A few months back, when my blog was brand spanking new, I went to lunch with a friend. As I rolled in fashionably late, she told me, “I wanted to make sure I was on time…I didn’t want you to blog about your late friends!”
I’m sure she was kidding. At least I think she was kidding.
After that, I went on a very fun girls weekend. Let’s just say the words: “This better not end up on the blog!” were uttered more than a few times. And rightfully so. We have PTA mom reps to protect.
Most recently, a mom asked me if a particular blog post was about her. I was shocked, as I didn’t even know that she had an experience like I wrote about (and in fact, the post was very much about me.) But it made me think, is blogging hurting my personal relationships? Are my friends scared to talk to me for fear of me being a “blogger mouth?”
I’ve been talking about this with a few bloggers much more lofty than me, bloggers that have tens of thousands of readers compared to my tens. Some of them blog as “alter egos”, never revealing their true identities. A few even told me only their closest friends and family even know they operate a blog.
And then there are others who document every aspect of their lives in such a humorous way that you feel like you are part of their family, their every day lives. They let you see the good, the bad and the ugly with no fear or hesitation.
I like to think I fall somewhere in between. I like to share just enough of my own personal experiences to be relatable, but not so much that I’ll embarrass anyone around me. I struggle between the line of sharing personal stories that may help other parents and my children’s privacy — and the potential little dirt bags that one day may comb through my archives to pull out a post written about my kids and use it against them.
But most of all I worry about my relationships. The real-life ones I have with my family, friends, neighbors, etc. who are kind enough to read and support my blog, but even kinder to me in real life. I do not ever want them to feel I will expose their secrets or share their experiences or embarrass their children (at least not on the blog.)
So, because I believe in accountability, I thought I would make a few promises to my friends about my blogging:
1. I will never ever post a bad photo of you on my blog. My fear of retribution will always outweigh my desire to get a laugh, and a lot of you knew me in my spiral perm days.
2. If you ask me to keep something you share confidential, I will. I would never write about anything you tell me in confidence. Ever. And if you told me something that I do include in the blog, I’d never reveal it was you. I’d go to prison to protect my source. As long as it was like the one Martha Stewart went to because the one in Orange is the New Black scares me.
3. Everything I write about in my blog is true, but in a Law & Order sort of way. Let’s be real. I want to be authentic and pure and honest, but I don’t want to be jerkish either by calling people out on my blog. Chances are if you think something is about you that I wrote, it probably isn’t. I share my own personal views on stuff, but I change dates and locations and backgrounds to protect the guilty. I also get a lot of my fodder from other people. Or Facebook. Because we all know that everything you read on Facebook is true.
4. Yes, I am constantly thinking what to blog about next, but that doesn’t mean you should be worried every time you talk with me. Yes, sometimes a friend or family member does something so wackadoodle that I want to blog about it — but I won’t. This is not Keeping up with the Kardashians or TMZ. And no one else signed up for this.
5. I may ignore your suggestions (but would never ignore you.) A lot of my friends send me ideas on what I should write next on the blog, and they’re great (usually.) But sometimes I know they’ve been covered a lot, or I don’t know a lot about it, or it may not be right for my audience. Two of my most popular posts, however, (My 12 Year Old Was Blackmailed for Nude Photos) and (Five BS Excuses Parents Make for Mean Girls) were completely based on real-life situations that happened to my friends. Sharing their stories were great for my blog, but also a little cathartic for them. That’s a win-win in my book.
6. What happens on girls weekends/girls nights out/playdates on Fridays, stays there. Period. See number 1 on fear of retribution.
Playdates on Fridays is growing by leaps and bounds. If you are new, thank you so much for reading, but a huge thank you to my friends and family, because without you, there would be no playdates for me!