The ups and downs of the sleep regression continue in their fascinating and frustrating unpredictability. After one night of being awake every other hour, the next night the Troll slept 11 hours straight without a single peep, and this evening was out for the count at 7PM without much of a fuss - which is just as well as today it's just me on my tod whilst the wife has a night off and attends a friend's birthday party.
By lovely happenstance, the day after I wrote what is almost definitely my most personal post, a thoughtful and thought-provoking article appears in Aftenposten [in Norwegian; Google Translate it, non-Norwegian readers] written by a woman who now regrets blogging about her kids when they were younger.
The gist of what she writes is that what she thought was appropriate at the time has changed dramatically as her children have gotten older. I absolutely understand this, and this is one of my biggest concerns, too. I address quite a few of the things she writes about in one of my earliest posts on the Troll’s right to privacy. One of the things she regrets most is over-exposing her children, including pictures of them when they were sick, nude, messy or upset etc. This is an issue we have avoided as we have had a strict rule since before he was born that we wouldn’t post pictures like that, or any other kind of picture where we would be upset if it was one of us in that situation. I also have a pretty high threshold for who I add on Facebook (although it is soon time for another cull, I think), which limits the number of ‘randoms’ that are exposed to pictures and thoughts on the Troll.
In hindsight she feels that too much of what he wrote was perhaps trivial ultimately revealing without being consequential. Some trivial posts aside (e.g. re-written a 90s R&B classic and Lord of the Rings GIFS), tried to write about things that people might learn something from or be inspired by (I hope that doesn't sound as conceited as my overly-critical self-aware inside-voice thinks it does), and so far, from the feedback I get after each post, I seem to be doing OK. Still, reading the article, I came to realise that I had perhaps lost sight of the original vision I had for this blog, which was not to write about personal issues, but to use the Troll as a jumping off point to write about scientific and skeptically-minded topics. It would certainly take the Troll (and my wife) out of the firing line, somewhat, although it doesn’t mean that issues around privacy etc. will go away.
I will now make a conscious effort to re-focus on the science stuff, but these kinds of posts take a lot of cognitive energy and time, and I don’t have much of either of those things. At the same time, I am still working through my thoughts on whether writing about crying from being exhausted as he goes through a completely normal developmental phase is going him a disservice in any way. Of course the Troll’s childhood is ‘his own’, but his childhood isn’t happening in a vacuum, it is also a huge part of my life. A post like that is about my response to being a father going through a tricky time – it has little to do with him as an individual. My hope is that by the time he is old enough to react to and understand a post like that, he is also mature enough to comprehend the distinction, although maybe I am hoping for too much.
I appreciate this timely reminder to be constantly reflecting on and calibrating my filter for what is appropriate. I could well be falling into the same trap she did by thinking that I am finding the right balance and censoring myself appropriately. Will I come to regret writing this blog? Time –and the Troll—will eventually tell.