Gah. There are so many decisions. Who knew being a mom was so tough? And who knew that 30 year old grown ups would act like high school teenagers and be quick to judge what's "cool" or not?
For me, though, those decisions come pretty easy. I simply follow my gut, or mommy instinct. Sometimes I'm wrong and learn from my mistakes. Sometimes I feel my parenting decision is spot on but am met with critics of it.
I am quick to defend myself if someone makes a disparaging comment about one of my decisions, but for the most part, my friends and I adopt a "I don't really care what you do. I choose what's best for my family" mentality.
We all have our soapboxes, though, and issues that are near and dear to us. And that's okay. Its important to have beliefs that you stand up for.
A big debate that I've been reading on the internet has to do with Internet Safety and Privacy. You would think that's a no brainer, right? Of course you will do anything and everything to be "safe" on the internet and protect your privacy. Who wouldn't?
The problem comes when you try to define what "safe" means. Does it mean copyrighting your pictures that you post? Does it mean never posting pictures of your family at all? Does it mean password protecting your blog posts so only certain people can view them? Does it mean not having a blog at all? Does it mean only allowing certain images to be posted?
There are a lot of gray areas. No one can argue that deciding NOT to post pictures of your family online is probably the safest thing to do. This way strangers cannot look at images of your children. They can't figure out where you live or what school your kids attend from context clues. They can't look for repeat patterns in your daily or weekly routine. Its pretty hard to internet stalk someone when they just simply aren't on the internet.
On the other hand, no one else can see your pictures, either. Not far away family members or close blogging friends.
I used to document my children's lives in the form of physical scrapbooks. Although there are many benefits to having a hardbound reminder of your family's memories, its hard to share them with people far away. And although I am certainly well within my rights as a mother to NOT share our family's adventures with the world, there is a certain disconnect that happens when one chooses to do this. And that's okay.
But I like connection. I am a very social being. For the most part, (with the exception of Jayce's autism issues) my kids are very social beings. We have rules and limits and boundaries about internet usage and I choose to educate my children about the pros and cons of sharing information on the internet.
I try to take the advice I give them and live it as well. I remind them, and myself, all the time that the internet is NEVER private. Don't post anything that you wouldn't want others to see or read. Removing something from online is extremely difficult... its much easier for it never to have been put on there to begin with.
Internet privacy is an oxymoron, it seems. There is nothing private about the internet. Once it is online, the author has very limited control of who sees it.
With that said, I knowingly choose to post pictures of my children for the world to see. I do ask my older children if its okay before I post. They love it. They yearn for the day that I allow them to have cell phones and Face Book accounts.
I certainly can't ask Jocelyn how she feels about it, though. I have to make the decision for her. Will her employer 20+ years from now stumble across these pictures of her taking a bath at age 19 months? Its certainly possible.
If anything, I hope these images make them smile :)