Having a new baby really makes you stop and think about things… Suddenly this tiny little human is all mine, and the responsibility of taking care of her, making decisions for her, and protecting her feels overwhelming at times.
I admit that I’m pretty much an open book when it comes to my own life; but – as I’ve mentioned here before -out of respect for my husband (who is much more private than me) and our kids (who have yet to develop a sense of their own comfort level), I’m trying to be very intentional to share only MY story and not theirs.
In the last year since starting this blog, I think I have mostly been able to strike a balance here. However, over the last few weeks, I’ve been increasingly unsure about how to handle Instagram specifically. It is such a fun and easy way to share photos and capture the little moments of our every day life; but, in many ways, it also feels very intimate and – admittedly – less carefully censored etc. As much as I want to invite my blog readers into my personal life; I always want to put my family (their safety, privacy, etc.) first.
With that in mind, I have decided to make my Instagram account private for now. This means that I will have to personally approve each new follower for my account; and, in addition, I will be going through my current followers in the next several days and “blocking” anyone with whom I don’t have a real-life relationship.
Please know that this was not an easy decision for me – I might have even shed a few tears over it (postpartum hormones?). You guys have been SO wonderful in welcoming Nora and genuinely caring about my little family – liking photos, leaving comments, etc. I can’t tell you how much that community has meant to me during my extended hospital stay after my c-section, late night feedings, etc. Please don’t think of this as me “uninviting” you into my life – I still plan to use this space to share and connect – but rather, I hope you can understand my need for one space that I keep for myself and my private life. This is NOT personal; it is simply what’s best for my family right now. I know I can never fully protect my kids from all of the challenges of this social-media world; but, I think this is one small step I can take in that direction.
Thank you in advance SO MUCH for supporting me in this decision and continuing to follow my story here. I promise I’ve got some good stuff headed your way!
P.S. Those of you that blog/Instagram/etc. – How do you handle this balance of privacy vs. community with your own family? I’d LOVE to hear some of your thoughts on it!
Maybe keep your current Instagram for your blog and create an entirely new personal private account? I know that Instagram is a great source of advertising for a blog (you advertised this post via instagram) and it would be a great tool to continue to use! You could share less intimate things, such as outfit posts, etc., and keep the sweet baby pics for your private account. just a thought!
Thanks for this feedback… I really thought about this; but, honestly, I just don’t think I would have enough content to post on a strictly blog account, and I don’t see myself managing two accounts very well. Lame, I know, but honest. Maybe I will be able to go this route some time in the future; but, for now, I’m going to stick with Facebook and (occasionally) Twitter for “advertising” / blog purposes and keep Instagram totally separate. It just seems like the simplest approach – and simple is KEY right now! 🙂
I only post what I am comfortable sharing. My hipper than me college aged cousin has shown me ways to find photos on “private” Instagram accounts, so I know that even having “private” accounts can mean others can see what I post.
I honestly don’t worry too much about it. I post a photo or two of my kids every week and not intimate details of our lives. I like the community I’ve found and just always have in the back of my head that people i may not know may be able to see what I post.
Good luck with your choice and what is right for you!
This is great food for thought. I definitely know that nothing is ever truly “private” on the internet, so I will certainly keep that in mind as I move forward with posting etc.
Your approach is more or less the one I have taken up to this point. I lean towards trusting that people are generally good; but, I’m also very careful (on the blog, IG, etc.) not to post anything I wouldn’t want a stranger, my students, my boss, or my great aunt to see. 🙂 I’ll continue to use those guidelines even with a private account.
Thanks for your support girl!
I made my instagram account private after having my son, but I still have and will approve “blog friends.” I mostly made it private just because I want to know who is checking out my pictures, not just that anyone can click over to see them. It’s a hard choice but I don’t think you’ll regret being over protective on the internet!
This is pretty much how I’m going to handle it too… I don’t plan to delete all of my blog or Internet friends – I’ve made some real friendships that way and definitely want to continue them! In general, if it is someone that I also follow, that I interact with frequently, etc. I will approve them to follow my IG even if they aren’t technically “real life” friends. I, like you, just want to KNOW more of who is following me / seeing the photos I post / etc.
Emily F. says
I follow you on IG and will be happy to unfollow you. Question: how does one block people on IG? I had a few that I don’t know and want them to “unfollow” me, or block them but not sure how to to do that.
Just to be clear, I totally ASKED, even ENCOURAGED, my blog readers to follow my Instagram account, so I hope no one feels like they’ve done anything “wrong” by following me. This has been a total change on my part; and, honestly, I didn’t see it coming even just a couple of weeks ago.
To answer your question: IG is not the easiest when it comes to managing followers. From what I can tell, there isn’t a way to delete followers, you can only block them. To do that, you click on your profile, your followers, the specific person you want to block, then on the little arrow icon in the top left… That brings up a menu where you can select “block user.” Hope that helps!
Amanda K. says
this is really hard. one thing i think about is whether or not the information is “singular” to my kids. if it’s one of those things all kids do, it’s more fair game. does that make sense?
so, mary virginia demands to choose her clothes — pretty run of the mill
but specific sins/struggles david has? those stay private.
That’s a great way to think about it. In general, I do that too. I talk about PARENTING topics and about my own story as a mom, but not specifically about Sam usually – does that make sense?
Amanda K. says
OH, as an addendum to my last comment, this is totally personal. i know people who don’t put their kids names or faces on their blogs or social media. that isn’t one of my standards, but it’s totally up to them!
I’ve struggled a lot with this too. My Instagram account is private, and while I still allow any blog followers to follow me on Instagram too, I’m a little thoughtful about what I put on there (and I don’t overdo the pictures of the kids). I’ve also struggled with this on my blog, which is why I usually don’t post pictures of the kids’ faces on there anymore, except for on an occasional holiday or big event. Sometimes I think I’m being over-paranoid, but I actually have always loved what you said about not telling your husband’s or kids’ stories, just your own! I’ve tried to keep that in mind as I write and post pictures.
I’ve always thought you do a great job of this!! Glad to know you’ve been able to successfully manage a private Instagram account and still have connections with blog readers. I REALLY want that.
I think of my blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts as stories I would tell over thanksgiving dinner. I’m willing to share any and all stories and photos that I can shoehorn into that category with all friends whether they be blog-based or IRL. Stories and photos that would not be appropriate for thanksgiving dinner, i.e. parenting or marriage rants, kid shaming, embarrassing stories about older kids, private behavior or discipline issues, personal struggles . . . all that stuff that I wouldn’t share at thanksgiving, I don’t share on my blog or on social media. But other than that, I really am comfortable opening a window into my life to let other folks see the joy in how we live. But I do think it’s something you have to be comfortable with for it to work.
Love this perspective, Kendra! It’s so hard to know what’s “right” because there’s just not one answer!
E, I also liked Autumn’s idea at the top, but that’s only because I like sharing our giveaways and other blog related posts through IG. 😉
As always, you’re makin me think and I appreciate it! You are one good wife and mama. 🙂
Thank you girl! You’re the best! (P.S. See my response to Autumn’s comment… I, too, like the idea; but, I just don’t see myself managing it very well right now!)
Kendra, as always, I love your perspective… I’m interested in what your older kids think about your blog. Does Betty ever want to censor photos you share of them or ask you to change something you’ve written? Do your kids even read? Just curious how this whole thing works with older kids!
I always ask my older kids if they mind if I share a photo or story, mostly they get excited about it still. They do read my blog sometimes, but mostly I don’t think it interests them that much! I get Jack to do movie reviews for me sometimes. I wish he’s do more actually, he’s a good writer. But he’s rather be out in the garage making up science experiments.
The one blog post I’ve been wanting to share is about bed-wetting and night training with older kids. I know it must be something other moms have struggled with, too, and I felt really blindsided by how not easy that part of training has been for our family, but my kids’ friends moms all read my blog, and I don’t know how I can write about it without it being uncomfortable for them. So, so far, their privacy has won out over my desire to be helpful to strangers.
I started blogging a year ago and just changed my instagram account settings to public and had a mini anxiety attack over it! I’m also a teacher – so I always kept everything as private as possible. I’m completely torn on what to do on this. It’s a hard decision! I’ve now been blogging a year and wanted my instagram account to reflect recipes, thoughts, etc.. of what I blog about. I don’t have kids yet, but I would imagine it would make this decision a lot more difficult!
It is SO SO hard… Especially as a teacher. I had A LOT of students start following me after Nora was born which was definitely part of my decision to go private. I don’t have anything “to hide” at all; but, at the same time, I want some areas of my life to remain at least a little bit private, you know? I think as long as you keep your account more or less “impersonal” you can’t go wrong… It’s the personal stuff that gets tricky. Good luck – you will figure it out!!
Dani R. says
I struggle with this often too! I just started blogging and I love to use IG as publicity but I also try to filter by thinking of who may be seeing/reading my IG posts. Like, would I care if my mom saw it or my future employer? No lie, I change my account from private to public and back again monthly haha. Love love love your blog so much! Whatever you decide, I will for sure be supporting you! 🙂
Hilarious. The struggle is real! Good luck girl, and thanks so much for the support!
Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS.
I don’t understand the reason why I can’t subscribe to it.
Is there anybody else getting the same RSS problems?
Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?