It’s About Trust, Stupid.

A few months ago, someone pointed out a comment made about me on another blog. I don’t remember the exact words, nor do I care to go try to find it, but it went basically something like this:
“Can we talk about bloggers who favor one child over the other? Like, I didn’t even know Y from Joy Unexpected HAD two sons because she only talks about her daughter! I feel sorry for her boys, because clearly her daughter is her favorite!”
From what I remember, someone jumped in to defend me, but that comment was quickly followed up with something like “No, she’s a wacko who clearly loves her daughter more. I mean, have you seen her flickr account? Almost all of the pictures are of her daughter! The proves that she loves her daughter more!”
After 7 years of blogging, after numerous hateful emails/comments, after entire posts dedicating to mocking me, I’ve learned to ignore assholery on the internet. I don’t think that every negative comment directed at me is assholery. Sometimes people have valid points, however, most people who have valid points don’t find it necessary to leave comments like “Your husband is ugly and your fat! No wonder you’re sad!”
Anyway. My point being that I’ve learned to not react when I read Mean Things about myself on my blog or elsewhere. It may sting when I first read it, but I take a deep breath and remind myself that it isn’t really about ME, but about the other persons issues. However, this particular comment (or should I say “accusation?”) was most definitely about me.
Do you know why?
Because it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
It is the opposite of the truth.
The reason I don’t write about my boys much here anymore is BECAUSE I love them so very much.
Let me explain.
I started this blog 7 years ago. My boys were 7 and 11 years old. And oh my God, they were so hilarious. Most posts on this blog were about them, about funny things that they said or did. I would point you to my archives, but I’m kind of ashamed of how awful my writing was when I first started this blog. There were some really great stories I had to tell of those wonderful little guys who loved to talk about farts, boobs and balls. But then those boys started to grow and so did my audience. I had to start thinking about how the stories I told about them could affect them in real life. I began to feel as though some of the stories were not mine to tell. I even went so far as to delete and or put posts in draft that I thought were out of line to have ever told in the first place.
As Andrew approached his teenage years, I began to worry about losing his trust. I never wanted a story I told her to betray his trust in me.
Some of the things that he said or did were worth sharing on this blog because of the entertainment value, but they weren’t worth risking losing his trust.
So I stopped telling his stories.
Same with Ethan.
I told myself that I’ll always write about my feelings about my sons, I’ll always right about experiences that I feel are worth sharing and yet, at the same time, do not betray their trust. I make sure that every thing I write here is something I’d be comfortable with if one of his friends from high school stumbled across it. Any story that I write here now is something that I feel they could read and would not feel betrayed in any way.
Writing posts about my love for my children, or my struggles with learning to let go as they grow older will never be off limits. But most day to day stories of their life will be, because of their ages. I’m not saying I’ll NEVER write about my boys. There are things I believe are okay to share. But, being a teenager (or a tween) isn’t easy and I don’t want to do anything to make it harder on them.
I don’t ever want my sons to be afraid to tell me something for fear it will be blog fodder.
I am telling this story now because the other night The Teenager walked into my room and asked me if I had posted something about him having a girlfriend on facebook.
I hadn’t.
But, I had mentioned him having a girlfriend on a blog post.
And apparently, someone from my Dad’s church (Hi, You!) reads my blog. That person approached my son after church and asked him about his girlfriend.
It could have been an awful situation. If I hadn’t carefully thought that post out, if I hadn’t written it knowing he could read it if he decided to log onto my blog. Or that a friend from church could possibly find it and read it. I told him that yes, I had mentioned a girlfriend in the post, then proceeded to tell him what I had written in the post. He wasn’t upset with me at all, because what I had written did not betray his trust. Nor had I written anything in that post that I wouldn’t have said in a room full of people with him standing there. However, what had just happened confirmed what that choosing to limit what I write about my boys is THE RIGHT CHOICE for me and my blog.
Can you understand now why I am so careful about writing about my boys WHO I DO NOT LOVE ANY LESS THAN MY GIRL?
I feel as though my daughter’s stories still fall into the “okay to share” category. Because she is 5 and honestly? Who is embarrassed to read stories about what you did when you were 5? Who hates your parents for telling stories about funny things you said/did in Kindergarten? I mean, my parents have pictures of me standing buttass naked in my grandma’s front yard in a photo album that THEY SHOW OTHER PEOPLE. I think it’s hilarious. Wouldn’t be so funny if it were pictures of 16 year old me naked, right?
I suppose I can understand someone who just started reading this site questioning why I write more about my daughter than I do my sons. I hope that this post helps clear things up a bit. And if after reading this, you still believe that I LOVE MY DAUGHTER THE MOST, well, you’re kind of an asshole. An ignorant asshole.

60 thoughts on “It’s About Trust, Stupid.

  1. Mom101

    It’s so easy to read one post, one story, one moment in time off any blog and create an entire story about the author based on that, isn’t it? Unfortunately it’s also dumb.
    This post is lovely. And a great reminder of why so many of us love you and read you in the first place.

  2. AmyB

    Oh I so get what you are saying. I have a 19, 16 year old boys, 12 year old girl and a 4 year old boy.
    I blog VERY often about my oldest son due to his medical issues. I blog about my 12 year old daughter because she seems to like me sharing her cheerleading and I always blog about my 4 year old cause..well kids do and say the darnist things..LOL.
    If my 19 year old did not have all the brain operations and ongoing major medical issues..I am pretty darn sure I would not be sharing too much about him. And y 16 year old is just at a stage where it is not “cool” to share about him and his life.
    And somedays it is even getting to the point of the 12 year old gets moody if I share certain things..She fell at cheerleading and I mention it on twitter..she was embrassed and had me remove it.
    Hey our families are OUR familes and OUR blogs are OUR we need to just keep doing it OUR way…right?
    I happen to love your keep doing what ya do best BLOGGING.

  3. Mr Lady

    Dude, I am so right there with you. I wonder sometimes if people will take away that same idea of me, and I just hope that there’s enough sanity in the world to A) make people realize that blogging doesn’t equal shit in a relationship and that B) you really can’t talk about older children on a blog. I think most people who would fault those of us with older children for not talking about them must be people WITHOUT older children.
    My son asked me once if anyone was ever going to be able to google him and find my blog, and that very second every doubt I had about using a pseudonym, about lying about where i live, all of it was completely validated. Because no, no one is ever going to be able to google search his name and find my blog. EVER. And he wants it that way.

  4. amber of theambershow

    My parents (right until I finally gave up on talking to them for so many other reasons two years ago) LOVED to tell the story of me being 13 and wearing tight white softball pants. I was so self-conscious that I held my shirt over my butt when I ran the bases, and yeah, I must have looked ridiculous but I still sting when I remember them laughing about it and telling all of their friends.
    You’re a good mom for doing the right thing.

  5. Annika

    Was this person not a blogger herself? Because seriously, bloggers always write more about their younger children (with a few exceptions, of course). Because the younger you are, the less your privacy is an issue. It is such an obvious thing to me that I have to suppress the DUH urge whenever someone says anything.

  6. robyn

    As someone who has spent time with you when you are away from your children, they have absolutely NO idea what they are talking about. You had fun, but every 2 seconds you also wondered where they were and how they were doing and missed them terribly. They are your life and have been for as long as I’ve known you. The internet has made so many people anonymous arseholes.

  7. Procrastamom

    What’s wrong with having a favourite child anyways? I tell my kids who my favourite is almost every day and I don’t care if they’re offended. My favourite child is Boysenberry and he’s my Kitchenaid Mixer.
    What? He’s the baby of teh family!

  8. RachelJ

    I don’t think that you needed to clear things up for anyone else’s benefit (why should you have to justify yourself?). But you did a great job doing it!

  9. Antigone

    People are lame. And also, LACK COMMON SENSE! Of course a little girl is going to pose for pictures and be all cute and stuff but boys? NO!
    Of course you’re going to have to be more careful when writing about your teen and tweens! I generally run things by my tween daughter now before I put them online for the reasons you listed here. The fact that you even had to explain yourself though seems silly. My guess is that these people don’t have kids in that age range or they’d understand how sensitive feelings and “image” are at that age.

  10. Beth

    Thanks for writing this.
    This is exactly why I stopped writing my blog and restricted many of my friends on facebook.
    It’s not that I don’t have things to write, but I no longer feel comfortable sharing stories about my kids to the entire world. I need to respect their privacy.
    I’ve kept web sites for my family since I was pregnant with my son. It’s their baby books. And heck, we all had baby books. But theirs can be shared with the entire school with just a few clicks. That’s not fair so I discontinued my public blog and locked down tight my private one.
    Kudos to you for respecting your children.

  11. The Tutugirl

    How horrible that you would have to defend yourself against allegations that you love one child more than another. That’s ridiculous. Choosing not to write about your children is also smart for their sanity too. Middle school and high schoolers are not only more tech savvy and likely to find your blog, but they can be horribly horribly mean if they had the right information in their hands. I think your decision should be made by more parents with older children.

  12. ClassyFabSarah

    I don’t understand why people go to the trouble of insulting others…. soo so annoying.
    But I totally understand why your boys stories are not yours to tell.
    You’re obviously a good mom to consider THEIR feelings first…. and to ignore some idiot on a blog.

  13. The Only Girl

    Well said. And thank you for saying so. This was a good reminder for me to think about what I write about my experiences with my boys. Even though they’re only 6 & 9 now, your story will stay with me. And I will write my posts with the same love, thoughtfulness and respect you have. Thank you for the sage advice.

  14. Hel

    I blurk your blog something bad (sorry). But I had to come out of hiding to say that despite only coming in to your story a relatively short time ago, I have DEFINITELY NOT come to the conclusion that you love one child more than another.
    I am in total agreement with your ignorant asshole label. An ignorant asshole that doesn’t know anything about parenting OR blogging.

  15. Kristy

    Thank YOU for this post. I never questioned it because I have a soon to be 17 year old and when I first started to blog back in 2001 he was 8 and I wrote about his silly stories too. Now he’s nearly an adult and has a right to his own privacy, etc. I get it…I’ve always gotten it.
    People are soooo stupid. Seriously so stupid. Not you…..

  16. stephanie

    I have been reading you since G was about 1, so I remember when your boys figured more prominently in your blog. But I NEVER would have thought you favor your daughter more than your sons, just because they aren’t discussed here as often anymore, because I assumed exactly as you wrote — that at their age, you need to respect their privacy. That being a teenager is hard enough, without your mom telling funny stories about you (even if they looked back 10 years later and thought they were funny themselves). I see that with most other bloggers who have teenage children, too.

  17. Cecily

    Do you know pisses me off? These same folks are likely to be found on those sites that discuss parenting bloggers and talk about how we all EXPLOIT OUR KIDS OMG. So you can’t win either way. GAH.

  18. Veronica

    Exactly. I understand this so well. When they’re little, it’s easy. But as they get older, things become theirs rather than ours. My children are only little (3 and 8mths) but my brother stays regularly and I can’t write about him, no matter how amusing he is. He’s 15.

  19. Bethany

    Most people don’t even realize I have an 18 year old in addition to 6 & 1. She likes it that way. Do I love her less? Hell no!

  20. cindy w

    Obviously this person read like one post & made their judgment on you, because I think you write about all 3 of your kids equally. Did this person never read the birthday posts you write, where you cry because they’re growing up? Sure, maybe there’s less Andrew & Ethan now, but I think that’s totally normal for teenagers. Luckily I still have a good decade of blog fodder from my kid before I have to start backing off. 😉

  21. Amy Girl

    Seriously? People read blogs and then blog about those blogs? I’m confused . . . aren’t there toilets to clean and loads of laundry to do. I say to them, “Get a life!”
    You are on the right track Y. Keep doing what you’re doing with your fam.

  22. Angella

    Oh, Yvonne, I hear you. My kids are younger than yours, but Emily gets way more “air time” because she isn’t in school.
    School kids are mean, and I don’t want to make life any harder for my kids.
    I don’t write about them as much *because* I love them.

  23. mommabird2345

    People can be real Jackholes.
    Of course you love ALL your kids. It’s because you love them that you write the way you do. Some people should just get a clue.

  24. Phoenix

    I totally get this! There is so much I don’t write on my blog because of the ages of my kids (15 and 10) and the people who read it (pretty much everyone i know and a lot of the 15 year olds friends).
    I remember, one of the first posts I ever read on your blog was about you trying to get a Christmas photo of the kids a couple of years ago. It was obvious from that post alone, just how much you adore all of your children and appreciate what makes them individuals. You were obviously tuned in to their different needs due to their ages and that is what you have continued to show.
    You share the right stuff about your boys – how proud you are of them, what great people they are growing up to be. They are so lucky to have a mum like you who respects them so much.
    Keep doing what you do – you are spot on!!!

  25. heidi

    So sorry you even have to “defend yorself” about this. People are flat out stupid. if they are questioning love in else’s love, they’re obviously lacking love in their own life.

  26. Amy

    Y, you are an awesome mom – you really are. Loved this post.
    And everything you wrote about is exactly why my blog is mostly devoid of recent posts. Too many people read it and distort/and or stalk it. Sucks, but I have other outlets.

  27. daysgoby

    EXACTLY! This is how I respond to people that go on and on about privacy issues and their children. Look, I love my kids, I tend to talk about the littlest more, but seriously? This is MY story I’m telling. Not theirs. They will tell their own story (in a format I probably can’t even imagine) when they are ready.
    I try not to show so many pictures of my son because he’s eight now, and I think his face is settling into who he’s going to be. It’s a privacy thing, not a ‘less-loved’ (snort. Have you EVER heard anything so ridiculous?) thing!

  28. kaleigh

    Damn straight, lady! My kids are 10 and 12, and I’ve definitely found myself posting MUCH less about them, or at least about specific stories about them. They’re also creating their own online identities, and it’s not up to me to promote or skew what they’re doing.
    There are plenty of great stories I could write about them or my husband or my in-laws or whoever else, but yeah, I have to look at these people too often to risk hurting feelings or breaking trust.

  29. Kristina

    Oh, Y, why must people be so cruel?!?!? *sigh*
    I have been reading you since before you were Joy Unexpected, which I cannot remember the name now. I just rarely comment. There is NO Doubt in my mind that the boys rank high in your book and I completely understand not talking about them so much. I figured the reason there are so much pics of G is the same reason there are so many of my 4-year old and not many of the tweens and that is that he is home with me all day still and is constantly in my face!

  30. Christine

    It should be obvious that people do not blog about everything in their life. A post is just a slice of your life. You could have a child you never mentioned. That wouldn’t mean that you didn’t love them. Just that you didn’t want to share that part of your life. The idea is comical. I have been reading your blog for sometime and it never occured to me that you loved one child more than the other.

  31. Jen @ lifelove'n'wine

    You are a great mom. You can tell that from any post that you write. I’m sorry that people took it upon themselves to judge you based on what you write. I’m also sorry that you felt you had to justify your actions…you shouldn’t. You love your children…anyone who questions that isn’t worth your worry.

  32. Michelle

    You’re right, some people are stupid. Your love for all your children shines through every thing you have written about them. All your children.

  33. Issa

    I’ve been reading here, since about the time G was born. I do remember all your stories about your boys. I loved hearing about them, but when you stopped, I understood why. In fact it’s helped me to know when to stop. I’m almost at that point with my oldest, where her stories are about to become un-bloggable. At some point a child’s stories become theirs and not just their parents. If people don’t get it, well they know where the little red x is.
    People can be jerks. In the end, there will always be haters.

  34. Kyla

    My boy is much younger, but I’ve stopped using too many stories about him for similar reasons. He is older now and his life is starting to be more HIS and I respect that.
    We all know you love all your kids, Y. It is completely obvious to anyone who actually knows you or has read you for any length of time.

  35. Issa

    Also, I’ve gotten tons of shit online for not using my kids real names or pictures anymore. For not joining in on local blogging events, for not being willing to involve my kids in my blog. Over and over, I’ve been told I’m not a real blogger because of it. Mr. Lady’s comment, just made me cry. I know I’m doing the right thing for my family, but having someone say it in that way, just made me realize it’s okay. No matter what other people thing.

  36. Jennifer

    I have never commented before. I will now because you need to hear that MOST people, I’m sure, do not feel that you are favoring one of you children over another. Please don’t give up what you do. You do it so very well and I come here on a regular basis for that very reason. I love the way you write about your children. You are passionate about being a mother and I have NEVER gotten the impression that your daughter has a better place in your heart than your two sons. People suck.

  37. Krisha

    This is your site and you can write whatever you want. Why do people forget that? Obviously, they don’t have enough going on in their life that they have to write bad things about people that they don’t even know. I don’t know you, but I read your blog and I never got that out of anything that you have written. It is obvious that you love ALL of your family very much and if you ever write anything that I don’t agree with (which I doubt you could)….then I would just simply stop reading you. It is my decision to log on every day and read what you write, no one is asking me to. If they don’t have anything nice to say, then they shouldn’t say anything at all! So there! Ha!

  38. Cheryl

    I have been reading your blog for 2 – 3 years and have NEVER thought you favored any of your kids over the other! Anyone that would think that (after they tallied up blogs post numbers) must really have something rotten inside them. Pay no attention to the idiots!!

  39. Sugared Harpy

    Oh my god, people are stupid. Ultra stupid. They out stupid my perception of stupid.
    At least you are still writing. My boys are now 13 and 15 and I have a really hard time writing consistently now, since YES, privacy/trust/DUH.

  40. pamela

    some people are just ignorant and totally clueless. They think that by one comment/post/twee they know everything there is to know about that person.
    keep on blogging about your daughter. She’s so adorable

  41. Amira @

    Y, I’m just sorry that you had to put up with such dumbass-ness.
    I completely understand the privacy and trust issues that can and will come up when one blogs about their children. I talk about my son, Aiman, all the time, but I know the day will come when I’ll have to stay within my boundaries for the sake of his privacy.
    That’s why I’m taking advantage of him now -muhahahahahaha!

  42. JenniferB

    Hey, I just want you to know that I adore your writing and love the things you share — the painful ones and the silly ones equally. Having said that, I do also totally agree with what you said in this post about needing to act in a way that will preserve your childrens’ trust in you — I have an 8 year old and a 13 year old, and it definitely does change how I share things now. If we knew each other in person I am pretty sure I would be telling you how fab you are in person now, so just consider yourself hugged!

  43. statia

    “psst… hey Andrew, watch, I’m gonna kiss her vagina”
    That is still one of my all time favorite things that you’ve written about.
    But seriously. I am TOTALLY paranoid about my kids and the internet. And honestly, I’m sure that the three people that are left reading my drivel probably think that about me. I talk a lot about the baby because she’s new. But that doesn’t mean I love my son any less. And as he gets older, I feel the exact same way. I don’t want to say anything that will betray his trust when he gets older.

  44. Shelley

    De-lurking to say that I am always amazed that someone can read a blog and think they *know* the blogger. I’ve never once presumed to know anything more about a blogger than the tiny bit of their life that they happen to be sharing at the time.
    Maybe it’s just that I have a healthy amount of self awareness & know that I am not, in fact, the center of the universe, and am comfortable with the knowledge that other people do things that I’m not aware of. But I tend to roll on the sane side of the fence (most of the time).
    Keep calm & carry on, girly girl. I think you’re great!

  45. Jen - Queen of Poo

    I have absolutely had it with bitter little people who read blogs and judge the writers of those blogs because they feel so bad about themselves. I guess it gives them some kind of boost, a feeling of superiority to make these judgments, even when they rarely have a clue what they are actually talking about.
    In fact, I’ve had it with people in real life who do the same thing.
    Pathetic. It’s the best word for it.
    Sorry you were hurt. Your love for ALL of your children comes out in your writing. I’ve never gotten the impression you love your boys any less than your little girl.

  46. Momish

    I am sorry you actually had to write a post defending your writing and your love for your children. I once had someone accuse me of the same thing because I never post anything about my step children (insuating I barely take note of them because they are not my own flesh). They are 20 & 17, so no I don’t write about them for the same reasons you just stated. But the four year old? She’s fair game!

  47. Julia

    Oh for…..
    My son is seven. The twins are not quite two. I write about the little ones and post pictures of them ALL THE TIME. The big one… less and less as he gets older. For exactly the reasons you mentioned.
    PS Someone recently started a comment on my blog with “I was trying to figure out why I hate you so much…” – it’s so nice that the good internet outweighs the bad.

  48. Mary Watkins

    Obviously, they haven’t seen the videos of you and the boys where one of them is playing guitar –
    I too get the “you must love the younger ones more than the older ones” No NO I don’t. They are older and have a need for privacy. As a parent I have to do that for them.

  49. Rachael

    So, basically, I just think that person was a giant jerk! You totally do write about your sons when it’s appropriate, like on birthdays or when big amazing things happen that are okay to share. Why do people feel the need to judge? A blog isn’t a play by play of life, it’s a place to write. We share what we feel that day, and only about 1% of our lives even make it here. Poo on them for their words.

  50. patois

    Just when you think you know there are plenty of stupid people out there and you think you’re okay with that, BOOM, you encounter yet another stupid person.
    You can write about your reader’s Kitchenaid mixer named Boysenberry for all it matters. Of course you love all your kids. Stupid people.

  51. Jamie

    I totally get this post and I “just” have girls but my oldest is 7 1/2 and now in school and everyone under the sun, including her teacher, now knows I blog. Now granted I am not kidding myself, they probably never read it but the one time I would post something potentially mortifying about her would be the day my boss would click on it, her teacher, etc.
    I’m finding it a little hard to write about her at all lately but I still have the 4-year-old.
    Mwaa haa haa haa. 😉
    Just jokin’. Sort of. I do write about my younger daughter’s antics more and post more photos of her lately. Because I love her more! (seriously people who think that? are idiots)
    But I understand. Sometimes blogging can be a ‘weird” out there kind of hobby, you know?

  52. Rosie

    I think your writing is honest and I have never once gotten the impression that you favor one child over another (or another). I think you made a good and loving choice to not feature your older children. With teens you just never know, so it’s best to play it safe.

  53. Nicki

    I completely understand this, not because I’ve suffered through any hateful responses to my blog, but because I know people must think that Rachel is my favorite since I write about her so much. The truth is that Rachel and I have a special and unique relationship. The other truth is that Keenan is a boy who keeps to himself a lot, but will always hold a special place in my heart and my writing.
    Chin up while you ignore the idiots.

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