Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Answers to Miss Zoot's survey

Miss Zoot asked a series of questions regarding how 'mommybloggers' handle posting about their older children. I figured since my children not only blog on my blog occasionally, but read it daily, I might be the kind of respondant she's looking for. Here are her questions, followed by my responses.

1. Do your kids know about your blog? If they're too young to know, do you plan to keep it open to them as they get older?

My children certainly know about my blog. The Boy reads it daily, the Girl not as often, but she will read anything that has anything about her in it. They are both almost 14 and I do plan to continuing posting about them up until their either ask me not to, or I find them so boring that I'll move on to posting about the cat.

2a. If so - do you worry they may get embarrassed later? What would you do if they asked you to stop writing about them? What would you do if they wanted you to take it down all together?

My kids have occasionally been embarassed by what I've said, and once or twice have asked me to edit my words. They both know how to go into my blogging software and edit posts, but so far I've only seen them correct spelling errors. OK, once the Boy corrected something I said about the Red Sox that he claimed wasn't exactly right, but he's more worried about the Red Sox being embarassed than me being embarassed, evidentally.

2b. If not, what are you doing to make sure they never find it? What if they do find it?

Moot point.
3. Do you think our kids will appreciate the archive of their childhood? Do you wish your parents had done the same?

My blog is hardly the archive of their childhood, because I started blogging when they were 11, but there are thousands, and I really do mean thousands of posts about them on the net from their infancy until they were about 6. This was when Usenet was the only real place to participate in an online parenting group, and unfortunately Usenet has been archived by google, so the posts are there. Because my children know their real names and my real name, they can and do find the posts and they often read them and laugh their tushies off. They're very funny and my kids LOVE having that record, albeit without pictures, of their early childhood.

My parents didn't even take photos by the time I came around. I think after the second kid, subsequent kids are afterthoughts in family albums as a rule, but I do wish there was something to indicate I had a childhood. There are only two photographs of my childhood that I even know about. Sad, but true.

4. Do you go back and re-read your past parenting milestones? Do you realize you forgot a lot?
I haven't gone back in a while, but I have every post on CD and I can, if I want to, recreate the posts into a book. I did forget a lot. Recently I found the notes of my daughter's appointments with Dr. Ferber (yes, THE Dr. Ferber) and I had forgotten so much of the initial meeting. I've also gone through both kid's medical records recently, and that was an eye opener. I mean, I remember a lot of ear infections, but 16 in one year? That I've blanked out.
5. What about your children's friends/teachers/moms-of-friends? What if they found your blog? Do you tell your child not to tell anyone about it or are they free to talk about it? Do you worry their teachers or other parents will think it's weird?
Everyone knows about my blog. I'm part of an aggregator that picks up my posts about my community, and my blog hasn't been a secret in a couple of years. This year the school system found it and read a LOT about themselves in my blog and they were not happy. But the upside was, my daughter finally got the services she's been promised and never got once I went very public with it. At one time I had about half the teachers in her school reading my blog. I didn't self-censor at all, but I never named names of the teachers I was particularly irked with. And since I don't use real names on my blog, unless they were informed as to our identities, it remained just a parent upset with the school system. Even the mayor reads my blog. :-)

A lot of my kid's friends parents also read the blog. I've had parents pat me on the back that I've never even met before, because they're read something they particularly liked (or hated). My feeling about blogging is, it's MY blog and I can and do say whatever I want. I don't go out of my way to publically embarass anyone, including my kids. Much of what goes on in our lives never sees the light of day on the blog. In fact, I tell my son often when he wants to blog that he has to be very careful. He has a tendancy to give too much information. So no, I don't worry that people think it's weird. I don't really care. If they hate it, well then they're perfectly capable of shutting down the computer and walking away. And if they love it, I wish they would leave comments!
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