That’s that then. From zero-kids to three-kids-at-school in a total of 7 years.
It’s hardly news to exclaim that the pregnancies, the births and those early years flew by. Well, perhaps not the births, but it does feel like such was the force of that final push, that it catapulted first their heads, then their shoulders, then all of our lives from that hospital room to this point in time at lightening speed.
And now off they go, their first tentatitve steps into the big wide world. Although, when you think about it, they have been out there in the big wide world since the eldest turned 6 months old. Not out on their own in the actual world, but there with a presence in the virtual world.
They are the first generation to have their lives, their successes, and often their parents’ frustrations with parenting them documented via words, photos and witty quotes, perhaps almost on a daily basis.
The connections I have made over social media and via blogging have saved my sanity through the early years of parenting. We have family and friends who live a distance away who have a real connection with our kids largely because of the wonder of the web. In many ways, because of social media I feel I have been a better parent.
I am now starting to wonder, though, about the impact that my status updates, my ‘likes’, my ‘shares’ might have on my kids’ sanity in the future.
Sure, I’m pretty strict with the security setting on my personal Facebook page, and I limit the exposure of our family via this blog and the social media channels that I half heartedly use to support it. However, it doesn’t take an adulterous Canadian to know that these passwords and privacy settings and steps to conceal all our personal details are hardly fool proof.
What should I do? I don’t want to retreat from the virtual world. I don’t want to hide my children from it – that’s surely like people being frightened of books when the printing press first took off.
But how can I really be assured of the future consent of my kids in my actions online now? If I act forever in good faith, is their future consent irrelevant – I no doubt do lots of little things that the kids will judge as misguided as they get older. Is this immersion in online activity any different?
I look around at some of your blogs and your comments and your posts. I look at some of your followings and how, by being frank and open and honest about parenting you have provided support to other parents. I see your beautiful photos of your gorgeous families and my heart is lifted at seeing a little happiness spread around the internet, and feeling that human connection.
I am jealous of the success of some your blogs, how lucrative you have made them, and how you have involved your families in that process. Intertwining work and family looks a joy. I would like a piece of that, but I am a little frightened.
I’m a little worried about the unknown quantity of what it is to grow up with chunks of our lives documented for all to see, from the first scan to our 18th birthday.
Am I a scare monger, a worry wart, stuck in a time warp where people believed in keeping their daily activities locked away in diaries rather than shared with the world?
As the kids make those steps into the real world, I share my thoughts here, with you. I share them with the notion of trying to work out how to be a good parent to my kids.
But does my use of social media really prepare my kids for the path that lies ahead, or does it fill it with stumbling blocks for them to trip over as they make their way in the big wide world?
Any views feel free to share – ironic? Maybe. But do, please, let me know what you think.