Monday, May 23, 2011

Mommy Fail

Okay, I had this post all written out, and I hit publish, and then my stomach flipped.

I felt kinda uneasy. Something inside me was telling me it wasn't right. So you're reading my re-write. Maybe if you get it in your feed reader you got the original version.

I have used this blog for 3 years to vent my frustrations and share my successes. Only, I've found that misery loves company, ya know? Folks are happy for me when I post something good but I get a lot more responses of people who want to commiserate when I post something unhappy. Something rant-ish. Something depressing.

And I'm not going to lie... I like the responses. I like the feedback. I like the commiserating.

The thing is, my kids are now in middle school. They know how to work the internet. And while I'd love to say that I know everything they do... I'm not that dumb. I am sure they get online unsupervised sometimes. Not at home, but with friends who have a DS and an internet connection? Yup. A kid on the bus with an iPod Touch? Sure. And before I know it, their best friends will probably be hacking into the school security system and bypassing the NetNanny controls in the computer lab.

All this is to say, I have always been a big believer in SAY IT. OWN YOUR WORDS. DON'T CENSOR WHAT YOU SAY BUT USE A FILTER. I would never want to intentionally hurt anyone with my words.

But if my kids read my words? If they found my blog and read all of my inner thoughts not meant for their eyes? That. Would. hurt. Both them AND me.

So now I have to sit with this: how do I have an outlet where I can get things off my chest and be honest about my feelings, while at the same time not hurting or embarrassing my kids?

The logical answer seems, just don't do that on the internet.

So, what now?

Texan Mama


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

First, I have to say, I love Subway. This drives my husband crazy, but I do.

Secondly, thank your for you honest commentary. When I was interviewed for a teaching position, I said, "I don't love kids, but I will love MY kids." And I went on to explain that I don't seek out places where kids hang out, in fact it's the opposite, but I love being with my students.

Three thirty comes just in time though, I will admit. And I eat lunch in my room instead of with my peers in order to find a moment or two of peace (and to plan math for my struggling group of math kiddos.)

As for having them do things for themselves? GREAT idea. Moms don't come to school and unpack their back packs and set up their lunches and sharpen their pencils--and I don't either. They do it for themselves. They CAN and should do more at home.

Sounds to me like we're both doing what we can to raise self-sufficient people. :)

I think I've told you before, my mom used to make us play outside and knock on the door to come in during the summer. Her effort at control, I suppose!


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Oh, I'm bothered when women talk/write about the "perfect" man they are married to. Or the "wonderful" man they are married to. I love my husband and he does very nice things for me, and he does take care of me, but neither of us is perfect.

Guess I'd never get a job as a spin doctor, eh?

Maggie S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggie S. said...

I think I commented on the old one and was about to share it. I had to remove that comment because it wasn't on the above text and may have been confusing.

You have to go with your heart. That's what I love about your writing.

McVal said...

The lack of school supervision with internet access and my son's lack of filtering are the very reasons I had to pull my son out of school and finish up at home. And my girls read my blog every day after school so I'm very careful about what I say. I can't just spill my guts.
Good luck! I'll be praying for you and your family! I've been there.

Jennifer said...

I don't post ANYTHING online that I wouldn't tell someone (even my kids) to their face. Ever. Even a rant. And now that Baby Girl is getting older if she does something cute, funny or embarrassing I ask her permission before I post it. I'm not here to tell someone else's story, just mine, and I think that is how I protect them and me.

Miley said...

I have my regular blog (on blogger) that people in my life know about. My kids could theoretically read it if they wanted to but they aren't that interested in it.

I have a second blog that I started a few months ago... primarily because there are things I need to get out that I didn't want people in my life to read. It's not crawled by google, I don't get very many comments, it's not on blogger, there are pseudonyms, no pictures, and it's for ME. It's because writing is cathartic for me. Maybe 4 people know about it. I like it that way.

Bridgett said...

The longer I blog (since 2006), the more filters I put in place. My mother reads. My mother-in-law. My pastor. One of my daughter's friends. My neighbors. Each one is another nail in the coffin of free speech for me.

But you know what? It's making me a better person. It is making me realize what dirty laundry is ok to hang out (like my dining room troubles) and what is not (my bipolar mother who occasionally threatens to commit suicide). It's ok to complain about girl scouts, like th organization, the capital G girl scouts of the USA kind of thng, but it's not ok to bitch about individual girls in my troop. It's fine to praise my kids' school, or get frustrated in the larger picture, but not to complain about a teacher specifically. And so forth.

I've learned a lot in 5 years about what to say and what to just not say. Or not even think anymore. I sometimes screw up but it's been a good exercise. The place where I go to really complain and rant? Coffee on Wednesdays with girlfriends. Not in print. Instant gratification. And then it's gone forever.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

I'm glad I left my comments to the first post, since they don't make sense! :)

My son is an adult, almost 25 (gulp), and I could write about his life more than I do, but it's his life. You know?

I have a relative, that's the most I can say, who had some issues in her marriage. Her blog was her outlet to attack her husband, her father-in-law and the other people involved (in her perception) in the situation. A local pastor contacted her and asked her to remove the posts or remove her claim to be Christian.

I was amazed by that. One, that she needed an outside filter, and two, that he would be wise enough and brave enough to call her on behavior.

She got lots of supportive comments, but they bordered on hateful, and that's scary, scary stuff.

Gigi said...

And that is the problem with having a blog - especially if it isn't completely and totally anonymous (which in this day and age is next to impossible). My advice, get a journal you can hide or lock up or grab a girlfriend you can confide in (either real life or via email) because if those kids even have an inkling that you might blog eventually they will look for it. Kids are nosy that way.

I try to keep my blog anonymous (none of my friends know and tHubby and MC *kinda know) but I still find myself filtering....because you just never know who will find you online.

BTW, you know my email is ALWAYS open.

Foursons said...

I agree w/Bridgett. Being "sensored" by the people who read my blog has made me stop and think about what I say before I say it. And honestly- is that really a bad thing? Yes, we all need to vent, but like Gigi said- grab a girlfriend and do it with them. You're leaving your legacy on this blog- leave one that you and them can be proud of.

Anna See said...

these are such great thought! i struggle with this, too. talking about potty training is one thing, but what about the more complicated issues.... i don't want to quit blogging, but i do want to be honest....aargh.

Heather said...

My oldest is 11 and I worry about this all the time. I have about 20 posts swimming in my head about her, but I doubt any of them will get out. Mostly if I tell a story about it is more about my reactions to her and how it is affecting me or just a light hearted thing that I know she would not mind.
It is hard though. Sometimes I write a post and then just never publish it - just to get it off my chest. Or I have done some guest blogging to write stories that I would not want to put on my blog.
Good luck!

misssrobin said...

My kids are ages 12-20. I filter, not just for them. But I am aware that they could read what I write. We're pretty honest in our house.

My oldest reads my main blog on a regular basis. Anything that's too much I put on my other blog, the over 18 blog. She decided that would be too much for her. I agree. None of my other kids has any desire to read my blog.

I was thinking that they might not be interested. Are they interested now? I doubt that will change much. My kids have only shown interest when I told them I wrote about them or posted a picture (which is just on my about page).

All that was a long way toward saying, you're probably making it much bigger than it will ever be. My advice would be to listen to your heart, but don't act out of fear.