Whose Life Is It Anyway? Blogging About The Children

by Marinka on April 8, 2011

This is where I am.

I write a humor blog.

I write about my children, my husband, my parents and our cat Nicki. With the exception of Nicki, I try to protect everyone’s privacy as much as possible. I don’t write things that will cause the people that I love pain. I try not to be an asshole.

But I know that the things that I write cause my children discomfort. Not because they are superduperprivate, but because they seem to feel like they have some proprietary rights over their lives.

And yes, of course they do.

But they are my children.

They are the bulk of my life and how can I write about my life and exclude them? I can change details and withhold some things, but is it fair of me to redact the very things that give my blogging life its meaning?

Yesterday something happened that resulted in one of my children crying hysterically and my not being able to stop laughing. Behind my child’s back, of course, but still.

It was the very best kind of laughter. I had to lock myself in the bathroom and run the faucet because I was gasping for breath and had started to laugh tears.

It reminded me of laughing as a child, that moment of discovering humor and thinking that no one else has ever experienced this euphoria of laughter. It will be a story that I will tell friends over cocktails and that my husband and I will remind each other about long after the kids have left us to start their own families and we will laugh again and maybe cry a little too, because we will miss what was yesterday.

Do I blog about it?

My child won’t like it if I do, for sure.

But isn’t it my life, too?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

mom101
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 11:03 am

I think you just did. And in the perfect way.

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Kirsten April 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

I am currently struggling with the same questions. My kids have gone from, “take my picture and put it on your blog!!” to “please don’t write about this, I know you’re going to write about this, please, please don’t write about this.”

I certainly don’t have the answers, just try to follow my gut. They are such great material sometimes though.

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Megan April 8, 2011 at 11:15 am

It’s a fine balance, but I think you do a good job. I see nothing in what I’ve read that would be too mortifying (in fact, some of it makes your kids looking like they’re smarter than you), but I know my 12-year-old son cannot stand for me to tell even his father about almost anything that happens. I just put it down to hormones and tell everyone anyway. :)

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Stasha
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

Love this post. What doesn’t kill them, makes them stronger (channelling my grandpa) . Unless we are talking Sophie’s choice. That I still can’t get over.

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Loukia April 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

That is the very best type of laugher, isn’t it?

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elizabeth-flourish in progress
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

i made my family a promise that i would only blog about them when i had run out of my own mistakes and dramatics. they readily agreed. i see why now….they knew i wouldn’t get to them for years.

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Phoenix Rising
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Darn those kids and their whole “respect my privacy” crap. Although, when I was a kid I only cringed with embarrassment as my mom detailed my latest humor-filled debacle to my grandparents, all the aunts and uncles, cousins, the neighbors, the butcher, the lady at the checkout at the local Super Valu Grocery Store, the postman – even though he was on a timed schedule, Mom! – my teachers, where all my classmates overheard, the doctor, and the nurse while she took my blood pressure, and all her co-workers who I only saw once a year at their company picnic but who managed to giggle and laugh as the reminded me of all the stories my mom had told them.

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Stimey
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Quite possibly the funniest thing that could ever have possibly happened in the history of the world happened to my husband because of something I set in motion. I collapsed to the ground and almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard when I heard about it. I still can’t think about it without laughing. Seriously, it was AWESOME. But I can’t blog it because my husband would kill me. I figure I gotta draw the line somewhere.

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Rima
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

They *are* a huge part of your life, and you blog about your life. So most incidents, I think, are fair game. But if it was something that caused great heartache to the potential post subject – no matter how funny – I think I would pass.

May the force be with you.

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christy April 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm

That is the BEST kind of laughter. I laughed like that this week, for the first time in ages. Maybe years, seriously. It was fabulous.

Hmmm should you blog why? I don’t know. Whatever makes you feel good at the end of the day, I’d say. This piece was pretty fabulous in and of itself!

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The Flying Chalupa
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

And THAT is the million dollar question, my friend. When you find the answer to it, let me know. I feel like I’m in the same predicament – regarding experiences with both husband AND child. For me – at least for the time being – my blog is a compromise. I blog about the kid because he’s only 2-1/2, but the majority of the husband is left out because that’s what he wants.

Goddamn privacy.

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Jana@AnAttitudeAdjustment
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Well, you’ve got me dying over here. Meow!

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Fairly Odd Mother
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Oh Marinka, I struggle with this. I told the world (ok the hundred people who stumble onto my blog) about my daughter’s anxiety but I didn’t tell everyone the funniest thing she ever did that makes me still laugh ridiculously just thinking about it 3 years later.

I think it’s b/c as soon as it happened, she hissed, “do NOT blog this”. Rats. I do tell people the story in person (whispering, “promise you’ll never say a word”) but I haven’t written it on my site b/c while I can hope all my friends’ memories will fail them and they’ll forget what I told them, the internet is forever.

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Stephanie Smirnov
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I empathize, but in my case it’s the husband, not the kid. I decided to take the kid out of it completely, mostly because the husband is funnier. But I have to remind myself he’s not a show pony, he’s a human being, and I run every post by him first. Which is tedious but at the end of the day, I can’t risk embarrassing him.

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Stephanie Smirnov
Twitter:
April 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm

p.s. You write so damned well. Almost as well as you snark.

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GrandeMocha
Twitter:
April 9, 2011 at 12:58 am

I think you did a very good job telling this story without telling their story.

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Becky Rice April 9, 2011 at 7:34 am

You said a lot. By only saying a little. Which says a lot about you.

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A Mommy in the City
Twitter:
April 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

I think you have already blogged about it! Being able to laugh like that is the best!

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Twenty Four At Heart April 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

My youngest is now 15. At some point their stories are just that – their stories – not ours to tell. I never write anything about my kids without first clearing it with them. Our entire community knows/reads 24 … if it could potentially make my kids uncomfortable/laughed at/or misunderstood … it doesn’t make the blog. Of course, creative writing allows us ways of sharing a story in an unidentifiable way ….

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Kara April 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’m new to your blog so I don’t have any reference, but judging by this post alone, I’d say you’re perfectly balanced along that fine line. Isn’t laughing tears wonderful?

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anymommy April 9, 2011 at 5:34 pm

It’s funnier for the mystery, for us connecting it in our minds with a moment when we laughed this hard at the expense of our children. You already knew that, didn’t you? Damn you. Stop teaching me blogging/life lessons with humor.

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Suebob
Twitter:
April 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm

We all struggle with this as bloggers – that is, if we have any friends or family left. About the only people I tell stories about on my blog are my parents – or were my parents, til my dad died – now it is just Mom. I think I justify it because she doesn’t go on the internets. Everyone else I am careful with, because they didn’t ask to have their lives dragged out into public. I have a few friends that have given me permission, and fellow bloggers, who I know don’t mind.

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dusty earth mother April 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Yeah, if I get that “mmmm, should I ask?” feeling in my stomach, I ask for permission to share a story. Usually my husband says “fine”, because he generally finds himself amusing. Except he hates it when I tell the world that he loves Celine Dion. As well he should.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
April 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I sort of dread my kids getting older and having to deal with this – thankfully my kids still can’t read.

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Melanie
Twitter:
April 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

It is your life, and after all, doesn’t the fact that you spent hours giving birth to them give you the right to blog about them? :-))

In all seriousness, you did it perfectly with this post by sharing your life and respecting your child’s privacy at the same time.

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Kati
Twitter:
April 10, 2011 at 11:18 am

Well, ya kind of HAVE TO blog it, don’t you? For posterity’s sake. Tell your kids to look at your blog as one big baby book, all the cute things they do now and will forget later are recorded there for future generations. If your paper baby books are anything like mine, they consist mostly of the newborn child’s name and footprints. Yeah, that’s as as far as we got in my youngest’s. BUT, taking tons of picture and blogging all the cute stuff – well that just more than makes up for it!
Yes, I can justify anything.

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Miss Britt
Twitter:
April 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Well apparently we’ll just have to have cocktails so you can tell the story in person.

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Lady Jennie April 11, 2011 at 4:40 am

I think we can only blog up to a certain age and then they become off-limits. Unless you’re saying how cool they are.

Sad but true.

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Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
Twitter:
April 12, 2011 at 10:46 pm

You do a great job of walking the line. I think you convey your children as really savvy and smart people even when they do fall into an adolescent traps.

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Alexandra
Twitter:
April 13, 2011 at 2:26 am

If my kids say, “do NOT blog about this” or “do NOT use that picture” then I don’t.

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