Don’t you hate when you write an awesome post in your head in the middle of the night and then can’t remember any bit of it come morning? That would be me today.
I was somewhat chastised some time ago for putting my kids’ lives out there for all to see. Am I keeping them safe, or opening them up to potential maniacs? Am I disrespecting them or embarrassing them? Even more, what happens to them in the future when potential partners or bosses find this fount of information on them? I was a little stunned by the questions.
I’ve been blogging – so-called “mommy blogging” – since 2009. Yes, there are plenty of posts I would take back, but I’ve been honest from the very beginning about what it is to be mom to a preemie, a princess, and a spectrum child. As my children have grown older, and became aware my writing, I have asked their permission to write about them, particularly if I thought the topic could be the least bit of an issue, embarrassment, or more information than they wanted to share. They have, 99.9% of the time, given their permission. If they say no, I honor it. I did give them nicknames in my writing since taking the blog public, just in the interest of safety.
I do believe my sharing of our lives has helped way more than it has hurt. In the early days, my blog was on a site strictly for other NICU parents. Everyone there “got it.” They completely understood everything I was saying because they too had lived it to one degree or another. I received comfort and compassion from them through my writing. It also gave hope to those who were newer to the journey.
Since bringing my blog here, and then making it public just over a year ago, I’ve been approached at school, in the gym, in the grocery store, at the mall by teachers, parents of other students, and friends. Through sharing our story, lines of communication have opened which simply weren’t there before. There is more understanding, more compassion, and a new openness. Through putting our lives out there, other people, people I barely knew before, have become friends and have opened up with their stories. I would never have known their children’s’ lives began in similar fashion. That’s just not a conversation that normally happens when you’re working in a classroom party with another parent. We’ve also educated others about what it really means to have a preemie and a child with autism. That alone gives me purpose.
Does that justify me sharing our family’s journey? It makes me okay with it, and it makes my kids okay with it. That’s all I need to know.