Time is moving so fast. Though the days still feel unbearably long. I have moments when I never want to put bébé down and times when I want someone else to take her just for a little bit so I can be my own person again.
I can trace this journey back to over 5 years ago when my mother-in-law asked when we were going to give her grandchildren. I said I had a five year plan (something I said every time she asked). I did not realize it at the time, but this time I was right. Five years would pass before bébé was here in the flesh and I was taking the steps that lead to this moment.
Five years ago this month Alex and I packed all we could fit in our small Ford Focus and drove across the country to live near Washington, DC so I could attend a Masters program at Loyola University, Maryland. While I knew this would change our lives forever, little did I know the impact that Montessori would have on my life and the life of my future child. More on Montessori and parenting in future posts!
Back to Three Months into this whole mom thing. I’m feeling more confident. At least in making decisions about my child. From the time before I was pregnant I knew I didn’t want pictures and information about my child on social media. I very carefully did not post ultrasound pictures and there was rarely photos of my pregnancy. When bébé was born I texted people and my in-laws called people. There was no announcement on Facebook or Instagram. I imagined cute photos of her hands or feet. Photos of the back of her head being shared like I was some sort of celebrity keeping my child safe from weird stalkers.
I had not really fleshed out what my official stance was or why. So when people asked me I had a hard time articulating the reasoning. Even faltering and letting other people (who asked) post photos of bébé.
Then came a visitor to our home who snapped photos of bébé and without my knowledge or consent posted them on Facebook. Luckily my privacy settings alert me to people tagging me in things and won’t post to my wall unless I approve, but my heart sank. I felt so hurt and betrayed. Did this person not notice there was no photos of bébé on my Facebook? Did they simply not realize what they were doing? Unfortunately, this could have been me before having a child. Then last week, another new mama posted about not posting photos of her little one with an article about pedophiles. This got me thinking about my reasoning and I finally posted about it on Facebook and linked an article that had me thinking about why this is important.
Alex and I made a decision to not post photos and information about our new arrival. When people ask why I always have a hard time articulating the reason. There is a little bit of family drama, I haven’t spoken to my dad in 7 years and I don’t want him to have anything to do with my child. There is the paranoia about pedophiles using bébé’s image for their own sick purposes. There is the fact that bébé cannot consent to having photos on social media and that future employers might see these photos in a negative light. I even waver in my resolve sometimes, but this article is a good reminder.
Everyone responding seem to think people were challenging me. Though that wasn’t the reason for the post it was more to help me wrap my mind around the concept of keeping bébé safe as possible in this era of the internet. I felt after posting that people would finally understand and respect my wishes. Most people did, but some people don’t understand or they see it as a commentary on their own choices to post information about their children. It hasn’t even stopped people from posting photos on Facebook. I’m not a confrontational person. I’d rather avoid a situation than take it head on. I’m not really sure how to handle the situation. Should I just restrict access to my child? What about people I don’t know? What happens in the future with birthday parties and other social events? Where do I draw the line? I can only take things one day at a time and go with my gut on how to feel each situation. Really it all comes down to asking me if it’s okay. I usually say yes. I just want to be consulted about these types of things. End of rant.
In other news, bébé went swimming for the first time and it was spectacular. She is in love with the water.
Last week bébé got to meet her great-grandmas and many other relatives.
When we returned from our visitations in California Zoey seems to be less afraid of bébé. That is about all for now.