Thursday, June 3, 2010

Where to Draw the Line?

"One thing that made me want to put off having children for the first few years of our marriage was the fear of raising a family in the crazy world we live in.

Being a journalist I’m very aware, and sometimes jaded by all of the sadness in the world. I haven’t grown to be fearful, rather just disappointed in people and their actions.

I’ve always been a sensitive person. I remember arriving home from kindergarten class, crying after a classmate called me ugly because of my dark skin.

My mother was just being introduced into this world of childhood bullying (well, from the “mom” perspective that is) since I am her oldest. She quickly learned though, after putting on her mama bird suit and visiting with my teacher asking what in the world was going on.

I see myself having the same reaction my mother did initially for just about any negative response towards my little girl. I feel like I want to shield her from the crazy, rude, and harsh world we live in. I know that’s not necessarily the right thing to do because one day she’ll have to grow up and wake up, but I wonder if there’s some happy medium..."

I've never really grown out of my sensitivity issues. Ask my husband, he'd tell you how quickly a snide remark can open up the flood gates.

I've never understood, and never will understand how people can be intentionally mean to people. A sarcastic comment on my part will quickly send me back peddling if I feel the slightest bit of harm toward my intended jokemate. I think that's why I'm not very funny.

Online, comments, remarks, thoughts and feelings are taken to a whole 'nother level. People can say what they want, unfiltered, and have the shield of a computer screen to hide behind.

I turned off anonymous comments from my blog after countless comments from people who would disagree with me on a topic, and say the meanest things, while too afraid to put their name to it. I can honestly say I have never and will never leave a rude anonymous comment on someone's blog. If they're writing about something I don't agree with I'll A. Either stop reading or B. Leave a comment with my disagreements but also leave a way they can contact me or respond in case they'd like to discuss further. I have no problem standing behind what I say, and I'd wouldn't say anything hurtful.

Bringing a baby into the world isn't an easy feat. Bringing a baby into the world and sharing my journal of the experience with the world is even more insane, but that's been my choice and I've been ok with that so far. But now that I'm weeks away from having her--with an audience that's multiplied so much more than I ever imagined it would--I'm faced with lots of questions about where to draw the line.

If my husband had his way, her birthday would be the last day of my blog, as my "journey toward motherhood" would be complete. Pictures wouldn't be displayed, names wouldn't be shared. He's obviously a much more private person than I am.

Being the open and excited person that I am, I feel like I'd want to share my joy, my baby girl, just as I have shared so much already, but at the same time I worry I'd be setting a target out to be hit. I wouldn't be able to contain my anger if someone said something hurtful about my daughter, or the way I choose to birth or raise her.

Initially I thought I'd share her first name after her birth, in a photo that would be removed a day or two later, but now I'm not so sure. I thought I'd flood my blog with photos, but now I'm, second-guessing.

I can't shield my little girl from the crappy parts of the world, but I can do my part in other places, starting online.

Where do you or will you draw the line online with your children? Do you use real names? Share photos? I'd love some other parenting opinions on this topic.

The first part of this post was originally written for my Project Pregnancy Blog. You can read the rest of my fears about my daughter facing racism and other issues on today's post over there.

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