For the past 22 months I’ve shared my pregnancy and our new life with our daughter with friends and family on Facebook and Instagram. And for the past 22 months, I’ve questioned myself about it countless times. I’ve debated writing about the topic since I first started this blog, but was unsure of whether or not it was worth writing about and if it were a topic anyone would even be interested in. Then, like with all my posts, I reminded myself the blog is for me.
Its easy these days to be put in a certain category within social media. You know them. The food people, the pet people, the health and fitness people, the selfie people, the inspirational quote people, or the baby people. And in all honesty, if you don’t share the same passion, following those people can be utterly exhausting and boring. Despite my fears of being one of those baby people, I’ve gone ahead and risked annoying people by sharing our journey. I did the weekly pregnancy pictures (and yes, I’m attempting a much more toned down version of them again this time around), and I could easily post a picture a day of our daughter. Between people’s generalized comments on Facebook about their frustration with their Newsfeed turning into a Gymboree ad, the numerous articles I’ve read about moms wanting to put the camera down to “enjoy the moment”, and that whole privacy issue, I’ve had my share of internal struggles about what is appropriate to share and what isn’t.
And then one day in the not so distant past, I said screw it. I’m over the guilt. I’m over the wondering about who I’ve annoyed. I’m over wondering if I snap pictures too much.
By nature I am an open person (hence, the blog). I always have been, and I think its safe to assume I always will be. Ask, and I’ll tell. To keep everything we go through to myself goes against the grain of my being.
Nearly our entire family is on Facebook. My mother, grandmothers, and great grandmother are all on Facebook. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and numerous other family members that would otherwise never really get to see our daughter grow up, are on Facebook. They enjoy watching her grow, and I enjoy that they are able to.
After making my daughter’s one year video, I realized I take just the right amount of pictures and videos. In one short year, there were things I had already forgotten she did, and certain ways she looked when she was oh so small. THAT is how fast they grow, and I am so grateful I am able to look back and remember them all.
Facebook and Instagram both have tools that allow people to limit what they see from you, or options to not see you at all. If someone chooses to utilize them, no hard feelings here – I get it! No one is forcing them to suffer through viewing my life.
The time Tayler’s great grandparents that live in another state voiced how much they appreciate being able to watch her grow. If they can’t see her in person all the time, seeing pictures and videos is the next best thing. Or the time another pair of Tayler’s great grandparents voiced somewhat jokingly that, “they start their day by looking for new pictures of Tayler, and if they can’t find anything, their day is already ruined”.
The women my age in my network are just starting to have children and start families. Many that are thinking about it for the near future have reached out to tell me how much fun it is to see what they have to look forward to. How cool is that?
I love the relationships that can build out of connecting with other new parents who are going through the same things we are. You can never have a big enough support system when it comes to raising your children.
Once people go through it themselves, they get it. Whether they are as open about their children or their home life as you, they understand the sheer joy and excitement that comes from creating life and doing your best to raise happy and healthy children.
My daughter is thriving, joyful, and oh so loved. So that whole fear about “not being in the moment enough” left just as quickly as it came. And most pictures and videos are the fourth time she’s done something – I soak up the wonderment of the first.
The first time I skipped a weekly pregnancy photo, I got multiple threats. To not post sometimes is scarier than posting.
Some things are kept private to enjoy with just us. But you wouldn’t know, because they’re private. Right?
The amount of messages I’ve received from expecting moms that thank me for sharing our journey. Anticipating what parenthood is going to be like can be overwhelming, and being able to take an honest peek into someone else’s life that is going through it can sometimes put a few of those nerves at ease. If I can give that to someone, what an amazing bonus to sharing!
I’m aware of the privacy settings I use, and who can view things that I share. If I post, I understand who may see it.
I consciously try and balance showing an honest take on parenting with respecting challenging moments that aren’t intended for everyone. If you want to see some of the other side (which I assure you there is), ask and I’ll tell.
The unexpected people who share in the joy with you. There are few better feelings than knowing that there are people who enjoy watching your family grow and genuinely care about your journey.
Finally, like all choices in parenting, to each their own. Whatever your feelings are on the topic, they are the right ones for you. If you prefer to keep things private, you are absolutely right. If you prefer to share your whole story, you are absolutely right. And if you’ve found a beautifully happy medium of the two, you are absolutely right.
To anyone reading this that has enjoyed watching our family adventures, thanks for tagging along 🙂 I’m glad you’re here!