i posted this as my status on the book of faces yesterday, not expecting the mini eruption of controversy as different people read different things into what i had tried to say [and i will share the comments in part II]:

Parents of young children… while i LOVE reading so many of the funny moments and epic statements your children have and make, i do think there is huge value in savouring some of those just for yourselves as a family… i just worry that moments that should be precious memories for you as a family are being broadcast to the world and to many people who won’t hold them as lovingly as you will.

as far as i can see from the responses, there are 3 ways to read this:

# i hate seeing children stuff on my walls [i will admit that as i was writing it i was worried that people could read it as if i had written it sarcastically as in ‘I really DON’T love reading…’ which was not the case at all and i did try to write it in such a way as to avoid that opinion but a lot of people seemed to think i was somehow telling them to put less of their children stuff on my facebook wall] – this is not what my point was and there are settings on facebook that protect me from needing to read anyone’s posts that i don’t particularly like or want to read – a quick ‘unfollow’, ‘remove notifications’ or in extreme cases ‘unfriend’ will solve that particular problem in an instant – that was not the intention of the status.

# you’re a bad parent and i question your motivation for posting so much about your children online [again, this was not my intent, nor was i attempting to tell anyone what to do as a parent – and reading it again now, i personally don’t see why people read it that way, but i can hear and to some extent feel the frustration of parents who have been told continually by others how to be better parents and imagine that must be so incredibly frustrating and so even seeing something that appears to be that as well must trigger so much emotion. what i was attempting was a friendly caution for those who in the busyness of life may not have considered this particular point.

i value the intimacy between parents and children and want to do what i can to help protect that – this was completely my motivation and my friend Zennie nailed it when she used the word ‘sacred’ [“remember that it’s ok to keep some moments private and sacred”] – i would possibly go a little stronger than “it’s ok” and say “i would strongly urge or encourage it” – it is great that we have social networks to help us connect with family and friends, especially those who are far away, but surely as parents there are some moments where you go – this is just for us! – and maybe you will share those with extended family and closer friends but ‘sorry general world and randoms, you don’t get to see this one’.

i was not trying to make a command or a law or absolute or anything like that and i do apologise for where any of the parents who read it thought i was telling you what to do or that you were bad parents for not doing so – i guess the closest experience where i do have credibility to talk is in my relationship with tbV [the beautiful Val] – i absolutely love sharing moments about her, my love for her, my amazement at her brilliance in her job, how she makes me laugh, beautiful pictures of her and so on… but believe me facebookworld you don’t get the half of all my moments with her – there is a whole lot of stuff that is just for me, for us and i am wanting to keep that just for us because then it does become a little bit sacred, it does help build intimacy and i’m sorry [i’m not] but some of that is just for the two of us… i just imagined, that having children, you might feel the same way about some of your most special and intimate moments.

i am probably with Brad on the bowel movements though…

So, parent friends of mine [and also those i might not know], speak to me and share your thoughts – i hope this explains what i was trying to say a little better than when it was just a status… also please know that i have SO MUCH incredible respect and amazement and love for anyone who is a parent – it is such a monumental task and i am deeply sad that others have felt the need to chime in and tell you what to do and how to live and how you could be better at it… all i ever intend to do with posts on parents and children is to celebrate and encourage and at times draw resources together from those who have walked that journey to in any way possible help make it that little bit easier. i don’t know how you do it. cheering you on from the sidelines for sure.

Candice and Terran and Julie and Zen and Lara and others, please DO NOT STOP posting the funny stories and special moments and milestones, because i do really enjoy a lot of those… but i hope you will consider keeping some of the best ones just for you as a gift or prize for having been such an amazing parent.

[a woman called Sarah Bessey, whose writing i really enjoy, wrote a piece very similiar to this but from a parent’s perspective, which you can read here]

[a woman called Sharon Greenthal wrote a very different perspectived post on a similiar topic titled ‘A Letter to Mommy Bloggers from a Mommy with Grown Kids’ which i highly recommend and which you can read here]

[to be continued in part II where i will share the feedback my original status received as i feel there are some valuable points in there to take and learn from…]

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