Mommas Don't Let your Babies Grow up to Do This

There we sat, my teen and I, in the family room as he waited for some friends to arrive.  With our respective laptops on our respective laps. Typing.  Talking.  And out of the blue he asked me for my blog’s URL.  What?!  Why?!  I’m not sure what I said in response but it was something along the lines of, “ah, hem, ah, haw.”  And he, with typical teen righteousness, threw my previous parenting cautions back in my face by reminding me “it’s on the internet,” the most public of domains.

For those of you who don’t know my family, here’s a little background…  I have two sons.  The oldest is 21 and away at college on the East Coast.  The youngest, the aforementioned cyber-stalking teen, is within days of leaving home to start his freshmen year at college on the West Coast.  They know I have a blog.  But I’m pretty sure that I never said much, if anything, about my “topic.”  After all, I blog mostly anonymously because, quite frankly, I am embarrassed to think anyone in my real life would realize just what a crazy-ass yo-yo dieter I have been for much of my life!  And as I’ve explained before, I try very hard not to making my eating an issue in my kids’ lives.

Anyhoo, that brings us back to the moment when my heart started beating fast and my mind was exploding with thoughts of “holy freaking guacamole!  My son can’t read my blog!”  I’ve exposed myself on here.  I’ve said things I might never have said if I thought he or his brother would read the words.  My thoughts were jumbled but they were pretty much all along the same horrified vein.  Eek.

Darn my smart kids and their knowledge of technology.  Somehow, as observant as he is, my son knew my blog’s name.  And that’s all it took.  Thanks to Google, he was off and running reading  And I was cringing.  Trying to remember what I’d last posted.  And then, he asked if I’d ever written about him!  So, because I am nothing if not a helpful mom who does everything I can to make my children’s lives easier, I helped him find the post I had written about him on his last birthday.  And quickly started reading to see if I said anything I’d regret!  “Mom, it’s a race to see who reads faster,” he said.  Yep, it was.  And then he proceeded to read the comments.

Next, my teen reminded me that he is really his father’s son, when he asked about some blog stats.  What is it with men and numbers?  “How many people follow you,” he asked.  And he actually seemed maybe a bit impressed with how many comments a particular post had received, even after I explained that half of them were mine.  So, I couldn’t resist sharing how many page views that same post had gotten which was way more than the number of comments.  But by then, he was already bored with his little blog discovery and moving on.  Let’s hope it stays that way!

His parting words – “You should write about me more.”  Maybe he’ll read this post and be happy I did:)



Filed under blogging, family

59 responses to “Mommas Don't Let your Babies Grow up to Do This

  1. OOOOh I would feel the very same eek if my kids read my blog despite the fact I have discussed them and posted their photographs
    It is the internet and ‘ out there’ but like you, I really wouldnt want them reading what I have written

    • Karen

      Exactly! And yesterday in the shower, where I do some of my greatest thinking, I flashed back to one post in particular that made me cringe when I think of him reading. Oh well.

  2. What a handsome young man!

    My daughter, now 28, knows I have a blog and I am assuming she could figure out how to find it if she wanted to. I don’t think she finds me interesting enough to look 🙂

    • Karen

      Thanks, Roxie. I’m biased, of course, but think he’s pretty cute. I would soooo want to check out my mom’s blog if she had one! Now. Not so sure I’d do it as a teen, figuring it would be “lame.”

  3. Hi Karen! That’s really nice what your son said. It really warms my heart what you think of your sons and what they think of you.

    My kids do sometimes read my blog. Especially my 14 year old daughter. How coincidental is it that I currently have a post up about looking confident and good back posture and then her saying to me yesterday, “Don’t I walk confidently? All my friends say so.” It’s happened before too.

    When I’m at the gym, my kids constantly ask me how to do different exercises, and headstands, of course. They think that it ultra amusing for me to explain headstand technique while I am upside down in a headstand!

    My kids are *Not* impressed with my amount of followers. Apparently their opinion of me is higher than that. Aren’t kids fun! 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • Karen

      Thanks for those kind words. They are good kids, if I do say so myself.

      And yes, our children certainly do put us in our place and keep it all in perspective. I think your blog would be great for her to read since it is so positive about being a strong woman. Great message.

  4. I suppose it’s better than a lot of things a kid could find out about his/her parents. 🙂

    In fairness, if they’ve been discussed (at length) and their photographs posted, they deserve to know and have the opportunity to read it.

    • Karen

      I can’t argue with that. I really hesitated the first time I went to mention one of my sons on here. And, I didn’t post that first current photo until I asked. I was actually a bit surprised that back then they didn’t say something along the lines of “yes, if we can read your blog.”

  5. I LOVE the photo of you and your son!
    My daughter who is 11 is not too interested in my posts. I show them to her occasionally and she gives me a thumbs up or down on how she feels about them. The only thing she asked was that I not put a picture of her on my blog unless I show her the photo first!! She is afraid all of her friends will see it!!! Ha!

    • Karen

      I’d be the same – wanting to be able to control what is out there about me! Smart girl, really. My brother has posted photos of me on his family website and there are some I am not too keen about!

  6. My husband has figured out you have a blog too. But I told him you didn’t want him to read it and he was really happy about that I think. A weight loss blog is not really his thing even when he is trying to keep his weight down (and being more successful than me at it right now even though he eats rolos every night). He finds my blog boring I’m sure, but reads it because he thinks he ought to read it.

    • Karen

      Rolos! My husband reads mine too. I have no idea what he thinks about it. He used to read a lot of the comments but I’m not sure if he still takes the time.

  7. Karen, this post is just beautiful. It raises so many issues for me, but first — about you. I think it’s wonderful that he wanted to check out your blog, and I’m guessing he might check it out again on occasion once he’s away at school — it’s a way to feel closer to home without actually telling anyone there are any pangs of homesickness involved. And then it also reminds me of “Bridges of Madison County” — though the topic is very very different, the idea of children never REALLY knowing what goes on in their mother’s heart and mind until she’s gone and they’re left reading her diaries.

    I think that the people in our lives probably want to really know who we are, but it’s often difficult to share those pieces of ourselves that feel most vulnerable. We share with strangers (who fortunately can turn into real friends) and less with those already in our lives. It’s interesting really.

    THIS is the statement that struck me so deeply: After all, I blog mostly anonymously because, quite frankly, I am embarrassed to think anyone in my real life would realize just what a crazy-ass yo-yo dieter I have been for much of my life!

    YES — I get this. I get this on a profound, cellular level. Though I want to write my blog, I struggle with wanting to lock it down and make it private for just a select group of people. Sometimes, it makes me uncomfortable that my deep, dark thoughts are on the Internet for the world to read. It makes me wonder whether it borders on hypocrisy — does it make it a shameful thing to do something in public yet hide it from everyone I can? One might argue it’s allowed to be private, yet at the same time, it’s totally public. A diary or journal is private — the Internet is the most public forum of all. In fact, the Internet is MORE public than real life. When we say something in day to day life, the words fade with time. On the Internet, they’re always there.

    This issue bothers me on an almost daily basis. And the sad part is that I had a post idea for Saturday come to me early this morning — it’s not something I’d ever want to discuss with 95% of the people I know — yet I’m planning to write the contents of my soul on the Internet. See — I’m just not sure how I feel about that anymore.

    Torn in AR,

    • Karen

      Wow! Very thought-provoking.

      First paragraph raises an interesting notion that had not occurred to me. Of course I will always wonder now if he reads and what he happens upon. (I had one post idea that is just TMI and soo not happening now!)

      Blogging has given me a chance to explore my thoughts in a way I never did privately. I was never a journaler. And the input from others has been invaluable in so many ways. Both the wisdom and new ideas, and the support and encouragement. How odd that you know more about me, in some ways, than my closest friends. I tend to forget about the permanence. We warn our kids about that all the time yet here I am… putting things out here. I worry about it more with the photos, actually.

      Anyhoo… I have said things on here that I have never said aloud. It has been wonderful. But the idea that I’d be known as the real me is scary. BTW – someone IRL did find my blog! I’ve had that on my list of post topics for ages and keep forgetting to write about it. Talk about a freak out moment!!

      One last thought… I am always impressed by the bloggers who are using their real identities online, but when I think about it, they are “success” stories who are writing in ways to motivate and educate, rather than someone who, like us, is still on a long journey and struggling.

  8. Love it!!
    My son sends me texts while he’s sitting in the livingroom with me! I think they check my blog, but I really don’t know. I do show them stuff on it from time to time, but I try to keep them away from the actual stats (weight stats) haha. Like that works!! Oh well.

  9. Let me say that I have the distinction (I think!) of being your only BlogFriend who has actually met him in person. I can verify that he is as charming and polite in person as the picture would indicate. And I love the way he protected his mom when he told her prior to our meeting that it might be “sketchy.” I hope after meeting me he was o.k. with his mom meeting someone she knew only through the internet. Not sure Karen would feel the same way if her son announced he was meeting someone he knew only through the internet!! LOL!

    Having said that, it’s a topic that arises frequently in BlogLand – one about which we all have to make very personal decisions. Shortly after starting Gains & Losses, I, with much help from you folks, made the decision to keep my blog totally separate from any friends in my Real World! To the best of my knowledge, there are only three people who know I have a blog. And I have never regretted that decision. I write what is on my heart – it is an outlet that has provided benefits I could not ever have predicted. Yet, even in my caution, I always know that with a little “googling” or even quite by accident, someone could easily find it. So, even though I write what is on my heart, I am always careful. Karen’s post is a delightful reminder of the wisdom of caution.

    Thanks for a fun post and quite frankly, I hope he DOES read this comment. He needs to know how many people have been encouraged by his mom’s wonderful writing!

    • Karen

      I so was thinking about how to work that “sketchy” thing into this post!

      Did I ever tell you that someone IRL DID find my blog? I keep meaning to write about it. Boy was that a freak out moment.

      This just reminds me that those cautions for kids hold true for any of us. What we put out here is put out here. And we never know who is seeing it or what they do with the information. Sigh.

  10. There is something different about baring your soul to strangers versus baring it to those we are closest to, especially those that (gasp!)live with us! I have shared my blog (both of them) with close friends and family – those that have known my struggles from the start. I figure y weight issues aren’t really something I can hide, so why not put it out there. But in doing so, I felt I needed to carefully monitor some of the things I wrote. I decided I didn’t want my blog to be “censored” so when I began this current blog, I sort of prefaced my “invitation” to read with the statement that my blog would not mince words, and would show the real me and all my struggles, AND my real weight, and if people couldn’t respect that, then they shouldn’t read it. As far as I know, I didn’t lose any readers!
    I think by sharing your blog with your son, you get to show him a whole new side of who you are. Maybe he will come to have a new understanding of your struggles and become a cheerleader for you too!

    • Karen

      I have wondered if I have hidden my issues. I clearly have many, I know realize. And I have been up and down with my weight for years. BUT, I have never been obese so am not sure how much is noticed by people, other than my mom and husband, of course, who would notice it all! Having boys, who happen to be skinny, I suspect they are pretty oblivious. I almost started a second totally anonymous blog last summer. Not for this topic… just to say whatever I wanted to say without having to think twice about who might read it.

  11. This post is funny. I don’t keep my blog secret but I also cringe when people from “real life” find me on my blog and I freak out trying to think about what my recent post have been about.

    BTW, That’s a great picture of you and your son.

    • Karen

      Thanks. I like that photo:) It was a great day, actually. Not graduation, but class day at the school. He had chosen to be one of the two senior speakers and did a great job. AND, he got an award for being one of the top students in his class. AND it was my birthday:) So thinking about it all brings back some great memories. It was high on my list of “most proud mom days.”

  12. Jan

    Not having kids, I cannot imagine how sensitive this would be. But I did experience family “outings” as a child, which would make me caution all parents talking about their kids on the web. When I was growing up with my preacher-Dad, he told stories about us kids, especially me, frequently from the pulpit to illustrate points. No matter how cute or gentle the tales, I was always humiliated.

    My blog posts go immediately to FB, which all of my family and close friends read. Soooo, I’m careful to ask before incorporating pics of them and would never write anything about them that would be hurtful or embarrassing, no matter how tempting…

    BTW the pic is wonderful.

    • Karen

      Why is it that as children we find our parents so embarrassing? I keep my FB personalities separate and am impressed with those who are comfortable enough to let them merge. BTW – When I see you I will be traveling with 3 women; two know about the blog; the third does not. It will be nice to only have to sneak around a little bit to meet you:)

  13. Roz

    Your son sounds great. Don’t be embarassed by your journey Karen, be proud of how far you’ve come!!!! I think both of your kids are probably proud of you too. I hope they know how many people you’ve inspired, motivated and supported through your blog and what a stellar Mom they have!! Take care Karen, love the photo!!!!

    • Karen

      He is pretty great. Are you reading this, son?! Thanks for the kind words, Roz. I think, honestly, my kids probably couldn’t care less about it all. I HOPE that, at least.

  14. Too funny. I love the photo of you two by the way.
    I bet he’ll check in on you from college. It’ll be comforting for him, I’m sure. And he won’t have to call and actually talk if he doesn’t want to!
    I only just linked my mom blog with my diet blog. I always told you guys about everything, but didn’t share the diet blog with my “real world” friends. How silly, it’s not like they couldn’t see that I’m very fat. I can understand more in your case because you can pass for “normal”. (hee hee…) GOsh, is that terrible to say? I think you know what I mean.
    But in the end, it’s more normal to have food issues than not to.
    and this blog is so much more. It’s your wisdom and humor and incredible ability to look at life in a positive way and to articulate so much.
    You are so much more than your yo-yo dieting and so is this blog.
    For what it’s worth, I thnk you should be proud for anyone you know to see it.

    • Karen

      I know exactly what you mean and had no idea how to put it so well! That is very true… I think that my having issues would be so much less obvious. Thank you for your very kind words, Teresa. And your support and friendship. Hugs.

  15. Dang kids!!!! 😉 I love that he wanted you to write about him more! He may take those words back if you hear about nay of his college escapades & write about those!:-)

    • Karen

      Oh, hopefully he trusts me enough to know I would censor myself. I did tell him that I wrote once about his poison ivy episode. And, there is some brief mention of escapades coming in my thumbs post next week. But I left out the “juicy” stuff. IMO. So hopefully he is okay with what I do say.

  16. My son read my blog about a year ago. I cringed and tried to remember everything I ever wrote about him…He didn’t seem too phased, but it is a kind of scary knuckle biting feeling. He now follows my blog but I honestly don’t know if he reads it now…

    I think that feeling is quite common when someone you know and/or love finds your innermost thoughts on the internet!

  17. Funny you should mention this topic. My 24 year old nephew told me that someone one of my journals from my single years ended up at his house. I have NO IDEA how that happened. He confessed that he’d read some of it. I cringed wondering what was in it. He said it was stuff about dating and trying to lose weight. Some things never change, except I only date my husband now.

    • Karen

      Oh no! I wonder if it is the same thing to read a private written journal. After all, that is not put out here for the world like a blog.

      • Karen

        I forgot one more thing… I saw Oprah talking about hers and she has said that Gayle knows where they are and if she dies, Gayle is supposed to fast get to them and protect them:)

  18. As a mom to three teens, I think the more we share with our kids from an honest perspective, the better. (Within reason of course.) He sounds teriffic!

  19. Yeah, I am guessing that sly dog of a son of yours has read your blog well before he decided to toy with you. LOL

    Lord help the girls on the West Coast.

  20. I think it is terrific that he asked about your blog. I can understand your own trepidations, too, even though I feel differently.

    All of my children are well into adulthood (28-36 years). I do not know if my own children read my blog often, but I know they know the URL and I know they stop by on occasion. I actually have found it very freeing that they know about my blog. They are well aware of my efforts to getting healthy. For too many years, I kept my weight and issues around it to myself and of course was in denial.

    I am glad they know because it makes it easier for me to make healthy decisions when we gather for any event or occasion where there is food. They know I am working hard and never question my healthy choices or try to get me to try just one more bite. We have had many good conversations about healthy living, too. So for me it is liberating that they know about my blog and of course what got me to start blogging in the first place.

    • Karen

      I’m torn with the idea of people knowing that I am trying to eat healthy. My mom made a comment the other day about some brownies she gave my son to bring home and hoping I wouldn’t be mad if he offered them to me. And at a part holiday celebration at her house made some comment about what she’d serve and the healthy aspects. Honestly, I’d rather everyone else not pay attention to me, I think.

  21. Miz

    Im toeing the line with all this today and more and more as my girl starts school and gets older.

    • Karen

      I have wondered what, if anything, I would blog about if my kids were as young as your daughter. I think it would be so tempting to me to have a mom blog. By the time the Tornado is as old as my kids, there will be something else, I suspect.

  22. My kids read my blog – I am glad they do because sometimes that is how they get info I forgot to share with them. Since I have 2 different blogs – the main one is very random with family stuff included along side political, social, and other ramblings.

  23. Well, since I already ‘outed’ myself when I started – and since I’ve written and posted on everything from loose skin to anxiety, I guess I have no shame. It’s funny though, because in my ‘real life’ I a pretty shy person who hates to talk about herself. I’m always directing conversations back to the person I’m talking to. So, when someone comes up to me and mentions that they read something on my blog I kind of freak out a bit. I forget that people I know read it.
    To Karen’s son: you have a great mom!

  24. Karen, you son sounds like a total doll (love the photo too)! And if he’s reading this, I’d like him to know that his mom’s blog has helped so many people lead healthier, better more authentic lives. Best of luck to him at college. Hope you and your husband enjoy empty nest living!

    • Karen

      I debated telling him that I was posting about him today. Decided against it. Maybe I should tell him! Thanks for the kind words.

  25. I’d rather die than tell anyone I know in real life my blog URL.

  26. I am afraid I don’t write every thing I think about in my blogs because I know my family can and might read it. SO I am very censored when I write. Sometimes I think I will start a more real blog that I can say whatever I want in by creating a completely separate identity for it and not letting my family have the info to access it. But I still feel vunerable to being ‘outed’ eventually and then being judged or chastised by my odd opinions and beliefs that my very conservative adult children do not sharte LOL!

    • Karen

      I actually started to do that myself. A new blog, unrelated to this, totally anonymous. Set it up and everything. But then I decided it was too much work to keep up two:(

  27. That is cute; I can’t believe they didn’t know until now. 🙂

    • Karen

      Well, one reader suggested he DID know, that he had seen it before, but was just now playing me, so to speak. Who knows.

  28. Oh MY!!!!!!!!!!!
    That could have played out IDENTICALLY here.
    In fact, I’ve wanted to share food and fitness stuff, then remembered that I have an empty nest category where I talk about my spawn and and and….
    I’m so glad it worked out for you!
    I was NERVOUS just reading this post!
    Hmmmm – west coast? could it be possible that we could be waving distance away?
    Have a great trip!

    • Karen

      Mostly I am choosing to let my aging memory forget all about it! But I did have a post idea or two that will soooo not be happening now that there is even the slightest chance he’d be reading.

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