It’s a question I’m asked often.
Why don’t you share the kids’ faces? Their real names? Why aren’t you showing day-to-day stuff on Instagram Stories? Why such extreme boundaries from someone who writes online for a living?
I get it. Swapping stories and “Me, too”s is an important salve in this life, one that has healed me often. But there is a way to talk about parenting without talking about parenting our specific kids. There is a way to give weight to our experiences without our kids’ shoulders bearing the burden.
Sometimes, I’m asked if this makes me inauthentic, this refusal to offer such a big part of my life for public entertainment, for the sake of “real” transparency. Why no tantrum photos? No monthly milestones?
And yet: authenticity means real. It means “not false.”
Is there anything “not false” about the Internet – a world built with wires, not roots? Is there anything real when it’s been flattened by pixels, void of relationship and context? Authenticity requires participation, trust. It’s the knowing of another, the seeing of another. And here I am, not even able to guess what your favorite perfume smells like. I’ve never approached your welcome mat with a casserole dish or a fistful of flowers. I cannot know you in full.
I’d argue the same for you.
My rule is simple: my habits and choices in this online world must enrich my actual, everyday, head-down, in-the-trenches, roots-deep, real-deal world. The Internet is lovely and all, but it’s not my everything. It can’t be.
But my kids are. And your kids are. And that’s worth holding on to, worth keeping sacred, worth connecting and nourishing and relishing – no wires attached.
If you’re curious, I’ve got a slew more thoughts on the subject in Young House Love’s episode “Sharenting” (definitely worth a listen) right this way.