I was a bedwetter. For a long time. I can say that now with no sense of shame because I am an adult. My bedwetting days have long since passed and now I can see with an adult perspective that I was in no way responsible for my bedwetting. I felt shame about it as a child, even though my parents did everything possible to reassure me that it wasn’t my fault. But there were ways bedwetting impacted my life that made me feel defective. I couldn’t do sleepovers and I was always terrified somebody would find out.
I often think about the experience of growing up as a bedwetter when I’m reading “mommy blogs” or watching what gets posted on social media. I think about it when I’m writing this little “mommy blog” here. I often try to imagine what it would have been like if my mom was a blogger and had decided her mission in life was to dispel the shame around bedwetting or to try and create a community of support for moms of bedwetters. My mom is a great writer and I bet she could have sensitively and beautifully brought a lot of wisdom to the topic, but at what cost to her relationship with me?
This is the question we sometimes forget to ask ourselves when we’re writing about our kids. There’s such a high value placed on “honesty” and “transparency” and “community” that I think we don’t stop to ask ourselves if we have the right to be sharing information that essentially belongs to someone else. My child’s story is not just mine to tell.
It is a very delicate balance to walk and I’m sure there are posts you could point to where I have crossed that line. I have tried very hard NOT to do that– I’m vague where I can be, don’t mention names when I don’t need to, focus on MY part of the story rather than on my child. Sometimes I read what other mothers are writing about their children and my heart breaks because I can’t help but wonder how that child will feel when they see how they were talked about, what private medical issues were shared, how their parents broke trust with them by publicly “outing” them in whatever context.