That time my kid refused to sleep & some thoughts about digital citizenship

Friday! My gosh, how is it already Friday?


This last week has been a blur – a sleepless blur. I’m somehow convinced that after boasting to our pediatrician that Margs sleeps through the night (albeit in our bed) karma decided to teach me the very important lesson that bragging isn’t cool by having my kid decide that suddenly she wants to be nocturnal.

She’s been up consistently from midnight to 4 am, 3 nights in a row. I’m surviving on short naps and coffee. Hopefully this “phase” (teething possibly?) will pass soon and we’ll be back to business as usual.

Speaking of Margs, I got an email this week asking me why I don’t post full frontal shots of my little girl . Great question since I don’t think I’ve ever directly broached the subject.


Profile cuteness.

I thought the question was interesting and it sparked an interesting conversation between Mer and I about our own positions on digital citizenship and where we stand with regards to sharing our lives on the internet – or, how much we’re willing to share with the Internets.

Hey, did I ever tell you I was a teacher? I taught math to a bunch of 10 and 11th graders but also got the privilege to teach a class about digital citizenship when I decided to head back to school and get a graduate degree in education and technology. Basically, I  taught kids about responsible internet use in a society where technology is a fundamental part of day to day life. Fun fact,most 10th graders in this area believe that facebook is for old people! – jaw dropping right? That folks is how quickly technology changes.

With that said, digital citizenship is really an important part of our lives. Mer works in medical technology and since I blog and have an online presence albeit a very small one, we’re very cautious about what we put out there with regards to our little girl because ultimately we both feel like posting photos of her isn’t our right. She has no agency in this situation and until she can make those decisions for herself we’re just not comfortable with sharing photos that are any more revealing than the one above. That photo is probably the closest to seeing a full frontal as it’ll get.

I’m just not comfortable with sharing more than that folks and I hope you understand.  I’m just a believer that she’s entitled to a certain level of personal privacy and that as her mum it is my job to protect her privacy until she’s able to tell me “mom I want to be on the blog”. That day may or may not come and I’m cool with that.

So there you have it. The internet can be a beautiful place where you can share ideas and interact with awesome people who have so many brilliant things to share but it can also be a scary place especially when there are children involved and for the time being we’re opting to keep our little off of it as much as possible.

Where do you stand on sharing kiddo pictures? I’m interested to hear different opinions!




Leave a comment

  1. February 3, 2017 / 7:22 am

    Although I have no children yet myself I am on board with not sharing photos of any future children – I rarely blog with photos of myself or even mention my husband’s name! I like to blog and share information but in a way that keeps part of my life private and protected.

    • February 3, 2017 / 10:03 am

      You gotta do what makes you comfortable! Thank you for sharing!

  2. February 3, 2017 / 7:27 am

    I am not a parent, but I think people often over-share on social media, in general. What we have to remember is the internet is forever. While I know folks want to share the growth of their children with friends and family, I think what you are saying has a lot of merit. You can never go wrong with allowing someone the choice to make their own decision on privacy (when they are old enough).

    • February 3, 2017 / 10:03 am

      The internet is absolutely forever. Great points! And, again, it’s a question of what you’re comfortable with – if you’re okay with sharing that’s cool if not that’s cool too! It’s just finding your happy place with sharing on the internet I guess.

  3. February 3, 2017 / 8:07 am

    im 100% with you. i think i have only posted 2 photos showing my kids’ faces on facebook or instagram ever. If I post anything of them, even if its a shot from behind, i do not use their names,anything distinguishing about them. I’m not naive to the idea that anytime “Thestepmomma” shows up, there is a trail of posts associated with it. It might sound like i need an aluminum foil hat. but we firmly don’t believe in sharing our detailed, personal lives with the world- hence the anonymous profile.

    • February 3, 2017 / 10:02 am

      Absolutely! Thank you for sharing lady!

  4. February 3, 2017 / 8:41 am

    Interesting idea about digital citizenship you bring up. As one who has posted full face shots of my daughter (she’s seen them before I published), the thought of her digital privacy hadn’t occurred to me, the career information security professional. Go figure. Anyway, I believe it is up to the individual how much or how little of a digital footprint they are comfortable with. Until recently for instance, I wrote anonymously, only just a week or two ago revealing my first name. I doubt that I will ever reveal my last name as I don’t write professionally.

    Digital citizenship….hmm, good idea for a future post. I’ll have to let that sit and process awhile.

    • February 3, 2017 / 10:00 am

      I think this is actually such an important point that you bring up. We’ve been so desensitized to technology haven’t we? Like I’ve mentioned in some of my other replies it’s more a question of figuring out what we’re comfortable with individually.

  5. February 3, 2017 / 8:48 am

    I think your decision to show as little of your daughter as you are comfortable with is very appropriate and respectful of her. Well done.

    • February 3, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Thank you Kelly! 🙂

  6. February 3, 2017 / 8:49 am

    I share photos of my children on my Facebook. I’ve tried to keep it somewhat “secure” with minimal friends and limited postings, although nothing I do could stop a friend from screenshotting or downloading/resharing a photo. It’s a risk I’m comfortable with most of the time. (I have asked *coughdemandedcough* that certain family members with a bazillionty friends remove pictures of my children from their social media pages) But I never ever share photos of my children anywhere else online, and I’ve just recently gotten comfortable with sharing how many children I have and their ages. Names? Hah, NO.

    I’ve always been cautious for safety reasons, but you make an excellent point here about “digital citizenship.”

    • February 3, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Yup. I also think we can’t completely over think this either ya know? Otherwise we’d make ourselves nuts. As long as you’re comfortable with what you’re doing keep on keeping on!

  7. February 3, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I totally agree. That’s why I don’t use names on my blog, I don’t want my blog to come up if someone googled my family members’ names.

    • February 3, 2017 / 9:58 am

      We all need to figure out what makes us comfortable and what doesn’t I suppose! Thanks for sharing!

  8. February 3, 2017 / 9:27 am

    I like that you are waiting to post full pics of her until she is old enough to decide. Having said that….THOSE CHEEKS!

    • February 3, 2017 / 9:57 am

      thank you! She’s a BIG girl weighing in at 28 lbs and standing 80 cm. I like to tell people “We’ve worked hard to get those cheeks where they are” 😉

  9. February 3, 2017 / 9:29 am

    Hi! I have yet to decide how we feel about posting pics and names. I know I will probably use discretion the best I can and confer with my husband when the time comes. I used to be an “all out there kind of gal” but over the years had to scale back what I share more and more 🙂 Makes things more special and precious. What I’d like to know is if you and hubby feel the same about posting pics of yourselves online as well? I see hardly any on here and IG so I’m curious. Seeing a face helps me to make it a more personal and relatable interaction.

    • February 3, 2017 / 9:56 am

      Great question! Thank you for asking and I apologize if my answer is long.

      For the time being we’re opting to use discretion with posting photos of ourselves. Actually, it’s more my decision than it is his. He’s actually very much okay with putting “us” out there as long as it doesn’t involve Margs. We’re very much on the same page when it comes to baby girl.

      As for me, I’m on an extended sabbatical from work (full-time teacher) and graduate school ( professor and student) and until I finally make a decision with regards to whether I’ll be going back to school and work I’m choosing to keep things pretty low key. It’s really quite amazing how quickly students can find your on the internet. My decision isn’t so much fueled by them finding me but more my own fears of having photo content reproduced <—- blame this on my own schooling about technology. It's really quite silly and I agree that more personalized photos drive a far greater personal connection. I suppose I'm just so new to all this blogging stuff that I'm treading carefully if that makes sense? Once I sort out my own professional life (so far it looks like I'm not heading back to the scholarly world) I'll likely open myself up more.

      Thanks again for asking!

  10. February 3, 2017 / 9:40 am

    Food for thought. I just use my kids’ first names in Facebook pic tags. Only shared with friends, Buy maybe i should not even do that

    • February 3, 2017 / 9:51 am

      I think it’s just something we all need to consider given how prevalent the use of technology is in our life. It’s really quite amazing how this wouldn’t have even been a conversation 30 years ago. I sometimes have conversations with my Mum about being careful what she shares on FB – because although she uses FB I don’t think she fully understands how full circle it can be ya know? It really is food for thought – at the end of the day it’s a question of what we are individually comfortable with.

  11. February 3, 2017 / 10:20 am

    I post pictures of my kids (rarely) on FB, but I have my setting to “friends only.” I NEVER post pictures of them on my blog. It’s way too public for me. I don’t even post my face (notice my profile pic). Again for privacy reasons, but also because I couldn’t take a good picture if I was beat with a Beauty Stick! LOL I’m NOT photogenic at all. Which could prove a problem if I ever get one of my novels published. Just my two cents. Do what you’re comfortable with. Cute baby, by the way, even if she did keep you up all night 🙂

    • February 4, 2017 / 8:38 am

      Thank you! Actually, we made enormous progress last night. She slept from 6:30 pm to 3am in her cot BY HERSELF. I feel like a new woman!

  12. February 3, 2017 / 11:04 am

    I agree that you’re taking a sensible approach. Young people definitely think FB is for ‘grown ups’; they are the Snapchat generation! I never post a picture of my teenager on any social media platform without her permission. I’m rarely on FB now (albeit I have to click through my account to access my work feed, which I update). I mostly stick to Twitter and play a bit with Instagram, although without a smart phone, my pictures are a bit ropey!

    • February 4, 2017 / 8:37 am

      I really admire that you protect her privacy that way. Well done mama!

  13. kiwinadian
    February 3, 2017 / 11:18 am

    I might be one of the few out there that is ok with posting pictures of my son on my social media and occasionally on my blog. Both my facebook and instagram accounts are quite secure and I control who I allow to “friend” me or not. I recently did a big purge of “friends” based on whether I would send them a happy birthday message or stop to speak to them on the street if we crossed paths. Needless to say, this eliminated a lot of people and I don’t have any problem with it. My husband is a major social media sharer so it’s never been a discussion about maybe reducing the amount of pictures we share of our son. Just a discussion about making our accounts as private as possible. I have a very large family and close friends from around the world, so the easiest way for us to share our son growing up is by way of social media. No way do I have time to write emails with pictures every few weeks to everyone. While we share our son’s first name in my blog and occasionally on social media, we never put his full, long winded name, or my own. If the day comes where we start to feel like we need to take control then we will. But for now we feel pretty comfortable with the measures we’ve taken while still being able to share.

    • February 4, 2017 / 8:36 am

      That’s totally fine and I completely respect your choice! I’m so glad you shared your perspective!

  14. February 3, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    You don’t need a “full frontal” to see all the adorableness. 🙂 And you have every right to protect your and your family’s privacy. Why is this person who emailed so concerned about it? I’m assuming they have no personal stake in it whatsoever. My thought when sharing photos of my kids (as awful as it sounds) is, “How many predators are out there looking for photos of kids for things like the sex trade or pedophilia?” I try to keep my Facebook profile and photos as private as I can and I don’t post many pics of my kids on my blogs.

    • February 4, 2017 / 8:35 am

      Awww thanks Andi! 🙂

      It wasn’t so much of a concern as it was curiosity I think. And, it’s a legitimate question considering I write so much about my little. But yes, the internet can be a scary place and we sort of need to process those thoughts before we make decisions about putting our kids out there!

  15. February 3, 2017 / 4:13 pm

    I like the term digital citizenship…I’m with you, mine are too young to have a say so I personally don’t feel right about too much exposure. Good thoughts and good conversation in the comments.

    • February 4, 2017 / 8:34 am

      Thank you!

  16. February 3, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    On my “private” pages Facebook/Instagram I will share all the pictures and videos I want of our daughter. Mostly because we have family all over that want to see her grow up. But when it comes to the blog, and my public Instagram I’m more cautious of what I want to put out there of her.

    Like you said, it’s not her choice to be on the internet. So pictures from her newborn days and profile shots are about as far as I want to go since she looks completely different now.

    Mostly my fear comes out of someone finding out all this information about her, and where we live and something bad coming from that. I don’t want her name/nickname out there or her full face (no matter how adorable it may be)

    • February 4, 2017 / 8:33 am

      I think this is really great! I think social media and technology in general is a wonderful resource especially for keeping in touch with family/friends who live far away. I love that you’re so cautious about how you use it!

  17. February 3, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    This is a good discussion point. As for me, I did the same as what kiwinadian above did. Except for the sharing of names in my blog. I’ve always referred to my son as “my son” here, but I may eventually use his name on my future posts as I’m about to give birth already to his little brother… And that would be confusing if I refer to them as my “eldest son” and my “second son”. You know. I guess like what everybody else seems to think here, it depends on how comfortable we are with what we share with the Internet.

    • February 4, 2017 / 8:32 am

      Yup, you are exactly right. It’s a question of what you are comfortable with. When are you due Gwen?

      • February 4, 2017 / 9:23 am

        I’m actually due anytime now. Last checkup my cervix was already 1cm dilated (yay)

        • February 4, 2017 / 9:31 am

          Best of luck! Crossing my fingers for an easy labor!

  18. February 4, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I agree with you 100%, Jenny! Kids are too young to consent to having their likeness published all over the Internet. I think it’s important for us parents and grandparents to remember that children are entitled to privacy, too!

    • February 6, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      Thank you for sharing Maureen!

  19. February 5, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    I have thought about this subject and how much to share on At the end of the day, I share my faces because they tell a piece of our story – living with disabilities. I use the pics to show joy despite circumstances and chromosomes. I get permission from my older guys before telling their stories or sharing their images. Great question though – thanks for bringing it!

    • February 6, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      I think it’s wonderful you use those images to convey a deeper message. There’s really no right or wrong in this – it’s just a question of finding your own sweet spot I suppose.

  20. February 6, 2017 / 3:06 am

    I completely understand your reasoning and why you choose to not use full frontal pics of your child. I feel the same way with using my child’s image on my blog or Instagram account. I don’t think it’s fair for him to be openly identifiable when he is not able to make that choice for himself. I can make educated decisions on what images I divulge of myself to the public, he can not. Not to mention when you post an image on the web it has digital permanence. I also agree there is a level of privacy you owe to your child in order to protect them. Having said that, everyone feels differently on the subject and there’s a big online presence of “oversharents” out there. Like you said, it’s about what you’re comfortable with and what you feel is right for your family.

    • February 6, 2017 / 1:56 pm

      Thank you for sharing! Yes, it’s all about your own comfort level!

  21. February 10, 2017 / 4:20 pm

    This topic fascinates me. I recently dropped Facebook because even though I kept my friends limited to actual friends and family. I did share pictures of my daughter but I never thought too hard about it. After finally realizing Facebook is an anxiety trigger for me I have deactivated and went through withdrawals! I do have a personal instagram that I don’t have the same anxiety response towards. Website wise I have decided that my daughter’s name wouldn’t be used nor would any current full face pictures. But she has a few years on Margs. 🙂

    • February 11, 2017 / 8:05 am

      It’s a really complex topic. I hope to write more about it moving forward.

  22. February 15, 2017 / 7:58 am

    I’m on GOMI and so much criticism on bloggers for sharing everything about their children is valid to me. If I had a child I would want to keep them off the internet. I won’t even post pictures of other people on my IG even

    • February 15, 2017 / 8:09 am

      It’s a very interesting topic. I’m often left speechless at the type of photos I see on twitter/instagram/blogs. To each their own I guess but, it’s just so incredibly scary. My job is to protect this little girl and for now because she’s just so little I cannot imagine posting her photos.

  23. February 20, 2017 / 7:18 am

    My youngest is 13 and desperate to put stuff up on YouTube, so mine are old enough to say they want to be on the blog. I’ve only posted the backs of their friends except for one picture with his face fully painted. I do worry that its not the right thing but, I don’t know. Although I’ve realised I have to censor myself anyway because my daughter’s friends know its my blog.

  24. February 21, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    You are right to be cautious. I know several photographers that had clients’ photos stolen off of their websites and used by people saying it was their work or used on child porn sites. It’s scary out there. Protect your family with a vengeance.

    • February 22, 2017 / 7:23 am

      I actually read a blog post recently that was talking about fake instragram accounts that steal photos of children and the entire account is a joke about adopting the children. It’s really disturbing and as I read it I validated my own fears. I cannot even imagine.

  25. March 6, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    First, congrats to you for teaching math. I always failed that class, so I cannot imagine teaching it. Second, I agree about limiting your daughters online presence. I have three girls, I worry about how much I cannot keep them safe from. I also limit their internet access and monitor everything they do online. Each family must set their own limits on the subject. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Digital Citizenship. As a girl scout leader, I help my troop earn their Internet Safety Badge and their Digital Citizenship Badge as well.

    • March 9, 2017 / 8:46 am

      Thank you for sharing this! I’m doing what I feel is best for my small family right now <3

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