Over the past few years, as I’ve published a book and started trying to expand my reach beyond my twelve loyal blog readers, I’ve struggled to figure out how to share about my life without violating my family’s privacy. Social media was easy (or so I thought)—I’d just have a public account and a private account. But blogging was trickier. When we expanded Good Times Ahoy from a personal blog to an author website, it suddenly felt wrong to write about my kids the way I used to, even though readership hasn’t changed much. Sharing my motherhood adventures (and misadventures) was fun, and when I couldn’t do it anymore, I lost enthusiasm for keeping up with the blog.
Maintaining separation on social media has also been harder than expected. Turns out, when you’re a stay-at-home mom to four kids (oh yeah, did I mention we had another one? Surprise!) your life is inextricably linked to those of your children. I spend all day with them. They star in all the hilarious anecdotes of my day. Many of the books I read are about raising, feeding, and educating them (oh yeah, did I mention we’re homeschooling again? Surprise!). As gross as I feel about using my children in the content rat race, it’s pretty hard to say anything about my life without referencing them in some way.
Something’s got to change, because I miss this. I miss long-form blogging. I miss sharing our ridiculous fun-house life along with surly movie reviews and infrequent, less-than-impressive writing updates. So I’m going to be making some changes to the blog (all of which will apply to Instagram, as well). I probably should have been doing most of these from the beginning.
- I will no longer be showing front-profile pictures of my kids. Instead, you’ll be treated to images of the backs of adorable, oversized, uniformly-buzzed heads.
- I will no longer be using our kids’ real names. But it’s okay, because they all get adorkable literary codenames! Welcome to the adventures of Curdie, Faramir, Jane, and Lucy.
- Sadly, the GTA Year in Review is discontinued. We’ll still be writing a family Christmas letter every year for those who know us personally, but it will live on my husband’s blog.
What I’m NOT going to do is go to great lengths to expunge my children’s existence from the Interwebz. I don’t think it’s practical or necessary, and it may not be possible at this point. People who are really dedicated will probably be able to find out their names and see some of their pictures (although if you’re that interested in our kids, you hopefully already know us personally). But I’m hoping putting these guidelines in place for myself will unparalyze me enough to start participating in the internet again.
Happy trails, friends! I’ll talk to you soon!