If you follow me on Facebook, you probably know a lot about my kids. Not in a "potential kidnappers now have directions to our house" kind of way, but in a "look at how awesome, silly, frustrating, and creepy kids can be" way. And, because I believe in being real about parenthood, you definitely get an unfiltered glimpse of my family's beautiful, imperfect life, occasionally with a messy house in the background. There are a ton of reasons why I refuse to apologize for constantly posting about my kid on social media, and being able to portray motherhood accurately is definitely one of them.
Plus, it's my family and my Facebook page. So, honestly, if you don't want to hear about and see pictures of my amazing kids, you should probably unfollow me. After all, my kids are a major part of my life and I want to document our family's story. The people who want to read about our antics live all over the world, and there's no way my tired AF mommy brain is going to remember every cute or creative thing they do and say every single time I have the opportunity to talk to those people. The struggle is real.
Besides, through sharing stories about my kids online, I've developed quite the village of parent friends who actually help me be a better mom. Through groups on social media I both learn and share ideas about how to manage challenging situations, from infant feeding and baby sleep, toddler tantrums and potty training, to homework and puberty (guys, I was so not ready for puberty). For that reason, and so many others, posting about my kids on social media has made our lives better, and I refuse to apologize about it.
Because My Kids Love It
While I have posted images of and anecdotes about my kids as babies online, when they are old enough to understand, I ask if it's OK. Most of the time they are thrilled, but I have removed a few pictures, too, because they are "so embarrassing, mom," at their request.
Because It Brings Our Extended Family Closer Together
As someone who has lived far away from members of my family, social media has been an important way to bond with them. In fact, sharing stories and pictures of my kids on Facebook has actually brought us closer together. It has even allowed me to form unique relationships with some cousins, aunts, and other people I haven't seen in decades. It's magic, guys.
Because My Kids Are Freaking Cute
My kids are the cutest. Not to be cliché, either, but they grow so freaking fast that I want to capture and share their cuteness every day.
Because I'm Smart About Safety
Because I have worked with sex trafficking survivors, and honestly, because of my life as a mom and stepmom, I'm seriously paranoid about online safety. Our kids have rules for using the internet, and I have my own rules for posting things about my kids to my own, personal social media pages. Things like not tagging our location, and setting kid-related posts to friends-only (unless they have no identifying info) are all "guidelines" for social media use. I know it's impossible to protect them from everything, but I am definitely gonna try.
Because I'm Super Proud Of Them
My kids are amazing, and when they do cool sh*t I want to share it with people. I am so flipping proud of them.
Because My Mom Brain Will Never Remember All Of The Amazing Things They Do & Say
I honestly can't remember what my family ate for dinner on Monday, and I definitely don't remember each baby smile, cute thing my preschooler says, math test, art project, or band concert. I'm so tired, guys.
Because My Online Village Helps Me Raise My Kids
My current circle of mom friends exists primarily online, at least most of the time. We engage together in a virtual village, commiserating, supporting each other through challenges, celebrating milestones, and laughing at the frequent funny moments of parenthood. Social media allows us to be surrounded by (and improved by) the ideas, experience, creativity, and expertise of thousands of diverse people from all kinds of backgrounds. Honestly, we're so lucky.
Because It Allows Me To Help Other Parents
Posting online has helped me help other parents, too. Nearly every time I share a story about my kids, I receive a comment or private message saying, "Me, too," or, "Can you tell me more?" or, "I need help," or, the best one of all, "Something you wrote changed my life." It makes me so proud to be a part of other people's parenting village.
Because I'm Documenting Our Family History
When I look back at my social media posts and pictures from the past few years, it's like reading our family's story. It's amazing how much we've gone through and grown together. Oh great, now I'm totally crying. Thanks Facebook.
Because I Get Real About Parenthood
Most of all, I think it's so important to be honest about what it's really like to be a parent — vomit, tantrums, and eye rolls included. I want other parents know they aren't alone and that they don't have to be perfect to be a good mother or father. For real. I know how exhausting it can be. Solidarity, and a health dose of laughter whenever you can find it, can go a long way when you're so exhausted all you want to do is cry.