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Where to Draw the Line?

“One thing that made me want to put off having children for the first few years of our marriage was the fear of raising a family in the crazy world we live in.

Being a journalist I’m very aware, and sometimes jaded by all of the sadness in the world. I haven’t grown to be fearful, rather just disappointed in people and their actions.

I’ve always been a sensitive person. I remember arriving home from kindergarten class, crying after a classmate called me ugly because of my dark skin.

My mother was just being introduced into this world of childhood bullying (well, from the “mom” perspective that is) since I am her oldest. She quickly learned though, after putting on her mama bird suit and visiting with my teacher asking what in the world was going on.

I see myself having the same reaction my mother did initially for just about any negative response towards my little girl. I feel like I want to shield her from the crazy, rude, and harsh world we live in. I know that’s not necessarily the right thing to do because one day she’ll have to grow up and wake up, but I wonder if there’s some happy medium…”

I’ve never really grown out of my sensitivity issues. Ask my husband, he’d tell you how quickly a snide remark can open up the flood gates.

I’ve never understood, and never will understand how people can be intentionally mean to people. A sarcastic comment on my part will quickly send me back peddling if I feel the slightest bit of harm toward my intended jokemate. I think that’s why I’m not very funny.

Online, comments, remarks, thoughts and feelings are taken to a whole ‘nother level. People can say what they want, unfiltered, and have the shield of a computer screen to hide behind.

I turned off anonymous comments from my blog after countless comments from people who would disagree with me on a topic, and say the meanest things, while too afraid to put their name to it. I can honestly say I have never and will never leave a rude anonymous comment on someone’s blog. If they’re writing about something I don’t agree with I’ll A. Either stop reading or B. Leave a comment with my disagreements but also leave a way they can contact me or respond in case they’d like to discuss further. I have no problem standing behind what I say, and I’d wouldn’t say anything hurtful.

Bringing a baby into the world isn’t an easy feat. Bringing a baby into the world and sharing my journal of the experience with the world is even more insane, but that’s been my choice and I’ve been ok with that so far. But now that I’m weeks away from having her–with an audience that’s multiplied so much more than I ever imagined it would–I’m faced with lots of questions about where to draw the line.

If my husband had his way, her birthday would be the last day of my blog, as my “journey toward motherhood” would be complete. Pictures wouldn’t be displayed, names wouldn’t be shared. He’s obviously a much more private person than I am.

Being the open and excited person that I am, I feel like I’d want to share my joy, my baby girl, just as I have shared so much already, but at the same time I worry I’d be setting a target out to be hit. I wouldn’t be able to contain my anger if someone said something hurtful about my daughter, or the way I choose to birth or raise her.

Initially I thought I’d share her first name after her birth, in a photo that would be removed a day or two later, but now I’m not so sure. I thought I’d flood my blog with photos, but now I’m, second-guessing.

I can’t shield my little girl from the crappy parts of the world, but I can do my part in other places, starting online.

Where do you or will you draw the line online with your children? Do you use real names? Share photos? I’d love some other parenting opinions on this topic.

The first part of this post was originally written for my Project Pregnancy Blog. You can read the rest of my fears about my daughter facing racism and other issues on today’s post over there.


HLA says:

I have read lots of blogs that share the names and pictures of their family. I have no first hand experience, as my hubby and I are still trying to concieve (but I am two weeks and a couple days late [with negative tests so far], but cross your fingers! 😀 lol). I feel that you can share however little or however much you want to share. Obviously I wouldn’t be putting phone numbers or anything like that on here! But I dont think a first name would hurt anything, or a picture here and there. But again, its all in your preferences and what you see is the best choice for your family. Hope this helps! And I hope that you have a great couple of weeks left and a wonderful labor and delivery!!!

Mrs. R says:

I plan to posts pics of my baby when she/he comes, but will only use a nickname. I haven’t given my name or my husband’s name on the blog even though you see pics of us. It is all about your comfort level. My husband doesn’t want his name floating out there, so I respect that.

Your due soon right? Congrats.. so excited for you… been following your blog for awhile now. Kids teased me about being dark skinned too… kids are cruel! Hope you have a sweet and calm delivery!

Stam House says:

Wow what a post! Thanks for your honesty!

Well I do share picture and real name on my blog, we just give birth to our third precious little girl (Yes she is a girl !!!!) But that is just me, I do not put any naked picture of our precious little daughter for the world to see but I know people love to see baby pictured 🙂

Do what you think is best for our family,but I secretly hope we could see picture you your precious little one, I’m a sucker for babies pictures LOL

Have a great day
Renee

MsBabyPlan says:

I have been there on the colour bullying and I hope my kid does not experience that but this is the world and nothing change. I am very sensitive and sometimes I take silly jokes too seriously.

Normally I consider myself private person but my blog is teaching me how to come out of my shell. I am learning to let go a little bit.

On my blog I share my feelings about the journey towards motherhood but I know that I will never share names online and if I share pictures it will not be faces of my family. I am overly protective and sometimes very private but I am learning to stop living in a bubble. Fear does not let you live life!

I’ve no children either, but am very similar to your hubby in the privacy issue. From other blogs I’ve seen, there is one with photos of the children-but only initials (ie, E. R. and J.) or even nicknames (Messy Girl, Neat Boy, Bald Baby, etc) it’s really the combination of things-if one post has a photo, another the name, and another the front of the your house…well…those seperate, not a big deal, but together could be a bit dangerous especially if you have readers in your community.

I like the idea of posting a photo and then removing it a week or so later since so many have been following your journey and would naturally want a peek at the little one. Heck, you could even continue to call her ladybug or spawnie-LOL, I can just see a post a few years later “Spawnie’s 5th Birthday”

Kathryn says:

What a great post, thanks for sharing! 🙂

Chantel says:

I do share pictures and names. All names are real. My blog originally started as a way to keep my family in Arizona in the loop about the kids and general goings on up here in Wisconsin, and while it still provides that purpose, it’s also a place for me to come out of my shell more and share more of me.

Dusty says:

I do post pictures and real first names of my children on my blog. I just feel I can’t be “real” if I’m changing that, it’s part of me. That being said, I still believe that there is a level of caution that you can maintain(don’t post pictures of your house, address, last name, etc) The world is a scary place, but I don’t like living in fear all the time.

Chantel says:

Oh, on the other issue, I went to a week long summer camp in high school called Anytown. It’s a camp that teaches about racism, bias and bigotry. It was the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of (aside from having my children..They are always number 1). It should be a requirement for all teenagers to attend this camp. I learned so much about myself that I didn’t know I needed to learn, and I still put those things into practice today. I put those lessons to use with my kids. I want them to know that people are people, no matter what they look like, how they’re made or who they love and that words hurt.

Nichole says:

i think the point here is that your readership is large. . . i only use initials, although I have posted real names of hub and baby just once, and I shy away from pictures. i’m very private and filter identities and content to protect identities, and i have nowhere near the following you have. i imagine i’d be worse if i did. i like your idea of posting, then removing a few days later. . .

Mama B says:

I do post watermarked photos and the first names of my kids on my blog. I just call my hubby DH if I am talking about him on my blog/twitter. It’s all about your comfort level! I have IRL friends and family that read my blog and they love to see new pics of the kids. I really want to see a pic of Lil J! But it’s whatever makes you comfortable 😉

M says:

When my kid is due I have no plans on posting their photos online beyond a password protected folder for my family in other states. There are way too many creepy people that would use the photos of children for their own nasty things out there and I don’t want my child’s picture to be one of them. I also plan on using nicknames as well for the more public announcements I make.
While I would love to see a picture of Spawnie when she is born, you are a public figure with your job, and I’d also think of that when you consider posting public photos and/or her first name. As someone said before you may have readers in your community and that could possibly be dangerous.
As for the people being jerks…well, sadly, most of them will keep right on being jerks no matter what you say to them. The only thing you can do is control your response to them and in turn teach your daughter the same. What we go through in life is what makes us who we are as adults, no matter how sad or angry some of those lessons are. 🙂

Well, as you know, from reading my blog, that I do share my childrens first names only. I will never release any information that can give people the whereabouts of my children. Their school name, the locations of the stores we shop at, their dayare, etc. I use the blog for familial purposes only, however I know that other people read it too. Therefor, the personal personal information will be sent in private emails. Otherwise, like you, this is simply an online journal for my family and my children.
However, like your husband, if he had a choice, myblog would be deleted and nothing of my children would be given out. So, I do try to keep some things to myself.
Also, take a look at my blog, little one got here 13 days ago. 🙂
Good luck and can’t wait to see your beautiful little one.
hugs

Goldibug says:

People always will and have always been cruel. It doesn’t matter what time period we grow up in. That said I understand where you’re coming from on sharing your life and family with such a world. I feel that if you have your blog set to private and only allow those you trust to view it then using real names and photos is okay. If you keep your blog open to everyone I suggest to not post pictures or real names. It’s just to hard to trust people. Do you remember the story of the the blogging mom who’s son ended up for sale via the internet because some psycho stole his photo off of her blog and then linked to her blog to make it look legit? I know setting your blog to private doesn’t protect you 100% from these crazy people but it does help a lot more. Kind of like locking your doors will help keep people out but if they really want in they’ll find a way. Do what you feel is the most right. It’ll be easier for you to decide what is right for you once Lil’ J comes home. )))HUGS(((

becca says:

i guess i am naive about the dangers. i use our real names for now, but that may all change when we have a wee one. i think you just have to do what you are comfortable with, and we will all be ok with it. 🙂

I post photos of my baby but not myself. I figure most kids look somewhat similar. Once she turns a bit older I’m going to stop posting photos of her.

It took me a long time to put a picture of me (and my husband on my blog) and I constantly consider changing it. If I’m still blogging as a parent, I don’t think I would use names of my child and would probably not put facial pics of my baby although I might totally go in a different direction when it happens. The flip side is, I love reading mama/parenting blogs and I love seeing pics of people’s little ones. As far as the rude comments, I just don’t under stand the need to do it. Some people are just rude and nasty I figure.

Destiny says:

I share photos and first names, but I’m careful not to post last names, birth dates, school names, cities, etc that might make it easier for someone to find us. When I fist started I would go back and forth from my blog being private or public.
While I’d love to see a photo of your little one, I’d completely understand if you decide not to share.

B&U&I says:

I completely understand where you’re coming from with this post. When I was pregnant I wasn’t super concerned about the privacy issue, once we found out gender I posted what we were going to name her and when I had finished painting the wooden blocks for her name I posted a picture of those as well. However, after she was born I went and removed the post with the pictures and I also went back through every post I had ever written and swapped every name used in the posts for initials. This was also because our last name is part of our blog URL.

I created my blog when we first found out we were pregnant so that our family members and close friends who live so far away (which is most of them) could watch our family grow and keep up with everything that happened throughout the pregnancy, birth and general happenings of our life. Since that is really the sole purpose of my blog, I post LOTS of pictures so after our daughter was born I began to use the first initial of her nickname when I reference her on our blog. When I mention her on a site like twitter or facebook I will use her full nickname because I am (somewhat) able to limit and control who can see my profile.

Your blog is a high traffic site so if I were in your position, I’d create a second, private blog for close friends and family to view where you can use her full name or nickname of whatever you so choose and post as many pictures as you like. As for this one, maybe post a few pictures here and there but don’t feel pressured to share more than you want to. In the end, just do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Julie says:

I have 2 blogs. One is limited to just the people I invite to read. On this blog I post pics and all the details of events in our lives. It’s more like an online journal that friends and family get to read. On my other blog I use my kids nicknames and just barely started posting a picture or 2 of them. I think posting a picture or 2 is fine but I think you should use a nickname. Just my opinion though.

LegalChic says:

I give our real names. I figure as long as I am posting stuff that is in good taste and wouldn’t come back on us later then it is ok. I would never post our address or anything but I think some things are ok. I think it is so sad that people have nothing better to do with there lives then leave rude and hurtful comments! I mean come on, go out and do something positive insted of trolling for places to leave negative comments and then not even leave your name!

I have always been sensitive to about certain things as well. I remember when my daughter was about 7 months old I saw this report on the news about a man who had taken his toddler out in the desert and set fire to him. They showed how there was a path where the child was walking and then finally dropped. I could feel the pain and fear. I sat there in my glider, rocking my daughter to sleep (she was already asleep, you just don’t always wanna let go yet lol) and crying. People do absolutely horrible things :(.

Be protective but don’t let the stuff ppl say get to you too much. You have to be a strong role model for your little princess :).

Brianna
Girls Curls Hair

Michelle says:

You have to do what is right for you and your family.

I use nicknames for my kids but I am not afraid of using their real names just prefer that little bit of privacy.

I tell people the metro area we live in (with millions of people) but not my specific town.

I have been to several local events in the past 6 months where people now know my last name, town I live in, and even my kids first names, but I met them in person so it really doesn’t bother me.

Do I share too much sometimes, maybe? But it doesn’t bother me. I have a very common name and there are probably 20 other people with my exact same first and last name in my town. It offers some level of annoymonity.

I post pictures of my kids because I love my kids, love sharing what they do, and it is the focus of my blog. I understand why others don’t but I do prefer reading a blog with pictures, it is just easier to relate to.

Best of luck in whatever you decide!

Yoga Mommy says:

Hi totally get where you are coming from. I am 42 and have my first child. I always said I would never have kids, but oops…. anyway we just saw her on sonogram and 3d again today. My BF loves posting her sonograms all over facebook… I guess I don’t mind since she is still in my belly, but when she is born, I am not so sure I would post so many pictures of her.

I know that people are cruel and kids can say mean things and that is one of my fears with her coming into the world…is her being excited and fascinated with everything and wanting to love and laugh and smile and feel good and then someone slapping her down from that.

Anyway thanks for sharing this.

erica says:

Keep your comments closed.

I post pictures and our names…my blog kinda started as a Family Thing only – the public side of it took me by surprise. But now that I have a following (although a fraction the size of yours), I feel I have to stay true to what I started.

As she gets older, I will post photos less, but for now, this works for me.

Truth is, it’s a small world out there, and people can find you no matter what.

I always wonder about it too. Sometimes I wanna post pics and sometimes I dont. I usually end up posting pics of my monkey because he just too dang cute. But I do not use his real name. Maybe when he’s older (hes only 6mos now) I wont cause I’m afraid of…well ya know perverts…taking his picture. But I’ll see how that goes. In the end – it all depends on what you are comfortable with.

Christina says:

I can’t really hide my last name (it’s in the name of my blog), and I personally have no qualms about posting pictures of my daughter or her first name. For anyone to get to her, they would have to go through me or my husband first, so I’m not concerned about that. There are creeps on the internet, sure, but creeps have houses too. I feel like the guy behind me in walmart presents much more of a danger to me and my child than anyone online ever will. (But this comes from a woman who met her husband online, so I may be a little less suspicious of people online in general.)
When she is old enough to start school, and be out of my sight, have an opinion on if she wants her life shared, I’ll probably rethink it. But while she’s a baby, I don’t see any issues with it.

Carrie says:

I share names and pictures of my kids. My blog started as a personal scrapbook and a way to share pictures with family and for about a year or so my family and close friends were the only people that read it so it wasn’t a huge deal.

But I want to write, I want to share and since I am too damn lazy to go back and edit all my previous posts (there’s almost 400 of them now) I keep sharing the names and pictures. My husband has had concerns about posting things up there and he wants me to blur out things in pictures so people can’t find us but really, I think the stats for people who are stalked etc because of their blog show the chance of it happening is slim… at least for me. I’m not high profile and I doubt I ever will be.

Good luck in your decision

Andrea says:

I have a nickname for my little boy that I call him in real life and on my blog and Twitter. I don’t post pictures of him or refer to him by his real name. I just don’t feel comfortable exposing him to the online world. But that’s just me. And I don’t judge “mommy bloggers” that have everything in the open because that’s their prerogative.
Maybe give her an online nickname or call her ladybug or Lil J if you want. I would find a solution that works for both of you. So many of your readers have been waiting along with you, that I’m sure they would like to hear more. As far as pictures, I don’t know.

chele says:

I’m much more private than most folks so I very rarely post pictures of my children and I have never posted their names. They are simply the Prince and the Princess.

Team Peeps says:

I do post pictures and first names b/c our blog is for family and friends in different states. I think you need to do what is right for you as far as posting, but are you doing it for privacy or because you don’t want people to say something mean about your child?

Future Mama says:

Team Peeps, I think a little of both. I’m not afraid of “creeps” editing her pics per say… I can add water marks and what not, and as another commenter mentioned creeps are in their homes, the real scary people are the ones out and about who may not be online stalkers. But when she’s a baby it’s not like she’ll ever be alone, so I’m not worried about “baby snatchers.”

I guess it’s just about finding a good balance ya know? I guess it’s one of those things that’s like “once it’s out there it’s out there.” But I LOVE blogs with pictures, baby pictures especially, and being the girl I am I think I’ll want to show her off a little 🙂

Maybe this is one I’ll just have to play by ear.

RainSplats says:

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a website about internet safety:
http://www.netsmartz.org/safety/risks.htm#
and this one has excellent:
http://www.netsmartz.org/resources/reallife.htm

Spawnie’s a little young for you to worry about cyber bullying :P….but it’s all good info…and if you read enough about missing/exploited children you’ll have your head on straight enough to make your decisions.

I use aliases on my blog. I crop identifiable stuff out of pictures and fudge on dates to keep things blurry. I’m very strict about my facebook pages. I use real names and pictures on there…and keep everything very private.

I think it’d be a shame to just drop this fantastic platform you’ve built. …Esp considering your line of work. However…you’re so cute…and your baby is gonna be so super cute. I’d worry about the whole stalker issue, too.

Privacy is also an issue….I think your blog should be about you…your point of view…things you’re going thru…thoughts provoked by events of your day. I don’t think it should contain every detail of your child’s life. I don’t think someone who meets your daughter should be able to read back-issues of your blog to find out more about her.

but that’s just me…

Cassandra says:

I think it’s great that you post your thoughts and pregnancy news! It’s always fun to read.

Considering there are people who post negative things, I think it’s a good idea to turn off anonymous comments.

Thank you for your wonderful blog!

YUMMama says:

I guess it all depends on the site. For my blog, I always refer to my daughter as Moo. However, I’m sure you’ve seen me use her real name on Facebook since we’re friends on there. If I add someone who’s not family or that I don’t really know that well I usually put them on Limited Profile. They can’t view her pics or certain status updates that include her name as well as wall posts.

I don’t see the harm in sharing your journey further. I think that you will just have to be cautious. Like maybe not listing her full name or where she was born. You can stop people from copying your photos by watermarking them with a trademark or using a software that disables right clicks. The internet is only as dangerous as you let it be.

And of course, you’re going to come across those people who say something rude or out of line, but you can’t let that get to you. Simply report them to the site and have them blocked. I don’t let other people stop me from living my life or doing the things that I love-blogging included.

Ruby says:

i totally understand when i first started blogging i wanted to keep things simple and private but i also wanted to share my thoughts on rasing my kids bi cultural. i kept our past names private and the kids got nicknames i didnt disclose to much about where we were and i also traced back my steps to make sure i never leaked n thing. i guess i have the military to thank for that theyre good about keeping u paranoid with giving out to much info.
your in a pretty hard spot tho since you started this way before kids not knowing where it would all end up and im sure its scary remember ur the one in control of what u share. i think i probably would have ended it here. but then again you have all of us excited with the arrival of ur baby. best of luck mom

Erin says:

You should definitely consider watermarking your photos if you decide to post them. Preferably a big one that can’t easily be re-covered in Photoshop. However, I do think that posting pictures isn’t inherently dangerous. So much personal information is being sucked into the internet from other websites that I don’t worry about a photos of me as much anymore. Instead, what freaks me out is the fact that I had to apply for some jobs online and enter the necessary pre-hiring info. Paper applications were not accessible either, so now I worry about my numbers being stored on some database that may not be securely protected.

As for nicknames, I’m totally for them! After reading your blog off and on for awhile, it’s hard to think of her as anything BUT Spawnie or Ladybug! And that way, she doesn’t have to face your blog posts coming up in a search for her name years down the road.

Mrs. D says:

people are so cruel. I have been debating the same issues myself, and what I think it comes down to is this: do what makes you feel comfortable. you know what kind of people read/comment on your blog, and if you feel comfortable sharing details of your life, then I say go ahead. I am all about nicknames, but that’s to save myself so that none of the 250+ high school students I have each semester can look me up and know its me. I think its kind of fun to have little codenames, and as far as pictures go…do whatever you feel in your gut you should do. but being the public figure that you are, I would probably just creatively crop “artistic” pictures of her so that she can still keep some anonymity.

Your husband does have a good point. But it seems like you would miss blogging after doing it so long. So maybe going private and just allowing certain people to read your blogs? I think that on wordpress you can also password protect certain posts, too.

Hard decision. I wish you the best of luck and hope nobody makes you cry! Thats really terrible. you are such a wonderfully talented person!

Donor Diva says:

It is totally up to you. I gave my son a nickname for my blog and I do post pictures. I find it hard to resist since he soo cute.

Ana Lee says:

So so tough! I think it would be fine to close this chapter of your blogging life, and maybe open up a new one. You could change your twitter name but keep all of your followers, and then start a whole new blog and encourage everyone to follow your new blog. Your new blog could be talking about motherhood more generalized, rather than too personal about your daughter.

I’m sure you’ll be sensitive to your intuition and know what will be best for you family. Good luck! So excited for you!

alexis says:

i post a picture of my kids once in a while, but i’ve never used their first names on my public blog, and in fact, i don’t really talk about them all that much. but i’m lucky because the blog is mostly about me, not my kids. but i totally understand where you’re coming from, and it’s a difficult decision. i think the main reason i don’t involve my kids that much is because i don’t want to have to kill anyone for messing with them. my kids need their mother at home, not in a federal penitentiary.

I just stumbled on your blog, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

I’m very careful to blog as anonymously as possible. I don’t use my name or the names of my family or friends on the site — UNLESS they’ve given me permission to do so.

Maybe I’m neurotic and paranoid, but I’d rather keep some things off the blogosphere 🙂

I’d be more worried about posting pics on facebook those privacy settings are a joke! I do post my childs pics and my own on my blog. And I use her first name only. Never give out any other details then that. I guess there are real risks out there but I dont think sheltering and not living your life the way you want just ‘incase’ someone takes a photo of her is sad. Its ridiculous the lengths we have to go to in this day and age we live in.
I can understand you wanting to protect your baby all the while wanting to show her off to your many followers/friends.
Another option is to put your blog as private so you can keep it to people you trust and know and share as much information as you want. after all people can/do read your parenting blog and that can remain private on there instead?
Good luck

Bridget says:

I found your blog recently and I just love your take regarding your journey to motherhood. It’s wonderful to feel normal when other husbands aren’t as “anxious” as you to start trying for a baby. Recently, my husband and I decided that we will start trying in October. I hope it is as easy as your time was and I hope to get further advice from your blog as you learn about your new baby girl. I try my best to keep my blog private as far as leaving out our address and phone number but other than that, I think my blog can’t do much harm.

Jennifer says:

I can definitely understand the privacy issue. You have a very public job and a large amount of readers. My blog is like my journal of events. There is always the possibility for me to print it into a book. I have my blog set to private, so I can control who has access. I’m a teacher and just don’t want anyone to know what I’m doing all the time. It’s the same with Facebook. The settings are set to private and I don’t let just anyone be my friend.

Of course I don’t know you, but I want to see your baby. I want to see what color she is. J/K. Seriously though, biracial babies are the cutest!!

Well you saw my blog yesterday and how much I share. My blog started out as a way for Grandparents to keep up to date. I share tons of pictures and whatever. If I had it to do over, I would just use a nickname for the kids. Not their real names, however, in my situation, talking about my kids medical issues, thier names are published other places on the internet … so it’s just one of those things. Personally, though… I don’t see anything wrong with posting pictures, using a nickname, and not giving out a lot of vital information.

Hope you figure it all out 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday and leaving me comment love 🙂 Congrats on your baby girl and her upcoming birth. It’s amazing how you think you’ll love them, but when you see them, it grows ten fold!

Whozat says:

I use fake names and am coy about our location (altho if you really wanted to figure it out, you probably could narrow it down pretty well).

My daughter’s real first name has shown-up in photos of her room (it’s on the wall and her toy box) and in videos, when we forget to not use it, but it’s not googlable that way, and really, there are a zillion kids with that name.

It’s not so much about blog people not finding me, but real people not finding the blog.

I write a lot of pretty personal stuff, and I’m pretty PG-13 with the language, on my blog, and I wouldn’t want someone googling, say, an organization I’m involved with, or my former employer (or my name – when I started the blog, I was looking for a job) to stumble upon it.

Ashley T says:

I’m sure you’ve seen my blog so you see how open I am. I don’t share my last name really (even though after deciding that, I should have changed my blog IRL before continuing) but I do share pictures and stuff like that. I never say where I work or where my husband works because there are some things you would rather keep private. I like that I can share my pictures and family with people, even though its not everything.
I am also thankful that so far, Hayden hasn’t been exposed to any racism. We have been blessed to have babysitters and people around us who are very awesome. I hope you get that too!

i share my first name and my daughter’s first name. i only share the first initial of my husband’s name. no last names. lots of pictures. i provide a general area of where i live (near atlanta).
but that’s just me! 🙂
and i don’t “do” anonymous comments on my blog either. i hate cowards who hide behind their computer screen!

Jo says:

I went back and forth on this one, too. I was hesitant to post much about Poppy publicly (photos, anyway), but after she was born, I went wild. I couldn’t hold back 🙂 Well, “went wild” is a bit of an exaggeration. I post hundreds of photos of her online, but only at my Flickr account and behind “friends and family” protections (have to join Flickr and I have to ‘friend’ you in order to see them. This also serves as another back-up in case our computer and/or harddrives ever crash. All of my best photos of the past 5 years are on Flickr, in full-size).

If I didn’t do this, all of our family back home in the Midwest would lose it. It’s how we stay connected and they’re able to watch her grow in between trips home. I do share select photos on my public blog, but not the majority, by far. Just a few. I’ve definitely mentioned her name online, but eventually removed her full name from the blog and birth story and replaced it with her nickname, Poppy. Poppy is what we called her in utero and I like that we can continue to use it online, though I don’t mind if people know her full name is Penelope (kind of like your “spawnie” — only difference is we actually call her Poppy in real life, too :)). Our blog is not terribly anonymous considering our last name is in the URL — and it’s a unique last name — but I’m ok with that. I don’t post anything particularly damning. Mostly just photos and ramblings about Ms. P as I feel inspired 🙂

One place I do draw a line is naked baby/bath time photos. I don’t send them via email. I don’t put them on the blog. I don’t load them to Flickr. Those we keep stored locally, on our computer. I don’t want some weirdo coming across them and downloading them for keeps. CREEPY.

I also don’t post photos of other people’s kids without their explicit permission first — and try to extend this courtesy even to adult friends I take photos of. It’s only fair since our blog is totally public.

Considering you have a bit of a public profile already from working in the media, blogging here, and over at Parenting, it would seem silly to worry TOO much about privacy. Not that you should spill every detail and share every photo, but if you want to be anonymous online somehow, you seem to have blown that 😉 If you don’t share your little one’s first name (at least briefly) or at least a photo or two, I think your readers may revolt 🙂

Brie H says:

I share my kids name and photos – but his name isnt’ rare or unique. Mine are mainly with family and friends – I do not have a busy blog like you though.

Have you prayed about this decision? With your public job, I feel that you might want to give your husband’s perspective a little more thought. Perhaps closing up shop, or keeping details to a minimum might be in your daughter’s best interest. EVEN THOUGH, I personally would hate to see that happen. I think that if my blog weren’t anonymous I would definitely close up shop when I finally have children.

Your due soon right? Congrats.. so excited for you… been following your blog for awhile now. Kids teased me about being dark skinned too… kids are cruel! Hope you have a sweet and calm delivery!

Donor Diva says:

It is totally up to you. I gave my son a nickname for my blog and I do post pictures. I find it hard to resist since he soo cute.

RainSplats says:

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a website about internet safety:
http://www.netsmartz.org/safety/risks.htm#
and this one has excellent:
http://www.netsmartz.org/resources/reallife.htm

Spawnie’s a little young for you to worry about cyber bullying :P….but it’s all good info…and if you read enough about missing/exploited children you’ll have your head on straight enough to make your decisions.

I use aliases on my blog. I crop identifiable stuff out of pictures and fudge on dates to keep things blurry. I’m very strict about my facebook pages. I use real names and pictures on there…and keep everything very private.

I think it’d be a shame to just drop this fantastic platform you’ve built. …Esp considering your line of work. However…you’re so cute…and your baby is gonna be so super cute. I’d worry about the whole stalker issue, too.

Privacy is also an issue….I think your blog should be about you…your point of view…things you’re going thru…thoughts provoked by events of your day. I don’t think it should contain every detail of your child’s life. I don’t think someone who meets your daughter should be able to read back-issues of your blog to find out more about her.

but that’s just me…

becca says:

i guess i am naive about the dangers. i use our real names for now, but that may all change when we have a wee one. i think you just have to do what you are comfortable with, and we will all be ok with it. 🙂

B&U&I says:

I completely understand where you’re coming from with this post. When I was pregnant I wasn’t super concerned about the privacy issue, once we found out gender I posted what we were going to name her and when I had finished painting the wooden blocks for her name I posted a picture of those as well. However, after she was born I went and removed the post with the pictures and I also went back through every post I had ever written and swapped every name used in the posts for initials. This was also because our last name is part of our blog URL.

I created my blog when we first found out we were pregnant so that our family members and close friends who live so far away (which is most of them) could watch our family grow and keep up with everything that happened throughout the pregnancy, birth and general happenings of our life. Since that is really the sole purpose of my blog, I post LOTS of pictures so after our daughter was born I began to use the first initial of her nickname when I reference her on our blog. When I mention her on a site like twitter or facebook I will use her full nickname because I am (somewhat) able to limit and control who can see my profile.

Your blog is a high traffic site so if I were in your position, I’d create a second, private blog for close friends and family to view where you can use her full name or nickname of whatever you so choose and post as many pictures as you like. As for this one, maybe post a few pictures here and there but don’t feel pressured to share more than you want to. In the end, just do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Kathryn says:

What a great post, thanks for sharing! 🙂

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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