The Shift of the Mommyblogger
There's change in the air for the first wave of mommybloggers. They don't complain about their kids much anymore. In fact, they don't write about their kids as much as they used to. Have they lost interest? Lost their edge? Or are their kids just old enough to read?
I started blogging in 2004, when my daughter was a newborn. I've felt the tide turn in my own writing even as I've noticed some of my favorite writers turning away from the old stories of havoc and poop and focusing back inward on themselves or outward on the external world of pop culture, politics, fashion, jobs and social issues. Why?
Allan is a daddyblogger, but I was struck by this:
While that's already a bit of an issue with regard to adult friends and relatives, what about the people in my life for whom I currently make those decisions, but who will eventually be making their own? I have devoted an entire section of my website to each of my three sons... but what happens as they get older, and assume more responsibility for their own image?
I don't write less about my daughter because she's any less funny or adorable than she used to be. I write less about her because I'm having more and more trouble discerning between where my observation ends and her story begins. I'll always document our lives, but I find myself giving her the same benefit I give anyone else -- any story they tell me is theirs, not mine to recount. It has to be safe for my friends and colleagues to talk to me without worrying I'll print their every word on the Internet, and I'm beginning to extend that rule to my daughter, too.
Grace Davis has written about making her teen daughter an editor after unintentionally causing a rift.
I won't take down the posts, but I will take on Molly as the Official State of Grace Editor for Adolescent Affairs. I'll be showing her any blog entries related to her prior to publishing.
I suspect my daughter will become an editor at Surrender, Dorothy at about the same time that I stop referring to her as "the little angel" and start addressing her by name. Until then, I continue to struggle online and offline between wanting the world to see her as I do -- vibrant, beautiful, intelligent, funny -- and wanting to never give her friends anything more to Google.
Some prominent mommybloggers have taken the latter so far as to drop out of the blogosphere temporarily. Chookooloonks went photoblog for a time when Karen's daughter turned three, and another Karen pulled The Naked Ovary offline for a year to protect her oldest daughter's privacy.
I can't imagine shutting down my blog, my outlet, my record, but I can and do imagine shifting its subject matter permanently from my daughter as main character to my daughter as Best Supporting Actress in our little sitcom of three.
When did I steal the blog back for myself? About six months ago, I think. Will she ever get it back? No -- she'll have her own.
And I can't wait to read it.