Obviously I am on Facebook and Twitter - and lots of other social media sites. Since I have had a child, I really consider my posts. You may notice that I don't post many pics of Foster and I don't actually post anything about him other than the good stuff.
I have sat in on conference sessions about how moms form their child's on-line identity and the sort of issues that can cause as the child grows up and takes on an identity of their own. I have read plenty of other blogs and articles that talk about how much of our child we put on line and how we need to be careful.
The thing that sticks out to me the most is how DAILY I see moms post negative things about the "effects" of their baby's behavior.
"We didn't get "baby" to sleep at the right time, now baby is fussy and I'm tired."
"There goes another temper tantrum."
"Teething babies = Exhaustion."
While none of these are extremely negative, they are all negative thoughts. We have spouses, moms, and/or friends who would be a much better sounding board for these thoughts rather than "everyone". When we allow thoughts of negativity to make their way through our fingers into the world, we are mostly looking for someone to say, "I know, right!?! I totally know what you are talking about!" and that most of this is innocent at its root...BUT..What I think we are really doing is complaining about the things we mostly have no control over and putting it out their in this space that our kids will most likely be able to see. I don't want Foster to look at post from his first year of life and think, "Wow, my mom was an exhausted, miserable mess throughout the my child hood. All I did was make her so tired frustrated that she had no choice but to complain to the world." Sure, he may never see anything I post, but a simple "google yourself" is going to pull up thousands of hits by the time he is 13 if all I do is blog/comment about him.
The Word challenges/commands us to "14Do everything without grumbling or arguing" (Philippians 2) and I am fairly certain that parenting is not an exception to this.
We have been entrusted to care for these kids and if we act like it is such a chore (EVEN IF IT'S NOT) it sends out the wrong message to the world. The last thing a new mom or expectant mom needs is to hear all the negatives. And yes, "she" is reading your posts and comments.
Build each other up! Encourage one another!
I just think that maybe we ought to be a little more careful about what we think may be appropriate for us to post. I have friends who post about their kids and they are joyful and hilarious and celebrate their children. I say we leave the commiserating to face-to-face community - where it can actually be talked about and dealt with!
I should say, I have to fight this urge too. We are so used to just saying what we want and not considering that it has a consequence...esp if we are talking about a baby that can't read. It is really hard to see how that may be doing damage. And lets face it, exhaustion does bring out the desperation. Somehow, I think it does damage to us too if we are always putting out the negative emotion we have...who wants to be around Debbie Downer all the time anyway.
For what it's worth. These are my thoughts.
And here is a new pic of my little Dude.