Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Is It Safe to Blog about My Kid?

RooneyKelsey

As parents, my husband and I are currently responsible for our daughter’s safety – online and offline. We are very open people who both have blogs and like to share stories and pictures online. We love sharing our lives with other people – friends and family and strangers – in that way. So, when our daughter was born, we shared about it online. We used her real name and posted photos of her, which we have continued to do for the past two years. Call me naive, but I didn’t think about the safety repercussions of it a whole lot. But now that she is older she has gotten recognized a few times in public when we’re out and about, which made me wonder… Is it safe to blog about my kid?

So I talked to some family and friends about it and decided to come up with some rules:

Our Family Guidelines for Online Safety

  • I don’t post Rooney in Carts or other location-based photos until we’re away from the location.
  • Eric and I have agreed to not post photos of Rooney in the bathtub that show any of her private body parts (even those that are undeveloped). I have the cutest photo of Rooney and three of her cousins in the bathtub that I would love to share with the world because it is just SO cute, but it will just have to stay a private photo, and that’s OK.
  • We have never posted our address online, and most of the time we say we live in “Des Moines” rather than the suburb we live in.
  • As we begin to tackle potty-training, I will not post photos of Rooney that I would not want posted of myself.

To be honest, after I wrote this, I had to go back and remove a couple photos from my Instagram feed. One was of her in the bath, and the other was of some cute new underwear I had bought her. I had hesitated before sharing both of those photos, but had decided to do it anyway because I didn’t have guidelines in place.

I’m sure there are photos out there of the outside of our house and we could be found if someone really wanted to find us, but I feel more comfortable having these guidelines in place.

But even though we take precautions, sometimes I wonder, Is it smart to blog about our children? Is it fair to her that I write about her online? Will she be upset or embarrassed later in life?

It’s hard to tell how mommy blogs will affect our children once they’re grown. Having an online presence is appealing to me – but I have to remember that it’s not that way for everyone else. As Rooney has gotten older, I’ve developed a short list of guidelines to follow in hopes of not embarrassing her in the future.

To Post or Not to Post?

  • If Rooney doesn’t want her photo taken in a particular moment, I don’t take it.
  • In the future, if she asks me not to share a specific story about her online, I won’t.
  • I haven’t written about certain things in detail, like tantrums, because I feel like it might embarrass her later.
  • If I wouldn’t want a certain photo posted of myself, I won’t post it of her.
  • Before posting, I ask myself, “How would I feel if this story were posted about me?”

Probably the most controversial post I have posted so far on this topic has been how I felt when I saw Rooney’s birthmark for the first time. I decided to share the story because I knew other mothers had gone through this and because I felt it was my story to share. I absolutely LOVE her birthmark now and can’t imagine her without it. I don’t want Rooney to ever dislike her birthmark and I will do my best to teach her how to love it if she doesn’t, but I was honest in my post and said that my heart sunk a little when I saw it for the first time.

Overall, I love documenting our family adventures and Rooney’s growth. Of course, this could be done on a private blog and only shared with family, but for now we’ve decided to post publicly because of the amazing community online. Of course, the good comes with the bad.

How about you? Do you think it’s safe or smart to blog about our kids? Do you prefer to keep your children’s names or faces private?

Photo credit: Megan Schaap

6 Responses to Is It Safe to Blog about My Kid?

  1. Avatar
    Anne July 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Just remember- all people need is your first and last name and can look up your address easily. Even if you are unlisted in whitepages, finding your residence is an easy search under Polk County or Dallas County assessor websites. These are accessible to anyone. Honestly, blogging is really not much more risky than any social network platform- if someone wants to find you, they will. Sad that we have to worry about these things, but it’s good that you have protocol for what you post. Privacy and blogging certainly can’t quite live synonymously.

    • Avatar
      Tristin July 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      I agree. If someone wants to find you, or your child. They will. It doesn’t matter what you post online.

      Its just like those family bumper stickers. Yes. They give information about your family to strangers. But if they are creepers, they would find that out anyway.

  2. Avatar
    Margaret July 10, 2014 at 2:56 am #

    If you are consciously being vague by writing that you live in Des Moines, perhaps edit your DMMB bio, too, since it lists your suburb. 😉 Not that it matters though…since you own a home, your address is accessible in about two clicks as Anne stayed above.

  3. Avatar
    Alicia July 12, 2014 at 3:49 am #

    I thought that was so ironic, too (reading the bio about the author of this article). What a juxtaposition from the push for anonymity in the article. Suddenly I feel I know more than I should as a stranger/reader!

  4. Avatar
    Courtney Wagler July 12, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    Loved this thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing, Kelsey!

  5. Avatar
    Rana July 12, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Thanks for this post! It’s such an important thing to rememeber!

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