Teddy Kincaid <3.... and how much should we post about our kids on social media?
Oh hey, readers. Hi. hiiii. Missed you!
Yes, I relaunched the blog, and yes I know I haven’t posted anything recently. I think my last post was in early June, and its August, sooo…..
If you know me in real life, or if you follow me on Instagram, you will know that there have been some big changes in the Kincaid household. We added another family member to our pack…Teddy Kincaid was born last month, and we are so thrilled! Mom life is pretty cool, and we are trying to figure everything out, sleep deprivation and all. (Let’s also all laugh together about how I really tried to put an infant on a regular schedule already.... and have since failed.)
Although I always posted via social media during my blogging hiatus, I rarely posted about my pregnancy, and I have been hesitant to share too much about Teddy and his life on social media. I have (perhaps literally) 1,000,000 photos of him on my phone already, but I haven’t shared too many photos of him online…and this is of course the first time I am mentioning his conception or his arrival here on this blog, and this is of course the first photo I shared of him.
The reason? Well, there are many, and it does help me process to write, and I did decide to restart the blog, so here goes…
I had a really difficult pregnancy. Difficult isn’t even the right word to describe my pregnancy in its entirely; truly there are no words to describe the diagnosis of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) that I lived and struggled with for months. I will likely detail HG later, as I do believe that there needs to be much more awareness on this disease. Simply put, HG is a fresh type of hell that I don’t wish upon even my worst enemies. Many women develop PTSD from living through a world wearing 9-month-long-nausea-and-vomit-colored-glasses, anxiety, and depression on top of the physical havoc it wreaks on your body. I personally struggled with gaining weight and sometimes would lie in bed for 20 hours, only getting up to run to the toilet (and missing several times, may I add). I was on heavy doses of medication used for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. At one point I had a subcuntaneous 24/7 medication pump. I had IVs and home nursing, lots of needles, extra ultrasounds, and of course a lot of anxiety and depression the whole time. In fact, the whole first trimester, half of the second, and the last four weeks were especially challenging. There were moments where I really truly thought that HG would kill me. It sounds so melodramatic, and I don’t mean to be at all, but since we are being honest here, and this is my blog…that is really, truly how I felt some days. That rosy glow of pregnancy? Never had it. All through this, I tried to maintain a somewhat normal life, still worked, and tried my hardest to stay positive, but it was very difficult. I did write down a “pregnancy recap” of each trimester, and maybe I will share here eventually, but on that I am still undecided.
Teddy was born without any complications, and has a very clean bill of health. We are so thankful, and credit the amazing team of physicians and other clinicians that we worked with to get him here safely. However, now that he is here, I have a whole new set of concerns, and maybe someone can give me some advice, wisdom, their perspective, or let me know their thoughts on this….but how much of our kids lives do we share on social media???
Obviously, most people draw the line at sharing any truly identifying information, but many, many people post non-stop about their kids and their lives. As an "older" millennial, I personally grew up without my life being documented everywhere, and I think that is pretty special. My memories from childhood are my own. I developed my personality and preferences, and cultivated my talents out of the public’s eye. My awkward baby photos and teen years were not put on display, unless you count the ramblings from my Xanga account back in middle school, which I hope can never ever be resurrected…
…but this brings me to my predominate thought that once something is on the Internet, it never really goes away; it is there forever.
We haven’t yet seen the effects of what constantly posting and sharing a life from the time of conception to adulthood can do to a person. Could it affect future employment? How about promote bullying once in school? Self-confidence? Identity? Can it impede development? Now, that last one is extreme, and I don’t think it to be true, but I wanted to raise it as a point that we just don’t know.
More practically, strangers being able to identify our kids are a very real concern of mine, and one that some of my favorite bloggers, Sherry and John from Young House Love, talked about this very topic on their blog and podcast. (Side note: I get a lot of home design and DIY inspo from them!) They ultimately decided to stop sharing photos of their kid’s faces, as to decrease the chance of them being identified in public. As a personal example, I know that some of my family members’ coworkers, who I have never met, may I add, watch my Instagram and then bring up the going-ons in my life as a conversation piece at their workplace….without my family members’ input. (Ummmm, hello does this seem creepy to anyone else?? Freaks me the F out, if we’re being honest here, which we are.) I also know that there are people who I have intentionally broken off from my life keep tabs on me, which makes me uneasy and unsettled. I know what you are thinking: that’s how social media works. And you’re right! It is. Even I am guilty of creeping on people from my past.
Right now, Teddy is so young that his personality hasn’t emerged yet. Will he be an introvert or extrovert? Will he be camera-shy or love the spotlight? These are questions yet to be answered, and although I LOVE seeing my friends Instastories and posts about their kids, babies of my favorite bloggers, etc., because I am a blogger and have a public account, I can’t control who sees my posts. Personally, I think my kid should be able to choose whether his life is on display for the world. It would be so, so different if my accounts were private.
To be clear, I have absolutely no judgment to those who do choose to post about their kids and their kids’ lives. Really, none at all! You do you, girl! But right now, I am not sure how much we will post of Teddy or about Teddy. I will still share some photos, and I do plan to talk about experiences of motherhood, but it still remains to be seen what we will continue to share of him moving forward. I’m still thinking this one over, and to be honest, I thought about this the whole time I was pregnant since blogging is such a public forum. It was actually one of the reasons why I didn’t announce my pregnancy until my third trimester. We just couldn’t decide what to share despite my husband and I talking around and around in circles over this. Analysis paralysis on this one for sure!
So what does everyone think? How does everyone else feel about this? I would love to hear how everyone else has tackled this dilemma, and any different perspectives! Please, help a girl out!
Oh, and thanks for reading. :)