For those of you that have been following along on this #momlife journey of mine you have probably noticed by now that I don’t post photos of my kids on my blog or social media. In fact if you read my “about me” page then you know that I don’t even refer to them by their real names. This was a very conscious decision that I talked through with my husband before I decided to open myself up to this little corner of the internet. It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I was having a conversation with a few other moms (that I had just met,) that I felt compelled to explain my decision. So I figure it’s about time I address it head on here — why I don’t share photos of my kids online.
We all live in this social-sharing world now where people have to snap a pic of their dinner before eating it (guilty,) or take an #ootd selfie in front of their dressing mirror. I also live in the mommy-blogger world where my social feed is blasted with images of adorable toddlers at splash pads or cute baby-wearing mamas. It wasn’t until I became a mom that I paused to think about the photo content I was about to share.
A few years ago my brother-in-law mentioned in conversation that his kids had commented what they wanted him to share/not share on social media. It was then that I first started to really think about what parents post on the internet and what I myself would be comfortable sharing. So I started to pay attention to other bloggers and I noticed that a good majority of them (whom I have never met but follow their journey) posted pics of their kids, going to school or at the local park, on vacation, etc. and I realized that if I knew their kids names and could recognize them walking down the street then any stranger could. And that just didn’t sit well with me. No disrespect or judgement to those mamas, I’m just slightly paranoid (I can admit it.) I mean, I’m the girl that doesn’t post updates when I’m in the middle of vacation because I don’t need people knowing when I’m not at my house. So why would my kids be any different?
My reasoning first and foremost is their safety. I can’t police who visits my page, but I can prevent them from knowing what my children look like, where they go to school, etc. by controlling the content in which I choose to make public. This world is full of good people but it’s still full of shadiness and it would be so easy for a stranger to follow my profile and then approach my children with enough information so that they didn’t seem like a stranger. For this reason I try my best to be very aware and limit what I post publicly, as well as to my personal (private) accounts.
Secondly, if my niece and nephew are able to recognize at a young age what they want their mom and dad to share/not share on social media, what’s not to say that my girls won’t feel the same in a few years? While I see me posting photos on my personal accounts as a way of keeping an online scrapbook, the same way my mom kept old polaroids of me in a diapers in a photo album, my girls might not find it so harmless one day. We all know that once something is out on the internet it’s out in the world forever and I don’t want what is my innocent gesture of capturing memories to embarrass them or make them feel uncomfortable in any way when they’re older.
Now I’m not totally naive. I know that there are ways around this, especially because I do have personal accounts where I share pics with family and friends (and I try my best to monitor my privacy settings on those accounts.) I also have family members that have posted photos, and let’s be honest, it’s really hard to tell grandparents that they can’t post a proud photo of their grand-babies right?! Side bar: I always ask permission from parents before posting pics of their children be it friends or family on my personal accounts. I do what I can to keep my children’s’ identities private as much as I possible and when it comes to this blog and my public social media accounts that’s where I draw the line for sharing.
So how do I have a mom-blog if I don’t show the very things that made me a mom? Well, I realized that I could still tell my story and be relatable without showing my kiddos, and perhaps there were other moms out there struggling with this very same thing. And I do still post pics from time to time where you might see the girls from the back, or once in a blue moon I’ll cover their face with an emoji.
Not posting photos my kiddos seems to be to best solution I can come up with to protect them from those who may not be following my journey for the right reasons. At the end of the day we each need to do what’s right for us and this is the decision that I am most comfortable with for me and my family.
What is your take on sharing photos of your kids online?