Being a so-called “mommy blogger” is much easier when your kids are small and precious. First off, you can share every single embarrassing moment about them without fear that you will scar them for life. After all, when they have let rip the poop of their life that not only succeeds in squeezing out the back of their diaper but also manages to make an appearance all the way up the front of their diaper – how can you NOT blog about that? Seriously, it’s impressive. And it almost requires pictures. However, mention that this same child at 9 years old is having issues with wiping the back end and is creating some gnarly laundry issues, and well, it might cause a little bit of scarring if word leaked out at school.
By the way, I am so not talking about any 9 year old I might know. And no, I did not take pictures.
By the time kids start having a personality that begins to stray from everything you have ever taught them, it just stops being interesting. It’s cute when they argue as a child, totally bent on getting their way – like the toddler with Bieber fever. And those temper tantrums? Totally bloggable. But try finding some cuteness in a tween who will zip her lip and ignore you when she isn’t getting her way, and I’ll applaud you. After all, there isn’t much adorability in me mentally shaking the living daylights out of her while trying not to lose my cool – and failing.
When they’re young, it is absolutely precious when they are mooning the whole grocery store just to show off the new Dora the Explorer panties that they are trying desperately not to “go” in. But it’s not as cute when they have forgotten to bring a towel in the bathroom and run streaking down the hall in all their glory, believing that their speed is fast enough to cause them to look more like a blur than a penis with legs and arms when passing by the hall window that anyone outside can see into.
And every smile a toddler has? Each one is unique, requiring a photo to be shared with the world. After all, each smile is completely new, and completely perfect. We must take a photo of those smiles at every angle! But as they age, those perfectly tiny teeth start developing more of a poorly brushed, snaggle-tooth essence, requiring thousands of dollars in braces and stern talking to’s from the dentist. And once the braces are on, nothing is grosser than seeing everything they’ve eaten that day being revealed in frames of silver wire.
And how about those staged photos? Seriously, I am having a hard time imagining a more precious photo than the one of a sleeping baby unknowingly being set up by her parents with an empty booze bottle placed next to them. Aw, cute! But once they hit 14, uh….not so cute. And a little too close to home for some tween families.
Obviously there is more material in younger kids. They say some of the most random things. Their innocence only adds to their adorability. And we want to record every single moment they have so that we can remember each one forever, and share it with everyone around us. When they get older, let’s face it – the cuteness factor has left the building. And there just aren’t any stories left to tell.
Except that just isn’t true.
Sure, those who share stories about their tweens have to pick and choose their stories well so as not to embarrass the living daylights out of their children. It’s best to save those skid marked underwear talks for company of a smaller size rather than sharing detailed photo and video blogs regarding the wrestling of laundry that can practically walk itself to the basket. It’s unfortunate too, because there’s a ton of material in that topic. But there’s so much more that can be talked about. Like the fact that kids of that age have reached a time of independence, not relying on their parents to be their playmates, giving their parents a sense of freedom they only dreamed about when the kids are small. Or the fact that tweens are now perfectly capable of picking up after themselves. Sure, it requires a bit of prompting. But it’s much easier than trying to teach a toddler to clean by cleaning with them (read: giving up and just doing it by yourself while your toddler messes up a different corner of the room). Nope, now you can yell at your tween from the comfort of your couch to get their lazy butt off the computer and pick their clothes up off the floor before you throw them all away and force them to wear nothing but a burlap sack to school for the rest of the year. And there is a message to be shared in the fact that your tween can actually teach you something – going from asking incessant questions about why the sky is blue to believing that you are just plain dumb and they know way more than you could ever know about anything.
But more than all that, those previous toddlers are now something reminiscent of being, well, your friends. Sure, we’re still the parents. We still have a say about how they spend their time, what values we hope to instill in them, and serving repercussions when they screw up as we teach them about consequences. But they have surpassed that time when we guided them in everything they did, graduating to us watching them as they succeed (and fail) while going their own way. They have a sense of humor about the things they never would have understood when they were younger. They are now able to talk deeper about feelings – when they are willing to share them. And they are receptive to understanding your feelings – when they are willing to accept them.
More time is spent enjoying their presence, and less time is spent catering to their every whim. And suddenly, that becomes precious.
My parents used to tell my sisters and me when we were growing up that they grew their own friends. As my kids grow older, I feel the same way about them. Do you feel the same way about your kids? And if you blog, how do you share snippets of their lives without mortifying them?