If you scroll through my Instagram Feed, you'll notice a common theme. Well maybe theme is the wrong word. You'll notice one common person in the majority of my photos. My three year old daughter Reese.
Despite my profile proudly announcing that I am a blended family mama of of four (stepmom to 3, mom to 1), by looking at my photos, you'd think otherwise.
Recently someone asked me why I post so many more photos of my daughter than I do my stepchildren. I can't help but think that there was an underlying assumption about the answer to this question - one that assumes I favour her over them.
So if you too are wondering why I post more pictures of my daughter than my stepchildren, here are the 5 reasons why.
(I'll apologize in advance, the answers are not due to favouritism, or turf war drama between their Mom and I. She hasn't forbid me to post pictures of the kids. We don't have a relationship plagued with drama and power struggles. No juicy story here!)
It's pretty simple actually.
1. I AM WITH HER MORE
I am with Reese more than I am with my stepchildren. She is with us 100% of the time, while my stepchildren come every other week.
2. THEY LIKE TO TAKE PICTURES WITH THEIR FRIENDS, NOT THEIR PARENTS
She is 3 they are 10, 13 and 14 - which means when they are "with us", they are not physically with us as much as they used to be.
Their social lives are booming and they are off enjoying their new found independence! They prefer snapchat selfies with their buddies to Instagram candids with their stepmom. I get it.
3. I RESPECT THEM + ASK FOR THEIR CONSENT
I tread lightly when it comes to involving my stepchildren (and husband) in my blog and social media posts. I respect that even though I have made the decision to share my story with the world (a decision they are all fully supportive of by the way), this decision is mine and not theirs.
I am also aware that constant requests for photo-opps may turn them off of the whole thing. So I pick and choose carefully.
Even though we have never had a specific conversation about photos, I respect their boundaries. When I do take a photo of them, I ask their permission before I go ahead and post.
99.9999% of the time, the answer is YES, and they look at me wondering why I asked, but for me, consent is important!
They are tween/teenagers. They have a say about what shared about them on the internet.
There will come a time, when Reese will be given the same courtesy.
4. THEIR FRIENDS CHECK OUT MY PAGE
Being a kid is hard. Other kids can be particularly cruel. A moment that I think is sweet and cute, may be perceived by their friends as "lame".
I don't want to set them up for any type of backlash!
Which again, is why I always ask for their consent.
5. I RESPECT THEIR MOM
I know many of you won't agree with me on this one, but personally, I don't think I would be thrilled with another woman posting pictures of my kid all over the Internet.
So, I try and keep it balanced and minimal.
My step-children's Mom and I have discussed my blog and come up with a way for me to tell our story while still respecting the kid's privacy. I respect and honour that agreement. There was never a conversation about the quantity of pictures, but again, I don't want to rock the boat.
At the end of the day, none of this would be worth it, if it were causing turmoil in our family.