To Share or Not To Share…

Each time I take a lovely photo of Bodhi I have a small battle with myself over whether to share it on my social media accounts or not. Most of the time I refrain, yes I really do try and make a conscious effort not to be a baby bore but it is a struggle.

Bodhi has become my world and I take photos all the time capturing the memories. Everything from the different foods he’s trying, the funny faces he’s pulling, the new skills he’s learning, the stylish outfit he’s wearing or the cutest nap he’s having. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in how amazing and adorable he seems and as a proud mum I want to share and show him off. Yet I’m mindful that it’s a mother’s love and not everybody cares for a daily occurrence of his face in their news feeds. I also feel protective and concerned about sharing too much of Bodhi. He has no say in the matter and I wonder how I’d feel if all of the photos taken of me in my lifetime resurfaced for everyone to see. I think I’d feel pretty miffed that I had no control in what was put out there for everyone’s judgement/entertainment.

Of course Bodhi couldn’t care less about any of this now and he may never be bothered that his every move was documented and shared for all to see. I am bringing up a little boy in a generation where the world of social media will have always existed and by the time he’s a teen maybe we’ll all be completely desensitised to privacy! That said I will continue to be selective about what photos I upload of Bodhi which will mainly be nice and flattering photos of him. The problem with that is that I am presenting the perfect side of parenting; not showing the reality that is tantrums and tears and poo explosions up the back. I guess I try to combat the misconception that everything about being a mum is the most wonderful experience 24 hours a day through writing about the downs that I’ve struggled through in this blog.

I respect parents that decide not to share anything at all about their children online. Personally whilst I’ve become more selective and considerate about what I post, I enjoy sharing online; I’m very active on social media and always have been. I’m also so glad that others share; I’d be a lost and lonely mess if it wasn’t for discovering other mums using the same hashtags as me. I look to their grids and blogs for comparison and inspiration.

I don’t want this blog post to come across as an attack on other mums that choose to upload 1000s of photos of their little ones on social media. Everybody has their own right to decide what they put out there and it isn’t affecting me. I know how proud they are and how their lives revolve around their babies and that they are actually obsessed with their mini-me, I know because I feel that way about mine too! Maternity leave and mum life can get lonely and on the days when i have no plans I feel a little more connected and existent when I get some communication off the back of a post. Honestly I actually love bloggers like ‘The unmumsy mum’ for having no filter and sharing all those hilarious/embarrassing/ugly moments through photos; it’s comforting to me as a fellow mum going through those same struggles and I respect their bravery in putting themselves out there for the critics. I just hope that mums take a moment to fully consider what they’re uploading to the internet because it’s a massive place and once it’s up there there’s no way to know where it could end up. I hate to be so cynical and serious about it but it’s an unfortunate reality of the world we live in. We take our children’s safety so seriously in all aspects and we shouldn’t be careless about it online.

I decided to set up a private account where I can upload the many photos I take of Bodhi without worrying that I’m exposing him or annoying everyone else. The account is very private and only followed by grandparents, aunties and best friends. I couldn’t care less if nobody followed the account; it’s mainly for myself and Jack to admire. Its a shrine to Bodhi and a timeline of milestones. We both sit in bed at night scrolling right back to the beginning and falling in love with our boy all over again. I sometimes write little snippets to document why the photo was taken or what updates there are on Bodhi and it I find it therapeutic in a way to go back and remember what we have overcome and experienced.

I suspect I could be in danger of completely contradicting myself as Bodhi gets older and his personality starts to shine through. I’m sure I’ll want to upload videos of him dancing or doing or saying something funny but you won’t find me putting up any of him sat on the potty!

Written by Ashlee Britton for her blog, Ash The Mum.

Follow her on Instagram here.