My husband won’t go near Facebook (except when he goes on my account), doesn’t Tweet, won’t let me use his name or mention him in my Facebook status, and doesn’t feel comfortable with me using my kids’ names on this website. He hates oversharing. In fact, he will probably get mad that I’m even writing about him now. I may have to make a sign for him.
Being an editor of a parenting website, I obviously share more than the average person. Well, that’s not true. I’ve seen some pretty personal things on blogs and social media.
Online I found out a mom I know is getting divorced, read an argument between a friend and her boyfriend and read things that parents write about their kids that I know will make the kid cringe when they’re older.
I have to censor myself too. I once was going to write about something my daughter was going through, until I asked my husband and a friend if it was too personal. They both screamed, “Yes!” I realized it was.
Just the other day, a Baristaville mom passed on the link to a story in The Brooklyn Paper, a neighborhood news blog which she still reads, even though she moved to NJ from there a couple of years ago. It was a mom who writes about thinking of divorcing her husband, which isn’t such a shock to hear, many people go through this. The shock was that she publicly named her kids and is known by many people who read the blog, so they also know her husband. Readers went crazy, chastising her for writing about something so personal on a website. They sided with her husband and felt sorry for her family.
Titled Will Mommy Divorce Daddy?, the author writes:
The other night, some small thing erupted, I can’t even remember what it was. It could have been anything from the boys wrestling as pre-sexual adolescents are wont to do, or not putting their pajamas on as soon as they were told as adult control-freaks (myself included) are wont to demand. The Big G began the high-volume hijinks, and I took the children’s side, though I know I am not supposed to. I think I tried to hide my annoyance from the kids, but I am loud even when muttering under my breath something along the lines of, “That’s it…”
The muttered statement came from a very real place. I have begun recently, sadly, to wonder if it might not serve both of us to spend some time apart, to see what we might become independently. The thought has crept in slowly but surely, and I have shed many tears over even the possibility of breaking apart what I have always seen as a perfect union.
Clearly, my children are aware that these feelings have arisen. They are like dogs, using all their senses to figure things out. Following the incident, the house calm once again, my little Oscar was sitting reading in my bed as I put things away.
He looked up from his book out of nowhere and put it to me straight: “Do you want to divorce Daddy?”
One reader commented: “You live in this borough as do your husband and children who many people who read the Brooklyn Paper know personally. I am sorry that you are willing to publish about such private moments. Perhaps you do not realize the hurt you inflict on your family. Get some therapy and stop using your kids and long suffering husband as the scapegoat for your issues.”
Is the reader right? Is it harmful to write about something so private when it includes, not only you, but your children and your spouse?