Tuesday, June 4, 2013

rethinking


Okay, okay.  So pulling the plug on my blog with no warning was maybe not so much a good idea.  Sorry.  Especially sorry if anyone thought I'd had to join the witness protection program or that I'd died or that maybe I'd ODd on nonfat vanilla lattes THEN died.  I did not.  What I did do, or really what I've done off and on for some time now, is pondered the future of my little blog.  And really, pondering blogs in general.  Occasionally coming across articles like this that gave me pause.  Seeing some major mommy bloggers make some major (and unapologetic!) blunders at the expense of the children they're tasked with protecting at all costs.  Not naming any names.  Cough cough Nellagate cough cough.  And because sometimes I'm a wee bit impetuous, with all this clutter in my head and concerns in my heart, I just shut 'er down.  But then some of you were like 'OMG WHAT THE FUH?" and I was like "oops".  So, hi.  Here I am.  Contemplative.

I started out as a blogger during the sad years before the babies happened.  It was free therapy and it introduced me to other ladies with similar struggles and I like to think it maybe helped a few other sad, wishful-mothers to have hope in the darkest of their own hard days.  I moved and revamped after the first baby, with tales of his firsts and sleep woes and 'doh moments of this first time mom.  It kept my far off family and friends in the loop and again, it introduced me to other mamas in the same walk of life, and again with the free therapy perk.  And on days when I felt like all I'd done was clean butts and read books full of animal sounds and rhyming words, it gave me a way to exercise my brain a little.  I've always loved writing.  (My third grade teacher said I was good at it, yall!)  I've kept up with the blogging (with varying diligence) for four and a half years, three states, a few more babies, a .... uh, a bunch more cats (I DAMN LOST COUNT OF THE CATS!)  Lately, I've been putting some thought into my future here.  My kids are getting bigger.  Particularly, the big one.  He's in school.  He gets shy sometimes.  He's no longer a tiny little human without specific will or want, he's a thinking, feeling, person.  Who deserves privacy and respect.  And while I do think I've done a decent (IDK?) job of not getting TOO personal, not getting TOO embarrassing, and while I do think I'd love a written account of my childhood and those of my siblings .... I do sometimes wonder about the implications of sharing my kids' lives on the web.  You know?  All I really know is that all that really matters is doing right by those three little ones up top.  And I just need some time to think that through, I guess.  In between wiping hineys and reading animal sound books.

Weigh in, will ya?  I know there's many a mommy blogger in my reading audience (of 10).  I value your input.

25 comments:

Anne said...

You know that wasn't the cowboy I was talking about, right?

You know best, mama. You aren't selling anyone out for cash prizes (or ugly mobiles). If you want to keep it up, I think you can do so without hurting any of those precious babies. But if it starts to feel icky, shut it down. Or make it private. I'll start your gomi thread, mmkay?

mandie lane said...

SMOKY THE COWBOY CHILD. Duh!

If I ever get a GOMI thread I will just quit at life.

Beth said...

Totally understand. Totally. Over the past few years I've steered my blog away from Garrettisms and toward the DIY crowd, and now after reading that article, I realize that is likely a GOOD thing. I really need to go back and re-read everything I ever posted about him in my sleep-deprived haze of those first years and see if anything needs to be deleted.

It hit home for me when my niece (age 11) had her first boyfriend last year. My sister friended his mom on facebook, and after looking through all of her photos Riley was MORTIFIED to see a picture of him at age 4 in his underwear on the internet. So... yeah. We are just a few years away from all that. Things that are cute now could be pretty catastrophic later. Middle school is hard enough without the Mean kids finding pics of you in your underwear on the internet, no matter the age. :/ It's definitely something to think about. Thanks for being honest about it. I'm pretty sick of reading mean mommy blogs who shame their kids every chance they can in an effort to be funny or witty, then watching the hordes of other moms put them up on pedestals for "keeping it real".

We all need some more love and compassion up in here. Wit be damned. :)

Do what you need to do!

The Mahlke Chronicles said...

I also kind of want to go back through my blog and FB and weed through the potential things to harm my kids in the future. I'm totally an oversharer, but I don't think I've ever belittled my kids in anyway. I am definitely guilty of underwear shots and even naked butts. But now that I've seen it through the eyes of my soon-to-be older sons, I think I need to go blog and FB cleaning. Thanks for this post b/c I inadvertently did things that I never really gave much thought to before. That article you posted shave me the shivers, and definitely gave me a lot to think about. I can totally see why you're questioning the future of your blog -- although I do hope you continue to write.

Betsy said...

Um, I recently found GOMI and unfortunately it is my newest time suck, but has made me think harder about my blogging & IGing. I'm no help here, but I love your blog and agree with Anne to take it as it comes and see how you feel. I have recently started asking Easton if I can take his picture before I just DO it, and if he says no, I don't. It's a start at least. As far as the pictures anyways.

Kelsey said...

Why do you always read my mind? I've been pondering the future of the bloggie too! On one hand the time, commitment etc. Takes away from real life living but then again I hope I'm saving memories for years to come.

I love reading your blog, but totally get it! And maybe I'll be a copy cat...cat.

Julie said...

Ive gotta say I love your blog ever since I found you via the Nest many years ago. I've commented maybe twice but I love your humor and truthfulness and that keeps me reading (plus your kids are stinking adorable AND you live in Colorado. I woulda moved yesterday if we could). That being said, I get the concerns you're feeling and it is exactly why I made my blog private except for fam and friends. The thought that complete strangers could be reading about so much of my family's life creeped me out a bit. Plus the aspect that my boys probably don't want their friends or future girlfriends reading about some cute-to-me but embarrassing to them moments:) I hope you are able to figure this out, and I'll be sad if you pull the plug but can only understand. Babies/family first!

Amy said...

I do love your blog, your writing is hilarious! But I see your point as the kids get older. Your blog is nothing like some of the crazy mommy bloggers, do not fear! If you pull the plug it's understandable!

Jamie Jo said...

I love reading your blog! I love your humor and your honesty!

Lisa.Covino said...

I love reading your blog! But I can see your point in regards to the kids getting older. I would miss reading it as my daughter is a month younger than Mabel and I like to see where she is at, but you have to do what feels right for you. :)

Katie said...

Who do you write your blog for? Your family and friends or for anyone who finds it? If it is mostly for family and close friends, maybe consider making it private.

Mine (like yours) becomes a priceless family journal that is printed into a book. I cannot even imagine not having it. It is a way to record things that would otherwise be forgotten. If there is something too private to share, I make a post and then don't publish it to the public... just include it when I slurp into blurb. And as my kids are getting older I have been more respectful of their opinions and give them the choice if they want it up for everyone to see. You may notice there are not as many posts about Jack...

Granted, I know I don't have the readership that you do, (mine is mostly boring family happenings to the outsider not the cute wit and dialogue that yours is :) ) but those are my thoughts.

Go with your gut, lady as far as privacy. But don't stop blogging for your family! They will love looking back someday!

And I agree with Anne and liked how she said it. (hmmmm does she have a blog I could follow.... ;) )

xoxo!

Erin said...

I don't have a huge following for my blog, but even still, it really doesn't matter. I am with you that the baby stuff seems fair game to me. That experience is not unique to my own children. My oldest is V's age (almost exactly) and I have definitely stopped writing about her as much. When I do, it's mostly positive or about my experience as a mother and less about what she's doing as a child. It is hard, because I WANT the blog to be there for my own memories, but I guess I need to find a way to do that somewhere else. I still will always keep on blogging in some form, just to share photos, write about our trips, and in general keeping tabs on my kids, but less about the things that could potentially embarrass them later. And honestly, if they DO get mad at me when they are 12 for putting up a photo of them crying at 2, we'll have a discussion about that... but it is not likely that I'll feel guilty about it at all. I realize that ANYTHING can be embarrassing to a middle schooler, but that is a part of eventually realizing that it's (usually) not a big deal and that they aren't the center of the universe. Nellagate is quite a different story and that was ..... not good.

Just was introduced to GOMI last week and I just really wish my eyes could unsee that. Some threads are hilarious but wow.

ana said...

See, this is why I love reading your blog - you totally get it. I used to follow your old blog (naming the cat?) prior to you making it private and subsequently starting this one. I love that you don't pimp out your kids, don't have 17 bazillion ads on here and don't sit down at the computer JUST because you need to crank out a post, you know? There are so many "mommy bloggers" out there who are in this for all the wrong reasons and, frankly, it shows. No, I will not feed my kid the nasty veggie chips you're pimping today, no I don't want to buy sugar free candy...etc etc.

I wish I had started a blog where I could capture the good, the bad and the ugly of raising my babies - it would be so incredibly awesome to share with them when they're older. That being said, I would keep it private and open only to invited readers.

Remember all the drama back on the nest decorating board, circa 2005? Bitches be crazy tracking down personal info, etc. It's a crazy world out there, that's what I would be worried about. Only you know best about how to go forward.

PS. My Ballard Loo sign finally retired last year. RIP Ballard Raid Loo sign ;)

Life. Complicated. said...

You need to do whatever you have to do for your family. However a blogger that I follow has a rule that the embarrising stories stop when they enter school. She also goes back and cleans up some of the others/moves them to a private setting.

I love reading your writing! Maybe there is a happier medium for you and those that want to continue to read.

mandie lane said...

I'm SO glad I opened up to this - this is exactly the kind of smart convo I was needing to have! I love all of you, I really do! So many good points.

Beth: love your perspective - I think you're the picture of blogging success, and NOT at the expense of your awesome kid. Way to go. And YES, the story of your niece's boyfriend is exactly what I'm worried about!!

Angie: you do a great job. And I'm totally not insinuating I've never overshared. I also need to go back to the earlier days, because I'm pretty sure a "bee-you-tee-tee" shot snuck in there somewhere, back before I was thinking of these things.

Betsy: love that you're asking Easton's permission! Smart! And yes, lurking around GOMI here and there has definitely increased my level of concern on all this. NOT that I think I'm anywhere near big enough for it to be a serious problem (small potatoes, yo!) but it's still the web, you know?

Kelsey: maybe Martha Foot Crowe gave us psychic powers? IDK? Unrelated side note: when I get a headache, I think of you suggesting Sunkist. Every time.

Time's up, there's water running in the basement bathroom and the FakeTwins are quiet down there ..... that can NOT be a good sign. Want to respond to more of you later! SERIOUSLY - appreciate the thoughtful replies here! xoxo!

Courtney said...

I totally get this. Totally. I've thought for a while about the future of my blog, and like you said, I'm completely and totally small potatoes as well, so it's not even a big audience. But, like you said, it's the internet and once it's out there- it's out there.

I have to say though, I LOVE love love your blog. Like others have said, to me it feels like a wonderful, real, and honest journal. There isn't product pushing or fake, forced posts. You write about your life and you have a gift for doing so.

I dont think you will ever regret having the small little memories written out to have forever, but if you're worried about creepers, just make it private. Just be sure to send me an invite :)

Kelli said...

Ok how did I miss nellagate? What the heck happened can someone fill me I?

Candice said...

I have been pondering these same things. I am going between shutting 'er down and going private. I'm glad i am now facebook friends with some of my favs. :) Makes it easier!

Mel said...

I had read, a while back, how this lady had "stolen" pictures off another blogger (pictures of her son) and was passing them off as her own. Super creepy. I had been thinking about privacy for some time now, I removed my maiden name off FB, when it hit me- duh, "what's your mother's maiden name?" is what creditors will ask my kids, then I started thinking about identity theft. Then I read about the blogger above and how she suggested watermarking every picture. So, I just made mine private-I haven't had a chance to blog yet, because computer issues, third kid, and no time.
I love reading your blog and think you're a great (hilarious!) writer but I don't think anyone would blame you if you went private. I totally agree with what Katie said.

Alexis Overbye said...

Mandie,
The article that you referred to is far creepier and invasive than anything you have ever written about your adorable babies! I say keep blogging away, first of all because you are seriously hilarious and an extremely talented writer - but second Michael keeps tabs on the family by reading this and I know he feels like your little kiddos are growing up fast without him, so reading this every day eases him worries a bit. If worst comes to worst and you feel the need to shut the mommy blog down, maybe make it friends and fam only!
Hope that helps!

Jenn said...

I love your blog, but you have to do what feels right for you! But man, I would miss reading it and seeing your adorable kiddos! ~Jenn

www.twobytwomom.com

Jenny said...

I also seem to have missed nellagate (I'm guessing because it's been a while since I read that blog?) and am curious about it too!

Mchammock said...

I stumbled across your blog last year when I was pregnant and I have enjoyed reading it ever since. My boys are the same ages as your girls. You have such a way of capturing the craziness of motherhood in a sweet, but honest way. I totally understand your concerns but would definitely miss your posts. Just wanted to send some encouragement :)

oliveandbehr said...

I'm also a follower from the Nest days, back when I lived in Texas, and look forward to reading your blog every week - when I'm also not wiping tushes, and the like. You put 'mothering' into the best perspective I have ever read from anyone, ANYWHERE, and I was so disappointed when your blog was locked last week because, honestly? I felt a little lost, like, where will I get my good advice and wisdom from now?

BUT, I completely understand the privacy thing - while I don't blog myself (really, how do you ever find the time? with THREE?!?!), I do limit the photos that I place on Facebook and out on the internets, because there are bad people everywhere.

Please do what you think is best for your family - as you mentioned they are the audience you should worry about - but also know that your words have been so helpful and inspirational over the years. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Mommy from Boulder, CO,

Sara

Michelle said...

I know I'm late. I've checked out on my own blog as well, so I understand. Also, I've been a lurker for a while (sorry...)

You were pregnant with MG while I was pregnant with my second. I just found out I'm pregnant with my 3rd, and my second is only 7 months old. I've literally thought (more than once) about how adorable your fake twins seem to be together, and that has kept me from having a (full on) panic attack. (No, I'm not kidding - crazy as that makes me sound).

So, whatever you decide to do here - thank you very much for sharing. Your writing is incredible, and your family comes across as utterly amazing.