to be safe.
We want our kids to be happy.
We want our kids to be loved.
We want our kids to be free.
I think our goals are the same and that we just find so many different ways to say the same thing that we begin to think we are all singing a different melody when in fact we are in harmony.
My point is I don’t talk about my kids much anymore or our struggles or our conversations because they are so deeply personal and so deeply tied to who we are at our core that it doesn’t matter what anyone else would do.
It matters what we would do.
And unpopular opinion, but sometimes we don’t need the world to validate our decisions. Or praise us for them. Sometimes we just need our kids to know sincerely and deeply we love and adore them. Sometimes I think that sharing them online takes that security away from them.
And that is a line I’m not willing to cross.
So I’ll keep it generic.
You won’t find me giving the how I’m struggling but I am willing to stand up and say:
Parenting is hard. And exhausting. And it’s a struggle. And we all are struggling. And if we aren’t yet, we will soon. And we will handle each situation the best we know how. And if we didn’t do what we think could be our best this time, we’ll try to be better next time.
Because we’re parents.
And that’s what we do.
But I am curious. What are your thoughts on the topic?
Do Less, Live More E-Book
Oh and hey, just wanted to throw out a lovely little reminder that I wrote an e-book and you can still download it and if you like it and want to share it all over your socials, I won’t be mad about it.
So, go ahead and click those red words up above and download my love letter to you!
No pressure. Or rather, a healthy dose of pressure.