controversial issue: kids & privacy

Since I have two blogs, both largely about my family, it's safe to say that to some degree, I don't care too much about privacy. I don't think bloggers tend to be private people, and I'm sure not. Ask my friends (and heck, acquaintances), about some of the conversations I start. Ahem. 

Anyways, privacy. When it comes to our kids, I believe there needs to be some. Hard to believe, coming from the mom who posted this, but stay with me here...

There's a spectrum, even for blogging moms who are quite public with their kids online. There are bloggers like Ashley Ann (one of the first blogs I ever read and still love to this day!) who post pictures of her children every.single.day, like hundreds of pictures, but she never posts her family's last name of her kid's names. She has little nicknames for them (littlest brother, firecracker, etc). And that's how she keeps things private for her family. Rachel does this too, with her two adopted daughters. Pictures, but not names. There are also bloggers like me, who post about my kids (even hard things), names included. And while you might not think so, there are a lot of things I want to blog about, but hold back, for the reason of privacy.

This came to a head when we were in France. There was a VIP party of Chinese businessmen (complete with body guards!) meeting with the mayor of our teenie tiny small town of Semur-en-Axious the whole time we were there. The town was small enough that we knew about the VIP guests and ran into them several times. The second they saw our kids they got out their cameras and stuck them in my kid's faces. I froze.  

For some reason, though I'm okay with posting my own pictures of my own kids on my own blog, the thought of a total stranger taking pictures of my children freaked me out beyond explanation. Brad wanted to understand why, because he thought it was a bit rude of me to say NO! (which I did the second I saw the cameras...sorry guys), and I couldn't really give him an answer. It just didn't feel right. Flaky, eh? But it's all I've got.

Even after Brad explained that it's a totally cultural thing for Chinese people to fawn over white, blue-eyed babies (he spent 2 months in China and had seen this several times), I still felt utterly not okay with it. And I'm thrilled to report that none of them were successful in capturing my babies on camera.

So I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue.

How do you feel about your kids being in the public eye?
Do you blog about your kids? Post about them on facebook?
Or intentionally hold back?
Is privacy a large or small concern for you? 

**please don't think I'm just asking Moms here, I'd love to hear all of your thoughts, as privacy is a concern for everyone.


  1. I think you did the right thing! You have momma instincts for a reason. Adam and I are pregnant and still have a few months to go before our little one arrives, but I would have done the same thing!

    1. congrats on your pregnancy, friend!

    2. Thank you! We're 13 weeks today, so as I look back at my comment, we certainly have many more months to go! By the way, I wanted to tell you that your blog as always been an encouragement to me and I think it's amazing how the blessing of technology can cross cultures and continents to encourage and build the body of Christ!

  2. this is interesting...and I had to laugh about you not letting the Chinese men take pictures of your babies! I'd probably be pretty weirded out too! Daniel's rule for facebook is no topless pictures on my blog of our daughter once she gets a bit older (like toddler age). I also just try to be sensitive to my husband or others close to me when I blog (or even talk to/tell stories to friends).

    If I'm still blogging when Penny is older I may blog less about her and post less pictures if it bothers her. I often wonder how older kids of mommy bloggers feel about their mom's blog.

    1. I agree. I think topless pics of babies is pretty basic since theyre so gender neutral from the waste up haha! I think I'll err on the side of caution with Lily especially now that she's turning 2 so soon, because realistically, by the time shes old enough to know if it bothers her, it may be too late you know?

  3. I kind of go back and forth on privacy: I tend to be a bit paranoid, but then I figure that my life is not really interesting enough to merit cyber-stalkers! I do keep my husband's name (first and last) private on my blog due to his professional concerns. He is a doctor, and I certainly do not want his patients doing a google search on him and finding my blog instead, thereby knowing personal information about him and our family. That said, for people who are more public or who make a living with their blogs, it makes sense to have a full name and be more accountable in a way.

    Not sure what I'd do about the random tourist photos. So awkward! I'll likely have to confront that whenever we visit my husband's hometown where I will stick out like a sore thumb, but for now I don't know. Good for you for sticking up for your instincts though!

  4. hmm this is a tough question. I don't have kids, and I don't really know what I would do with my own. However, as a person who has many friends with kids, I find this difficult as well! Sometimes I take pictures with my friends' kids. Later, I never know whether or not I should put the pictures on facebook or not. I want to show their parents the pictures, but I don't know how they feel about privacy and all of my friends seeing their kid. Em, I decided to put up pictures with Lily once, because I knew you have a public blog. But I always debate about it. This made me realize that everyone has different standards for privacy! Some may be fine, while others may feel very uncomfortable. I'll probably just ask people in the future!

  5. Maggie13.6.12

    I'd be more concerned with posting the combination of full names AND pictures on a blog (this goes for kids and adults), simply because you never know who reads it and you can learn a lot about someone from their blog - I know where you work, live, the layout of your house, the full names of your kids...though I'm your cuz and know these things already ;D, they're also on the internet. I think general internet safety is the way to go, especially with little ones

  6. Anonymous13.6.12

    I'm thinking it's a little late for privacy for you, although I agrees it's weird and uncomfortable when it's face to face interactions with strangers. But I agree with Brad that it is cultural, especially because your kids are so cute (and so white/blonde)