Sharon DeVellis: Inside Scoop


Writing About My Children

Telling Stories That Are No Longer My Own

Lately I’ve been struggling with writing about my boys. When I first started blogging they were young, a toddler and baby. The stories I told may have been about them but they also were mine. When they didn’t sleep through the night, it was also about my own sleep deprivation. When they fought, it included my frustration.

Now they are older, boys with opinions and experiences all their own and those stories no longer belong to me–they belong to them.

For the past year if I’ve written about either of them I have asked them to read it before I hit publish, they get to decide if it will be put out there. But now that’s not sitting comfortably with me either. They are children who have no idea what the ramifications are of me writing their stories for the world to see, stories that will be out there forever. I’m an adult and I don’t really know the ramifications myself.  This is the first generation of kids growing up whose lives have been lived on the internet—the good, the bad, the funny, the sad—it’s all out there. And none of us has any idea how it will affect them as adults or if there will be any consequences at all.

I feel it’s unfair of me to put them in the position of saying yes or no to something that may or may not have an impact on them in the future. Already my oldest is googling himself. Right now he’s proud of his stories but I wonder if that will be the case when he is an adult. Or when his future employer googles him.

I don’t know. I’m struggling. Struggling with whether I should continue to write about my boys. Being a mother is a fundamental part of who I am. How do I write about being a mother without including the two children I’m raising?

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. I’ve spoken with other mothers who are at this crossroad as well. It was easy when they were babies and toddlers but now? Now their stories are their own and I wonder if by writing those stories, I’m taking something I have no right to.