Are Yours Real or Fake?

When I first started blogging I didn’t really think about it. I just jumped in and started to write. I chose my name as my blog handle instead of something clever and cute because I wanted to get my name out there (and because try as I might I’m really not that clever and too old to be cute).

And one of the things I didn’t really consider was whether or not I should use my children’s real names when I blog. Some people do, some people don’t, but the point is, it wasn’t even a consideration with me. On my very first blog I wrote about my kids’ inability to get along and just typed out their little names for everyone in cyberspace to see.

Hello, Bad Mom of the Year Award 2008.

Of course I may be a bad mom putting my kids’ names along with their private business onto people’s computer screens, but I always change or eliminate my friends’ names when I have a funny or potentially embarrassing story about a girlfriend to tell.

For example, last week when my girlfriend told me that she was mortified because her cleaning lady found her vibrator under her bed and placed it standing up and her night table, I told her that that would definitely be something I’d have to work into my blog. (See how I just did that?)

“If you use my name I’ll sue you,” she told me.

“I would never,” I said. And I won’t.

Yes, I am a bad mom, but really, really good friend.

I have another concern as well: as my kids get older and I tell the world my story, do I have the right to tell theirs? I’m not very discrete and I know that I tend to over-share, but I really don’t tell all of it. Trust me, there are so many gems I would love to write about as they would be fantastic, interesting, sweet, funny blogs, but I don’t in the name of privacy. (And let me tell you – it kills me I keep them to myself!)

I’ve thought about going through every blog I’ve ever posted and changing my kid’s names, but considering I’ve written well over 100 and can’t even get to the things on my list that would only take 5 minutes of my time (some of which are incredibly & ridiculously important), I don’t see it happening any time soon.

And I wonder too, why does it really matter? I’m just a suburban mom who writes a little blog. I don’t think anyone cares or has given it any thought. (Until, you know, now.) We all know the names of famous people’s kids. Why not un-famous people’s kids?

Am I harming them? Have I told too much? Eh, that’s what psychiatrists’ couches are for.

Six years into blogging and seventeen and a half years into motherhood and I’m still trying to figure this whole Internet and blogging and motherhood thing out.

Has anybody really figured it out?

*Edited and slightly updated this post first appeared on the now-defunct blog on January 10, 2011.


4 thoughts on “Are Yours Real or Fake?

  1. –ha, we will never completely figure all this shit out, Charlene!
    Once I started writing w/out worrying what others would think about me is when I became “Free, Liberated, Wildly Uninhibited.”
    …on the other hand, I would NEVER hurt anybody deliberately. That’s UNCOOL. I don’t believe in being MEAN.
    PS. but…..that housekeeper needs to be fired, man!

  2. I never thought about using anything but my kids’ real names since I knew NOTHING about blogging when I started my site and it never occurred to me (still doesn’t) that naming Jack and Karly would cause them harm…(physical or mental).

    I am careful now, and have been for a while, about not embarrassing them – and have even asked permission to write about certain stories; but whether or not I used nicknames for them, I wouldn’t be able to write under my real name without SOMEONE putting two and two together, right?

    Bottom line: unless you blog completely anonymously under your own pseudonym, you’re foolish to think people can’t figure out who your kids are. And cutesy nicknames (Mr. Bug, Lil’ Monkey, Sweet Pea) are big pet peeves of mine. (No offense to anyone who reads this comment who uses them. It’s just personal preference.)

  3. Nope, I haven’t got this blogging thing figured out either. As for using my kids real names, I went back and forth- first yes. Then I read how dangerous that was so, no. I called them Ms. T and Ms. M- which they hated and so now, I use their names when I can’t keep saying “my youngest or oldest daughter”.

  4. I never thought about it either. In fact it was the reason I started blogging was to share about them. I think when they’re older they’ll get a kick out of it. I think they’ll like that they’ll know how important they are in my life that I spent so much time writing about them. I think yours will too.

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