Back in 2010, when our son was only six months old, I bought a package of wooden door-hangers and painted special Christmas gift tags.
I liked the idea that there was a consistency to gift-giving — that our son (and later, our daughter) would always know exactly how many gifs they would get from us, and what categories those gifts would fall under.
The kids love being able to easily spot specific gifts under the tree, and deciding which categories to open first or last.Read More
Over the last couple of years, it’s become increasingly difficult to write about my children for this column.
What are they comfortable with me sharing? How much do I feel I can declare, publicly? Am I writing something that might embarrass them, now or in the future?
Our son was barely a year old when I started writing a parenting column called Mommy Diaries for a local magazine …
… and when I started writing The Mom Scene for SaltWire Network newspapers, he was three and our daughter was one.
Now our son is 11 years old, in his second year of junior high school. (They renamed it a “middle school” over the summer, but he refuses to be demoted.) I can tell you he loves YouTube, Harry Potter, taekwondo, running and K-pop, but he’s creeping up on being a teenager, so I can’t tell you more than that. He deserves his privacy.
Even our “baby” is far from a baby. She’s nine going on 16, with highlighted hair and a brand-new set of braces. I can tell you she takes four dance classes a week, loves to act, and shines the brightest on any stage, but she rolls her eyes when I embarrass her, so I don’t dare tell you more than that. She, too, deserves her privacy.
When I started writing about life as a mother, it felt like there were thousands of things to write about — baby food, cloth diapers, potty-training, naps, sleep deprivation, tantrums, first words, speech delays, ear surgeries. I loved reading “mommy blogs,” and couldn’t get enough of parenting content because it summed up my whole world.
When my kids were in preschool and elementary school, there were entertaining stories to tell about screen time, playdates, birthday party drama and ER visits because of swallowed screws. (He was fine, and hopefully learned a lesson about dissembling and snacking on Happy Meal toys.)
There were serious topics, too. I wrote about struggles with postpartum depression, the crippling anxiety of raising children during a pandemic, and the enormous mental toll associated with parenthood. I wrote about the backlash our son experienced when he grew his hair long, and what it taught all of us about misgendering.
And while I know many people believe parents shouldn’t publicly share anything about their children, including photos, I have been happy with my decision to share bits and pieces.
I don’t regret the years I spent telling these stories, and neither do the kids — so far, at least. They enjoyed when their school bus driver taped up a column for everyone to see, or when a teacher stopped them in the halls to congratulate them on something they’d read.