The Graceful Boon

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Being a first time mother who’s practically sold her life to the internet means that she should now also be selling the life of her child to the internet. That’s what a lot of moms do nowadays. They make money out of being mothers. It’s called mommy blogging and mommy vlogging. I’ve seen so many of them as of late. I’d even say I’ve seen too many of them. Some women make social media accounts specifically for their children chronicling their children’s lives as if they were their public diaries. I’ve seen women chronicling their DISABLED children’s lives on social media as though it was their diary. As a disabled person myself, let me tell you one thing – if I grew up at the height of social media and found out that my parents made my life growing up with cerebral palsy public for the whole world to see, I would’ve disowned them. As a grown adult, I share my life for the public to see. The difference is, though, that it is MY decision, and my decision only, to make it so public.

The mommy blogging/vlogging community has gone insane. There are two recent stories I recently came across by complete chance that really stuck with me, and in a very negative way. The first story is that of a married couple adopting a 5 year old autistic child. They were consistently posting about him on their socials, mainly on their YouTube account, and made him and his disability the brand and product of their online business. Once they realized the cost of raising a disabled child, they decided it wasn’t beneficial for their online presence to continue to make content out of him, so they returned him to the adoption agency where they got him in the first place. They then made a video explaining their situation and apologizing to the public for their deed. They really attempted to put on a show for the camera with their crocodile tears. The second scenario that personally shocked me was an influencer couple cancelling their plans to adopt a child due to the adoption agency’s ruling that they weren’t allowed to post any content for a year once the adoption process was made legal and official.

Nowadays, you can make a business out of everything and anything thanks to social media, specifically thanks to YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. The mommy business, however, is the real deal. If you take a look at my Instagram, you’ll see that I myself started posting about motherhood. I specifically share glimpses of my life as a disabled mom. There’s a big difference between myself and the real mommy bloggers and vloggers out there: I don’t share my son’s name and I don’t reveal his face to the public. It was a mutual decision my husband and I made together to never share that information about our son.

There are multiple reasons for us making that decision. For one, it was me that decided to make myself a public figure and make my face be known. Yes, my following and readership is nowhere near of such public figures as Addison Rae for instance, but it’s there for the public to see nonetheless. My son, however, isn’t old enough to make such a big decision on his own, and I don’t feel that I should invade his privacy when he doesn’t even know what the meaning of privacy is. It’s the same with the rest of my family, including my parents and in-laws. The one thing I share about my father-in-law is how he’s treated me as a disabled person and his wife’s son. I do that because I told myself from the very beginning when I started this blog that any details about my parents’ personal details will remain out of the blog and out of my social media presence. I’m the one that’s the public figure; not anyone in my family. If they tell me they don’t want any details about them written in the blog or any pictures of them posted on my social media, I have to respect their wishes.

also don’t know who follows me on my socials and who reads my blog. I hope it’ll be a lot of people that will be following my life and my brand both on the blog and social media, if not now, then in the future. But even if someone’s not actually following me on Instagram and my blog, my content is out there for anyone to see. Hence, anyone could look at my personal photos and read about my life without me knowing it. I”m old and wise enough to handle it. My son isn’t and won’t be for a while. My son isn’t even old enough to understand what social media and blogging is. For now, the only thing he cares about is being fed, sleeping enough, and pooping. Sometimes, only sometimes, he wants to get some attention and love, especially from his dad, which really melts my heart.

Another reason for keeping my son’s identity a secret is the fact that my whole brand is disability and advocacy. I’d imagine it’s a lot for someone to handle the fact that completely random people and strangers they never even met know so much about you, which could include things that the person doesn’t want people in his life to know. I myself was a very private person, and it took a lot for me to be so public about my life on the internet. It took me years to feel comfortable to be such an open book. And even when it wasn’t on the internet, I was a ultra-private person. That’s the first thing anyone would know about me. I’d get angry when my mom opened up about my life to people she knew. She’d do that because it had a lot to do with her own life and to get any information possible on how to treat cerebral palsy as a child and then epilepsy as an adult. At some point, I set boundaries with her regarding who knows what about me and my life. Some should only get to know me only through my Instagram and this blog. On the other hand, her opening up in private about my diagnosis to the right people who are health professionals saved my life at a point in my life when epilepsy almost killed me. With all that in consideration, I believe that my son should have the right to make his own decisions when it comes who knows what about his life. In this case, it’s that his mom has cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

It’s not that I believe my son will be ashamed of me At least I hope he won’t be. Instead, it’s that my husband and I believe he should be the one who decides who knows what details of his family and life as a whole. Maybe in the future I’ll reconsider my stand on not sharing any personal details about my son, but that’s only going to happen when he’s old enough to tell me himself that it’s okay for me to do so. My son is a person. He’s not a product or the brand of my business. I made a decision that I can share about my own personal experience of being a disabled mother and the hardships that come along with it, because it’s something that’s mine. These are MY hardships of being a disabled woman who’s become a mother. The rest will be up to him to decide when he’s old enough to make his own decisions.

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