Like most blogging parents, once my kids got old enough to have their own internet presence I stopped posting pictures of them without their approval and kept my writing about them to be minimal and more along the lines of, “Here’s a random adventure,” and less, “Parenting is hard, yo.”
There are a lot of things I didn’t expect when I started blogging in 2004. I wasn’t prepared for how different the teen life of my millennial child would be from the teen lives of the younger two. So much of their lives and the lives of their friends exist online…much more than when my oldest was a teenager. My biggest worry when my millennial child was growing up was whether or not potential jobs or college admissions officers would stumble upon my blog when searching his name. As a matter of fact, that was on my “About” page for awhile as an explanation as to why I didn’t use anyone’s real names on my blog. They were too Googleable! And god forbid someone search his name and find this blog where I spent years talking about my uterus and boob sweat.
Unfortunately, I ended up talking mostly about myself on this blog once my younger kids became school-age and now my concern for them is not whether or not college recruiters or bosses find it, but whether or not the kid in Human AP who hates them finds it.
OH MY GOD, WHAT IF SOME DAY THERE IS A KID IN A HUMAN AP CLASS WHO REALLY DOES HATE THEM AND THEY FIND THIS POST?
And that, my friends, is my dilemma.
It’s not that anyone will find stuff I’ve written about them, it’s that anyone will find anything I’ve written at all. Anything that is remotely personal and could potentially be embarrassing because – there is something I have learned the last few years and that is: I, Kim Holmes, am inherently and painfully embarrassing without even trying.
This is rough because I’ve always liked living my personal life out in the open. I like posting pictures of my boob sweat marks on my running shirts in the summer because it is something we all can relate to but no one ever talks about. I like writing about my mental health journey on this blog because I take it is my responsibility to normalize mental healthcare since I grew up during a time where I didn’t even understand the words “anxiety” and “depression.”
But here we are and where we’ve been in my social internet places for the last two years. The changes have been gradual but if you’ve been following me anywhere, you’ve probably noticed them.
I’ve always kept my Facebook private and limit friend requests to people I mostly know as real people. It’s still kinda my safe place because none of my kid’s friends are on Facebook and while some of their parents are, so far no one has abused that position by telling their kids anything I’ve posted that could be used against my children.
Two years ago I deleted all of my tweets since I joined Twitter in 2006 because I just had no way to make sure there wasn’t something in the past that someone would stumble upon and hold against my children in any social situation. Now it’s not 100% benign, but it has mainly just become a rant place for politics with the periodic emotional distress post and I have a service (Tweet Delete) that deletes my tweets every 3 months. I do find this sad…know that I can’t go back and dig up old popular tweets or anything. But it is what it is and I don’t want to have to question every tweet I make so I just censure myself a little bit and know it will disappear in 3 months no matter what.
This week I locked down my Instagram and made it private. I went through my followers and deleted anyone who didn’t have a profile picture or who I had never seen interact with any of my photos. It was a quick perusal and I hoped it would clear out any possible friends of my kids who just stalk to see what they’re up to. (Although, I post so rarely about my kids because they hate every picture I take of them, if they were stalking they would have been very disappointed.) My kids did not ask me to do this, as a matter of fact, one of them was sad that I did it…but I do know sometimes they see a post I’ve made of myself (Like my funny “Look How Terrible I Look In The Morning” pictures) and are a little paranoid one of their friends will see it. Now that my account is private I can be as embarrassing as I want. And if you send me a follow request and I can tell for sure that you’re not a friend of my kid? I’ll approve, that’s the only people I’m really trying to lock out is anyone who knows my kid socially. Now I can rant about boob sweat all I want and they won’t be know as the kids with the Boobsweat Mom.
That brings me to this blog. Some time last year I archived everything in the “parent” category into draft mode but then my kids searched themselves using my blog nicknames (Seriously. WHAT WAS THE POINT IN ME USING NICKNAMES THEN?) and still found stuff I had written from way back when they were babies. Probably back then things were categorized differently because I used a different CMS. And it wasn’t that they cared, but it made them worry about what else might be there that they couldn’t write off as baby stuff.
So…last week? I archived everything on this blog. There are just a few blog posts that exist for public consumption right now. One of them is the first “official” post I had on this blog that I wanted to leave live as a “beginning” marker but it cracks me up because…OH MAN. KIM OF 2004 WAS SO SURE OF HERSELF.
I had already started going through posts from the beginning to format to fit this new setup and in doing that I was deleting old crap entries (We did a lot of Question/Answer posts back in the day) so now I’m just planning on making a category that says “APPROVED” which means there’s nothing too embarrassing about the post and eventually I’ll put all of those back online.
But it’s tough because:
A) I was a terrible writer back then. Not that I’m a perfect now, but I took “casual writing” back then to a whole new level. And I wrote about the dumbest shit from the dumbest perspective and so while it’s not embarrassing in the sense I’m worried about for my kids, it is embarrassing in the sense that I’m worried about FOR ME. So I need to figure out how to make sure it’s obvious how old this stuff is so when I finally take it out of archives if anyone stumbles upon it they can see…OH! This is 15 years old! She was dumb then!
B) I wrote A LOT back then. Like, I write a lot now as far as blogging schedules go. No bloggers I follow write as often as I do today…but back then? JEEZUS. I’m am currently going through posts from June of 2004 and y’all…THERE WERE 61 ENTRIES THAT MONTH. I have already deleted about 20 of them BUT STILL. THIS IS TAKING FOREVER. I would write a blog post simply about spilling something on my shirt. Like…a whole blog post that basically said, “I am dumb and clumsy!” and I guess I felt like I needed to document that? But those posts would have like 15 comments on them so we were ALL living in that same space back then. It was a wild time to be a blogger.
So, right now I’m trying do a combination of going through all of my archived posts so that I can eventually publish them all again if they’re “safe” (Nothing too personal about me or embarrassing about the kids) and then save the others for when my kids are older and no longer care about what their dumb Mom wrote about her reproductive challenges on her blawwgggg.
For the record, I haven’t even made it to the Reproductive Hell section of my blogging career yet. I’m still in the “I’ve had two miscarriages but they were very far apart and so I’m still naively assuming I will have no problem trying to have kids” phase of my blogging life.
I’m also trying to figure out how to set up the design of this blog to show the dates on all entries so the old ones will be obvious, and to rewrite my “About” pages and such to kind of explain the sparseness here in case anyone pops along who just checks in every few months to see if I’m out here still writing.
I will still be writing here. As often. I don’t know how personal I’ll get in comparison with how personal I was getting. I do still want to write about mental health challenges and body image issues because A) It’s therapeutic and B) I want my kids to allow me to have my own presence on my own terms in some ways by reminding them that sometimes I’m embarrassed by things they post but I just leave them alone about it because it’s their life and I’m old. They need to allow me some independence…I AM 44 YEARS OLD FOR CHRISSAKES.
But I will be writing more with that kind of thing in mind so I’m not sure where that will take me. Be patient with me as I chart this new world. And let me know if you have any ideas of the best way to unarchive 16 years worth of entries when I’m finally (if ever) done going through it all? Like…one month at a time? One year at a time? One category at a time? WHO KNOWS!
(God y’all. The writing was SO BAD. It’s taking everything out of me not to edit every post but if I did that I’d be doing this task for 16 years.)
In celebration, here’s a few photos that I had to re-upload to give the old content something visual because none of the photos I used in the early years still exist as I changed platforms and moved hosts. Kim and family of 2004. My…if only they knew where the road would lead them.