Every few months, there is an article, a blog post, or an essay that makes us all wonder whether some stories about child rearing should be kept off limits. Many of us wonder whether we are helping our children or hurting them when we write about their lives on blogs, in magazine articles, in books.
It’s easy to point at other mothers and say they shouldn’t write or talk about the intimate details of their children’s lives. Should a mother lament having a child who has autism on national television? Should a mother call her 7-year-old daughter “fat” and take extreme measures to curb her appetite and help her lose weight? Should a mother get so involved in a child’s relationships that she is upset when a boy breaks up with her daughter?
I’d like to think I wouldn’t write about such things. I edit myself pretty heavily. At the same time, I have written about how my children and I have dealt with questions about race. That’s not exactly light fare. Writing is how I make sense of the world around me. I know it helps me, and I hope it helps others. What I try to keep in mind is that one day soon Simone and Nadia will tell me to stop writing about them. When it happens, I hope they will work with me. If not, I will have no choice but to stand down.