In working through Technorati this afternoon, I came across this post from zero boss about when writing about our kids should stop. He laments that The Trixie Update, popular a few years back for its diaper-changing counter, is shutting down once again.
Trixie’s dad says that as kids get older, they get less bloggable. As they evolve in to real people, essentially, we should respect their privacy…
But before I could think through what I thunk about that, I managed to find (via Zero Boss) this post from Violent Acres which I have not even read through all the way yet, but holy crap is that lady giddy with the knowledge that we are all setting up our kids for certain future humiliation. This writer (I have not even read her about page yet) makes the following claims:
1) children have a right to privacy
2) it’s NOT my child’s job to “ease the pain of [my] inferiority complex”
As far as I’m concerned (and I’ll probably regret this later): the only rights my kids have are the ones that *I* grant them. True, child labor laws prevent me from putting them into the factories to help me pay the mortgage (which, we are broke enough right now that I’d consider it if it were legal–plus, that would get them out of my house so I could get some writing done). Privacy is not a right, it’s a privilege. And I don’t remember who said that, but I probably got it from Anne Galloway or danah boyd and so forgive me for not sourcing that properly. At any rate, and regardless of rights, Leta will probably be *happy* that, when in junior high, her peers make fun of the fact that her mom was in a hospital for depression. That juicy tidbit will work wonders in distracting those bullies from the IMPORTANT embarrassments of junior high: ashy legs in gym class (and no lotion anywhere!), trips to the nurse for (forgive me, I love the phrase) “feminine napkins,” the long walk down the hall to the band room simply to announce that your bassoon reed is cracked and you don’t have a spare.
Further, my inferiority complex exists BECAUSE of my kids. The reason I doubt my abilities as a teacher, as a writer, as a student, and ETC is because my poor brain is always awash in all the minutiae of keeping track of lives other than my own. And believe me, keeping track of my OWN shit is hard enough (just ask the people who had to rescue me, TWO DAYS IN A ROW, with jumper cables because, apparently, I cannot remember to turn my lights off…when I am stranded the first time, that is not enough of a lesson for me to remember the next day to turn the suckers off–then I’m stranded AGAIN). As far as I’m concerned, my kids make my life *hard*. Therefore, it is not too much to ask of them to help me through it. They do a fine job of sliding down McDonald’s hamster tubes in other kids’ shit, and me getting to write about it is important for me to be able to make sense out of it.
So…I’ve read around Violent Acres a bit. She’s new, there’s NO about page, and I found this post where she discusses having been exploited by her mother as a child.
Now, I have a little sympathy, and I’m feeling a little sorry for her. But she uses her own bad experience with her mother to argue that mommy bloggers exploit their kids for revenue, and this is *bad*.
Hm. No, I’d still send my kids to a factory to work for financial gain. I mean, they’re living in this house, too, right? They should help me pay for it.
Lookit. We moms cannot win. We leave the house to work, we’re hurting our kids. We stay home with our kids and work (and get paid to write about them) we’re hurting our kids. I don’t have an answer. Right now, anyway.