Sunday, March 29, 2009

identity crisis

This has been gnawing at me for days now. I can't believe I'm still undecided.

I'm very new to blogging, or writing to a public audience for that matter. Every day, I learn something new about blog etiquette and the various tools and platforms that power this wonderful social medium. In my quest for blogger-know-how, a few days ago, I posed this question at a mommy blog network forum as well as to individual bloggers: Why would you use an alias for your child?

A number of mothers worried about their child's lack of choice in having their life documented for all to read. An alias would protect their kids' identity and help prevent any embarrassment that the blog might bring in the future. This threw me a little. I started this blog under the assumption that it will be read by everyone I know, a few I don't know and some I have yet to know. I felt somewhat paranoid. I reread my blogs to see if I had written anything that would offend my sons and their future girlfriends, in-laws or employers. Nothing that I could tell but how can I be sure? Can I really see into the future psyche of my boys? I've been guilty of reacting negatively to something that my hubby thought was trivial. So to my boys who will be reading this in the future, this blog was intended to celebrate my life with you and includes the good and not-so-great times because that is stuff of life. I hope you like reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Here's another rationale that surprised me at first. One mommy confided that she uses pseudonyms for her kids mainly because it better suits her writing style. But the more of her posts I read, the more I understood her reasoning. I've soon discovered that there are some incredibly great writers out there in the mommy blogosphere. And, yes, the aliases they use 'fit' their writing style. But alas, I was a web techie in my pre-mommy life. I don't know what my writing style is or if I even have one. Using an alias for stylistic expression, though legitimate, did not prompt me to follow suit.

Safety concerns came up and, not surprisingly, is the number one reason for using pseudonyms for many moms. I have set up my blog account so that it does not tie back to my real name, address or phone number even though I don't personally believe there is a high risk in drawing a child predator out through my mommy stories. I'm very comfortable with the level of anonymity I've set up for myself. However, it would completely crush me if my blog ever put my family at risk. Adopting an alias doesn't demand a great deal of effort. Why not take the extra step and provide some level of anonymity for my kids, just in case?

And so, now I find myself searching for the right pseudonym for each of my boys. I've been wracking my brain for days now and am still without a 'ThingOne and ThingTwo' or 'Giggles and Dimples'. Nothing seems to fit. Coming up with their real names was a cinch compared to this. My indecision is killing me so I've resolved to give up the search ... for a little while anyway.

For now my boys, you will be called whatever flavour of the moment that strikes my fancy. Keep safe and be happy my Lil' Monkey and Bat Babe until mommy figures this one out.

5 comments:

  1. First, I want to say that I love your blog's title, your pen name SAHM I AM, and your idea to post a pic at the bottom of each post. I like you already!

    I'm also a new blogger, and have the same concerns about safety. At first, I was only concerned about posting pics (which I have done), but couldn't understand the risk of using my boys' names. I asked around too, and ended up using names after reading several blogs (that have been around a while) that used names and pics. But after reading this, now I'm having second thoughts again.

    ck makes a good point in her post today. In using ONE and TWO, there's no confusion about which child she's referring to, the older or the younger. I noticed when reading other blogs, whether the blogger uses real names or pseudonyms, the challenge of distinguishing each child remains. I usually call my 9 month old "baby" to differentiate between him and my 3 year old. (I don't know what I'll do when he's not a baby anymore). Anyway, in your quest for aliases, it might be easier for you to write and your readers to read if you use age-distinuishing pseudonyms. Just a thought...

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  2. What a fantastic idea (about using age-distinguishing pseudonyms) ... that'll give focus to my search. Thanks tlc. I'm off to read ck's post now.

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  3. I am a single mom with just a daughter so I do not have to worry about the distinction of more than one kid. I use her nickname I have used since birth "Tooters" she is actually getting to be well know in the mommy blog circles. I have it in my divorce decree that I am not allowed to publish online pictures or use her name in any way. This was my way around it.

    Besides in my happy world I live in maybe someone might want to pay me for my stories and this way she has some kind of anonymity for when she is older and security while she is young.

    I also used different names for other ppl that are in my stories on a regular basis but I always explain who they are, like my dad is the Wanderer, I live in the Nuthouse, my brother is the Bug etc etc etc

    I have been blogging for a while and I love it and the people I meet. Come see me at my site sometime would love to have you.

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  4. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Ruth

    http://ramupgrade.info

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  5. I read your post on MBC. As moms, we have so much to worry about, don't we? If you are comfortable with your decision, then you made the right choice. I'll click through your blog to help you come up with names. Good luck and welcome to the blogospehere!

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