The Importance Of Being Anonymous

As you can probably guess by reading just a few of my blog posts, I really cherish my anonymity. I refer to myself as “The Fairly Good Mother,” to my husband as “The Husband” and my son as “The Boy.”  One of my chief concerns, (and The Husband’s concern as well,) when starting my blog last month was protecting the privacy of myself & my family.

This the internet, where nothing can be erased, and your words might haunt you later on down the line.  All I can say is THANK GOODNESS that they didn’t have social media & blogs when I was in my 20’s!  Even though I do speak my mind, I’m fully aware of who I’m dragging into my opinions & their impact on my private life.  And I know that our opinions and beliefs change over time, but some things you can’t take back.

When I read stories like MaryAnn Sahoury’s, I realize that nothing is private on the interwebs, and that things can be stolen and manipulated by selfish, evil people who don’t care about anyone else’s reputation.  She did something kind to help other mothers who were experiencing difficulty breastfeeding their child, but it was turned into porn & now her reputation & her child’s reputation will be forever marred.  And that’s just one story … There are countless others.

Since The Boy has been diagnosed with Aspergers, and our hope is that we can correct a lot of, (if not all of,) the negative behaviors and he can become the poster boy for “the cure,” I never want this blog to come back and smack him in the face as something to be held against him.  The stories of potty training & silliness are harmless.  But in this day and age of Super Bullies, I don’t want to give them ammunition with which to eviscerate My Boy.  And by making him anonymous, I feel like I’m protecting him, even if only a little.

Though I do have many friends – some have children with special needs, and some with “typical” children – who write blogs and are comfortable posting their pictures & their names for all the public to see.  I’m not in any way judging them, or saying that they’re wrong, but that isn’t something I’m personally comfortable with. Like everything else in life, it’s a personal preference & I don’t begrudge anyone that.  I only caution parents to think twice about what you post and how much you post, and the impact that it might have on your child(ren.)

I suppose it’s a blessing in disguise that I never achieved true “fame & fortune” as an actress.  I really wouldn’t have been comfortable with the public scrutiny & the loss of my anonymity.  I never knew that until I “grew up.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love being the center of attention & I’m as social as they come, but I don’t like the crazies knowing my address.

I think about the whole back and forth battle that ensued between two mommy bloggers recently over something one of them posted about Adam Lanza & how she could have been his mother, because she has her own troubled adolescent son, whom she claims has Aspergers.  (I’m not naming names because I don’t want to give them that kind of publicity.) Then the other mom dug around on her blog & discovered that she might be lying – that seemingly her son didn’t have any mental issues or neurological disorders (that were written about,) and rather than writing about her children affectionately, she skewered them in her blog, often writing about how she wanted to throttle them & how terrible their behavior was & what anguish it had caused her.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be honest or humorous in our desire to connect with other mothers, but I offer a caution to other mommy bloggers … just remember, as much as you’d like to treat the internet as your diary & write down everything, just remember, it’s not paper & cannot be torn from the book & burned.  (Yes, I’ve done that with my real life diaries.)  If you don’t want it coming back to haunt you, or your family, take it to the grave, or tell it to a friend in a closed chat room / facebook group / over wine / in a phone call.

How It All Began …

This blog has been birthed out of my need to connect with other moms to let them know that no one is perfect & that’s ok. Your child doesn’t need you to be perfect, they just need you to be there. God knows, I’m not perfect, but I try my best.  And when I come up short, that mommy guilt creeps up and makes me feel lousy.  Some days are great days, when I’m thinking “man, I really hope that someone’s getting this amazing mothering stuff I’m doing down on video.” And there are other days when I am thinking “man, I hope no one can hear me or see me right now as I’m totally losing it.”  Being a mom is easy.  Being a good mom is not easy.  Let’s face it, anyone can get pregnant & pop out a kid, but raising a child takes a lot of work, and no one really has the secret formula for doing it right all the time.

I’m lucky that I get to stay at home with my 3 year old son. It was down to the wire, and literally 2 days before I gave birth, my husband got a great job that allowed me to not have to return to mine after my maternity leave was done. Being a stay-at-home-mom is tough work, but it’s a personal decision.  I don’t begrudge any of my mommy friends who made the decision to work. Hell, I was raised by a single working mom. I know for a lot of women, like my mother, it isn’t a choice, but a necessity. At the end of the day, we’re all mothers & we should all be able to lean on one another for understanding and support.

So here I am. And I love it. Every moment … from the out-of-nowhere “i love you mama,” moments, to the isolating moments where I’m excited just to talk to another adult, like the UPS guy or the check-out lady … I even love the pooping in big-boy undies moments, (ok, no, I’m lying, I don’t really love those poopy undies moments.)  But here I am, and I hope that by sharing some of my little tidbits with you, you can relate a little.  And maybe, just maybe, I can help you on your journey to being a fairly good mother, too.