My daughter deserves privacy on social media—and I’m going to give it to her

Sometimes what appears to be a simple habit ends up carrying a greater meaning than I first thought.

My daughter deserves privacy on social media—and I’m going to give it to her

Social media is a part of my daily life. I use it to connect with others, share my stories, or simply to have fun. Good, bad, or other, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

That’s exactly why I find it so important to step back a moment and consider its effect on myself and my daughter. Over the last few months, I have reconsidered a lot about my online posting habits. Because sometimes what appears to be a simple habit ends up carrying a greater meaning than I first thought.

My social media app of choice is Instagram. Since I began using it, the opportunity to hone my photographer’s eye with every picture I take made this tool a great outlet for the creative side of me.

Once I became a mother my posts got more focused... on the subject of motherhood, of course! I’d spend all day at home with my daughter so naturally most of my pictures were of her on my private account. This in turn lead me to connect with a lot of other young mothers who shared a similar lifestyle. To this day, I still enjoy being part of a community of mothers that fosters open and honest conversation by embracing all aspects of their vocation.

Yet, although I love tosee photos of babies and all the details of motherhood, when I changed my account to public, I found myself questioning the amount I chose to share.

Then one day my husband brought up his concern for our daughter. Given that he does not have an Instagram account he was often unaware of the content I was posting. So we sat down and had a conversation. We asked a lot of questions.

How often am I sharing photos of our daughter? Is this a positive force in my life and therefore in my daughter’s? Is my usage affecting her negatively? Is there a negative intention behind this post? Does she know what I’m sharing of her online? Are there any consequences either now or down the road?

These questions may seem unnecessary—and sometimes I think “It’s just Instagram. It’s just for fun. It’s just a picture.” It is something I struggle with as (more often than not) I just want to post post post!

But I believe there is something bigger my husband and I are being called to as parents.

We used to share photo albums with family. Now we share feeds with strangers.

The world has changed and I feel I’ve changed with it. But part of me wants to be different.

For me and my family, opening up this conversation was a critical step to take. We needed to determine what social media is and does for us, and make our own rules together as a family.

In the end, we determined it would be helpful to come up with ground rules so that we could have peace of mind about our daughter’s safety and privacy, and about all the content I choose to post.

These rules include:

1. Be conscious of each post and evaluate it carefully

2. Respect our daughter’sprivacy by limiting the frequency of posts of her as the subject.

3. Limit the amount of exposure of her personal details.

4. Have a positive intention behind each post.

5. Take a break from posting too often.

6. Always be willing to have an open conversation about concerns.

Even though social media is here and touches virtually everything, it doesn’t mean I need to let it change me or take away my freedom, values, and privacy.

In fact, I believe it is part of my motherly duty to consider this global, ubiquitous technology and assess what part I want to play in it—and what part it plays in my life. That’s where my strength as a mother lies: standing up for my child in ways only I can.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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