I often get asked why I haven’t featured more about my boys on the blog, and, quite honestly, it is such a difficult question to answer. My children are the part of my life I am most proud of and eager to share in person or over the phone, so I get asked pretty regularly why not share more about them on The Seayside? This is a tough question because I never want to make my explanation feel critical of any other mom or family’s choice to share more with the world than I do, but I think it’s important to address it…

Photo by: Paige Wilken Photo

One big reason is that I am not a “mommy blogger.” I guess technically I am because I am a mom who blogs, but I don’t focus on my family or children, so there just isn’t much of a need for them to be on here. I think the rise of mothers sharing about pregnancy, childbirth, and life with kids online is truly a blessing for all of us. We can learn so much from each other when we are open and honest, but I don’t feel that I am that resource for people, nor do I want to be when others do it so much more authentically. So, while I want to share every detail of my children’s life because I am proud, I don’t feel it would serve others (or me) in the way it should in order to be out there for the world. An acquaintance once told me that a way to increase your engagement on instagram was to post pictures of your child, because kids get more likes. It made my heart sink. I think that if you are putting your children out there it should be for a positive reason – even if that reason is purely because it makes you happy or proud.

Photo by: Folk House Creative Co

Ultimately, the main reason I don’t share their faces or their names (very often) is for their privacy. We all know that the internet is a dangerous place. You don’t know who is lurking behind the screen and I would hate for anything I post to put my child in danger or end up in the wrong hands. I recently heard from a mutual friend about a mom blogger whose innocent potty training pic ended up on a child pornography website. That is obviously part of a worst case scenario, but I imagine she never anticipated that would happen to her, and I would never want that to happen to me, or more importantly, to my children. The reality is that if we post a picture of our children, on a public account in particular, we have to know there is a chance that they could end up in the hands of people we wouldn’t want to see them. I recently had someone impersonate me on Instagram and it made my skin crawl. I can’t imagine how much worse it would have felt if they had access to photos of my children.

Photo By: Paige Wilken Photo

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a private personal Instagram where I share more family related photos, but I find myself posting them less and less because even that is hard to control, and once you hit post – even if you delete it – you can’t fully take it back. As they get older and have more of an understanding of what it means to be online they may pop up more but, for now, I just want to keep their lives private for as long as I can. In a way, I am grateful that my choice to keep their faces and names off of the internet has forced me to get more creative with my photos and my wording – it has kept me on my toes. I have found what works for our family, and I hope each family does the same for them. Ultimately, the decision to post about your children online is something you should research, make sure you know about, and then go with your gut. That’s going to look different for everyone, and that’s ok.